Helene E. Weinstein photo
Making a Difference in Brooklyn and Albany

A Special Report to the Residents of the 41st Assembly District

May 2006

Dear Neighbor,

Earlier this year, Governor Pataki attempted to impose upon the people of New York State an awful budget that demonstrated how out-of-touch he is with the needs and concerns of average New Yorkers. The Legislature, using an open and public conference-committee process, passed a Bipartisan Legislative State Budget that cuts taxes and responds to the education and healthcare needs of New Yorkers and restores many of the Governor’s cuts.

As a member of the Public Protection Budget Sub-Committee, I played a key role in shaping our final budget. Sadly, the Governor vetoed the tax cuts and many of the Legislature’s improvements to higher education and healthcare. However, the Legislature came together and successfully overrode the Governor’s vetoes, making the Legislature’s budget now law. Despite this, the Governor has threatened not to implement many of the important changes in healthcare. The Courts may ultimately have to rule on those few portions of the budget. In this newsletter I have included highlights of the final budget.

signature Helene Weinstein

Child Tax Savings for Working Families

A $600 million child tax credit is the centerpiece of the state’s budget. The Legislature’s plan, now law, provides a tax credit in the amount of $330 to $1,650 to families with children between the ages of 4 and 17, depending on income level and family composition. These credits recognize the cost of raising children, including education, food, clothing and child care. The chart describes this tax benefit.

Read Aloud
At a recent visit to Yeshiva Ohel Sarah/Mercaz Gan Assemblywoman Weinstein read to an attentive Pre-K class.

“I fought to put hundreds of dollars back in your pocket.”
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein

A Child Tax Credit for Working Families

Below are a number of examples of the savings families can expect for children between the ages of 4 and 17 with a maximum benefit of $330 per child.

$660 $990 $1,320 $1,650
$120,000 $495 $825 $1,155 $1,485
$150,000 $0 $330 $660 $990
For More Info Please Contact Our District Office

Doing More for New Yorkers
2006 Legislative Budget Highlights

Higher Education –
Keeping College Education Within Reach

The legislative bipartisan budget made it easier for New Yorkers working full- and part-time jobs to afford to go to SUNY and CUNY schools. The Legislature rejected the Governor’s $500 SUNY and $300 CUNY tuition hikes.

  • Restored $83 million in Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funding, rejected the Governor’s unfair restrictions on TAP eligibility and established Part-Time TAP.

  • Increased funding for community college base aid by $17 million.

  • A total of $763 million more funding for capital improvement needs at CUNY and SUNY colleges than proposed by the Governor’s budget, including at Brooklyn College: the West Quad project, a new Performing Arts Center, renovations of Roosevelt Hall; Renovations of the Science Building at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Academic Building I at Medgar Evers College, as well as, Mechanical and Air Conditioning Upgrades at Kingsborough Community College’s Auditorium.

Assemblywman Weinstein and
Pastor Kenneth Simurro
Helene Weinstein and Pastor Kenneth Simurro discuss the importance of afterschool programs for young people in the community.


A Victory For New York City Children

The legislative budget provides $1.8 billion to New York City for school construction, and authorizes another $9.4 billion in borrowing, fulfilling the capital funding requirements outlined in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) decision. Among the schools serving our community that will see capital improvements because of these funds are P.S. 52, P.S. 119, P.S. 194, P.S. 198, P.S. 206, PS 208, P.S. 254, I.S. 68, Madison HS, Samuel Tilden HS and Sheepshead Bay HS. Also, there are new schools planned for Community School Board 18 & Community School Board 22 in region 6.

Record Increase in State Aid For Education

These Victories are now law. The budget provides a record $1.362 billion increase in education funding over last year, with New York City schools receiving $501 million more than last year. This largest increase ever includes:

  • $25 million increase to expand universal pre-k classes in New York City, enough slots for an additional 7,500 4-year-olds

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

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

Class Civics Day
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein often visits schools throughout the community. At a recent visit, she demonstrated how to use a voting machine and discussed the importance of community involvement with an attentive 5th Grade Class.

Enhancing Education

Rejecting the Governor’s harmful cuts, the Legislature also provided increases above the Governor’s budget to schools:

  • $70 million for special education

  • $10.7 million for Teacher Centers

  • $1.6 million for the Teacher Mentor Intern Program

  • $5.7 million in library aid and $14 million for capital projects to help local libraries modernize their facilities. Our Brooklyn libraries would receive $1,334,764 in new capital funds and $500,000 in operating aid.


The Legislature’s Tax Relief Plan

  • Cuts taxes $1.6 billion this year and $2.5 billion next year.

  • Clothing and Footwear costing under $110 sales tax free, saving New York City shoppers about $230 million a year.

  • Eliminates the Marriage Penalty, increasing the standard deduction for a married couple filing joint returns from $14,600 to $15,000, double the amount for a single taxpayer. And, increased the standard deduction for a married couple filing separate returns from $6,500 to $7,500 making it equal to the amount of the single standard deduction.

  • A child tax credit for working families - up to $330 for each child between ages 4 and 17 for family incomes up to $170,000. (see chart above)

  • Volunteer Ambulance Drivers’ Tax Credit up to $200 for those in active duty for the entire year in which the credit is being sought (starting in 2007).

  • National Guard Tax Exemption for monies earned by New York State Guardsmen when called to service by the federal government.

  • Increased New York City STAR Tax Credit from $62.50 to $115 for single filers and from $125 to $230 for joint filers.

  • Provide rebates to all STAR recipients equal to 30 percent of their 2005-06 STAR benefit to their real property tax.


  • Rejected EZ Pass $1 monthly fee proposed by Governor.

  • Rejected DMV Non-Driver Identification Card fee doubling proposed by the Governor.

Yeshiva Derech Hatorah
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein congratulated Yeshiva Derech Hatorah and their honorees upon the occasion of their 26th Annual Dinner.

Fighting for Quality and Affordable Healthcare

The Legislature’s bipartisan budget protects the health of New York’s most vulnerable populations by funding critical nursing home, hospital and emergency care. The Governor vetoed these appropriations, turning his back on those who need help the most.

The Legislature restored $1 billion of the Governor’s $1.3 billion in cuts to our healthcare system. The Legislature’s budget:

  • Rejected the Governor’s co-payment increases for Family Health Plus enrollees

  • Rejected the Governor’s plan forcing a spouse into poverty before Medicaid would pay for an ill spouse’s medical care.

  • Provides $2 million for Medicare Part D advocacy, outreach and enforcement initiative

  • Restored Medicaid and EPIC pharmacy reimbursement rates, allowing local pharmacists to continue participation in these programs

Haitian Americans United for Progress
Assemblywoman Weinstein spoke at the Haitian Americans United for Progress (HAUP) roundtable on Domestic Violence, discussing the importance of raising young adults’ awareness. HAUP recently opened their Brooklyn Office at 1850 Flatbush Avenue. The Assemblywoman welcomed HAUP Manager Malou Aubry to the community.

Weinstein Fights Medicaid Fraud

Assemblywoman Weinstein has for many years lead the fight against Medicaid fraud, sponsoring a “False Claims Act” for New York State. The proposal was passed this year by the Assembly. A “False Claims Act” allows private citizens, acting as whistleblowers, alongside the Attorney General’s office, to receive a reward for blowing the whistle against Medicaid and other fraud.

The federal government, and 15 other states have similar laws. The federal government recovered $1.4 billion in 2005 alone, as a result of the exposing of such fraud. Assemblywoman Weinstein strongly believes New York State needs such a law as well, to permit recovery of the many millions of dollars which health care providers, drug companies, contractors doing business with the State, and others are defrauding from the State of New York. It is hoped that the New York State Senate will also pass Ms. Weinstein’s bill, and allow New York State to have a powerful tool in the fight against fraud.

Assemblywoman Weinstein Honors
63rd Precinct Police Officers
Helene Weinstein joined the 63rd Precinct Community Council’s annual Police Appreciation Night. Pictured (L to R) Brooklyn Patrol South Chief Joseph Fox, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, 63rd Precinct Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Kevin McGinn, Police Officer Yolanda Rouse, Rouse’s family and Police Officer Steve Terry. Both Officers Rouse and Terry were honored as “Cop of the Month” during 2005.

Assemblywoman Weinstein
Helps You Save Money

It’s Your Money, Don’t Abandon It!

The New York State Comp-troller’s Office holds unclaimed funds in trust, as custodian, until they are claimed by the owner or heir. Assemblywoman Weinstein’s Office can help you find any of your funds on record. Contact Weinstein’s office for more information.

Assemblywoman Weinstein
in the Community
Helene Weinstein and 63rd Precinct Clergy Raphael Treitel discuss traffic and safety issues affecting Ave M in the East 30’s.

Helene Weinstein Can Help You Obtain
A Senior Half-Fare Metrocard

Come on Board MTA’s Half-Fare Senior MetroCard Bus! Helene Weinstein Brings the Senior Half-Fare MetroCard Bus to the Community Office on the third Thursday of every month:

June 15th, 2006 • July 20th, 2006
August 17th, 2006
September 17, 2006
10:30 am to 12:00 noon
3520 Nostrand Avenue

Apply for the Senior Half-Fare MetroCard and Receive One on the Spot! Proper Age (65 years & older) and photo identification is required.

  • Save the cost of Photos and Notary fees
  • Add money to your Senior Half-Fare MetroCard
  • Only MetroCard holders transfer for FREE between buses & trains
photo MetroCard Bus comes to Assemblywoman Weinstein’s Office.

Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein’s
Community Office

3520 Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11229 • 718-648-4700
Monday-Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Please call or stop in if you have a problem or a question.
We speak English, Creole, Russian, and Yiddish.