Assemblymember James F. Brennan
Assemblymember
James F.
Brennan

Reports to the People
Fall 2009

What’s Inside:

Prescription Saver Card

EPIC: Wrap-Around Drug Coverage for Seniors

HEAP Helps with Heating Bills

Weatherization Assistance

Earned Income Tax Credits

Free Tax Assistance

Free Publications

2010 NYC Parking Calendar

Dear Friends,

I hope you’ve been having an enjoyable Fall. I’m writing to let you know about some important new legislation I’m sponsoring and a number of services you may find helpful. In this newsletter you’ll find a list of free information you can order from the Assembly. Once again, feel free to call my office for any assistance you may need!

Yours,
signature

OFFICES:

416 Seventh Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11215
718-788-7221

1414 Cortelyou Road
Brooklyn, NY 11226
718-940-0641

Room 842, LOB
Albany, NY 12248
518-455-5377

E-mail:
brennanj@assembly.state.ny.us


photo






Chatting with neighborhood residents.


Brennan Bill Bans Gas Drilling in the
NYC Watershed

I have introduced a bill (A.8748) to prohibit gas drilling in the New York City watershed and other areas adjacent to drinking water supplies. Twenty-two members of the Assembly have joined me in sponsoring this measure and Senator Tom Duane is carrying the bill in the Senate (S.6244).

New York City residents depend on the water supply from the Catskill area for pure drinking water. If any contamination were to occur, it would cost the City of New York more than $10 billion to construct a water filtration plant as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in maintenance costs.

Clean water is a vital concern. We cannot take a chance with the source of safe drinking water for over 9 million people who depend on it daily in New York City. We must be sure that the New York City watershed area, as well as the aquifers that our upstate residents depend upon, are protected from any possible contamination. My bill identifies the protections that must be taken to prevent the need for clean-up later.

This bill is designed to protect the areas immediately adjacent to drinking water supplies by making them off limits to drilling. Furthermore, the bill requires disclosure of all chemicals used in the drilling process and provides for specific procedures to be followed in the case of spills. Storage of fluids used for drilling and the waste created are regulated and the waste must be treated as a hazardous substance. The bill places the burden of any mistakes made by the drilling industry clearly on their shoulders to clean up and pay the consequences. The bill directs the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to include numerous protections in the permitting process and requires the permit fees to cover the costs of oversight by the department along with any remediation that may become necessary due to the companies’ actions.

The Prescription Saver Card:
Pay Less for Prescriptions

The Prescription Saver Card is a free pharmacy discount card for New Yorkers who are 50 to 64 years old. By using this card at participating pharmacies, you can save up to 60% on generic drugs and up to 30% on brand name drugs.

Apply for the Prescription Saver Card if:

Applications are available in my district offices. You can also get an application online at http://nyprescriptionsaver.fhsc.com or by calling 1-800-788-6917.

HEAP Can Help with Winter Heating Bills

HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program) helps low-income New Yorkers with their heating bills. The 2009-10 HEAP benefit season began November 2nd, so applications are available now in my district offices and my staff will be happy to help you apply.

To qualify for HEAP:

There are additional benefits for households including someone over 60, under 6, or disabled, or with incomes under 130% of the Federal Poverty Level. For more information, call 800-692-0557 or go to: http://www.otda.state.ny.us/main/heap.

Get Weatherization Assistance—Energy Conservation Program

Private and multiple dwelling property owners in my district who want to upgrade their water heaters, boilers, windows or insulation should contact the Sunset Park Redevelopment Committee. Qualified homeowners and tenants can receive these services for free or get a supplemental grant to apply toward energy conservation upgrades. To apply to this program or to register for a free energy conservation workshop, call the Intake Department at Sunset Park Redevelopment Committee at 718-492-8580.

photo





I stopped by the Park Slope Senior Center and shared some time at the computer.


EPIC:
Wrap-Around Drug Coverage for Seniors

EPIC (Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage) can be a valuable supplement to your Medicare Part D plan. It cuts your drug costs by paying for any deductibles and other drug costs that your Medicare Part D plan doesn’t cover. You can apply for EPIC if (1) you are a New York State resident and (2) have an income of no more than $35,000 (single) or $50,000 (married).

Applications are available in my offices. Or you can call the EPIC hotline at 1-800-332-3742 or get an application online at http://www.health.state.ny.us/health_care/epic/application_order.htm


Free Mammogram
Assemblymember Brennan and Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs will offer free mammograms in front of their district office at 1414 Cortelyou Road on December 21, 2009 from 8 am to 3 p.m. This important screening will be provided to women 40 years and older by the American Italian Cancer Foundation’s Free Mammogram Van. You must call in advance for an appointment: 1-800-453-8378 x1. The mammograms are free, but please bring your insurance card with you if you have one.

Transform Your Block
Citizens Committee for New York City has announced a new block transformation grant program, Love Your (NYC) Block. Awardees will receive a $500 cash grant along with expedited support from city agencies for block improvements, such as cleaning up a vacant lot, replacing worn out litter baskets, removing graffiti, and replacing worn out street signs. Applications are available from my office or can be downloaded at www.citizensnyc.org. The deadline for applications is November 30, 2009. For more information, please contact Alicia Rouault (Citizens Committee) at 212-822-9558.

photo
I am at a Street Fair discussing local events with this family.

Free Tax Assistance

If your total household income is under $42,000, you can get free tax preparation help from the Brooklyn Taxpayer Assistance Office.

Brooklyn Taxpayer Assistance Office
10 Metro Tech Center
625 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
718-488-2080

Claim Federal and State Earned Income Tax Credits

Many working New Yorkers are eligible for an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) but don’t know it! The Earned Income Tax Credit puts more disposable income into working people’s pockets. Remember to file a federal tax return—even if you are not required to—so you can claim these valuable benefits! If you were previously eligible for EITC but didn’t apply, you still can file for up to three past years!

Earned Income Tax Credits are available to working people who work full-time or part-time and earn under $12,880 if single or, depending on number of children and whether you file jointly, up to a maximum of $41,646. To claim the credit, you must (1) be income-qualified, (2) work full or part-time, (3) have a social security number, (4) file a 2009 federal tax return (even if you owe no taxes), and (5) have less than $2,950 in investment income.

If you qualify for the federal EITC, you’re probably also eligible for NYS and NYC EIC as well! First file your federal return and then file a NYS Form IT215 along with a NYS tax return. You may receive as much as an additional 35% in additional tax credit from NYS and NYC.

For more information, go to http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=130102,00.html

Pamphlets Available from Assembly

The following publications are available free by clicking here and filling out a request form—or you can call or stop by my office at 416 7th Ave. (718-788-7221) or 1414 Cortelyou Rd. (718-940-0641) and we can provide or mail them to you.

box
Auto Leasing – explains protections for consumers leasing vehicles.
box
Bike Safety and Helmet Law – information on bicycle rules of the road and on NYS’s bicycle helmet law.
box
Bill Becomes a Law – shows how your idea can become state legislation and ultimately be signed into state law.
box
Bottle Law – explains New York’s bottle return program and how the deposit system works.
box
Breast Cancer/Tax Contribution – provides information on how taxpayers can contribute to breast cancer research and education.
box
Carbon Monoxide – explains the dangers of carbon monoxide and how to detect this odorless, invisible, deadly gas.
box
Child Support – outlines the child support system in the state and explains some of the responsibilities of parents.
box
Clean Air Act – outlines the Clean Indoor Air Act which restricts smoking in public places.
box
(Going to) College – brief overview of state and federal college financing programs.
box
Consumer Rights – consumer tips on how to avoid being scammed.
box
Credit Cards – answers common questions about credit and credit card usage.
box
Domestic Violence and Stalking Laws – outlines laws that protect victims of domestic violence and stalking.
box
Drunk Driving Laws – overview of New York’s tough drunk driving laws and penalties for driving while drunk.
box
Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage Plan (EPIC) – answers questions about who is eligible for the State’s prescription plan for senior citizens.
box
Generic Drugs – information on the generic drug law and how it can save consumers money
box
Health Care Proxy – FAQs about the Health care Proxy Law which allows proxies to make your health care decisions if you can’t.
box
Homeowners – consumer tips for homeowners on tax savings, insurance, and how to avoid scams aimed at homeowners.
box
Identity Theft Protection – tips on how to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft.
box
Lead Poisoning – how to lessen the chances of lead poisoning in your home.
box
Lemon Law – consumer guide to the state’s Lemon Law, which protects consumers on sale of new and used cars.
box
Lobbying – citizen’s guide on how to lobby in Albany for issues important to you and your community.
box
Long Term Health Insurance – information on New York’s innovative Long Term Care Insurance program.
box
Lyme Disease – FAQs about how to protect you and your family from Lyme disease.
box
Managed Care – information on consumer protections for individuals receiving health care from health maintenance organizations.
box
Patients’ Rights – information on New York’s Patients Bill of Rights as well as phone numbers to call if you have questions about quality of health care.
box
Phone Scams – consumer information on telemarketing scams and how to get your name taken off telemarketer lists.
box
Physician Charges – FAQs on the Mandatory Medicare Assignment Law, which limits how much doctors can charge Medicare patients.
box
Playing it Safe – safety tips for parents and children.
box
Safety Tips for Seniors – crime prevention tips for senior citizens.
box
Sales Tax – lists taxable and tax-exempt products sold in New York State.
box
Say No to Drugs – tips for children and teens on how to fight peer pressure to use drugs and alcohol.
box
Senior Citizen Programs – overview of senior citizens programs in the State which help cut costs of taxes, transportation and utilities.
box
Small Business – helpful information and phone numbers for small business owners.
box
Solid Waste Reduction – tips on how to reduce your household waste.
box
Spousal Impoverishment – information on how this law helps seniors avoid spending their life savings on nursing home costs.
box
Teen Suicide – guide on how to recognize warning signs of teen suicide and alcohol and drug use.
box
Utility Consumers – overview on consumer rights with utility companies.
box
Veterans – overview of veterans programs in the state.
box
Voter Registration – includes a voter registration form and information on voter registration.
box
Water Conservation – tips on how to save water in your home.
box
Women Veterans – explains programs in the state aimed at women veterans.
box
Workers Rights – overview of unemployment insurance, occupational safety and health and other rights of workers in New York.


2010 New York City Parking Calendar
Click here to view and print the 2010 NYC Parking Calendar

Back