Assemblyman William Scarborough Assemblyman

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It is my pleasure to take the opportunity to bring you up to date on activities in Albany and in the district that I have been involved in, and my efforts on your behalf as your State Representative.

This has been a busy year, with an historic budget process, debates over Summer Youth Employment, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Rent Control, and many other issues. Some issues were resolved, but some important issues were not, and so we must continue to struggle to reach fair and just conclusion on the Rockefeller Drug Law Repeal, and others that greatly impact the citizens of the 29th A.D., and of the state as a whole.

Let me know your views on the issues that are discussed in this newsletter, or any other issue that concerns you or your family.

William Scarborough
Assemblyman, 29th A.D.


photo Assemblyman Scarborough briefs members of the Clergy from Brooklyn and Queens on Workforce issues that may affect members of their Congregation. The Ministers met with Black, Puerto Rican & Hispanic Caucus Members in Albany.
As you know, the issue of the State Budget for this year became extremely contentious, and ultimately became an historic confrontation. Due to the severe national and regional economic downturn the state had a budget deficit of about $10 billion this year. In order to close that gap, the Governor proposed cutting $1.2 billion from the education budget, $1 billion from the health care budget, and eliminating the $25 million that the state contributes to Summer Jobs for Youth, among other things. These cuts would have eliminated Universal Pre-Kindergarten, All Day Kindergarten and the Lowered Class Sizes, Grades K-3 programs; raised State and City University tuition by 40% ($1200 per year) and cut the Tuition Assistance Program grants to our college students by 1/3. These developments, along with devastating cuts to our local hospitals (Queens Hospital would have been cut $12 million; Jamaica Hospital would have been cut $13 million) and increased costs to seniors for their prescriptions were not acceptable to the Senate or the Assembly. We passed a budget restoring The Universal Pre-K, All-Day Kindergarten and Class Size Reduction Program; we restored the full amount to TAP, and reduced the tuition increase by over 1/3, and we allocated $25 million for Summer Jobs. To bridge the gap, we had to institute an income surcharge on families making $150,000 per year and up, and increased the state sales tax. These were tough decisions that no legislator was happy about, but we felt that the alternative of allowing such disruptive cuts to key services would have been far more damaging to our communities.

Summer Jobs for Youth

The funding of Summer Jobs for the youth of our city and state became one of the most debated issues that arose during the budget negotiations. Thousands of young people are employed through summer job programs across the state (50,000 in NYC). These are positive, productive activities that both youth and their parents depend upon each summer. For the last three years, NY State has provided at least $25 million to the program, and each year Assemblyman Scarborough has been a leader in this effort. This year Gov. Pataki allocated nothing for Summer Jobs in his Proposed Budget, nor did he make any restorations to this program in his later Amended Budget.

Assemblyman Scarborough again took a lead role in seeking to reverse the cuts; he raised the issue repeatedly in Majority Conference meetings and budget discussions, and participated with young people from around the state in their rallies and forums requesting that these funds be restored to the budget. Through the efforts of Assemblyman Scarborough and other members of the Majority Conference (members Roger Green and Deborah Glick played key roles) the full $25 million was restored in the final budget passed by both houses of the legislature. As of this writing (June 24) however, the governor has refused to disburse the funds, even though the legislature fulfilled its constitutional responsibility by appropriating the money. Hopefully, Gov. Pataki will realize how important these jobs are to our youth, and release the funds before the opportunity to help our young people is lost completely.

photo Young people from around the state attended a hearing and rally to press their case for continued state funding for summer jobs for youth. Through their activism and the efforts of Assemblyman Scarborough and the Assembly Majority, the state budget again included $25 million to fund summer jobs for youth. photo Assemblyman Scarborough greets the young people rallying for summer jobs funding.
photo Assemblyman Scarborough speaks at a press conference urging Gov. Pataki to disburse the $25 million appropriated for The Summer Jobs for Youth Program. The Assemblyman was a leader in the fight to secure these funds, and kept the issue in the forefront of budget discussions and majority conference meetings.

Assemblyman Scarborough, Chair of The Legislative Commission on Skills Development and Career Education, addresses participants in a workshop on "Women and Workforce issues." photo
Assemblyman Scarborough and Assemblyman William Magnarelli conduct a hearing on Science, Technology and Workforce issues with college administrators from around the state. Assemblyman Magnarelli, from Syracuse, Chairs a Committee on Science and Technology. photo

Scarborough Hosts Senior Citizens Diabetes Forum

Assemblyman Scarborough held a forum on Senior Citizen issues and on Diabetes Prevention and Treatment. The forum was held at the Presbyterian Church of St. Albans before an audience of over 300 people. Senior citizens were able to hear presentations on important topics such as; Elder Abuse; Elder Law; Protection against Predatory Lenders; affordable Prescriptions for Seniors; Long Term Care and other issues. Presenters included hospital and long term care professionals, as well as a representative from the office of the NY State Attorney General.

Diabetes is a disease that is far too prevalent among citizens of Southeast Queens. The attendees heard presentations on Diabetes Prevention; Diabetes Treatment; Nutrition for Diabetics and other issues related to this disease. They were also able to be tested for diabetes and other conditions on-site. Information about the forum can be obtained from Assemblyman Scarborough’s Office.

photo Assemblyman Scarborough and Queens Legislators present “Guy Brewer Award” to Community Board #12 District Manager Yvonne Reddick at the Black, Puerto Rican and Hispanic Legislative Annual Conference Dinner.

29th A.D.
Clean Team
at Work Again

The 29th A.D. Clean Team will again be in operation from June 30th until September 12, 2003. The Clean Team consists of non-violent offenders approved for work release or community service, who are supervised by members of the Assemblyman’s staff. They clean up vacant lots, neighborhood dump sites and other blights on our community. They are equipped with light tools such as rakes, brooms, weed whackers, etc. – they cannot move heavy furniture or equipment but can clean weeded or debris-filled areas. There is no charge for this service; residents can provide sandwiches or drinks to the workers if they choose to but that is not a requirement. Sites submitted for cleaning must include an address or an exact location with cross streets or the address of adjacent houses, etc. In addition, the daytime phone number of the person making the request must be included. Call Edgar Grove at (718) 657-5312 for information or to submit sites for cleanup.

Assemblyman William Scarborough Assemblyman Scarborough debates Rockefeller Drug Law Repeal on the Assembly Floor. Despite the efforts of the Assemblyman and majority colleagues, no agreement was reached to curtail these outdated laws.

photo Assemblyman Scarborough greets NYC Council Majority Whip Leroy Comrie. Councilman Comrie spoke at the Assemblyman’s 29th A.D. Taskforce monthly meeting, and updated participants on City issues. Have a Great Summer!