Political Arena

Dinowitz still fighting upstate nuclear subsidies

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Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz is still working against a state clean energy program that he says places an unfair burden on city energy customers. 

In a joint hearing of the Assembly committees on consumer affairs and environmental protection, the 23-year legislator questioned the head of the Public Service Commission on zero-emissions tax credits. According to the legislation, state utility companies like Con Edison would have to purchase those credits, which help subsidize four nuclear plants providing energy to upstate consumers. 

But Dinowitz has repeatedly asserted the proposal would disproportionately raise energy costs for people living in New York City and Westchester County.

“I represent parts of the Bronx, which is perhaps the poorest county in the state,” he said at the hearing. “Increases in energy costs amount to a regressive tax that primarily affects the people who are worse off economically. “Why are the costs of this program being paid for primarily by downstate ratepayers when the benefits aren’t evenly distributed?”

 

Blaz to work a week in the Bronx

After spending a week on Staten Island in April, Mayor Bill de Blasio is bringing his “City Hall in Your Borough” program to the Bronx the last week of May. 

During his weekly appearance on WNYC-FM, de Blasio called his week on Staten Island “a week of action,” despite being in a borough that flatly voted against him in his first election in 2013, and supported Donald Trump in the presidential election. 

If de Blasio plans on carrying out another “week of action,” he’ll likely have to come face-to-face with another kind of opposition in the form of Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr.

Diaz Jr., who jointly announced the de Blasio’s week in the Bronx on Twitter, often has been a critic of de Blasio’s administration, and in 2015, even toyed with the idea of running against him for mayor. 

While Diaz Jr., hasn’t declared either a run for mayor or re-election to his own seat as of the March 11 financial disclosure deadline, it’s likely de Blasio will face some grilling from his political foe as they’re expected to share some office space at Bronx borough hall.

May Day legislation aims to protect workers, unions

In honor of International Workers’ Day on May 1, state Sen. Marisol Alcantara and the rest of the Independent Democratic Conference introduced legislation designed to combat a string of right-to-work laws in other states. 

Right-to-work laws, which prohibit companies from requiring employees to join their local unions, already are in place in 14 states, and are expected to become effective in 14 more this August. Democrats have called right-to-work laws, which vary by state, as “union busters,” aimed at weakening the collective bargaining power of trade and uniformed workers. 

If passed, the IDC’s new legislation would make joining unions easier, according to Alcantara, who chairs the senate’s labor committee. 

“We cannot allow right-to-work to demolish the labor movement that was born in New York,” she said in a statement. “Right-to-work means a right to lower wages and a lower quality of life, and we will fight against that for our brothers and sisters in labor.”

 

Public meetings

On Thursday night, Community Board 8’s libraries committee will meet at 5901 Palisade Avenue, the Derfner Judaica Museum, at 5:30 p.m.

The board also will host a poetry slam at the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center, 3101 Kingsbridge Terrace, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

CB8 will hold meetings May 8, for the laws and ethics committee in its office, 5676 Riverdale Ave. at 7 p.m., and its full board May 9 at 7:30 p.m. That meeting will be at Wave Hill, 649 W. 249th St.

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