Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman
Albany Office: Room 510 Capitol, Albany, NY 12248, (518) 455-5426
District Office: 341 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231, (718) 246-4889
news from

May 2005 Community Report

Assemblywoman Millman Holds Hearing on Access to Surety Bonding On State Contracts for Small, Minority, and Women-Owned Businesses

As part of an ongoing Assembly effort to examine issues related to small, minority, and women-owned businesses participation in state contracts, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, chair of the Legislative Commission on Government Administration and chair of the Legislative Taskforce on Women’s Issues listened to testimony this past month to learn more about access to surety bonding for small, minority, and women-owned businesses.

Contractors performing work for the state are generally required by the State Finance Law and other statutes to secure performance and payment bonds. Bonds, which are provided by surety companies, are a type of insurance that protects the public owner, workers, subcontractors and suppliers from financial loss if the contractor fails to perform the contract. Surety companies approve bonds based on criteria such as financial strength and construction experience, making it difficult for start-up firms to qualify. New York State does have some bonding assistance programs in place; however, during the testimony, small, minority, and women-owned businesses cited difficulty in obtaining bonding as one of the limiting factors in their survival and growth.

"It is important that there is a level playing field when it comes to access to surety bonds. As we heard in the testimony, surety bonds can be a barrier for small, minority and women-owned businesses participation in public construction opportunities. I am confident that we can come up with initiatives to reach out to under-represented groups of contractors and help them through the process, said Millman."

Millman’s May 5th Volunteer Fair a Success!
Community Organizations connect with over 500 potential volunteers

Assemblymember Joan Millman (52nd AD), Assemblymember Jim Brennan (44th AD), the Social Action Committee of Congregation Beth Elohim, New York Methodist Hospital and Community Board 6 sponsored a Community Volunteer Fair earlier this month.

The Fair hosted representatives from over fifty organizations focusing on the environment, children, recreation, youth, women, health, the arts, community service and the elderly. An estimated 500 local residents attended the fair to learn how to get involved.

"I was thrilled by the turnout for our volunteer fair," said Millman. "These organizations do so much for the community and count on the help of local involved citizens. I think the fair was a productive way to match great organizations with helpful volunteers," she added.

In conjunction with the Volunteer Fair, the planners produced a Directory of Volunteer Opportunities which was given to each person attending the event. The Directory described all the participating organizations, their missions and their uses of volunteers.

Make Sure Your End of Life Care Decisions Remain Your Own
Assembly Offers Information on Health Care Proxies and Living Wills

Whether to accept or reject medical care in an end of life situation is a very personal decision governed by one’s own beliefs. Should a serious accident or illness leave you unable to communicate those wishes, it is necessary to take steps to ensure that they are honored. In New York State, that means having a living will or health care proxy.

A health care proxy and living will are similar in that they both clarify what to do only when you lack the capacity to make your own medical decisions. A health care proxy empowers a loved one to make medical decisions for you whereas a living will is specific written instructions describing your medical wishes in detail-usually crafted by and left with your attorney. You can use these documents in tandem so your health care agent has greater guidance for what you want in specific medical situations.

If you prefer a loved one to make decisions for you, the New York State Health Care Proxy Law allows you to appoint a competent adult as your health care agent. It is important to note that you must specifically document your wishes about life-sustaining artificial nutrition and hydration or your health care agent will not be able to make these decisions for you. A health care proxy can be filled out easily without a lawyer, and becomes legally binding after you and two witnesses sign it.

Once you complete a health care proxy, hospitals, doctors and other health care providers must follow your agent’s decisions as if they were your own. The health care proxy will not only help ensure your wishes will be carried out, but also eliminates any conflict or confusion among your loved ones.

If you would like more information about a health care proxy or would like to obtain a form, please contact my office at 718-246-4889. You can also visit the Assembly’s Web site at for more information.

Assemblywoman Millman challenges families to read together this summer

Assemblywoman Millman encourages parents and students to use the Assembly’s 2005 Summer Reading Challenge to promote summer fun and discovery.

Children who participate and read with a parent for 15 minutes a day for at least 40 days during July and August earn a New York State Assembly Excellence in Reading Certificate, recognizing their initiative.

For more information contact Assemblywoman Millman’s office.

Join Parks and Recreation for the 2005 NYC Street Tree Census

This spring, committed volunteers and community groups along with Parks staff will count and record information one of the city’s half million street trees.

Volunteers are asked to attend a training session and commit to at least one census zone-approximately 300 trees and an estimated 40-hour commitment over 4 months, just 2-3 hours a week.

For further information, please call 311.

Office of Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman
341 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 246-4889