Andrea Stewart-Cousins's Blog

Important Bills Passed This Week: Exempt Vets from Property Taxes, Funding Energy-Efficient Upgrades to Dairy Farms, and More!

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Exempt Certain Veterans From Property Taxes: S4136A will provide a 100% property tax exemption for veterans (or their unmarried surviving spouses) of engagements that certain campaign ribbons and medals have been issued for, and who are designated 100% disabled as a result of military service. Qualifying military decorations will include United States campaign ribbon or service medals, armed forces expeditionary medals, navy expeditionary medals, marine corps expeditionary medals, or global war on terrorism expeditionary medals.

Bill To Offer Funds For Energy Efficient Upgrades To Dairy Farms: Depressed wholesale milk prices are lowering profit margins for small, family farms while energy costs continue to rise. Many dairy farms rely on outdated equipment leaving them unable to take advantage of newer, more efficient technologies. S1081B will provide grants and low-interest loans toward energy efficient upgrades, reducing overhead costs and creating jobs in energy services.

Harsher Penalties For Production Or Possession Of Forged Documents & Forms: Forged documents are often used to commit serious crimes including identity theft and fraud and may be employed by sex offenders, unsafe drivers and undocumented immigrants with violent  criminal records as they seek to avoid prosecution. Fake IDs have also led to increased alcohol related fatalities among minors and played critical roles in a number of terrorist plots. Senate Bill S129, sponsored by Democratic State Senator Jose Peralta, will establish the manufacture and sale of government issued documents and forms as felony crimes.