In almost as fast as the amendment to last years state budget which provided for a community review process and approval by the New York State Health commissioner of any new medical center in the Bronx higher than 3 stories or larger than 30,000 square feet has been repealed in this years state budget.
State Senator Gustavo Rivera announced that the Health and Mental Hygiene budget bill (S.2007-B/A. 3007-B), which passed with 60 to 1 vote, contained a provision to repeal state law that would require potential health facilities projects in Bronx County to undergo a public forum process to authorize its construction. The portion of the law that was repealed was passed as part of the 2014-2015 budget in an effort to obstruct the development of a Montefiore facility in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.
"I am very pleased to announce that after a year of speaking with members of our community, health institutions, and my colleagues in the Senate and Assembly about the potential impact hindering the construction of new healthcare facilities in the Bronx could have on the quality of care our residents receive, we were able to repeal this unnecessary law," said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. "While I strongly believe community input should be a key part of any development project, the provision added in last year's budget had the potential to needlessly delay or prevent the construction of new healthcare facilities in our borough. As the county that continuously ranks last in health in New York State, Bronx residents could not afford to have yet another obstacle standing in the way of the healthcare they need."
The lone vote against repeal in the State Senate was by Senator Kevin Parker of Brooklyn. The assembly vote was 137 - 18. Both State Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz voted to repeal the law they had gotten passed only one year ago. Simone Developers have recently announced a 14 story luxury 48 unit 1 - 2 bedroom building for the former medical center site. Mr. Joe Simone owner of Simone Developers was unavailable for any comment.