Assemblyman Carl E. Heastie

Carl E.

to the People

Summer 2006

Dear Neighbor(s):

The legislature has now passed an on time budget for two consecutive years; I want to update you on what was included in the Budget. New York State’s economic condition has improved in the past year. The State Legislature was able to come to an historic accord that ultimately provided the state with a sound budget for this fiscal year. In addition, the Assembly majority and myself fought for and won statewide restorations in the critical areas of education and health care.

After the Assembly and Senate agreed on a budget, the Governor issued over 200 hundred vetoes to this bipartisan agreement. The Legislature then overrode most of those vetoes to ensure that our state has the resources this year to prepare for the future. In the final days of this year’s legislative session we were able to reach an agreement with the Governor to resolve his concerns in the areas of healthcare and tax cuts. This agreement will avoid unnecessary litigation that would have stalled the implementation of these parts of the budget.

New York City, the State Legislature and the Governor came to an historic agreement to fund the capital construction mandate ruling ordered through the Campaign for Fiscal Equity court decision. This 5 year plan invests $11 billion in school construction in New York City. The city has said that within the next five years we can build enough schools to virtually eliminate Temporary Classroom Units (TCUs) and give our children their playgrounds back.

Although I am proud of the work that has been done for this year’s budget, I know that there is still much work to be done. I pledge to you that I will continue to do all that I can to bring the necessary resources to continue the improvement of our community.

As always, if there is any way that I can be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me. My office is here to serve you.

With Love and Hope,
Carl E. Heastie
Member of Assembly

Rejecting the Governor’s Cuts and
Leading the State Into the Future

With our state recovering from a fiscal crisis, the New York State Assembly and Senate made the right choices to protect crucial services New Yorkers depend on, especially critical programs like education and health care. The governor’s proposed budget would have weakened our state by drastically cutting health care and job creation programs, and ignoring the Campaign for Fiscal Equity court decision. These cuts would ultimately undermine New York’s future competitiveness. As a result of the governor’s proposed budget and an impasse in negotiations, an accord was reached by both houses of the New York State Legislature to craft a budget.

“The Legislature’s Budget was negotiated in open conference committees, where the two houses came to a bipartisan consensus. Our budget compromise, and the subsequent overrides, gives our citizens the resources they need to live healthy and successful lives. It will provide vital health services and protect our already-fragile health care industry. This year’s budget will continue to pave the way for New York’s future competitiveness with successful job creating programs,” explained Assemblyman Carl E. Heastie.

In the last days of the legislative session the Governor agreed to cooperate in the execution and approval of the Legislature’s Budget after an agreement was reached about tax cuts and healthcare language the Governor planned to contest in court.

Assemblyman Carl E. Heastie
Helps Fund Local Projects

Assemblyman Carl E. Heastie has secured financial assistance through the Local Initiative Program for the Fiscal year 2006-07 for:

Baychester/Edenwald Senior Center - Financial assistance provides for meals for the elder community.

Bridgefield Civic League, Inc. - Financial assistance provides for materials and supplies for summer day camp activities.

St. Luke’s Food Program - Financial assistance provides transportation and supplies to offer food to the local community.

Bronx Youth Uptown Developers Coalition - Financial assistance provides for materials to hold an annual basketball program. The UDC provides an SAT prep course and pre-college orientation and guidance.

East 233rd Street Senior Center - Financial assistance provides for materials for Senior Program and activities.

NAACP (Williamsbridge Branch) - Financial assistance provides for Math and Science materials for tutorial program.

Tilden Towers Senior Center - Financial assistance to provide project director for recreation activities and health/educational seminars.

YW Conservatory of the Arts - Funds will be used to purchase materials/supplies and supplemental instruction for the community dance program. This program offers an opportunity for young adults to receive instruction in the arts of dance and performance.

Mind Builders Creative Arts Center - Community Folk Culture Program Funds will be used to purchase materials and supplies for the community Folk Culture Program. This program offers an opportunity for young adults to have hands-on experience with shared cultural arts and activities while documenting and archiving this heritage.

photo Assemblyman Carl E. Heastie conducts session as he fills the role of Acting Speaker for the Assembly Chambers proceedings.

The Math Club Inc. - Funds will be used to purchase materials and supplies to run the program. This program offers youth an opportunity to practice and excel in mathematics.

Unity Neighborhood Center, Inc. - Funds will be used to purchase materials and supplies to expand services in P.S. 87 and P.S. 21. This program provides instruction in dance, drawing, and painting.

Theatre International, Inc. - Funds will be used to provide an after school theatre arts program. The funds from this grant will be used for the purchase of materials to run this program from Richard R. Green Middle School.

Down Payment on the Campaign for Fiscal Equity
Legislative Budget a Victory for New York City children

photo Assembly Members Ruben Diaz, Louie Diaz, and Carl Heastie join visiting Bronx students in the Assembly Chambers.

In May of 1993, a lawsuit was started by a group of parents in New York City, who wanted to improve conditions in their neighborhood schools. They believed that their schools were grossly under funded, and they concluded that the only way to fix the situation was to sue the State of New York and force the State to change the school funding system. The case is known as Campaign for Fiscal Equity v State, or CFE.

Ten years later in May of 2003, the Court of Appeals–the highest court in New York State–heard the case. Apparently, they listened to the parents, and in June of 2003 the Court ordered the State to correct the funding to the system and to make sure that every child in the New York City public school system has an opportunity to receive a meaningful education.

This year, in a clear victory for New York school children, the Legislative budget fulfills the capital funding requirements outlined in the CFE decision. The Legislature’s capital construction program, EXpanding our Children’s Education and Learning (EXCEL) provides $1.8 billion for New York City capital construction on top of building aid.

The budget also helps the city stretch school construction money further by increasing the cap for the Transitional Finance Authority by $9.4 billion to help fund the cost of New York City’s current capital plan, and secures building aid payments to the city to support the increase.

Record Increase in State Aid for Schools

Our plan includes a record $1.362 billion increase in education funding over last year, including a nearly 7 percent increase in formula-based school aid. New York City schools will receive $501 million more than last year – or $220 million more than the Governor proposed. The budget provides additional support for New York City schools, including:

  • $25 million more for pre-K to help the city to serve an additional 7,500 4-year-olds

  • continuing $88.9 million for class size reduction grants for overcrowded schools

  • a $13.8 million increase in aid for students with limited English proficiency

The Legislature also restored cuts to several programs, providing increases over the governor’s budget for New York City of:

  • $70 million for special education

  • $10.7 million for Teacher Centers

  • $1.6 million for the Teacher Mentor Intern Program

Member of Assembly Heastie Provides $52,000 in funding
to continue the Virtual Y Program

The Bronx YMCA will continue “The Virtual Y Program” at P.S. 68 as result of public funds secured by Carl E. Heastie. This Program is designed to assist New York City Public School Children by practicing literacy skills to reinforce what is taught during the school day. The Virtual Y Program offers an enriched after school program consisting of a variety of academic, recreational and values based activities, all infused with experiences that enhance literacy. The operating cost for this program is $26,000 per school, each year.

Assemblyman Heastie, in conjunction with the Bronx YMCA, plans to open an additional “Virtual Y” program in the Northeast Bronx this year.

Keeping Higher Education within Reach

The Legislature stood up for students and working families across New York state by overriding the Governor’s devastating vetoes of funding for colleges and universities.

“I believe New York must invest in its colleges and universities – while keeping tuition and access to a degree within reach of students,” said Carl E. Heastie.

The vetoes would have reduced funding for the highly successful Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). The Governor’s proposal would have made it so that any student who does not carry 15 credits would be ineligible for the Tuition Assistance Program. The Legislature’s budget made it so that 12 credits are considered full time and that part time students would also be eligible for some tuition assistance funding.

The Governor’s vetoes would have slashed: vital operating aid to strengthen academic programs for SUNY and CUNY and cut capital aid for state college and university enhancements, including new construction.

The Legislature’s bipartisan budget invests hundreds of millions of dollars into higher education and much-needed capital improvement projects. The budget also made it easier for New Yorkers working full- and part-time jobs to afford to go to SUNY and CUNY schools through making part time students eligible for TAP.

Cutting Taxes

New York has a multi-billion dollar surplus of the taxpayers’ money. When the Legislature met in open conference committees, they came to a bipartisan agreement on a budget that would return some of the taxpayers’ money back to them through tax cuts, better services or increased local aid.The Legislature’s bipartisan budget cut taxes $1.6 billion this year, and $2.5 billion next year, and rejects nearly $1 billion in tax increases the Governor wanted to impose.

  • $920 million in property tax rebates to homeowners across the state.

  • A child tax credit with a maximum benefit of $330 for each child between 5 and 17 for every family in the state, totaling $600 million in savings statewide.

  • Raising STAR personal income tax credit to $115 for single filers and $230 for joint filers, bringing total STAR savings for New York City residents to $1.1 billion annually.

  • Reducing the marriage penalty tax, which would save married couples $41 million annually when fully phased in.

“I believe we must do everything we can to keep taxes down and let working families keep more of their hard-earned money,” said Assemblyman Carl E. Heastie.

Assemblyman Heastie Secures $153,000
to Fund the Bronx Business Alliance

The Bronx Business Alliance provides local business development initiatives for the Northeast Bronx. This program has been restored to the State budget for the 06-07 fiscal year as the result of Assemblyman Heastie’s efforts. The restoration of this program’s funding in this year’s Budget at $153,000 will help the Business Alliance to continue to serve the businesses in our community. The Bronx Business Alliance has been a tremendous success since its launch on July 17, 2003, providing business assistance to local small business owners.

The Bronx Business Alliance is a great source for FREE business advice for small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs in the Bronx.

The Bronx Business Alliance’s mission is to assist the small businesses in the North Bronx. Through its vast number of linkage partners, it is able to help small businesses in many areas. They will assist those who want to start a new business with the necessary start up tools. The Business Alliance offers the following assistance and more:

Start-up Assistance
Business Plan Development
Identifying Financing Opportunities
Marketing Assistance
Financial Management Assistance
For more information call the Bronx Business Alliance
4309b White Plains Road
718-231-2847 / 718-231-4324 fax

Protecting Quality, Affordable Health Care

The Legislature’s bipartisan budget protects the health of New York’s most vulnerable populations – our elderly, sick and disabled – by funding critical emergency care, hospitals and nursing homes. The Legislature restored over $1 billion of the governor’s $1.3 billion in health care cuts. This represents a restoration of $641.1 million in state funds while the rest is matched through Federal or local funding.

New York will invest an additional $800 million in health care programs after the Assembly, Senate and governor reached an agreement in the closing days of session.

“We rejected the governor’s eight-fold increase in Family Health Plus co-payments for non-emergency visits to emergency rooms,” said Assemblyman Heastie, “We also did not accept his proposed cuts totaling $3,221,405 in Medicaid Reimbursement to local Nursing Homes.”

Nursing Home
Legislative Medicaid Reimbursement Increase
Laconia Nursing Home $474,894
Split Rock Nursing Home $460,085
Workmen’s Circle Multicare Center $2,286,426

The legislature changed the reimbursement formula for nursing homes – providing a much needed financial boost to a struggling industry. Additionally, the Governor agreed in the final days of session to increase funding to nursing homes.

The Legislature’s budget takes other positive steps to lend a helping hand to those who care for us when we’re ill or injured. The budget raises the reimbursement cap for emergency room services from $95 to $125 beginning January 2007; $140 beginning in 2008 and $150 beginning in 2009 – a step that will help struggling hospitals recoup some of their losses.



Caucus Budget Chairman Heastie conducts a hearing on the executive budget proposal and its impact on communities of color.

Assemblyman Heastie Funds DOE Fund
project on White Plains Road
Initiative continues to keep local streets clean

Assemblyman Heastie has successfully secured continued funding for The Doe Fund’s “Ready Willing & Able Program.” Since 2003 The Doe Fund has had a work crew along White Plains Road from Gun Hill Road to 236th Street, Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm, that collects trash and keeps the sidewalks and streets clean.

The busy commercial corridor of White Plains Road between Gun Hill Road and East 236th Street is litter free through the hard work of the people of the Doe Fund’s “Ready, Willing and Able” initiative. The Doe Fund is a not-for-profit homeless service organization that provides permanent solutions to homelessness through paid work and a host of other social services.

“White Plains Road is a wonderful place to live and shop, but like many neighborhoods in New York City, keeping a handle on the litter problem can often be a challenge,” said Heastie. “With the Ready Willing & Able crews working every day along White Plains Road we have the clean streets that the community deserves.”

Assemblyman Carl E. Heastie secured $50,000 in funding for the Doe Fund Inc. during the 2006 Legislative Session to continue this highly successful street cleaning and community beautification project in the Northeast Bronx. Senator Ruth Hassell Thompson has committed $20,000 in funding to the DOE fund for fiscal year 2006-2007.

Assisting Senior Citizens

The Assembly has a long track record of championing policies that help seniors stay – and receive care – in their own homes. This budget continues that commitment to our elders. The Legislature’s budget accepts a funding increase from $15 to $25 million – and reduces the local match requirement – for the Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program, which provides in-home, non-medical care for the frail elderly who are not eligible for Medicaid

We also approved $5 million more for Access to Home, which helps low- and moderate-income seniors with critical home repairs so they can stay in their homes.

The Legislature also lends a helping hand to adult homes with a cost of living adjustment on the Supplemental Security Income state supplemental payment; $2.75 million for the Quality Incentive Payment program; $2 million for air conditioning in residents’ rooms; and $810,000 for scattered site apartments.

In addition, the Legislature’s bipartisan budget adds over $4 million for programs serving seniors, including:

  • $1 million for transportation operating expenses.

  • $1 million for traditional Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCS).

  • $1 million for “neighborhood” NORCS.

  • $462,000 for respite services.

  • $250,000 for an emergency respite program.

  • $250,000 for an economically sustainable transportation demonstration program.

  • $64,000 for a statewide senior advocacy hotline.

The budget also maintained the Department of Health’s responsibility to establish a web site listing drug prices for the most prescribed medicines throughout New York State.

Carl E. Heastie’s Offices:
Room 417 LOB
Albany, New York 12248
(518) 455-4800
1351 E. Gun Hill Road
Bronx, New York 10469
(718) 654-6539