Issues: EPIC (Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage Program)

Legislative Notebook: State Initiatives of Interest to Veterans

Here is a partial listing of bills I have supported this session to aid New York’s former servicemen and servicewomen. These initiatives will now go to Governor Cuomo for final action.

-- Legislation I co-sponsored was passed by both houses (S.7839, first introduced as S.4714)) to extend the Military Service Credit Law of 2000 to all veterans who have served in the military. Right now, public employees who served in the armed forces may purchase up to three years of pension credit only if their military service occurred during specified conflicts. This measure will expand this opportunity to public employee veterans who also served their country in peacetime.

June 26, 2014
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SENATOR MARTINS: MORE SENIORS ELIGIBLE FOR PRESCRIPTION DRUG SAVINGS UNDER NEW EPIC INCOME LIMITS

     Senator Jack M. Martins (R-7th Senate District) announced that New York State has expanded the income thresholds for its Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program to allow more seniors to qualify for prescription drug savings. 

     EPIC’s income eligibility thresholds have been raised from $35,000 to $75,000 for single seniors and from $50,000 to $100,000 for married seniors. Senator Martins supported the program expansion as part of this year’s state budget. 

May 5, 2014
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EPIC Coverage Income Eligibility Expanded in 2014-2015 New York State Budget

I have heard from hundreds of senior citizens and families about the importance of the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage Program (EPIC), and the impact it has on their daily lives. EPIC is a New York State program that helps more than 270,000 income-eligible seniors aged 65 and older to supplement their out-of-pocket Medicare Part D drug plan costs. As your State Senator, I understand how difficult it is for individuals living on a fixed income to keep up with the high cost of the prescription drugs they need.

April 30, 2014
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NY Budget gives more seniors break on prescription drug costs

By Teri Weaver on March 29, 2014 at 3:22 PM, updated March 29, 2014 at 3:29 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- About 25,000 more seniors will receive help paying for prescription drugs under the final 2014-15 New York state budget, according to Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida.

The final budget deal -- struck by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders late Friday -- raises the income levels allowed to qualify for Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage.

The budget would raise the eligibility thresholds from $35,000 to $75,000 for singles and from $50,000 to $100,000 for married couples. The new thresholds also excludes social security income from the income calculations.

April 17, 2014
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Senator Valesky, IDC Release Senior Affordability Report

(Albany, NY – March 2014) State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida), Chair of the Senate Aging Committee, along with his colleagues in the Independent Democratic Conference, released a report in support of the conference’s proposals making New York State more affordable for senior citizens. Each of these proposals were addressed in the Senate one-house budget resolution.

April 17, 2014
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CAPITOL PRESSROOM

March 20, 2014: Sen. Valesky, Asm. Moya, Dr. Rick Timbs and Dr. Lori Caplan, James Tallon

by ALYSSA PLOCK

March 20, 2014

Syracuse area Democrat and IDC member David Valesky discusses his conference’s “Affordable New York Agenda” as well as the Governor’s tweaked property tax freeze.

Assemblyman Francisco Moya was outraged by the failure of the DREAM Act vote in the State Senate this week. Is there a future for the legislation within the state budget?

April 17, 2014
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IDC Dems Set Senior Issues as a Top Priority

Updated: 03/19/2014 6:18 PM, Created: 03/19/2014 4:55 PM WNYT.com

By: Bill Lambdin

ALBANY - Members of AARP turned out at the State Capitol Wednesday to put a human face on the IDC budget proposals.

The measures have passed the State Senate, which puts them near the top of the pile of items being bartered behind closed doors as budget items are negotiated.

April 17, 2014
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Senator Kennedy Announces Expansion of Prescription Drug Coverage Program for WNY Seniors

With first expansion of the EPIC program since 2001, as many as 3,000 seniors in Cheektowaga may now be eligible.

Seniors with incomes under $75,000 if single and $100,000 for married couples now meet EPIC’s income eligibility requirements.

April 11, 2014
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CRITICAL SUPPORT FOR SENIORS INCLUDED IN NEW STATE SPENDING PLAN

Budget Raises Income Eligibility for EPIC program for the First Time Since 2001

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced the new State Budget includes increased support for seniors struggling to afford life-saving prescription medications.

Included in the new spending plan is an expansion of the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage Program—commonly known as EPIC—which helps seniors supplement their out-of-pocket Medicare Part D drug plan costs. Approximately $4.1 million in increased funding will be used to help expand the program by 10 percent—providing coverage to an additional 25,000 elderly individuals across the state.

April 3, 2014
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Senator Dilan Announces Passage of 2014 – 2015 State Budget

$138 billion spending plan funds citywide Pre-K, increases to TAP and higher-ed opportunity programs.Senator Martin Malavé Dilan (D-Bushwick) announced the passage of  a $138 billion budget that includes $300 million for universal Pre Kindergarten programs in New York City, new government reforms and increased funding to social programs.“This year’s budget has made great strides to meet new, and greater demands while continuing to offset the gaps left by previous year’s cuts. I commend Governor Cuomo and my Senate Colleagues for delivering a responsible spending plan that spends smart, invests in our students, and offers some much-needed relief for our working families,” said Senator Dilan.  

April 1, 2014
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SENATOR VALESKY HAILS PASSAGE OF FOURTH CONSECUTIVE ON-TIME STATE BUDGET

ALBANY, NY—State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) today lauded the passage of the state’s fourth and historic consecutive on-time budget. This has not been accomplished with the same Governor and legislative leaders in more than 40 years.

April 1, 2014
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4th CONSECUTIVE ON-TIME BALANCED STATE BUDGET PASSED

March 31, 2014

For Immediate Release

Contact: Kara Cumoletti (518) 455-3570 

cumolett@nysenate.gov

 

4th CONSECUTIVE ON-TIME BALANCED STATE BUDGET PASSED

ALBANY—Senator Lee Zeldin (R,C,I—Shirley) today commented on the passage of the 4th consecutive on-time balanced budget, noting the inclusion of several key initiatives for which he championed.

March 31, 2014
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SENATOR VALESKY ANNOUNCES EXPANSION OF SENIOR PRESCRIPTION DRUG PROGRAM IN FINAL NYS BUDGET

ALBANY, NY—State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida), Chair of the Senate Aging Committee, announced the state budget will expand the successful Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) Program to include more than 25,000 more seniors in New York State. Prescription drug rates have increased twice the rate of inflation, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, disproportionately affecting senior citizens, many of whom live on fixed incomes.

"Prescription drugs are one of the most expensive components of health care for seniors," Senator Valesky said. "With the cost of prescription drugs increasing significantly, it is important to expand the EPIC program to provide a safety net for more older New Yorkers."

March 29, 2014
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Your Voice with Senator Griffo

Senator Griffo discusses the Senate's budget resolution, and his priorities for tax relief, mandate relief, education, agriculture, health care and infrastructure. Hosted by Julia Lilkendey.

March 25, 2014
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SENATOR VALESKY, IDC RELEASE SENIOR AFFORDABILITY REPORT

State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida), Chair of the Senate Aging Committee,  along with his colleagues in the Independent Democratic Conference, released a report in support of the conference’s proposals making New York State more affordable for senior citizens. Each of these proposals were addressed in the Senate one-house budget resolution.

March 19, 2014
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SENATE BUDGET EXPANDS PRESCRIPTION DRUG PROGRAM FOR SENIORS

Protects EPIC Program That Nearly 10,000 Central and Northern New Yorkers Depend On

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced that the Senate’s budget proposal includes an expansion to a program designed to provide relief to low-income seniors struggling with cost of life-saving prescription drugs. 

Included in the spending plan is $2 million to increase the income limits for the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage program, commonly known as EPIC.  Income limits for EPIC—which helps seniors supplement their out-of-pocket Medicare Part D drug plan costs—have not been changed since 2001.

“For seniors, skyrocketing prescription drug costs are a major concern, as many individuals find it hard to afford the medications they need to stay healthy” said Senator Ritchie. 

March 19, 2014
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Valesky to chair NY Senate Aging Committee

By Teri Weaver | tweaver@syracuse.com

on February 27, 2014 at 5:04 PM, updated February 27, 2014 at 5:56 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida, was named chair of the New York State Senate Aging Committee today.

Valesky previously chaired the committee in 2011 and 2012.

New York state ranks third in the nation in the number of resident older adults, according to a news release from Valesky's office. In 2010, there were about 3.7 million New Yorkers over the age of 60. That number is predicted to grow to 4.1 million by 2015 and 5.4 million in 2030--an increase of nearly 32 percent, according to information provided by Valesky.

March 7, 2014
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Senator Valesky Named Chair of Senate Aging Committee

ALBANY, N.Y.—State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) was named Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee today, a post he previously held from 2011-12.

“I am pleased to resume chairmanship of the Aging Committee and look forward to taking the lead on policy issues that are important to seniors and their families,” Senator Valesky said. “With Baby Boomers entering retirement age, aging issues are among the state’s most important.”

New York State ranks third in the nation in the number of resident older adults. In 2010, there were approximately 3.7 million New Yorkers over the age of 60. That number is predicted to grow to 4.1 million by 2015 and 5.4 million in 2030—an increase of nearly 32 percent.

February 27, 2014
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Sen. David Valesky calls roll out of Common Core 'seriously flawed'

By Teri Weaver | tweaver@syracuse.com

February 07, 2014 at 2:17 PM, updated February 07, 2014 at 2:21 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida, added to calls this week from Albany lawmakers to place a moratorium on Common Core, the controversial new testing standards in elementary and secondary schools.

"While I support the Common Core standards, I believe the rollout of those standards has been seriously flawed," Valesky said today in response to a question from a reader on www.syracuse.com. "As such, I support the call from legislative leaders in both houses to consider a moratorium on the use of testing results until the process can be improved."

February 10, 2014
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The Brooklyn Paper : Whose streets? Our streets! Bushwick pol wants Brooklyn to rule its own roads

By Megan Riesz

The Brooklyn Paper

Brooklyn, not Albany, knows best what should happen on Brooklyn streets.

That is the thinking behind a bill sponsored by state Sen. Martin Malave Dilan (D—Bushwick) that would allow the Council to reduce the speed limit on residential streets citywide to 20 miles per hour without state approval.

“It will save lives,” Dilan said. “I am excited.”

February 3, 2014
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