Assemblywoman Schimel Assemblywoman
Michelle
Schimel

Reports to the People

SUMMER/FALL 2007

Say Hello to Your New Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel

Dear Friend,

Yes, I am still one of the new kids on the block in Albany. I wasted no time getting started as your Assemblywoman. The morning after the Special Election on March 28th, I took my seat on the Assembly floor and entered into budget negotiations.

I helped pass a state budget committed to improving the quality of our schools, providing tax relief to middle class families, expanding health insurance coverage for uninsured children and protecting our environment.

I now serve on six committees: Environmental Conservation, Energy, Transportation, Local Governments, Veterans and Steering. In just three months I have sponsored quite a number of bills and had three signed into law!

I am following in the footsteps of a superb legislator, your former Assemblyman Tom DiNapoli, who now serves you as the New York State Comptroller. Following in his footsteps is no small feat because he has big shoes to fill.

I am just at the beginning of my journey, but with your continued good wishes and patience, I will continue to grow and work for you. I thank you for this exciting opportunity.

As with Tom, if you would like information on a state related matter, please feel free to call my district office at 482-6966.

Best Wishes,
signaure
Michelle Schimel
Member of Assembly



Michelle Schimel Sworn in by Senator Schumer
photo Joined at her side by her husband Mark and father Howard Extract, Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel is being sworn in by United States Senator Charles Schumer.

NYS Seal

On May 7th, Michelle Schimel was sworn into the New York State Assembly by United States Senator Charles Schumer at the Inn at Great Neck.

Michelle Schimel, formerly the Town Clerk of North Hempstead, was elected in a Special Election on March 27th, 2007 to fill a vacancy left in the 16th Assembly District. The vacancy was created when former Assemblyman Thomas DiNapoli was appointed to the position of New York State Comptroller earlier this year.




State Budget Provides $1.3 Billion in New Tax Relief for Families

To help homeowners who are facing increasing property taxes, the state budget provides $1.3 billion in tax relief targeted to middle-class families through property tax rebates.

“The 2007-2008 state budget fundamentally reforms the way New York provides tax relief to local homeowners by giving additional relief based on income levels and by directing most of this tax relief to middle class families,” Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel said.

Under the Middle Class STAR Rebate Program, New Yorkers will see a STAR tax rebate based on a sliding scale tied to income. In Nassau County, the average Middle Class STAR Rebate is expected to yield $587 for homeowners with a household income under $120,000.

“Under this new reform, a greater number of middle class homeowners will receive the highest benefit,” said Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel. “This will ensure we put more money in the pockets of working families and help reduce the burden of local property taxes.”

Beginning September 24th, 2007 the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance will notify Nassau County property owners about the Middle Class STAR Rebate Program and will provide them with a rebate application form.

Homeowners who receive the basic STAR exemption must submit a rebate application by November 30, 2007. Seniors 65 years of age or older, who receive the enhanced STAR exemption, do not have to apply and will get their STAR rebate checks automatically. For more information visit www.nystax.gov or call the STAR hotline at 1-877-678-2769.




Building a Better Nassau

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Members from the Nassau County Assembly delegation met with County Executive Thomas Suozzi to discuss several important issues currently facing Nassau County. Pictured (L to R) Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel, Assemblyman Charles Lavine, Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg and Assemblywoman Earlene Hooper.

This session, Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel worked closely with the Nassau County Assembly delegation to help increase state funding for the 16th Assembly District. This increased aid will provide for essential services while easing the local property tax burden.

Since taking office in March 2007, Assemblywoman Schimel has worked hard to secure:

  • $19 million in state aid to Towns & Villages in Nassau County, a 3 percent increase in local municipal aid.

  • $11 million in increased education aid for schools in the 16th Assembly District, an increase of 18 percent from last year.

  • $1 million in state aid to the North Hempstead Housing Authority for the rehabilitation of Spinney Hill Homes, a five two-story building complex containing 54 units of rental housing for low and very low-income households.

  • Over $700,000 in state funds for North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health Systems and Winthrop-University Hospital.




Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel & State Regent Roger Tilles Meet With Local School Superintendents

Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel invited State Regent Roger Tilles to her introductory meeting with local school superintendents. Joined by State Senator Craig Johnson and Assemblyman Tom McKevitt, Assemblywoman Schimel had a unique opportunity to ask questions as well as listen to the comments and suggestions of this very well informed group of administrators.

Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel thanked Regent Tilles and Dr. John Bierwirth, Superintendent of Herricks School District, for their hospitality at the Herricks Community Center.




Public Health Initiative

Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel sponsored an important public health initiative this session concerning expedited partner treatment for persons infected with chlamydia. This legislation (A.8730/S.6210; passed Assembly) allows physicians and nurse practitioners to prescribe or dispense antibiotic drugs to the sexual partners of patients infected with chlamydia.

Chlamydia is a commonly reported infection and is most prevalent in women between the ages of 15-24. Chlamydia increases the risk of HIV acquisition and transmission. If left untreated in women, chlamydia can have serious health consequences, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility.

Under current practice, the infected patient is asked to notify his or her sexual partner about their exposure to the infection and to encourage them to seek treatment. This method is not always effective because the partners of infected patients refuse to seek treatment.

Expedited partner treatment is a safe and effective way of controlling the spread of this sexually transmitted disease. The CDC has concluded that expedited partner treatment is a useful option to facilitate partner management of chlamydia.




photo Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel, a long-time gun control activist, speaks at a New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV) press conference in Albany.
First Floor Debate is on Gun Control

Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel, a longtime gun control activist, had her first Assembly floor debate on a bill banning .50 caliber weapons. Schimel, a board member of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence said, “As a legislator, I have an opportunity to effect sensible gun legislation that will surely save the lives of our citizens and our police officers.”




Working to Prevent a Repeat of the Virginia Tech Tragedy

The shooting massacre at Virginia Tech, where a student with a history of mental health problems was able to legally purchase guns, tragically highlighted the lack of oversight when purchasing firearms in various states.

In June, the Assembly passed legislation to prevent individuals with mental health problems from purchasing or possessing firearms (A.8700-B). This legislation allows a court to revoke a person’s firearm license, as well as require them to turn over any weapons that are already in their possession. This bill also creates a federal firearms disqualifying information registry. Such a registry seeks to keep guns out of the hands of individuals that should not possess them.

A co-sponsor of this bill, Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel said, “Mental health information showing someone is an imminent danger is not always shared. This legislation will help ensure that critically important information in the database is coordinated between state and federal authorities.”

Under this bill, the New York State Office of Mental Health and the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities are required to maintain a database for those individuals who have been involuntarily committed to a mental hospital or institution. As a result, investigative officers would have information regarding civil and criminal involuntary commitments for doing background checks on people applying for a handgun license in New York. Those mental health records would also be supplied to the FBI database used to conduct background checks on all gun buyers.




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Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Bottle Bill Law

A co-sponsor of the Bigger Better Bottle Bill, Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel addressed a group of environmental supporters at a celebration marking the 25th Anniversary of the passage of the Bottle Bill Law.

The Bigger Better Bottle Bill expands the Returnable Container Act to include non-carbonated beverage containers and requires payment by manufacturers or distributors of unclaimed deposits to the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). This legislation also provides financial incentives to municipalities, not-for-profit organizations and businesses to enhance container recycling capabilities.




Cracking Down on Drunk Driving

This past July marked the second anniversary of the horrible drunk driving accident that took the lives of 7-year-old Katie Flynn and 59-year-old Stanley Rabinowitz.

Katie and her family were driving home in a limousine after a family wedding when Martin Heidgen slammed into the limousine, killing her as well as limousine driver Stanley Rabinowitz. Mr. Heidgen was convicted of second degree murder after the jury found that his conduct constituted a depraved indifference to human life.

As the Town Clerk of North Hempstead, Michelle Schimel issued Mr. Rabinowitz his limousine license. This session, Assemblywoman Schimel co-sponsored legislation (A.8791a passed/S.5517a passed) that strengthens penalties for fatal drunk driving crashes.

“There is no excuse for those who get behind the wheel after drinking. People must face the consequences of their actions,” Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel said. “This legislation reflects the idea that if a person decides to drive while intoxicated and hurts others, he or she will face stiff penalties for that decision.”

This legislation creates the crime of aggravated vehicular homicide, a Class B felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison. This crime would apply to those who drive recklessly, kill someone in a drunk or drugged driving crash and who also have at least one of the following:

  • Blood alcohol content of .18 or higher

  • Prior DWI conviction within the last 10 years

  • The crash caused the death of more than one person

  • The crash killed one person and severely injured another

  • The offender was driving with a suspended or revoked license from any state.

In addition, this bill creates the crime of aggravated vehicular assault, a Class C felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison, and would apply to a driver in a crash that commits reckless driving, causes serious physical injury to another person and any other non-fatal factors listed above that apply.




Sponsoring Meaningful Legislation

New York City Traffic Mitigation Commission: Establishes a commission whose goal is to develop a plan to address severe traffic congestion in Manhattan and its related public health, environmental and economic consequences. (A.9362/ S.6432; Passed Both Houses)

Protecting Our Children: The Children’s Weapon Accident Prevention Act creates crimes related to the unsafe storage of a weapon and criminally negligent storage of a weapon to protect children from injury or death. (A.76; Passed Assembly)

Cracking Down on Student Loan Fraud: Protects students and parents from being steered by lenders and institutions of higher learning into student loans laden with conflicts of interest. (A.7950/ S.5734; Passed Both Houses)

The Anti-Human Trafficking Act: Increases penalties to help deter human trafficking for forced labor or sexual servitude and provides victims with much needed services. (Chapter 74 of 2007)

Setting Greener Standards: The New York State Lighting Efficiency and Toxic Reduction Act will help New York State conserve energy and reduce environmental waste by adding the elimination of wasteful artificial night lighting to the state lighting efficiency standards. (A.8641-B; Passed Assembly)




Around the Community
photo Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel discusses Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan with a constituent at the Port Washington Train Station. photo Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel presents her first citation as a Member of the Assembly to the Great Neck Chamber of Commerce. Pictured (L to R) Eliot Rosenblatt, past President; North Hempstead Councilwoman Lee Seeman, Program Chair; Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel; Valerie Link, President; and Danny Arbusman, First Vice President.
photo A former girl scout, Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel congratulates members of the Great Neck Association of Girl Scouts at their bridging ceremony.
photo On August 4, Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel congratulated VFW Commander Frank Maltese for receiving the Nassau County Distinguished Service to Veterans Medal. Pictured with Assemblywoman Schimel and Commander Maltese are members of the Albertson VFW Post. photo Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel presenting a Certificate of Merit to Mineola 3rd grader Marissa Buonincontro in Albany. Pictured (L to R) Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel, Vincent Buonincontro, Maria Bounincontro, Virginia Reginio and Regina Buonincontro.



ASSEMBLYWOMAN MICHELLE SCHIMEL
District Office:
11 Middle Neck Rd, Suite 200
Great Neck, New York
(516) 482-6966
NYS Seal Albany Office:
Room 324 LOB
Albany, New York 12248
(518) 455-5192
E-mail:


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