Senator Martin Golden (R,C,I-Brooklyn) and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C-Brooklyn, Staten Island) are sponsoring legislation that would protect our communities by providing prospective employers with the means to conduct accurate criminal background checks.
Senator Marty Golden, a former New York City Police Officer and the Senate sponsor stated, “This bill would repeal the sealing provision of the so-called “Rockefeller Drug Law” reform enacted as a part of the 2009-2010 State Budget, which allows criminal courts, on notice to the prosecutor, to seal the criminal records of felons upon their successful completion of “drug court.” This legislation would restore the ability of prospective employers to obtain accurate criminal background checks, and I thank Assemblywoman Malliotakis for sponsoring this important public safety legislation in the state Assembly. This legislation is one that should be approved this year so to ensure the well-being and safety of all New Yorkers.”
“This legislation is an essential component to protecting our communities from repeat drug offenders,” said Malliotakis. “Under current law, employers are not being provided with the means to adequately examine a potential employee’s criminal background. When a senior center searches for a new employee or a daycare looks to bring on new personnel, they need to have every possible tool at their fingertips to ensure that the person they are hiring does not pose a threat to the most vulnerable populations in our community.”
The Rockefeller Drug Laws, a series of stringent anti-drug measures passed in 1973 that were once considered among the toughest in the nation, were drastically watered down in 2004. In 2009, further changes weakened the stricter penalties that kept repeat drug offenders in jail and off our streets.
Watch Malliotakis Discuss Medicaid Fraud at Budget Hearing
At today’s Joint Legislative Budget Hearing on Medicaid, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C-Brooklyn, Staten Island) expressed her disappointment that the Medicaid Redesign Team submitted only one proposal pertaining to Medicaid fraud. This proposal is expected to save nearly $80 million.
“It is upsetting that, despite reports estimating 10% or $5 Billion of New York’s Medicaid spending goes to waste, fraud and abuse, only one proposal from the Medicaid Redesign Team addresses the problem,” said Malliotakis. “The state of New York spends 24% more in Medicaid than California, yet California has 17 million more residents. Clearly, something is wrong.”
“I am concerned that efficient and effective programs, such as Early Intervention, are going to fall victim to across-the-board Medicaid cuts solely because other parts of the system are bloated with fraud and abuse.”
In addition, Malliotakis pointed to the removal of the Resource Asset Test in 2009, which eliminated reviews of an individual’s assets prior to granting Medicaid coverage.
“It seems to me that this was an effective tool in identifying who is truly deserving of Medicaid,” said Malliotakis. “By doing away with the asset test, anyone can apply based on personal income, regardless of the property they own or their assets.”
When pressed on the elimination of the asset test, Medicaid Inspector General James Sheehan pointed to the administrative paperwork related to the program as the reason for its sunset.
“I find it odd that, in a state government riddled with inefficiency, we would all of a sudden be concerned with trimming bureaucracy and red tape when it comes to rooting out Medicaid fraud,” said Malliotakis. “Perhaps if we did a better job at preventing abuse in the Medicaid system, New York would not find itself mired in such a deep budget crisis.”
Published: Thursday, February 24, 2011
Paula Katinas, Bay Ridge Eagle
Nicole Malliotakis grew up the daughter of immigrants who had a deep love for American values.
Her father George is Greek. Her mother Veralia was born in Cuba and fled with her mother when Castro rose to power. Malliotakis, Bay Ridge’s new assemblywoman, said her remarkable parents are an inspiration to her.
Malliotakis, a Republican-Conservative, grew up loving politics and it’s no wonder.
On one side of her family is a heritage that stretches back to the cradle of democracy. On the other side is a deep love of democracy forged by having to flee a dictator.
“My father came here with $50 in his pocket that he had borrowed from a friend,” Malliotakis said. “He didn’t know anyone and he didn’t speak the langauge. He worked at all sorts of jobs.”
George Malliotakis was 25 years old when he arrived in the U.S.
“My mother was even younger when she came here. She fled the Castro regime when she was 16 years old,” the assemblywoman said.
Malliotakis said she’s proud to be the daughter of immigrants. At her swearing-in ceremony, she joked that she’s “the first Greco-Cuban legislator in New York.”
Her parents came to New York in search of the American dream. Through their hard work, they opened a small business in Brooklyn importing gift items from Italy. They recently retired.
Her parents’ dedication and their entrepreneurial spirit instilled in her a sense of ambition that propelled her into public service, Malliotakis said.
“They really believed that America was the land of opportunity,” she said.
Her parents worked hard to make a good life for her, she said.
Their hard work paid off. Malliotakis is the first member of her family to graduate from college. She earned her B.A. from Seton Hall University and has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Wagner College.
Born and raised on Staten Island, Malliotakis is a product of the borough’s public schools. She attended P.S. 53, Intermediate School 24 and New Dorp High School.
She now represents the area of Staten Island where she grew up. The 60th Assembly District, which she represents, includes neighborhoods on Staten Island, as well as the western end of Bay Ridge.
While both of her parents talked to her about politics, she was particularly influenced by her mother, she said.
“My mother was always very conservative in her politics. Having escaped from a dictatorship, she believed very strongly in capitalism and less government. She really instilled those values in me,” Malliotakis said. When Malliotakis was 15, she accompanied her mother to the local Republican club, where the teen got her feet wet in politics by stuffing envelopes and working phone banks for such elected officials as Rudy Giuliani, Vito Fossella and John Fusco. It was her first taste of politics and she liked it. “I became an intern for the deputy borough president, Jim Molinaro,” Malliotakis said.
Malliotakis and her mother made a trip to Cuba in 2009 after President Obama had relaxed the visa restrictions. It was an eye-opening experience, she said.
“I met my cousins for the first time. But it was horrendous to see how people live in Cuba. Their salaries are so low, my cousin has to save for five months to buy a pair of sneakers. They asked us to bring them down shampoo, razor blades, and other every day things because they’re too expensive to buy,”’ she said. “It really gives you an appreciation for the country we live in. I have always been patriotic and have always loved my country, but traveling to a place like Cuba, where people have no freedom, makes you appreciate it more,’ Malliotakis said.
Her childhood and her experiences as the daughter of small business owners formed a lot of her politics, she said.Malliotakis considers herself an advocate for small businesses. In Albany, she fights to lower taxes and to help create an environment where businesses can grow and prosper, she said. It’s the mom and pop stores and small businesses that provide the majority of jobs in this country, she said.
Malliotakis, 30, won election to the 60th Assembly District in November, in her first time running for public office. But the freshman lawmaker has actually been working in public service for many years.
Malliotakis was a top aide to George Pataki when he was the governor and represented him at community meetings. She had previously worked as a community liaison for Staten Island State Sen. John Marchi. Prior to running for the assembly seat, Malliotakis was a public affairs manager for Con Edison, working to improve relations between the utility company and Brooklyn residents. She also worked on environmental policy.
Last year, when Malliotakis made the decision to run for public office, she went about it wholeheartedly, knocking on doors, shaking voters’ hands outside supermarkets, and talking at senior citizens centers. She visited every corner of the assembly district.
Very early on in the campaign, she earned endorsements from the Republican and Conservative parties in both Brooklyn and Staten Island.
Malliotakis was taking on Janele Hyer-Spencer, a two-term Democrat and the race turned into a bitter contest. The debates between the two women turned into verbal slugfests with accusations flying back and forth at lightning speed. The challenger accused the incumbent of ignoring the needs of the district, particularly on transportation issues. Hyer-Spencer did nothing to fight the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s transit cuts in Bay Ridge, according to Malliotakis, who pointed out that the B37 bus was eliminated on Third Avenue
Hyer-Spencer charged that Malliotakis was less than forthcoming with voters about her role at Con Edison. The incumbent said Malliotakis was a lobbyist for the utility giant, a charge the challenger vigorously denied. In the end, the Nov. 2 election wasn’t even close. Malliotakis defeated Hyer-Spencer by 10 percentage points, 55-45 percent, an impressive result for a first-timer taking on an incumbent in a state where incumbents usually have an easy time winning re-election.
With her proud parents at her side, Malliotakis was sworn into office in January. Since then, her life has been a whirlwind of travel back and forth to Albany for votes and meetings with fellow lawmakers and traveling around the district to meet with civic groups on local issues.
As she works to represent her constituents, Malliotakis always keeps her immigrant parents close to her heart.
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C–Brooklyn, Staten Island) was recently joined by Congressman Michael Grimm during a visit to Fort Hamilton Army Base in Brooklyn. Malliotakis spoke with men and women enlisted in the United States Army and listened to their thoughts and concerns regarding global issues and those within their own community.
The location that became Fort Hamilton was the setting for military conflict between American and British troops on July 4, 1776. Today, the base serves as the home for the New York City Recruiting Battalion, the Military Entrance Processing Station, the North Atlantic Division Headquarters of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the 1179th Transportation Brigade and the 722nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron.
Published: Saturday, February 12, 2011
Judith Randall, Staten Island Advance
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Saying Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget cuts could result in the “painful closure” of as many as five friendship clubs here, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis yesterday called on him to amend his current plan so the centers can remain open.
“You built this community, you pay taxes, you earned this program,” Ms. Malliotakis (R-East Shore/Brooklyn) told seniors at the Arrochar Friendship Club yesterday.
She said Cuomo is looking to cut $37 million from the state Office of Children and Family Services, of which $25 million is used by the city to fund state-mandated programs for children. The result, she said, would force the city to shift Title XX funds it currently uses to support senior centers to pay instead for the mandated child welfare programs.
She said the move would “pit children against seniors”– and could result in one-third of the city’s 110 senior centers closing, including five of the 15 remaining centers here.
Ms. Malliotakis, a member of the Assembly Committee on Aging, said senior citizens need community-based centers they can easily reach, where meals are provided and friendship is offered. She called the centers “a necessity.”
A fiscal conservative, Ms. Malliotakis said broad cuts should instead be made in the state’s bloated Medicaid reimbursement system and by merging a dozen overlapping state agencies, rather than on the backs of seniors.
“The governor has 21 days to make amendments to his budget,” she added.
“I am coming here 23 years,” Mary Cammarata, 92, told Ms. Malliotakis. “If they take it away I will have no place to go.”
Representatives of the Staten Island Inter-Agency Council for Aging, Community Agency for Senior Citizens and the borough’s Friendship Clubs were on hand to back up Ms. Malliotakis.