Pataki Veto Hurt Consumers – QNS.com

Pataki Veto Hurt Consumers

Governor George Pataki vetoed legislation that would have protected consumers from the outrageous interest rate policies of credit card companies and highlights how disconnected this Governor is from the average New Yorker.
For years now, credit card companies have been raising interest rates on cardholders even if those cardholders are in good standing. Credit card companies have included in the fine print of the contracts clauses known as &#8220universal default” that allow them the unrestricted ability to raise interest rates. Simultaneously they are wreaking havoc on the finances of most Americans.
Most consumers remain oblivious to the practice while the industry is constantly soliciting consumer actions that trigger the use of &#8220universal default.” For example, rate hikes under &#8220universal default” clauses had a 24 percent chance of being triggered when the cardholder inquired about a car loan or mortgage, and a 33 percent chance of being triggered because the cardholder received or applied for a new credit card. So a cardholder can trigger a higher rate of interest based only by applying for new credit while never being late on any credit card payment.
This veto needs to be overridden for the benefit of the millions impacted by this unscrupulous practice and for the well-being of our economy.
Assemblymember Peter M. Rivera (D-Bronx)
Chair of the Assembly
Mental Health Committee and a prime sponsor of the above mentioned legislation

Kudos For Meeks & Crowley On Trade
On behalf of over 300 leading American companies and associations, the National Foreign Trade Council commends the leadership of Representatives Greg Meeks and Joseph Crowley, who demonstrated their commitment to our economy and our workforce with their recent support for the U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Oman is an important ally in the Middle East and the FTA is essential to maximizing economic opportunities for U.S. workers, businesses, products and services, including those based in New York.
Congressmembers Meeks and Crowley have long been proponents of expanding trade to enhance opportunities for U.S. workers and businesses. Both representatives expressed their understanding that increased trade with countries around the world is key to the vitality of local businesses, which stand to benefit from the many economic opportunities that come with increased trade liberalization.
These policymakers should be commended for their leadership in supporting Oman, a moderate Arab ally on the war on terror and longtime U.S. supporter in the Middle East peace process. Opening new markets for trade is not only essential to the future security of our nation and the promotion of American democratic ideals and values abroad, but most importantly, it is necessary to generate economic growth here at home.
William A. Reinsch
President, National Foreign Trade Council Co-secretariat, U.S.-Middle East Free Trade Coalition
Washington, DC 20006

Padavan Bill Would Help Sex Slaves
I am writing in response to last week's Queens Courier article regarding the problem of human trafficking (&#8220Brothel Busts Spawn Human Trafficking Laws,” August 24, 2006). In 2005, I introduced a bill (S.3914.B) to combat this very problem. My bill has passed, unanimously, in the Senate both in 2005 and in 2006. Regrettably, the Assembly has failed to act on this bill.
Human trafficking is nothing less than a form of modern-day slavery: women are promised a better life in the United States by so-called snakeheads, or alien smugglers, and then forced into prostitution once here. As Chairman of the Majority Task force on Immigration in the New York State Senate, I have participated in public hearings on human trafficking documenting the scope of the problem as well as its effect on our neighborhoods. As your report indicates, many of your readers are also acutely aware of this issue. Thankfully, I have been able to offer a legislative solution.
My Senate bill (S.3914-B) would increase penalties for human traffickers, and provide for restitution and other assistance to their victims. This legislation represents a comprehensive approach to address the scourge of human trafficking, an example of acting locally to address a global problem.
I congratulate you on your attention to this issue, and I would urge your readers to continue to be involved in addressing a problem that harms women and girls involved, and affects the quality of life for all of us.
Frank Padavan
State Senator

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