26 The Queens Courier • JANUARY 2, 2020 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT www.qns.com
26 THE QUEENS COURIER • JANUARY 2, 2020 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Cuomo’s e-bike legislation misguided?
Governor Andrew Cuomo likes to portray
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himself as a champion of immigrants
and the working class, and if that
were the case, he blew a golden opportunity
to prove it by choosing to veto
legislation from two Queens lawmakers
— State Senator Jessica Ramos and
Assemblywoman Nily Rozic — that
would legalize the use of electric bikes
and scooters across the state.
Both chambers of the state legislature
voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill
in June, but in his veto statement, Cuomo
took issue with the absence of a helmet
requirement and other safety measures.
“Failure to include these basic measures
renders this legislation fatally fl awed,”
Why didn’t the governor simply negotiate
with the two Queens lawmakers to
work the language into the bill in the fi rst
By signing the legislation into law,
municipalities like New York City could
legalize e-bikes and provide relief to the
estimated 40,000 food delivery workers in
New York City, many of whom have been
subjected to an on-going NYPD crackdown
against e-bikes in which delivery
workers are fi ned $500 and many times
have their e-bikes confi scated.
“Our state has failed to help tens of
thousands of New Yorkers who desperately
need relief from the punitive measures
taken against them every day for
merely doing their jobs,” Ramos said.
“New York criminalizes delivery workers
who are merely trying to make an honest
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living and slaps them with thousands of
dollars in fi nes, eff ectively ruining their
ability to support themselves and their
With a stroke of his pen, Cuomo could
have ended one of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s
more wrong-headed policies during his
six years at City Hall. Th e mayor launched
the crackdown on e-bike usage by delivery
workers because he heard too many
complaints during many of his town halls
more than two years ago without ever
presenting statistics that proved what a
danger e-bikes were to pedestrians.
Cuomo could have made the mayor
look bad, which has become something
of a bloodsport for the governor. But he
A report appeared last month in the
New York Post quoting sources who said
Cuomo was on board with the legislation
until Ramos criticized him in the
New York Times last October in an article
about the State Democratic Party’s plan to
kill third parties in New York such as the
Working Families Party.
“I honestly have never understood why
it is that, electorally, the governor cannot
seem and act as interested as we are
in having as many Democrats in the State
Legislature as possible,” Ramos said.
Th e bill passed by the Senate 56-6 and
137-4 in the Assembly and Cuomo could
have wiped away the mayor’s ill-conceived
crackdowns on low-wage delivery
Th at’s not how a champion of immigrants
and the working class rolls.
Photo by Mark Hallum
Governor Cuomo vetoed legislation from two Queens lawmakers that would have brought relief to
low-income delivery workers who use e-bikes.