Assemblyman Ivan C. Lafayette Assemblyman
Ivan C.
Lafayette

Albany Report
AUTUMN 2005

Si a usted le gustaría recibir una traducción en español de este noticiario, favor de llamar a la oficina del asambleísta Lafayette al teléfono (718) 457-0384, y con mucho gusto se la enviaremos.

Dear Neighbor,

I am pleased to report that this past Legislative Session adjourned with a lot being accomplished for the betterment of our state and community. The state budget was approved on time and continues our investment in education, makes for a better and more equitable health care system, and provides the necessary services to assist senior citizens.

As Speaker Pro Tempore, I was able to incorporate many items into the budget that will have a positive effect for our community. Consequently, many of your concerns and ideas were brought to the forefront of our discussions on the budget.

Whether I meet with you in my office or bump into you on the street or at a local meeting, I have always enjoyed our open dialogue. Working together, we have accomplished quite a lot to improve our community and state.

I look forward to continuing to work together to improve our community even more. As always, my office is available to you should you need assistance on any matter. Remember, Tuesday night between 6 and 8pm is free legal services night in my district office, so if you need legal advice please stop by.

I hope you find this newsletter informative and helpful and I hope you had a safe and enjoyable summer.

DISTRICT OFFICE:
33-46 92nd Street, Suite 1W, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
(718) 457-0384
E-mail: lafayei@assembly.state.ny.us

Sincerely,
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IVAN C. LAFAYETTE




Local Summer Concerts are a Big Success

The Jackson Heights/Elmhurst Keh-illah once again offered free concerts to the community. The first concert in June was held in the Northridge Cooperative area and the second one at Donnelly Gardens in July.

The Kehillah honored Mr. Lafayette at a concert with a Certificate of Appreciation for all he has done for them and the community.

The Kehillah – which translated means Community Council, offers many programs, including ESL, a Russian Service Center, concerts, various services for seniors, as well as many cultural activities.

Lafayette looks forward to continuing to work with the Kehillah to further improve our community.




Lafayette and Local Businesses
Working Together

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Pictured left to right: Dolores M. Hofman, Program Manager, Queens Air Services Development Office. Liliana Henao, Education Coordinator, Empresarias Hispanas en Liderazgo, and Assemblyman Lafayette
Assemblyman Lafayette recently attended a Networking Meeting of Latino Business Leaders, The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Empresarias Hispanas en Liderazgo and ASDO (Air Services Development Office).

The Queens Air Services Development Office was founded by Mr. Lafayette in 1983 as a means for local businesses and individuals to be known, included and utilized in the workings of the two airports in Queens.

Since then, hundreds of millions of dollars has gone through ASDO to small businesses and individuals for work in the airports and the various airlines that service LaGuardia and JFK.

Assemblyman Lafayette was eager to ensure that the larger Latino business community was included and involved in this economic effort and as a result, he made sure that the material and applications were also printed in Spanish. Lafayette also would like to see the booming Asian community take advantage of the ASDO.




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Lafayette Meets with
Local Merchants

Assemblyman Lafayette is pictured with officers of the Jackson Heights Merchants Association including President Shiv Dass and Sam Kapidia. They discussed the current small business climate in Queens and how they would like to see local businesses continue to thrive.




Lafayette Recommends Relief
from High Energy Prices

Assemblyman Lafayette is very concerned about high energy prices. Many families are feeling the effects of these high prices and it is only going to get worse when winter arrives. It is estimated that the cost of natural gas could increase by 30%. The cost of home heating oil is estimated also to be greatly increased.

Senior citizens on fixed incomes and lower income families are especially vulnerable to these skyrocketing costs. Lafayette believes that one way to alleviate these high energy costs is to expand the real property circuit breaker tax credit to allow more people to qualify. This is why Lafayette introduced legislation, A184, to increase the eligibility requirements for this tax credit. The circuit breaker was originally intended to provide tax relief for real property owners and tenants with low incomes, primarily senior citizens.

Due to the increase in the cost of living and rising property values, the number of families eligible to receive this tax credit has been greatly reduced. With energy prices rising to their highest levels, Lafayette believes the time is now to increase the eligibility requirements and allow for more working families and senior citizens to qualify for this credit.

The Assembly is also holding hearings on this very important issue to determine how else we can lower the cost of energy for all New Yorkers. Lafayette will keep you informed of any new developments as it pertains to finding ways to lower our energy costs.




Lafayette’s Price Gouging Statute
Must be Strictly Enforced

When hurricanes strike, when floods, fire or ice storms ravage neighborhoods, a few unscrupulous businesses take advantage of vulnerable people by skyrocketing prices of essential consumer goods to make large profits. This was why Lafayette authored Chapter 510 of the laws of 1998, which strengthened the price gouging statute.

The huge increases in gasoline prices have a high profile with sometimes twice daily increases. But, let’s not forget about heating oil, natural gas and electricity.

The law originally stipulated that only retailers could be held accountable for gouging the price of consumer goods during times of crisis. Lafayette made the law more expansive to prohibit price gouging by any party within the chain of distribution of consumer goods including manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers.

Unfortunately, there are some businesses who will increase the cost of essential consumer goods in times of crisis for their own benefit. When gasoline prices are at their highest levels in history and oil companies are reporting record profits, it raises a red flag. These companies, along with their suppliers and distributors, must be investigated to determine if there is any wrongdoing.

Price gouging is not an uncommon practice. It has occurred in New York City during previous hurricanes and floods. This law provides broad authority for the Attorney General to investigate businesses that may take advantage of vulnerable people. Lafayette believes that people need to be punished accordingly and the way to do this is to utilize this more encompassing law that works.




Lafayette Urges People to Come by the
District Office if you Need Any Assistance

Throughout Lafayette’s tenure as a state Assemblyman, he has always prided himself on being able to provide whatever assistance necessary to his constituents. Thousands of people have come by his district office with a whole host of problems or concerns. Whether it be a problem with a landlord, government agency or because of a pot hole, Lafayette’s office can provide the assistance and literature necessary for people who need it. Lafayette and his staff welcome your visit and look forward to working together to help make our community a great place to live, work and go to school.

Please remember that Tuesday evening between 6 and 8 pm is free legal services night, so if you need any free legal advice, please stop by and our attorneys will be able to assist you.


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