In Public Service- December 19,2019

December 23, 2019 Paula Katinas
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Rose supports updated USMCA

U.S. Rep. Max Rose, who had called for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement to be renegotiated so that worker protections could be strengthened and carve-outs benefitting big drug companies could be eliminated, announcing his support for an updated version of the deal.

“While others rushed to support the original USMCA that protected drug companies and screwed over American workers, I refused to stand by and let another trade deal pass in Congress that repeated the mistakes of the past,” said Rose, a Democrat representing Southwest Brooklyn and Staten Island.

“The final USMCA is proof that if we stick to our principles and negotiate in good faith, we can get to a place where we all win. This deal is by no means perfect, but I do believe this is a huge improvement to the status quo and is a strong, bipartisan compromise that will help workers, patients, consumers and our economy,” Rose said.

Earlier this year, Rose joined a group of 27 freshman House members who raised concerns over the original USMCA agreement.

Clarke calls impeachment ‘historic and somber’

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke voted in favor of both articles of impeachment passed by the House on Dec. 18, but said the action brought her no pleasure.

“Today is a historic and somber time for America. It is a necessary day of reckoning and a test of our resilience and ability to uphold our democracy. This impeachment was necessary.  Our nation’s national security is on the line, compromised by Donald Trump. I am proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with my colleagues on the right side of history in doing our duty to hold Donald J. Trump accountable for his law-breaking, unconstitutional actions,” said Clarke, a Democrat representing Central Brooklyn.

Clarke called President Trump “morally reprehensible,” and said his behavior and actions were dangerous to the country.

Myrie praises Green Light law

Calling it a “major victory for immigrant rights,” State Sen. Zellnor Myrie praised the state’s new Green Light law, which went into effect on Dec. 16, allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.

“This is a major victory for immigrant rights and will also improve street safety, lower insurance rates for drivers, and bring in as much as $50 million in revenue to the state each year,” wrote Myrie, a Democrat whose district includes Crown Heights and parts of Park Slope and Sunset Park.

Myrie also sought to clarify the new law. A driver does not need to provide a Social Security number as proof of legal status to apply for a license and the Department of Motor Vehicles office cannot refuse to issue licenses, he said.

Carroll opposes Con Ed rate hike

A proposal by Consolidated Edison to raise its rates was criticized by Assemblymember Robert Carroll.

Con Ed is seeking permission to increase electricity and gas rates by $1.2 billion over the next three years, said Carroll, a Democrat representing Park Slope.

“New York City already pays the second highest municipal energy rates in the country and this rate hike would increase those rates 13 percent over the next three years for electricity and 22 percent for gas. After a disastrous summer of blackouts, brownouts and shut-offs, the last thing that Con Ed deserves is more money from ratepayers,” Carroll said.

Carroll vowed to take action. “Ratepayers should not be given short shrift over shareholders, which is why I am introducing legislation to make our utilities public,” he said.

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