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.
$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.
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.
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced her bill that would improve motorcycle safety by adding motorcycle awareness training to the DMV’s mandatory, pre-licensing courses has passed unanimously the Senate.
“Today, more and more people are using motorcycles to get around, and that means that all drivers need to be more aware of how to safely share the road” said State Senator Patty Ritchie.
“By adding this training to the DMV’s pre-licensing courses, we can help ensure that new drivers are given the information they need—right from the start—to be more cognizant of motorcycles when they are out on the road.”
The NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) is setting new rules to speed the processing of insurance claims in areas affected by Storm Sandy. The new regulation reduces the amount of time an insurer can delay its decision on a claim, and requires insurers to report to the Department on how many claims it is delaying and the reasons for the delays.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled the proposed 2013-14Executive Budget and Management Plan that builds on two years of balanced, fiscally responsible budgeting and invests in economic development, education reform, rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy, provides support to local governments and school districts, and includes no new taxes or fees.
Highlights of the Executive Budget:
· Eliminates $1.3 billion budget gap with no new taxes or fees. The expected gap for 2013-14 was projected to be $17.4 billion prior to the last two responsible budgets.
· Holds spending increases below 2 percent for third consecutive year.
ONEONTA, 12/17/12 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today commented on the Thruway Authority’s announcement terminating plans to raise tolls on commercial vehicles:
“When the Thruway Authority floated a proposal to hike tolls on trucks and other commercial vehicles I was among a loud chorus of elected officials, business leaders and concerned citizens denouncing the plot.
“Abandoning this ill-conceived toll hike plan is the right thing to do. The Thruway Authority, like the rest of state government, needs to focus on cost saving measures to right the fiscal ship, instead of simply hiking the cost of doing business in New York.
When the Thruway Authority proposed a plan for a 45 percent toll increase on trucks and other commercial vehicles earlier this year, I immediately expressed my opinion that it was unacceptable and advocated against the increase.
I am very pleased with the decision today that this ill-conceived toll hike plan has now been reversed.
The Thruway Authority's proposed toll increase would have had a terrible impact on countless businesses across New York state, hurting job creation and adding new costs for consumers.
I commend Governor Cuomo for taking action to prevent a 45 percent toll hike on trucks that use the New York State Thruway. This massive proposed increase, which was opposed by Senate Republicans, would have negatively impacted small businesses throughout New York and hurt our efforts to grow the economy.
If we are going to continue the progress we’ve made over the last two years, we’ll need to do it without raising taxes and fees, or increasing the cost of doing business. This is great news for businesses and taxpayers.
“I am very pleased that the New York State Thruway Authority is abandoning its proposed 45 percent commercial toll increase and will instead be considering a cost savings plan that includes no toll hike.
Earlier today, the New York State Thruway Authority pulled a plan which would have increased tolls on the Thruway 45% for commercial trucks. I would like to thank everyone who signed my on-petition to call on the NYS Thruway Authority NOT to increase tolls. Your voices have been heard by the Authority and our Governor. Also, I would like to thank the folks at Klein Steel, Inc. for their support and hosting a press conference in August that discussed the negative impact a toll hike would have on jobs, the working class, and small businesses in our community. Finally, thanks to Steve Wadhams of Wadhams Enterprises. This time the loud voice of people served democracy well.
Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. is calling on the New York State Thruway Authority Board to reject a proposed 45 percent increase in commercial tolls.
“The New York State Thruway Authority’s proposed 45 percent increase in tolls is ill-timed, insensitive, and shows that they are completely out of touch with the challenges facing New York. The proposed increase should be rejected immediately,” said Senator Fuschillo (R-Merrick).
Senator Fuschillo, Chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee, stated that the Thruway Authority's proposed increased would have a devastating impact on New Yorkers and called on the Thruway Board to reject any idea of toll increases.
Renews Call To Separate Canal System From Thruway Authority
As New York State Thruway Authority officials postponed a scheduled meeting for the second time in five days that may have included a vote to approve a 45 percent increase on three-axel vehicles, Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R,C,I – Elma), chairman of the Senate’s Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business Committee, urged the Thruway Authority Board to explore other options to avoid a toll increase and consider his proposal to separate the State’s Canal System from the Thruway Authority.
I, like much of the public, was shocked when the Thruway Authority proposed a 45% increase in commercial tolls. This toll hike will have detrimental ramifications on all New Yorkers.
This increase, which is set to take effect in October, will hit the trucking industry at the heart of their business. According to the NYS Motor Truck Association, nearly 90 percent of New York communities depend exclusively on trucks to move their goods and over 87 percent of all manufactured goods are transported by trucks. New York’s trucks are responsible for transporting over 1.4 million tons of manufactured material here each day, while providing one in 25 jobs in the state. Without trucks, no person, home or business could survive.
Reform Would Save Thruway Authority Millions Annually, Help Prevent Toll Hike
Chairman of the Senate’s Commerce, Economic Development, and Small Business Committee, Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R - Elma), joined with Senator Mark Grisanti (R - Buffalo) and Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak (D - Cheektowaga) this afternoon at Canalside, the historical terminus of the Erie Canal, on Buffalo’s waterfront to announce formal legislation to sever the New York State canal system from the New York State Thruway Authority.
The announcement comes as the Thruway Authority is considering a plan to raise tolls on three-axle vehicles by 45 percent.
- New York State Thruway Authority Mulling 45 Percent Toll Hike For Commercial Trucks –
Rochester, NY – This morning, New York State Senator Joe Robach (R-I-C, Monroe County), and John Batiste, President and CEO of Klein Steel Service, Inc. in Rochester, joined other local small business owners and business organizations to highlight the negative effects the proposed toll hikes would have for commercial trucks on the New York State Thruway.
The New York State Thruway Authority has proposed a 45 percent toll increase for commercial trucks on the Thruway. According to the Thruway Authority, this increase, if enacted, would be implemented by October.
With regional equity concerns still unaddressed, Kennedy urges the Thruway Authority to reverse course on toll hike
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Senator Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, voiced his opposition to the toll hike proposed by NYS Thruway Authority at their public hearing Thursday at the Downtown Central Library. In outlining his opposition, Kennedy detailed ongoing regional inequities and funding disparities that Western New York has suffered in recent years.
Chairman of the Senate's Commerce, Economic Development, and Small Business Committee, Senator Patrick M. Gallivan, formally requested that the New York State Thruway Authority consider cost saving measures before anything as drastic as a 45 percent toll hike on three-axled vehicles is considered.
In the letter to Thruway Authority Chairman, Howard Milstein, Senator Gallivan said that any such toll hike would have a serious impact on the western New York economy, area farms, and consumers.