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Testimony of the New York Civil Liberties Union before THE NEW YORK STATE SENATE and THE NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY regarding The Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Minority Communities

May 18, 2020

The New York Civil Liberties Union submitted written testimony to the New York State Senate and New York State Assembly regarding the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on minority communities in New York, and solutions to mitigate that impact.Racial disparities apparent in the tragic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic are not novel or isolated or uniquely occurring phenomena. They are concrete evidence of the racism in our systems and institutions – and they stand for the hard truth that rampant systemic racism is a killer. While there are remedial actions government officials can take immediately, many of the longer-term systemic changes that must be undertaken to protect New Yorkers of color are already pending legislative action, some just waiting for a vote. Civil rights are human rights; civil rights preserve human lives and livelihoods. And in the glaring light of this pandemic, we see more clearly that many New Yorkers are unable to access or exercise the rights and liberties that translate into the ability to live a full life – a divergence that all too often erupts along racial lines.

Federal Actions to Address Marine Plastic Pollution: Reducing or Preventing Marine Plastic Pollution Through Source Controls and Life-cycle Management

January 14, 2019

Global plastics pollution is on the rise. Despite efforts by the federal, state, and local governments to addressaspects of this issue, the problem remains significant. Not only does plastic pollution raise environmental andpublic health concerns, but it has serious economic impacts as well: plastic pollution impacts our food supplyand the tourism industry along America's over 12,000 miles of coastline.In 2015, through a bipartisan effort, Congress successfully passed legislation regulating plastic microbeads—the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015—recognizing the significant harms they pose to the environment andto wildlife. By the time federal legislation was passed, cities and states, including California, New York, andIllinois, had already taken action on banning plastic microbeads, creating a hodgepodge of regulation andprompting federal action. The tourism, fishing, and cosmetics industries had expressed support for state andlocal bans and, in some cases, had already instituted private efforts to eliminate the use of plastic microbeads.The Microbead-Free Waters Act was a strong federal solution that stabilized conditions for manufacturers,protected industry, and prevented further environmental harms from microbeads. Moreover, as the first country to ban plastic microbeads, the Act established the United States as a global leader in reducing plastic pollution.

Testimony of Lauren Nolan to City of Chicago Committee on License and Consumer Protection on Cashless Proposal

December 15, 2017

Testimony of Lauren Nolan before the Committee on License and Consumer Protection regarding the proposed ordinance under consideration that would prohibit licensees from refusing to accept cash as payment for goods or services.

Testimony of Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins to Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation on Currency Exchange Rates

September 15, 2017

Testimony of Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins opposing a proposal to increase the rates that may be charged y currency exchanges for check cashing.

Testimony of Brent Adams to Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation on Currency Exchange Rates

September 14, 2017

Testimony of Brent Adams to Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation on Currency Exchange Rates

Dory Rand to the Director of the Division of Financial Institutions, Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

June 6, 2017

Testimony of Dory Rand to the Director of the Division of Financial Institutions, Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, urging the state of Illinois not to increase the maximum rates taht may be charged by Illinois currency exchanges for any check cashing services.

Testimony of Brent E. Adams before the Senate Insurance Committee, Subject-Matter Hearing

May 5, 2016

Testimony of Brent Adams before the Senate Insurance Committee. In this testimony Adams discussed banning the use of credit scoring in establishing auto insurance rates.

Testimony of Spencer Cowan at the financial institutions hearing on predatory lending and small businesses

January 25, 2016

Testimony of Spencer Cowan before the Senate Financial Institutions Committee. In this testimony Cowan discussed the lack of access to capital for many small businesses in Illinois and the prevalence of online-predatory lenders.

Testimony of Katie Buitrago before the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Field Hearing on Student Loans

July 15, 2015

Testimony of Katie Buitrago before the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Field Hearing on Student Loans. In this testimony Buitrago discussed the impact for-profit colleges have on students' economic opportunities, with these students graduating with more debt and fewer job opportunities.

Early Social-Emotional Functioning and Public Health: The Relationship Between Kindergarten Social Competence and Future Wellness

July 11, 2015

A new 20-year study shows a link between children's social skills in kindergarten and their well-being in early adulthood.Researchers from Pennsylvania State and Duke Universities analyzed what happened to nearly 800 kindergarteners from four locations after their teachers measured their social competency skills in 1991. The children were evaluated on a range of social behaviors, such as whether they resolve peer problems, listen to others, share materials, cooperate, and are helpful. Each student then received a composite score representing his or her overall level of positive social skills/behavior, on a scale from ("not at all") to 4 ("very well"). The research team monitored these students and the positive and negative milestones each obtained until they turned 25.Using a variety of data sources, including official records; reports from parents; and self-reporting by the participants, researchers recorded whether the students obtained high school diplomas, college degrees, and full-time jobs. They also kept track of whether students developed a criminal record or substance abuse problems, among other negative outcomes.

Comments: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs)

June 15, 2015

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) modernizes the federal framework that guides America's public workforce system and increases the system's accountability in supporting the employment needs and interests of adults and youth facing barriers to employment. We strongly support this vision of WIOA and look forward to working with the Departments of Labor, Education as well as other federal agencies responsible for administration of partner programs to support the successful implementation of the law. The NPRMs released by the Departments in April 2015 are a critical step towards achieving this vision. Our comments reflect input from our coalition members in nearly every state in the nation and a range of stakeholders including workforce and human services practitioners, anti-poverty organizations, researchers, and others. Throughout our comments we note areas where we believe the draft rules are consistent with the intent of the law, as well as areas where we believe additional regulatory clarification or guidance may be needed and/or where we believe further consideration is warranted by federal agencies as WIOA is implemented to ensure that adults and youth facing barriers to employment are served well.

The Affordable Care Act at Five Years

March 19, 2015

Thank you, Chairman Hatch, Senator Wyden, and members of the Committee, for this invitation to testify on the Affordable Care Act at five years. Research from The Commonwealth Fund and other sources demonstrate that the Affordable Care Act is helping to reduce the number of Americans who are uninsured and improving access to health care.Currently, more than 25 million people are estimated to have health insurance under the provisions of the ACA. About 11.7 million have selected a plan through the insurance marketplaces―8.8 million through the federal website healthcare.gov and 2.8 million through state-based marketplaces. An additional 10.8 million have enrolled in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. Finally, nearly 3 million more young adults are covered under their parent's plan compared to 2010.As a result, the number of uninsured adults has fallen. This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that 16.4 million previously uninsured people had gained coverage since the law passed in 2010. Similar gains in coverage have been documented in a number of government and private-sector surveys. Furthermore, groups that historically have been most likely to lack insurance—young men and women, and adults with low or moderate incomes—have experienced among the greatest gains in coverage. These gains have occurred across racial and ethnic groups.