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NYC heads to Albany to pitch for housing bill before end of session

The clock is ticking as top officials from Mayor Eric Adams’ office traveled to Albany Tuesday to push lawmakers to pass several bills before they go into recess on June 9 – legislation that could dramatically impact New York City’s rules ranging from speed limits to housing.

The traffic safety bill, “Sammy’s Law” is named after Sammy Cohen Eckstein, a 12-year-old boy who was struck and killed by a car outside his home near Prospect Park in 2012.

Currently, the city’s speed limits are set by the state but the legislation would give NYC the power to lower its speed limits to 20 miles per hour as it sees fit. The bill’s sponsor, State Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal (D-Manhattan), said the current system makes no sense.

“Senators in Massapequa shouldn’t set the speed limit for Manhattan — or the reverse,” he said.

Deputy Mayor Maria Torres Springer spoke in Albany Tuesday asking legislators to pass new NYC housing measures
Zach Williams / NY Post
Amy Cohen holds a picture of her son Sammy, who was killed after being hit by a car outside their Brooklyn home in 2012
Natan Dvir

Sammy’s mother thinks the bill is “long overdue.”

Last year the bill was halted after the NYC Council failed to pass a resolution known as a “home rule,” which is a formal request to Albany of the measure. Lawmakers made sure to submit the resolution this year.

“It should not take three years fighting on this bill,” she told The Post Tuesday.

Mayor Adams has been pushing to have unused commercial real estate like offices and hotels converted into affordable housing
Stephen Yang

In Albany on Tuesday the Adams administration was also pushing to advance elements of the mayor’s housing initiatives before June 8, including a measure which would allow the city to convert unused commercial real estate like hotels and office space into permanent affordable housing.

“We have to get out of the mindset that the only way to get an apartment in New York City is to win the lottery either Mega Millions or a housing lottery,” said Assemblyman Kenny Burgos (D-Bronx).

Deputy Mayor Maria Torres Springer cited the ongoing migrant crisis as one of the many problems plaguing housing in NYC.

“In order for us to, continued to be, the type of Beacon and the type of sanctuary for newcomers to our city, we’ve had to provide care to 10s of 1000s of, of migrants,” she told The Post. “Now, that is a system that is starting to really buckle under its weight given the requirements of essentially ensuring that everyone has access to safe and kind of dignified shelter. So we can’t solve it alone.”

Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar (D-Queens) expressed optimism that the state would pull through by June 8, saying “We only have a few session days left. But I know and all the legislators here know that things in Albany can happen overnight when we have the political will.”

Lawmakers are also hoping to update the Empire State’s alcohol laws and the Clean Slate Act which would automatically seal the criminal records for ex-cons after a certain amount of time.