On December 19th, two Ithaca residents were evicted from their Aurora Street home. For months, the Ithaca Tenants’ Union had fought the eviction effort but finally, the structure’s new owner Habitat for Humanity of Tompkins and Cortland County prevailed. According to the Ithaca Times, Residents Kathy Majors and Jim Lukasavage had lived in the building since 2009. Kathy had an arrangement with her late husband’s two children—who owned the home at the time—to live in the building as long as she paid them monthly. However, according to the Times, no payments were made for more than a decade. The city of Ithaca foreclosed the building and sold it to the Habitat for Humanity in August of 2021. Before the Tompkins County Sheriff evicted the residents, the Ithaca Tenants Union had consistently fought off the organization’s attempt to evict the residents in court, arguing the foreclosure process was “improperly conducted.” According to the Tenants Union “Kathy and her family are safe, but it may be months before they are able to find a new home.”
A bill aimed at reforming New York State’s insurance compensation policies in cases of wrongful death, has stalled on Governor Hochul’s desk. The Grieving Families Act would allow payments to families for “emotional anguish” and expand the compensation eligibility by modernizing the traditional definition of “family members.” Currently claimants are only able to collect the lost earnings of their late family member. Opponents—consisting mainly of insurance, business, and trade associations—argued the reforms would trigger an increase in medical insurance premiums. According to the Times Union, the bill’s sponsor is worried Hochul may veto the bill. She has less than a month to sign or veto the bill.
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