Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny Assemblyman
Alec
Brook-Krasny

Reports to the People

District Office: 2823 West 12th Street Suite 1F Brooklyn NY 11224 (718) 266-0267
2007 BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I am honored and privileged to serve you in the New York State Assembly, and to share with you what I have accomplished in my first few months in office. Since my inauguration in January, I have been appointed to six Assembly Committees: Housing, Election Law, Governmental Employees, Aging, Social Services and Cities. These appointments have allowed me to introduce and co-sponsor legislation that will benefit the people of our community. In addition to the issues described in this report, I encourage you to follow my legislative efforts to serve you in the Assembly on my Web page at http://www.assembly.state.ny.us/mem.

I look forward to working with each and every one of you as we endeavor to improve our quality of life. In the upcoming weeks and months, I encourage you to contact me with questions or requests for assistance. My district office, located at 2823 West 12th Street Suite 1F, is open Monday-Friday, 9:00AM - 5:00PM. You can also reach me by telephone at (718) 266-0267, or via e-mail at brookka@assembly.state.ny.us. My chief-of-staff, Jonathan Yedin, and my community directors, Nadine Dabney and Zoya Kogan are also available to address your concerns and provide you with a broad range of information.

I look forward to providing you with the highest quality representation, and together we can make a real difference for the people of Brooklyn.

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photo Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny celebrates Russian Heritage Day with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Councilman Michael Nelson, Councilman Vincent Gentile, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, and honoree Olympic Gold Medalist Victor Petrenko.



ASSEMBLYMAN BROOK-KRASNY
DELIVERS FOR OUR COMMUNITY

This year Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny secured special funding in the state budget for seniors, social services, and youth programs to provide recreational, educational, cultural, and social services in our community. Additional funding was obtained for after-school programs, sports, and community centers. If you want additional information on any of these programs which Assemblyman Brook-Krasny has funded, please call the community office.




2007 BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS

EDUCATION

The Governor’s budget presented to the legislature was the best one set forth by a governor in more than 10 years. The final budget that was enacted built upon that blueprint.

For years, we have fought for a meaningful statewide solution to the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) school decision. This budget accomplishes that goal. We made significant investments in our education system by finally addressing the court ruling in the CFE case. Included in the budget is a new foundation education formula for predictable, stable and transparent funding - something the Assembly has insisted on for years. Particularly crucial is the assurance that at long last New York City, the focus of the original court case, will receive 43 percent of the foundation aid. This builds on last year’s Assembly victory on “EXCEL” financing for New York City by providing over $600 million in operating aid. The Assembly has long championed an educational approach stressing three R’s - Reform + Resources = Results, and this year’s budget is certainly the right equation for our children. The final state budget made a historic investment in New York’s education system, providing an unprecedented $1.7 billion increase to help students succeed in an ever-changing global economy. The budget requires New York City to prepare a Contract for Excellence that must include, among other initiatives, a plan for average class size reduction in low performing and overcrowded schools. The budget provides $60.3 million more to advance the Assembly’s plan to provide statewide universal pre-K and ensure that every 4-year old in the state has the opportunity to get a head start on school.

Legislature Passes Budget Requiring NYC to Lower Class Sizes

Assemblyman Brook-Krasny sponsored the “Class Size Reduction Act” which requires NYC to execute a plan to reduce class size over five years, to be enforced by the New York State Commissioner of Education. Lowering class size was one of the three actions which the courts found were necessary in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit, which held that NYC’s children were being unconstitutionally denied a sound, basic education. The measure is supported by the United Federation of Teachers, the New York City NAACP, the Hispanic Federation, school advocacy group Class Size Matters and a host of other community advocates and educational practitioners who all champion this legislation.

HEALTH

The final state budget improves overall health care and focuses on the most important issue of expanding and improving patient care. The budget will increase access to health care, protect the most vulnerable patients and reform a system that needs adjustment in a measured, prudent way. Specifically:

  • Expanding health care coverage to New York’s 400,000 children;

  • Expanding eligibility for the Child Health Plus insurance program. This means the income threshold for the program will increase from 250 to 400 percent of the federal poverty level or $82,265 for a family of four;

  • Streamlines enrollment for Medicaid and Family Health Plus, eliminating unnecessary red tape and helping 900,000 uninsured adults;

  • Creating a New York State False Claims Act, which provides whistle-blowers with an incentive to help root out fraud;

  • Strengthening the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General’s Office by adding 157 new positions - including 100 auditors and providing new powers for the State Attorney General;

  • Providing an additional $355.7 million ($561.6 million all funds) over the governor’s budget for hospitals, nursing homes and pharmacies;

  • Providing $68.5 million ($137 million all funds) to hospitals and $54.5 million ($109 million all funds) to nursing homes statewide so they can continue helping patients.

  • Eliminating the “sick tax” - a burdensome 0.35 percent tax on hospital gross receipts which amounts to $136.9 million per year;

    Restoring $17.3 million under Medicaid and $11.6 million under EPIC that will help local pharmacies to ensure ready access to needed medications.


Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny visits a local senior center to discuss how new EPIC changes will impact seniors. photo

EPIC changes will help seniors afford prescriptions

Seniors face increasing struggles to pay for needed prescription drugs as drug prices continue to skyrocket, especially when most live on fixed incomes. To help reduce these costs so New York’s seniors can afford their medicine and enjoy a healthy life, the 2007 state budget reconfigured New York’s Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program.

EPIC changes effective July 1, 2007

On July 1, 2007, new EPIC rules become effective. It’s important to be aware of these new regulations, which may affect you and your family. Beginning July 1:

  • Everyone enrolled in EPIC must join a Medicare Part D drug plan. If seniors haven’t already chosen a plan, EPIC will enroll them in one that works best for them, based on their drugs and the pharmacy they use.

  • EPIC will provide coverage for drugs not covered by the new Medicare Part D plan and for expenses falling within the Medicare Part D coverage gap.

  • For seniors enrolled in the EPIC fee plan and Part D, EPIC will pay up to $24.45 for the Part D premium. It will also reduce drug co-pays. You will pay the EPIC fee, which will be waived if you have full Extra Help, and part of every pharmacy prescription.

  • For seniors enrolled in the EPIC deductible plan and Part D, EPIC will reduce the EPIC deductible and drug co-pays. You will pay the plan’s premium, a reduced EPIC deductible and a portion of the costs of every pharmacy prescription.

Show your EPIC card at the pharmacy whether you are enrolled in the fee or deductible plan and prescription prices will be adjusted to the following EPIC rates:

Prescription Cost Your Cost
Up to $15.00
$15.01-$35.00
$35.01-$55.00
Over $55.00
$3.00
$7.00
$15.00
$20.00

EPIC exceptions

Seniors who previously did not meet their EPIC deductible will not be required to join a Part D plan, nor will EPIC enrollees who would lose retiree health care coverage if enrolled in Part D. Seniors in Medicare Advantage plans that do not offer a cost-effective Part D option without reducing other medical benefits are also not required to join a Part D plan.

EPIC dates to note:

  • June 15th - July 31st: EPIC and Medicare Part D cards mailed.

  • June 20th - July 31st: Medicare Part D bills mailed, with three different payment options: automatic deduction from your monthly Social Security benefits; automatic monthly deduction from your checking account; or direct billing.

  • July 1: Begin using both EPIC and Medicare prescription cards for all prescription drugs.

EPIC will notify you about the changes that will affect your health care. In the meantime, for more information or to apply for EPIC, call the EPIC Hotline at 1-800-332-EPIC (3742).

The Medicare Part D plan will be your preliminary coverage and EPIC will provide secondary coverage, helping to reduce the strain of high prescription costs for seniors on fixed incomes.

photo Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny joins the Amnethyist Women’s Project during their annual AIDS Walk.



AROUND OUR COMMUNITY

Tuesday Night Concert Series
Assery Levy Bandshell

Presented by Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny,
Councilman Domenic M. Recchia Jr, and
Congressman Jerrold Nadler.

July 17
Jeff Samaha Productions “Smokey Joes Café”

July 24
Brooklyn Philharmonic

July 31
“The New Brooklyn Reunion”
starring The Excellents, The Emotions, The Classics

August 7
National Night Out Events-
NO PERFORMANCE
Call for information 718 266-3001

August 14
Linda Ipanema & the Dixie Cats and The Ray Rivera Jazz Band

August 21
The Benson-Scott Big Band


Assemblyman Brook-Krasny Sponsors the 2007 Summer Reading Program

Just because school is out doesn’t mean we have to stop learning or reading. Studies have shown that children who continue to read during the summer perform better in school in the fall. To encourage our children to continue reading during the summer, I have set up the Summer Reading Challenge. Have your child read for just one hour a day for 40 days and your child has earned a New York State Assembly Excellence in Reading Certificate. Every student is invited to participate in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. If your child is interested, write to Assemblyman Brook-Krasny at 2823 West 12 Street Suite 1F, Brooklyn, NY 11234, send an e-mail to brookka@assembly.state.ny.us or call our district office at (718)266-0267.


CONGRATS TO THE CLASS OF 2007!!

Assemblyman Brook-Krasny has secured funding to purchase new books and materials for every Public Elementary and Junior High School library in the district.


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