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Schimel: State Assembly Update

Admittedly “very busy” up in Albany, New York State Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel is at least equally busy down the 16th Assembly District.

 

While she always seems to be working on overload on environmental issues and working to stop illegal guns, Schimel’s district office in Great Neck Plaza bustles with constituents and their concerns.

 

“A good percentage of our time is spent helping people...insurance issues, health care, even stop signs,” Schimel told Anton Community Newspapers during a recent interview.  

 

Both in Albany and downstate, Schimel resident is working on a range of issues. Here are some addressed in the interview:

• Common Core curriculum. She has called for “at least a two-year delay in the Common Core.” While she does support the Common Core standards, the “hasty incorporation of the Common Core standards and the revised state assessments” are a “great concern.” She has spent a great deal of time meeting with parents and educators, as well as attending public hearings. 

• Student privacy. “It is imperative that the sharing of student information with inBloom is delayed until questions regarding the protection of student data from security breaches, the necessity of the details being shared and the potential for the commercialization of this sensitive and private data, have all been answered,” she said of the private data company underwritten by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

• School funding. Schimel is working to eliminate the use of the GEA formula, and to restore GAP elimination funding to school districts. The GEA (Gap Elimination Adjustment) is a formula in the state budget that reduces the amount of aid each school district receives. Introduced a few years ago to trim the state’s budget deficit, the program has cut state aid to school districts by $6.35 billion, with Long Island school districts losing nearly $1 billion. Schimel explains that the GEA increases dependence on local property taxes to fund schools, yet the school districts are faced with a tax cap.

• Tax cap. She is introducing legislation to amend the tax cap law so that school districts can increase their budget over the tax levy limit without a super-majority vote.

• The Women’s Equality Act (WEA). As a member of the Women’s Legislative Caucus, she has been “advocating for the passage of the full 10 points of the WEA.” The points include: a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body; pay equity; stopping sexual harassment in the workplace; strengthen human trafficking laws; better protection for domestic violence victims and ending their housing discrimination; stopping pregnancy discrimination; removing barriers to remedying discrimination; stopping source-of-income discrimination. She is proud that the Assembly passed the full measure of this bill.

• The environment. She recently introduced a bill that would prohibit the sale of personal-care products and cosmetics that contain microbeads, tiny micro-polymer (plastic) particles used in many such products. “Recent scientific studies have found that microbeads are polluting our waterways,” she said. Fish eat these pollutants and the fish eventually become food for humans. Her bill, she said, will help prevent further such pollution.

• Triclosan. Schimel introduced legislation to prohibit the sale of personal products containing triclosan, which she reports that “several studies” claim to cause adverse health effects.

• Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). “It is an international trade agreement currently being negotiated behind closed doors by the United States and 11 Pacific Rim countries ... which the Obama Administration is trying to fast-track.” Further, she said “Fast-track approval would prohibit Congress from making any changes to the trade deal once it is finalized.”

She has organized a bipartisan group of 40 New York State Assembly members to send a letter to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, asking him to assess TPP’s potential impact on state and local governments.” She added that “Of particular concern is the threat that TPP poses to the rights of states to enact and enforce environmental and health protections.”

• Gun control. A longtime advocate for putting an end to illegal guns and gun violence, Schimel is still fighting.


News

The Sewanhaka Central High School District selected Brentwood-based Park East Construction as its bond construction management firm last week. The group will oversee the $86.6 million in improvements coming to the district. Park East will analyze school architect Wiedersum Associates’ plans before applying for New York State Education Department approval.

 

“They are going to make sure the [firms that win district contracts] do the work right,” District Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie said. “They’re going to make sure [the engineer’s] drawings are right before they are sent up to New York State. [Park East] reports directly to the architect and the Board of Education to make sure what we say we’re going to do is done well.”

The Sept. 18 meeting of the Herricks Board of Education covered a range of issues, from the district’s overall performance to the sudden death of a student to fiscal and personnel issues—even to the loss of maple trees. 

 

National Ranking 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Bierwirth announced that the district’s high school had achieved an impressive level of distinction in a recent national survey that measured scholastic achievement; in fact, a great deal of Long Island made the cut, he said.


Sports

Seniors Daniella Ford and Margie Londono highlight a Sewanhaka Indians girls soccer team vying for its second straight winning season. 

 

Ford, who is in her fourth season as starting goalie for the Indians, netted a season-high 24 saves in a 3-1 loss to Valley Stream Central. 

 

“She’s a stud back there,” said Sewanhaka third-year coach Eric Premisler, whose team is 0-3 as of press time, after going 8-3-1 last season. “If we can stop a team from taking five shots because of good defense, Daniella is going to stop another 15 shots. And we’re going to have a chance to win every game.”

The Sewanhaka Indians continue to let their presence be felt in Nassau Conference II. 

 

The Indians played their second game as members of the conference on Saturday, Sept. 21, against the Long Beach Marines, topping the south shore squad 51-30. 

 

On the opening drive, the Indians relied on running back Brenton Mighty’s legs to get them into the red zone. On first and goal from the 15-yard line, quarterback Elijah Tracey hit

Michael Parasconda on a screen pass for the first score. 


Calendar

Exercise Class - September 24

Silver Sneaker Fitness - September 25

Live Music - September 26


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com