State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-C-I-Ref, Staten Island-Brooklyn) today have issued a joint statement regarding the sentencing of Tyrone Howard in the murder of Officer Randolph Holder.
“Today’s sentence of life without parole for Tyrone Howard, the career criminal and gang member who murdered Police Officer Randolph Holder is both appropriate and bitter sweet. Sadly, this tragedy could have been prevented if the courts would have denied this violent criminal entry into a drug diversion program that put Howard back on the street to commit murder. On February 6th, 2017 the Senate passed ‘Officer Randolph Holder’s Law’ (S27/A3404), a bill designed to make necessary reforms to judicial diversion programs to ensure and enhance public safety. Moving forward, it is important that the public and law enforcement officers are protected from violent individuals who take advantage of drug treatment programs to get back on the streets to commit further crimes,” said Senator Golden, a former New York City Police Officer.
“In no circumstance should any person with an extensive criminal history be afforded the privileges, and opportunities to participate in substance abuse treatment programs. These important drug programs should be granted solely to non-gang members with a limited non-violent criminal history and who do not pose a threat to society. Tyrone Howard was a known gang member who had committed numerous crimes and I firmly believe my New York State Criminal Street Gang bill (S2410/A5477), may have helped prevent the tragic murder of Officer Randolph Holder. This anti-gang bill would have provided for extended criminal penalties for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal gang organization and could have kept Howard off the streets. As elected officials we must pass legislation that will keep dangerous gang members off the streets and tighten loop holes to prevent career criminals from terrorizing our streets. My prayers go out to the Holder family and although today’s sentencing will not bring back their loved one, I hope that feel that justice was served,” Golden added.
“A hardened criminal has received the appropriate punishment with a life sentence, but that doesn’t change the fact that one of New York’s Finest was lost in the line of duty and the state law that allowed Tyrone Howard to commit his murder still remains flawed. At the time of Police Officer Randolph Holder’s murder, Mayor de Blasio acknowledged that this is ‘something we have to address in our criminal justice system,’ and ‘he sure as hell shouldn’t have been on the streets’, and Police Commissioner Bratton echoed this sentiment saying, ‘he would have been the last person in New York City I would have wanted to see in a diversion program.’ Despite this, the Assembly still hasn’t acted to close the loophole that allowed Howard to be free. The law needs to require heavier scrutiny in deciding whether to send someone to a drug treatment program instead of prison, and avoid situations in which hardened criminals with multiple felonies can circumvent jail time by attending a treatment program enabling them to prey on addicts who have committed a minor offense and are trying to get their lives back on track. In this case, Tyrone Howard exploited the loophole in the law to avoid prison and return to the streets to wreak more havoc, resulting in the death of a police officer,” said Assemblywoman Malliotakis.
NYPD Officer Randolph Holder, who while on patrol in East Harlem on October 20, 2015, was senselessly murdered while responding to a report of shots fired. The person who committed this heinous and irrational crime had five previous drug convictions, was wanted by police in connection with a September 1, 2015 shooting, and had a warrant open for failing to participate in a court ordered treatment. Court records show that despite a lengthy criminal history, the shooter was approved by the Court for a drug treatment program over the objections of the prosecutor, who argued in favor of incarceration given the perpetrator’s history of violence.
funded,” said Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis.
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn/Staten Island) joined Assembly and Senate colleagues yesterday at the joint budget hearing on elementary and secondary education. The hearing allowed members of the legislature to discuss budget priorities, as well as issues facing elementary and secondary schools with education stakeholders from across the state. As a follow up to last year’s budget hearing in which Malliotakis brought up her concern that cursive writing was no longer being taught in New York City’s elementary schools, the Assemblywoman was relieved to receive a commitment from New York City Chancellor Carmen Fariña that cursive writing is once again being included in the third grade curriculum in city schools. Many schools already began implementing the curriculum this year.
“I thank New York City Chancellor Fariña for hearing my concerns about the discontinuation of cursive instruction, and am pleased that over the past year she has worked with superintendents across the city to ensure third graders will once again learn cursive writing.” said Malliotakis. “It is important that young people, who will soon be entering the real world, know how to write a signature of their own to identify themselves, and have the ability to sign a legal document, check, or voter registration form. Without knowing how to read script, students can’t even read historic documents like the Declaration of Independence. It is very unfortunate that there is a generation of students who did not learn to write and read cursive, but today we have been assured that this wrong has been corrected.”
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn,Staten Island), Assemblyman Ron Castorina Jr. (R,C,I,Ref-South Shore), Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C,I,Ref-Canandaigua), Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci (R,C,I-South Huntington) and members of the Assembly Republican Conference held a press conference yesterday to introduce the Affordable College For All Initiative. The plan is a comprehensive bill package that will provide broad-based relief for the cost of college tuition for New York’s students. The proposal modernizes the state’s existing Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), expands the number of eligible students, increases the amount of funding available and assists recent graduates currently paying student loans. The plan has been offered as an alternative to the governor’s taxpayer-funded “free-tuition” proposal that was included in his 2017-2018 Executive Budget, and the “DREAM Act,” a tuition assistance plan for illegal immigrants repeatedly pushed by Assembly Democrats.
“Increasing tuition assistance and expanding current programs to benefit more of our middle-class citizens has been a priority of mine for years, which is why I’ve introduced legislation to accomplish those goals during the past few sessions. While I was pleased to learn that the governor now shares my intent, his plan simply misses the mark. Our Conference’s proposal offers much more equitable and effective means to finally bring tuition relief to students,” said Malliotakis. “By expanding the income eligibility threshold, which hasn’t increased since 2000, and restoring tuition assistance for graduate students, we can help alleviate student debt for our struggling middle-class citizens.”
“I was proud to stand beside my colleagues today as we unveiled our plan to expand higher education to current and aspiring college students in New York State,” said Castorina. “Earlier this year, Gov. Cuomo presented us with his ‘free college’ plan that categorically ignores sound fiscal policy, while misleading the public in its intended results. We simply cannot afford to increase taxes and spending as we continue to be one of the most taxed states in the country. Our program expands eligibility while increasing the size of grants available under the Tuition Assistance Program. I am confident our program will broaden higher education to a greater number of students while keeping our state fiscally solvent.”
The Assembly Republicans’ proposal would:
- Increase the Household Income Cap Threshold: This proposal would raise the threshold for TAP eligibility from $80,000 to $125,000 (phased in over three years). It would also assist college students who attend both public and private schools and help families with children attending any college in the state – not just a select few. The threshold has not been increased since 2000.
- Provide an Additional $500 to Every TAP Recipient & Increase the Maximum TAP Award to $6,470: This would benefit low-income and middle-income students, as well as higher education institutions. When the state passed rational tuition in 2011, part of the agreement required institutions to cover the “TAP Gap,” which is the difference between the maximum TAP award and the full tuition rate. Increasing the maximum TAP award would take this burden off of institutions and continue to alleviate the cost of tuition for students. TAP for graduate students was eliminated in 2010 due to fiscal issues but was never restored.
- Make Graduate Programs Eligible for TAP: According to a 2014 report in US News & World Report, the average graduate school student from the class of 2012 took on $57,600 in combined graduate and undergraduate debt. This fiscal pressure serves as a disincentive to attend graduate school.
- Reduced Taxable Income for Student Loans: This would provide a tax break on both the interest and principal of student loans. Single filers can receive up to $4,000, head of household filers can receive up to $6,000 and married filers can receive up to $8,000. Income eligibility thresholds for the tax break would be $80,000 for single filers, $120,000 for head of household and $160,000 for married couples.
Additionally, the proposals would reduce the cost of tuition for the nearly 300,000 students who currently receive TAP, increase eligibility for approximately 36,000 students to receive tuition assistance as a result of increasing the income threshold, and provide more than 7,000 graduate students with TAP benefits. The plan will also help students attending private institutions, and offer a broad tax deduction to all New Yorkers paying student loans.
There are a number of issues with the governor’s proposal, according to Malliotakis. The “free” tuition program offered by the governor:
- Does not help those already attending private colleges and universities;
- Does not help those currently struggling to pay back student loans;
- Prioritizes illegal immigrants over graduate students;
- The governor’s Excelsior Scholarship requires students to take 15 credits per semester and permanently disqualifies students who fall below that threshold. The TAP program more reasonably requires 12-credits per semester for eligibility; and
- Punishes the student instead of the institution by stripping students of their TAP award if the college or university increases its tuition by $500.
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn/Staten Island) has been named New York State Director of the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL). The NFWL aims to empower and inspire elected women to become thought leaders who shape America’s future by providing strategic resources to elected women for leadership development, an exchange of diverse legislative ideas, and effective governance through conferences, state outreach, educational materials, professional and personal relationships and networking. As a State Director, Malliotakis will serve as a point of contact for elected women in New York, and work to bring more elected women the opportunities and resources that NFWL has to offer.
“I want to thank NFWL for selecting me to coordinate their efforts in the State of New York. I am honored to serve my colleagues as State Director and will do my best to grow this remarkable organization that has empowered many women to step in to elected positions across the country. I look forward to helping one our nation’s oldest non-partisan organization and identifying and addressing the needs of elected women at all levels of government,” said Malliotakis.
“We are so proud Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis has accepted a leadership position in our Foundation,” stated Minnesota State Senator Carrie Ruud, NFWL’s 2017 Chair. “NFWL’s theme for 2017 is leadership, and Nicole exemplifies this theme. She will play a key role in aiding women legislators in New York, as we continue to grow as an organization.”
Malliotakis begins serving in her new position immediately, and will hold this office through the end of 2017.