Senator Dilan has stressed the importance of our educational system in the City and State for more than 30 years. In Albany he has consistently pushed for adequate resources so that our children can reach their full potential. His vote helped establish New York’s tuition-free college program. He is also critical of untested teacher evaluation methods. Senator Dilan was proud to secure a $20 million grant for the construction of Cypress Hills Community School that opened in 2010.
“Tying teacher evaluations to education funding was a capitulation last year; one that many of us rightly derided and warned of the outcome. As expected, the consequence of mandating untested standards on our schools as a condition of their funding, has proved flawed. What’s worse, is that this political experiment stands to negatively impact more than 80 percent of the school districts and students we are obligated to help.”
Criminal Justice reforms | Public Protection
Senator Dilan supports closing Riker’s Island. However, without an overhaul of the criminal justice system, he fears the closure will be little more than lip service. Riker’s is a jail, the criminal justice system is the issue. It’s why the Senator has supported raising the age of criminal liability, and remains committed to ending cash bail, guaranteeing speedy trial, and automatic discovery before a plea deal is made. Senator Dilan doesn’t accept commitments. Commitments were made to roll back marijuana arrests. They have increased, and 90 percent of them are people of color. Commitments were made to end stop and frisk. The numbers have declined city-wide. Last year, they increased in Bushwick, 80 percent of those were people of color.
Senator Dilan doesn’t want a Brooklyn Community Jail. Instead, boroughs need community correctional centers that expedite trial and sentencing, reduce recidivism, and provide people the necessary support they need before, during and after their time in the system. Senator Dilan believes communities should decide how justice serves our friends, family, and neighbors.
Senator Dilan has supported the legalization of marijuana for a decade. He was the second Senate Democrat to support regulation and taxation. The Senator opposes Laree’s Law, as it looks to imprison addicts in efforts to combat the heroin epidemic. Distributors should be the focus.
"No one supports separating children from families and shipping them on to their separate ways to detention facilities dotting the nation. If they do, that level of callousness has nothing to do with policy; that is hatred and intent and has little to do with the law of the land,” said State Senator Martin Malavé Dilan, Chair of the NYS Senate Latino Caucus.
Smart Growth | Transit
As Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, Senator Dilan developed complete streets policy. This legislation allows for the inclusion of smart growth principles and requires the consideration of all users, from automobiles, pedestrians and bicyclists, in the design and planning of our roads and bridges. Throughout his tenure, he has been a strong advocate for transit across New York State. He maintains close contact with transit advocates and the MTA as the 2019 reconstruction and closure of the Canarsie Tunnel that carries the L Line between Brooklyn and Manhattan. He has worked to ensure the public remained informed before, during and after the 18-month project. He has also worked to develop a variety of transit alternatives and necessary work to make the closure as painless as possible. Senator Dilan has long been an advocate and champion of increased transit funding, which saw record investments in the 2017-18 state budget.
In 2009, Senator Dilan was the prime negotiator and sponsor of Leandra’s Law requiring the installation of vehicle ignition interlock devices for convicted DWI offenders. It also strengthened penalties for those who drive drunk with child passengers. It was a bipartisan effort that has made our roads safer and saved lives.
Senator Dilan supported and advocated for the state ban on hydrofracking. His environmental record is extensive, and routinely earns the highest marks from environmental advocates. The Senator was party to the ExxonMobil lawsuit that helped create the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund as the result of the settlement.
He sponsors and supports many green energy and green-material measures to spur greentech in New York and limit exposure to harmful contaminants. He also sponsors legislation to incentivize the purchase of electric vehicles, as well as greater protections and investments in drinking water infrastructure.
Senator Dilan is an outspoken critic of granting developers long-term tax breaks to develop affordable housing. Having supported these tax programs more than a decade ago, Senator Dilan has taken issue with the lack of enforcement holding developers to these agreements. He has also been critical of their so-called affordability as taxpayer-funded affordable units are rented well above the means of average, to low-income, residents of the district. He has not supported recent amendments to these programs as these issues remain unaddressed. He has recently asked for clarification from City and State housing officials on housing enforcement policies as a greater number of constituents have been unable to remedy housing issues.
Discussions to resolve these issues include the possibility of registering landlords, developers, and owners who accept tax abatements to develop affordable housing. This funding source would become unavailable to bad actors who violate rent stabilization laws.
As much as Senator Dilan has done for the construction and preservation of affordable housing, he has sought tougher penalties for landlords who violate these laws. This effort includes a first-of-its-kind felony offense for intentionally sabotaging rent-regulated units to force tenants out. Guilty parties could see jail time.
Senator Dilan also sponsored legislation that protected loft tenants. Signed by the Governor, the "Loft Law" ensures that residential lofts comply with housing standards for health, maintenance, fire prevention and safety. In 2018, he sponsored a clean up of the bill in partnership with tenants. An agreement between loft tenants and owners is currently in the works.
Senator Dilan supports Medicaid for all and sees it as the only viable path forward for quality healthcare and access to it. In 2007, Senator Dilan voted to overturn Governor Spitzer’s veto of legislation relating to complications with the newly initiated Part D prescription plan for Medicare. If this legislation was not enacted, 600,000 senior and disabled New Yorkers may have faced the unconscionable reality of living without prescription drugs. This measure was critical as it provided coverage to those in need during a period of transition. In 2018, Senator Dilan sponsored the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Bill giving greater protections and stronger representation for more than 150,000 older New Yorkers and those living with disabilities, live in nursing homes, assisted living, and other licensed adult care homes throughout the city and state. The bill passed the legislature and is awaiting the signature of the Governor.
Senator Dilan supports a woman's choice. He has supported and advocated for measures to guarantee access to abortion under the State Constitution.
Opiate abuse is a public health crisis. Diseases associated with intravenous drug use are increasing throughout the nation. The Senator believes that the sooner we have access to users, the better the chance we have to treat addiction and associated ailments. To this end, he supports safe use sites.
In 2010, Senator Dilan supported important legislation for workers throughout New York. The Wage Theft Protection Act initiated greater protections for New York workers from employers who misclassify, underpay and ignore other labor laws for their own gain. This practice of exploitation has rippling effects throughout our economy and our society.
“The Janus case was always about the wealth, power, and protections of working Americans. It was never about whether you must pay union dues. It was a special interest backed tool to pry bargaining power from the hands of hard working Americans. The Supreme Court rolled over and obliged. Some were more than happy to push aside 40 years of these protections, and one of the last and greatest obstacles to an extremist conservatism sweeping away the working class.”