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Senator Avella Address Towers Residents

Senator Tony Avella, who was elected to the position last November, spoke to residents and answered their questions during a visit on Thursday, April 7.
After urging constituents to come to him when they have a problem regardless of the subject or size, Avella spoke about some of the work he has been doing since taking office. He said he was appointed to be ranking member of the Cities and Environmental Conversation Committees. Avella is also a member of committees on education, the aging, veteran affairs and agriculture.
Avella said that he has legislation that would create 16-year term limits for assemblymembers and senators. He also introduced a companion bill that would change the term of office from the current two years to four years.
Additional legislation introduced by Avella would address collecting pensions and salaries at the same time and ban hydraulic fracturing in the state.
As the floor was opened up to residents to ask questions, Avella was asked if he would support a bill that would change cooperatives’ classification to that of private residences. By changing the classification, cooperatives would be taxed like a private residence.
“I’ve already signed on to it,” Avella said. “There’s a lot of politics now.”
Avella explained that there are two competing bills, one from each party. He noted that, in situations like this, many times the only difference is the date the legislation would go into effect.
“I’ve signed on to both bills just in case,” he said. “I think the main thing is let’s see if we can get this passed. This is something that should have been done decades ago.”
A resident questioned Avella about the CUNY budget. He said that some of the money had been put back into their budget, although not all of it. He added that money had been restored to community colleges and CUNY’s childcare system, but that operating funds had not really been restored.
“This is a bad budget,” Avella said, adding that it wasn’t something a lot of the senators liked but that they realized they would have to make compromises.
Avella said he felt it as an achievement that, for the first time in 25 years, the budget was done on time. But, he said that Governor Andrew Cuomo needs to go back and look at the millionaire’s surge charge.
In addition, Avella said that he is trying to meet with the MTA over bus service issues.
Avella’s visit was filmed and can be seen on the North Shore Towers in-house channel.

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