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Posts from Senator Gillibrand

June 1, 2024

1. Fighting for libraries, vets, and more

Kirsten is working to get funding for critical federal programs included in the Fiscal Year 2025 spending bill. That includes:

  1. $15 million for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program, which provides rental assistance and clinical services for homeless veterans. More. 
  2. $350 million for USDA’s Rural Broadband Access program to help bring reliable internet access to every community in the state. Read more.
  3. $$$ for the EPA to ensure lead-based paint is cleaned up in older homes and buildings. More.

$$$ for the Library Services and Technology Act Grants to States program to help public libraries provide free internet, computer access, summer reading programs, early literacy resources, and more. Learn more.

2. ATTN: NYers impacted by summer flooding

If you suffered damages during the historic storms and flash flooding in July 2023, there are federal resources and loans available to help. 

The Small Business Administration is opening two Disaster Loan Outreach Centers in Canandaigua and Highland Falls to assist businesses and residents in completing their disaster loan applications and provide updates on application status. This assistance is available to New Yorkers affected by the July 9-10 flash flooding and severe storms in the following counties: Ontario, Orange, Dutchess, Livingston, Monroe, Putnam, Rockland, Seneca, Steuben, Sullivan, Ulster, Wayne, Westchester, and Yates.

Physical property damage loan applications are due July 15, 2024. Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications are due February 18, 2025.

More information is available here.

Questions? Contact casework@gillibrand.senate.gov.

3. Helping YOU save on energy bills

Thanks to legislation Kirsten helped pass, New York is the first state in the country to launch its Home Energy Rebates program.

That means eligible New Yorkers can now access up to $14,000 in rebates for home appliances and upgrades that decrease home energy usage and reduce their home energy bills. 

Interested? Learn more here.

4. READ: Kirsten on the fight against racial inequality

Kirsten published an op-ed in the Amsterdam News on her efforts to fight racial inequities and the work still to be done.

Read the full piece here.

5. Commemorating Memorial Day

Kirsten took time to honor the sacrifice of those who lost their lives serving our country.

After a Long Islander spent a year struggling to get his retirement benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board, he reached out to Kirsten’s office for help. The office contacted the RRB on his behalf and got his application reviewed and approved within a few weeks.

Individual casework is Kirsten’s top priority. If you need help with a federal agency, contact her here.

May 25, 2024

1. 1 million PACT Act claims approved

For years, veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxins were denied the health care and benefits they deserved.

This week, the VA announced that 1 million of these veterans’ claims have been accepted under the PACT Act – legislation Kirsten championed to guarantee health care and benefits for veterans who developed serious illnesses after being exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances while serving overseas.

If you were exposed to toxins while serving at home or abroad, apply now at va.gov/PACT.

Having trouble with your application? Contact Kirsten’s office for help here or by emailing casework@gillibrand.senate.gov.  

More information on the PACT Act is available here.

2. Containing bird flu

Avian flu has forced farmers across the country to make difficult choices that impact their livestock and prices at the grocery store.

With recent outbreaks of avian flu in cattle and two confirmed human cases in the U.S., Kirsten is working to prevent the spread of the virus and contain the outbreak. This week, she called on the White House to share its coordination efforts with other federal agencies to control the outbreak and prepare for potential further spread. Sharing this information would allow federal agencies to strengthen their defenses and protect public health.

Read more.

3. Fighting mail theft

In recent years, there has been a concerning uptick in postal theft and letter carrier robberies. Kirsten is committed to cracking down on mail theft and protecting our postal workers.

This week, she introduced her bipartisan Protect Our Letter Carriers Act with Senator Josh Hawley to modernize postal collection boxes to protect against mail theft and strengthen penalties for assaulting a postal worker. The legislation would bring long-overdue upgrades to mailboxes around the country to safeguard our mail against theft and protect those delivering it.

Read more.

4. Delivering to support the arts

Kirsten is committed to bringing federal dollars home to New York.

Just this week, she secured $1.2 million in federal funding for organizations that support artists, musicians, exhibitions, educational programing, and public engagement and outreach to help grow the arts in communities across Upstate New York.

Read more.

5. ICYMI: NY Daily News on Kirsten’s military justice reforms

In case you missed it, the New York Daily News editorial board wrote about Kirsten’s hard-fought military justice reforms that now require sexual assault cases to be prosecuted outside the military chain of command by independent, trained professionals.

Read the piece here.

6. ATTN: Hudson Valley and Mamaroneck residents seeking information on post-disaster assistance

On Tuesday, May 28th at 12:00 PM, Kirsten’s office will host a webinar for renters, homeowners, non-profits, and businesses of all sizes in Mamaroneck and the Hudson Valley on government resources for post-disaster assistance. 

Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Small Business Administration, and New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services will be on hand to provide information and answer questions on how to apply for disaster assistance and navigate appeals processes.

RSVP for the webinar here.

7. Helping constituents with VA benefits

When a former service member needed to get his medical records from the Coast Guard to the Department of Veterans Affairs to support his application for benefits, he contacted Kirsten’s office for help. Kirsten’s team contacted the Coast Guard, which promptly sent his digital records to the VA.

Individual casework is Kirsten’s top priority. If you need help with a federal agency, contact her here.

May 12, 2024

1. Working to secure wins in the Farm Bill

The Farm Bill is a major legislative package that is passed every 5 years and sets national agriculture, nutrition, and forestry policy. 

As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Kirsten is fighting to ensure the Farm Bill is tailored to the needs of New York’s agricultural producers, rural leaders, and food banks. This week, Kirsten announced that she has secured major wins for New Yorkers in the Farm Bill framework, including expanded access to SNAP benefits, increased funding for food banks, support for New York’s dairy and specialty crop farmers, investments in rural infrastructure and economic development, and much more.

Kirsten will continue to fight to make sure these priorities for New Yorkers are in the final version of the bill.

Read more.

2. Fighting to expand affordable housing

For far too many hard-working New Yorkers, access to affordable housing is out of reach and too hard to find. Kirsten is committed to combating the housing crisis and making housing affordable for those who need it most. 

This week, she joined Congresswoman Yvette Clarke in New York City to announce the reintroduction of their bicameral Affordable Housing and Area Median Income Fairness Act. The bill would reexamine how we calculate Area Median Income to better include eligible low-income families in affordable housing determinations, as well as invest $15 billion annually to help make housing more affordable for low-income and middle-class families.

Learn more.

3. Protecting older Americans

A majority of older Americans have seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace, yet many have been prevented from pursuing justice because of forced arbitration, a secretive and unjust process that takes away the option of a jury trial. 

This week, Kirsten’s bipartisan Protecting Older Americans Act passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, an important step toward ending forced arbitration in cases of age discrimination. The bill would empower older American workers who have experienced age discrimination in the workplace to file their cases in court if they so choose. Kirsten will fight to get the bill passed by the full Senate and House and get it to the president’s desk.

4. Millions to upgrade New York infrastructure

Kirsten is committed to bringing federal dollars home to New York. 

Just this week, she secured:

  • $129 million to replace dangerous lead pipes across New York State and ensure that New Yorkers have access to safe drinking water. Read more.

$1.3 million for critical flood mitigation improvements in the Town of Greenburgh. Read more.

5. Getting veterans the benefits they deserve

When a retired colonel with 30 years of service needed to secure his pension and retiree health benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, he contacted Kirsten’s office for assistance. Kirsten’s team worked with the VA, who promptly issued his retirement paperwork. Going forward, the retired colonel will receive monthly benefit payments of over $10,000. 

Individual casework is Kirsten’s top priority. If you need help with a federal agency, contact her here.

6. Supporting victims of human trafficking

Kirsten is committed to supporting victims of human trafficking and helping them rebuild their lives with a fresh start.

This week, Kirsten introduced her bipartisan Trafficking Survivors Relief Act with Senator Marco Rubio to provide relief to survivors of human trafficking. Under the bill, survivors of human trafficking who were forced to commit a non-violent offense by their captors could have their criminal convictions or arrest records vacated and expunged.

Read more.

May 4, 2024

1. Stopping the flow of fentanyl

The flow of fentanyl has devastated communities across New York and is responsible for tens of thousands of overdose deaths nationwide. 

Over the past year, Kirsten has met with families of overdose victims and law enforcement fighting the fentanyl crisis across New York and she is committed to keeping deadly drugs like fentanyl off our streets.

This week, she announced the passage of the FEND Off Fentanyl Act, bipartisan legislation that will help disrupt the flow of illegal opioids into our neighborhoods. The legislation, which passed last week as part of the national security supplemental, will empower the U.S. government to go after the producers and drug traffickers bringing these dangerous drugs into the country.

Learn more.

2. Standing up for women’s health

This week, Kirsten joined Halle Berry and a group of women senators to unveil the bipartisan Advancing Menopause Care and Mid-Life Women’s Health Act, legislation that would advance research, data, public awareness, and funding for menopause and mid-life women’s health.

Watch here.

3. Reclassifying marijuana

For decades, marijuana has been classified in the same category of drugs as heroin and a more dangerous category than fentanyl or cocaine — even though marijuana is not associated with the same health risks and potential for addiction and abuse.

Kirsten has long called on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to reclassify marijuana, and this week, she applauded the DEA for answering her call and initiating the steps to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule III substance.

Kirsten will continue to fight to fully deschedule and legalize marijuana and end the restrictive federal marijuana policy that has disproportionately impacted Black and brown communities.

Learn more.

4. Refunds for delayed flights

Flight delays and cancellations cause chaos for thousands each year, yet for years, airlines have not automatically issued cash refunds for impacted travelers.

After Kirsten called on the Department of Transportation (DOT) to investigate airlines’ business practices and to hold them accountable for failing to issue proper compensation for significantly delayed or canceled flights, DOT issued a rule that will protect travelers and require airlines to promptly provide passengers with automatic cash refunds when owed.

Learn more.

5. $$$ to protect New York’s wildlife

Kirsten is dedicated to bringing federal dollars home to ensure New York’s wildlife is protected. 

This week, she secured $500,000 in federal funding to bring much-needed infrastructure improvements to the North Branch of the Boquet River that will help protect local wildlife species and habitats.

Read more.

6. Helping New York businesses

When a Suffolk County business needed to secure federal tax refunds for credits claimed in 2022 filings, they contacted Kirsten’s office for help. Kirsten’s team worked with the IRS on their behalf and the business received nearly $500,000 in refunds. Individual casework is Kirsten’s top priority. If you need help with a federal agency, contact her here.

April 20, 2024

1. Supporting the police workforce

Police departments in New York and across the country are facing unprecedented workforce shortages. Kirsten is fighting for more resources to boost the police workforce and keep our communities safe.

Over the weekend, she stood alongside police leaders in New York City to announce her Providing Child Care for Police Officers Act, bipartisan legislation that would help expand child care services for police officers and their families. The bill would provide $24 million in federal funding for each of the next five fiscal years to establish and operate child care services for the children of police officers that accommodate the nontraditional work hours of law enforcement, which would help retain the workforce and enhance recruitment.  Read more.

2. Delivering for NY

Kirsten is dedicated to bringing federal dollars home to New York.

Just this week, she delivered:

  1. A historic $6.1 billion for Micron thanks to the CHIPS and Science Act, which will help create thousands of good-paying jobs and strengthen Central New York’s reputation as a global leader in chips manufacturing. Read more.
  2. Over $1 million for the College Of Staten Island to recruit more STEM teachers for New York City public schools. Read more.

3. Boosting senior care

Long-term care workers are essential in helping older adults and people with disabilities age and live comfortably, yet they are far too often faced with low wages, understaffing, and poor working conditions, leading to a shortage across the country.

Kirsten is working to address this shortage and ensure long-term care workers get the support they deserve to help the people they care for get the services they need. This week, she introduced the Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act, legislation that would help alleviate the nationwide shortage of long-term care workers by providing federal support to improve compensation, training, and worker protections for these essential workers so they can help seniors age with dignity.

Read more.

4. Addressing the child care crisis

High-quality, affordable child care should be a right for every family, and Kirsten is fighting to make this a reality. 

This week, she announced the creation of her Child Care Working Group (CCWG) and convened the group for its inaugural meeting in New York City. Kirsten’s CCWG is made up of advocacy organizations, elected officials, and government agencies from across New York and seeks to expand child care for all New York families.

Learn more.

5. LISTEN: Kirsten taking questions from constituents

Kirsten made her monthly appearance on The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC to talk about how she is fighting to expand child care for the police workforce, the conflict in the Middle East, and much more. 

Listen here.

6. Meeting New York’s letter carriers

Kirsten has long supported New York’s letter carriers, and this week, she met with the New York State Association of Letter Carriers in Washington to discuss their top issues and her legislative efforts to support them.

7. Getting 9/11 survivors the care they deserve

When a 9/11 survivor needed help to confirm health care coverage for a procedure related to a condition certified under the World Trade Center Health Program, she reached out to Kirsten’s office for help. Kirsten’s team confirmed her procedure would be covered, providing assurance during her time of need. 

Individual casework is Kirsten’s top priority. If you need help with a federal agency, contact her here.

April 13, 2024

1. Boosting Upstate New York’s economy

The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) is a federal-state partnership that funds local projects and creates jobs across Upstate New York.

The NBRC’s statutory authority expires on September 30th and Kirsten is determined to make sure the Commission can continue to boost the Upstate economy. This week, she announced that key provisions of her bipartisan Northern Border Regional Commission Reauthorization Act have been included in the bipartisan Economic Development Reauthorization package. Reauthorizing the NBRC would unlock critical federal resources for Upstate communities and create jobs.

Learn more.

2. Expanding child care

With a shortage of affordable child care, too many families must choose between going to work and taking care of their kids.

Kirsten is committed to expanding affordable child care. In the recent government funding bills, Kirsten secured $1.2 million for DAY ONE Early Learning Community in Poughkeepsie, and this week she visited the preschool to highlight how the funding will help expand low-cost early childhood education to families in the Hudson Valley. 

Read more.

3. Supporting cutting-edge research

This week, Kirsten visited Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island to highlight the $8.24 billion for the Department of Energy in the recent government funding bill to advance cutting-edge research at Brookhaven National Laboratory and other national laboratories across the country. 

Read more.

4. New York chip manufacturing

Corning Incorporated’s Canton Advanced Optics plant is helping make New York a global leader in semiconductor chip manufacturing. This week, Kirsten toured the facility to learn about how the plant is producing components needed to make the world’s most complex microchips.

Read more.

5. Groundbreaking drinking water standards

Kirsten has long fought to protect New York’s waterways from being contaminated by dangerous PFAS chemicals. 

As a result of Kirsten’s relentless advocacy, this week the Environmental Protection Agency announced that they have finalized the first-ever national drinking water standard for PFAS, a major victory in the fight to combat water contamination. 

Read more.

6. $$$ → New York infrastructure

Kirsten is dedicated to bringing federal dollars home to New York. 

Just this week, she delivered:

  • $33.2 million to strengthen the resiliency of the 6 line train in New York City by installing a complete storm water drainage system at Westchester Yard where the subway trains are stored. Read more. 
  • $15 million to replace the 121-year old Grand Street Bridge in Brooklyn, which was severely damaged during Superstorm Sandy. Read more.

7. Helping veteran families

A World War II veteran’s surviving wife asked Kirsten’s office for help when she needed help to secure Survivors Pension benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Kirsten’s team contacted the VA on the constituent’s behalf and going forward she will receive monthly benefits payments of $700.

Individual casework is Kirsten’s top priority. If you need help with a federal agency, contact her here.

8. Catching the solar eclipse

Finally, Kirsten viewed the solar eclipse while visiting Corning Incorporated’s Canton Advanced Optics plant.

April 6, 2024

1. Protecting historic student loan relief

Kirsten is committed to fixing the student loan system and has a strong record of working to make higher education accessible to all.

This week, she announced the Codifying SAVE Plan Act, legislation that would protect President Biden’s income-driven repayment program for student loans. The Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan is the most affordable student loan repayment plan in history and has lowered monthly payments for millions. Borrowers can apply for the SAVE Plan to lower the cost of their student loan payments here

Learn more.

2. Fighting for efficient mail delivery

After advocating alongside Majority Leader Schumer for Postmaster General DeJoy to keep USPS processing operations in Buffalo, Kirsten delivered for Western New York.

Thanks to their efforts, this week USPS announced that it would cancel its plan to move certain mail processing operations from Buffalo to Rochester, keeping postal jobs in Buffalo and ensuring that Western New Yorkers get their mail on time.

Read more about Kirsten’s advocacy.

3. Bringing $$$ home to New York

Kirsten is dedicated to bringing federal dollars home to New York.

Just this week, she delivered: $5.6+ million for Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper to strengthen environmental protection and restore ecosystems for underserved communities in Western New York. Read more. $1.2 million to expand high-quality, affordable child care for families in Dutchess County. Read more.

4. Helping constituents with Medicare

When an FDNY retiree needed help to correct his Medicare enrollment or risk improper coverage for hospital visits, he reached out to Kirsten’s office for help. Kirsten’s team contacted the Social Security Administration, and he was fully enrolled to cover any surprise medical bills going forward. 

Individual casework is Kirsten’s top priority. If you need help with a federal agency, contact her here.

5. Honoring war heroes in Vietnam

While Kirsten was in Vietnam leading a bipartisan congressional delegation trip earlier this week, she took a moment to pay her respects to the late Senator John McCain and reflect on his service and sacrifice.

6. Getting ready for the solar eclipse

And finally, as millions of New Yorkers prepare for the solar eclipse, here are a few tips on how to safely watch it:

  • Wear approved eclipse glasses, and don’t look directly at the sun without them.
  • View the solar eclipse from a safe location.
  • Follow local alerts and road closures.

For more information about the solar eclipse, visit iloveny.com/eclipse.

March 30, 2024

1. Standing up for women’s reproductive health care

Kirsten is committed to protecting access to mifepristone and reproductive freedom.

This week, as the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could limit access to the safe and effective drug mifepristone, Kirsten joined her colleagues in submitting an amicus brief asking the Court to reject this politically motivated attack on women’s reproductive health care.

2. Delivering big for New York

Kirsten has been one of the most successful senators in securing federal investments for their state in recent years.

In this year’s government funding process, Kirsten secured $375 million for 197 important local projects across New York State that will reinforce critical infrastructure, improve health and public safety, and support local communities, including:

  1. $90 million to rehabilitate the historic Lexington Armory National Guard Readiness Center to support the readiness and training of Army units. Read more.
  2. $8 million to improve pedestrian safety and install new sidewalks in the Town of Ramapo. Read more.
  3. $7.5 million to restore Barcelona Harbor and boost tourism in Chautauqua County. Read more. 
  4. $4.5 million to build a new state-of-the-art emergency services facility for first responders in the Village of Saranac Lake. Read more.
  5. $3 million to build a new facility to fight hunger and meet growing needs in Western New York. Read more.

… and many more.

3. Stopping preventable fires

Low-quality lithium-ion batteries used in e-bikes, e-scooters, and other devices have been responsible for hundreds of fires and dozens of deaths. Kirsten is committed to stopping that.

To prevent fires and save lives, Kirsten is leading the Setting Consumer Standards for Lithium-Ion Batteries Act to create new safety standards for these batteries. This week, she was able to secure bipartisan support for the bill, an important step to stop preventable fires in New York and across the country.

Read more.

4. Free tax filing

Are you a New Yorker who still needs to file taxes? 

You may be able to do it for free online through IRS Direct File – all thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act

Visit DirectFile.IRS.gov to see if you’re eligible and get started.

5. Getting constituents their money back

When a federal employee needed assistance receiving reimbursements for doctor’s visits from the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, she contacted Kirsten’s team for help. Kirsten’s office worked with the agency, and the constituent was able to receive a reimbursement check for her out-of-pocket expenses.

Individual casework is Kirsten’s top priority. If you need help with a federal agency, contact her here.

6. Strengthening partnerships in Asia

This week, Kirsten led a bipartisan congressional delegation visit to the Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, and Japan to meet with our allies and partners to discuss ways to strengthen key relationships in the Indo-Pacific and to meet with U.S. service members and diplomats abroad.

March 23, 2024

1. Fighting to expand Social Security

Social Security is a lifeline for millions of older adults, but with the rising cost of health care, many are struggling to afford the basics.

Kirsten is fighting to expand Social Security benefits for older Americans. This week, she announced the Boosting Benefits and COLAs for Seniors Act, legislation that would help make sure Social Security benefits keep up with rising health care costs. The bill would adjust Social Security benefits to better reflect older adults’ true cost of living and help them to retire comfortably. Read more.

2. Hosting African American faith leaders in D.C.

Kirsten is committed to uplifting communities of faith and making sure their voices are heard in D.C. 

This week, she convened over 100 African American faith leaders from across New York State in Washington to talk about their most pressing issues, meet with members of Congress, and learn about federal resources available to them.

3. Fighting for working families

The Child Tax Credit is a lifeline for working families, and expanding it could save thousands of New York families hundreds each year. 

Over the weekend in New York City, Kirsten stood with advocates to call for the passage of the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act and the expansion of the Child Tax Credit, which would save the average family close to $700 a year. 

Expanding the Child Tax Credit would help ease financial burdens for working families across New York – making it easier for low-income families to qualify for the credit, adjusting the credit for inflation, and helping lift children out of poverty.

Learn more.

4. $$$ → Griffiss International Airport

Kirsten is dedicated to bringing federal dollars home to New York. 

This week, she secured $1.2 million to rehabilitate and modernize the 40-year-old control tower at Griffiss International Airport to improve the safety and reliability of the airport. 

Read more.

5. Judicial nominations

Earlier this year, Kirsten recommended Jeannette Vargas, a longtime federal prosecutor and an expert in civil litigation, to serve on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. This week, Ms. Vargas was officially nominated by President Biden.

Read more.

6. ATTN: Small business owners

Next week, on Tuesday, March 26th at 3:00 PM, Kirsten’s office will hold a virtual workshop to discuss opportunities for government support available to small business owners. 

Representatives from the Small Business Administration, the Economic Development Administration, the Minority Business Development Agency and Empire State Development will be on hand to discuss their respective resources and funding opportunities.

Interested small business owners can RSVP here.

7. Helping constituent families

When a New Yorker needed to secure a Consular Report of Birth Abroad to prove his daughter’s U.S. citizenship, he emailed Kirsten’s office for help. Kirsten’s team worked with the U.S. Department of State across multiple embassies to coordinate an appointment so that he could secure this important document. 

Individual casework is Kirsten’s top priority. If you need help with a federal agency, contact her here.

8. ICYMI: POTUS on Kirsten’s military justice reforms

And finally, in case you missed it, President Biden applauded Kirsten for her hard-fought military justice reforms that allow for sexual assault cases to be investigated outside the military chain of command by independent, trained professionals.

Watch here.

March 16, 2024

1. Fighting to keep public broadcasting alive Image
Funding cuts could put crucial educational and news programming from local PBS stations, which also feature beloved shows like Sesame Street, at risk of being cut for Americans across the country.

Kirsten is committed to making sure this doesn’t happen. This week, with federal funding for PBS eliminated in the proposed House funding bill, she’s leading a bipartisan push to secure $575 million in the upcoming government funding package to make sure these important programs remain on TV. 

Read more.

2. Fortifying our health care system

Following the devastating cyberattack on Change Healthcare, the largest health care payment system in the country, Kirsten is working to prevent attacks like this in the future.

This week, she called on the Department of Health and Human Services and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to develop a plan to address this attack and prevent future cyberattacks on our health care system. Read more about Kirsten’s push here

Kirsten has been a fierce supporter of strengthening our nation’s cybersecurity. To boost our national defense, she created the Cyber Service Academy scholarship program, which grants students free college in exchange for public service in the Department of Defense or the Intelligence Community. Learn more about the program here.

3. Meeting with NY leaders

Kirsten met with members of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., who came to D.C. from all across New York State, and thanked them for their partnership in advocating for economic, societal, and racial justice for all.

4. Bringing federal $$$ home to NY

Kirsten is dedicated to bringing federal dollars home that better New Yorkers’ quality of life. 

Just this week, she delivered:

  1. $180+ million for Syracuse’s I-81 project to reconnect communities and bring critical neighborhood infrastructure upgrades. Read more.
  2. $117+ million for the NYC Parks QueensWay project to build a new park, create active transportation options, and reconnect communities in Queens. Read more.
  3. $100+ million to create a new, affordable rapid bus transit line and modernize Bailey Avenue in Buffalo. Read more.
  4. $16+ million to reconnect New Rochelle communities by constructing bike lanes, a lush green space, and modern safe streets. Read more.
  5. $13.6 million to fund critical infrastructure upgrades at Erie County Medical Center, including the purchase of emergency generators to ensure the lights stay on during any extreme weather event. Read more.
5 Conversations with clergy. Image
This week, Kirsten joined faith leaders from the Concerned Clergy of NYC for a productive conversation on immigration. She discussed her efforts to find comprehensive, humane solutions for asylum seekers and thanked the clergy members for their work to do the same in their communities.
6. Helping constituents with Social Security Image
A Western New Yorker contacted Kirsten’s office for help after she won an appeal for Social Security Disability benefits. She urgently needed the benefit payments to begin in order to catch up on her mortgage and utility bill payments. Kirsten’s office contacted the Social Security Administration, which processed the award and released over $100,000 in past due disability benefits to the constituent. 

Individual casework is Kirsten’s top priority. If you need help with a federal agency, contact her here.

7. Pic of the week: SOTU selfie

And finally, here’s a selfie of Kirsten with President Biden at the State of the Union.

March 9, 2024

1. State of the Union Image
On Thursday night, Kirsten attended President Biden’s State of the Union address, where the president highlighted his major accomplishments over the past year and laid out his vision for the country going forward.

Joining Kirsten as her guest was tennis legend and equal rights advocate Billie Jean King. Throughout her life, Billie Jean King has been a groundbreaking leader in advancing equal rights for women, and to honor her, Kirsten recently introduced legislation to award her the Congressional Gold Medal.
2. Fighting fentanyl Image
Kirsten will always fight to keep deadly drugs like fentanyl off our streets.

This past weekend, she visited Long Island, Utica, and Poughkeepsie to call for passage of the FEND Off Fentanyl Act, bipartisan legislation that would crack down on drug traffickers and help disrupt the flow of illegal opioids to our neighborhoods. 

After passing in the Senate, the legislation is currently stalled in the House, and Kirsten is urging Speaker Mike Johnson and House Republicans to pass the bill immediately to protect our communities from these devastating drugs.
3. Protecting IVF access Image
Kirsten is committed to making sure women can start or grow their families without government interference.

This week, in the wake of the Alabama Supreme Court ruling on in vitro fertilization, Kirsten stood with advocates in New York City to fight for passage of the Access to Family Building Act. This bill would federally protect access to IVF and other fertility treatments, protect doctors from legal action for providing these treatments, and safeguard insurers who cover them so women can make their own decisions about how and when to start a family. 



Read more.

4. Millions of $$$ for NY Image
Kirsten will always fight to bring federal dollars home to New York.
This week, she secured over $328 million to fund nearly 150 important local projects across New York State in the bipartisan spending package for Fiscal Year 2024.
5. ATTN: Veterans Image
This week, the VA expanded health care to millions of veterans who were exposed to toxins and other hazards during their military service – one of the largest expansions of VA health care ever. This expansion is thanks to the PACT Act – legislation Kirsten championed to guarantee health care and benefits for veterans who developed serious illnesses after being exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances while serving overseas.
 
If you were exposed to toxins while serving at home or abroad, apply now at va.gov/PACT

Having trouble with your application? Contact Kirsten’s office for help here or by emailing casework@gillibrand.senate.gov

More information on the PACT Act is available here

6. Getting constituents the benefits they deserve Image
When a senior from Nassau County needed a status update on his application for Social Security retirement benefits, he emailed Kirsten’s office for help. Kirsten’s team contacted the Social Security Administration for processing timelines, and within days, his application was processed. Going forward, he will receive the monthly retirement benefit checks he deserves. 



Individual casework is Kirsten’s top priority. If you need help with a federal agency, contact her here.

March 1, 2024

1. Standing up for reproductive rights Image
The Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling on in vitro fertilization (IVF) threatens reproductive freedoms and could have devastating consequences nationwide – including in New York.

Kirsten is committed to making sure access to reproductive health care is protected.

She is fighting to pass the Access to Family Building Act, legislation that would federally protect access to IVF and other fertility treatments, protect doctors from legal action for providing these treatments, and safeguard insurers who cover them so women can grow their families without government interference. 


Learn more.

2. Connecting with the New York agricultural community Image
Kirsten is committed to supporting New York farmers and making sure their voices are heard in Washington.

This week, Kirsten hosted her virtual Farm Day, where she spent the day connecting New York farmers with federal agencies and representatives to find ways to continue working together.
3. Strategic plans to help older adults Image
With more than 57 million Americans aged 65 years and older, states and local governments need to have a plan to address the needs of older adults. Currently, at least 24 states are initiating, implementing, or developing strategic plans for aging that address the needs of older adults, providing solutions and resources to help address issues ranging from housing and food security to high health care costs and much more.  

Kirsten is introducing legislation to incentivize and support states’ efforts to create these strategic plans. Her Strategic Plan for Aging Act would create a new, nationwide grant program to help states develop their own strategic plans on aging – ensuring older adults can live where they want with dignity and financial security. 



Learn more.

4. Millions of $$$ → NY Image
Kirsten is dedicated to bringing federal dollars home to New York. Just this week, she delivered:
$82+ million for water infrastructure improvements to bring clean water to rural communities across New York State. Read more.
$23 million to clean up chemical contamination at Onondaga Lake. Read more.
$14.6 million for Erie County Medical Center to reimburse the hospital for the life-saving care they provided Western New York residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.
$10+ million for Cayuga Medical Center to fund critical infrastructure updates to keep the lights on during extreme weather events.

 

  1. Read more.
5. LISTEN: Kirsten on The Brian Lehrer Show Image
Kirsten made her monthly appearance on The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC to talk about how she is fighting to protect access to IVF, her legislation to create strategic plans to address the needs of older adults, and more.