Issues: Credit

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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Senate Gives Final Passage to a Bill That Stops Identity Thieves Who Target Children

The New York State Senate today gave final legislative passage to a bill that protects children from identity thieves who steal information to establish fraudulent financial accounts.

June 17, 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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GALLIVAN INVITES ERIE COUNTY AREA BUSINESS OWNERS AND ENTREPRENEURS TO TAKE PART IN SMALL BUSINESS SUMMIT IN SPRINGVILLE

ERIE COUNTY - New York State Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-Elma), Deputy Republican Conference Leader for Economic Development, announced today that he is partnering with the Springville Area Chamber of Commerce to host a Small Business Summit for business owners, not-for-profits and entrepreneurs in the southern Erie County area.

The seminar will take place on Friday, May 2nd from 8:00 AM to 9:30 AM at Springville Country Club on Cascade Drive in Springville.

The program will feature an update on small business and economic growth initiatives being undertaken by Senator Gallivan in Albany and a presentation by professional business development consultant Frank Swiatek entitled “What Businesses Can Do For Themselves.”

March 2, 2014
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Greek Peak Grand Opening

I was happy to be invited to celebrate the grand re-opening of Greek Peak. Congratulations to new owners John Meier (pictured) and Marc Stemerman on the new amenities at the resort. 

January 9, 2014
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State Senator Peralta Targets 21st Century Gang Crime

With holiday shopping bills coming due, State Senator Jose Peralta is cautioning consumers to keep an eye out for unauthorized or suspicious transactions on their bank and credit card statements and is introducing legislation to help law enforcement crack down on “21st Century” organized crime activity.

 Identity theft and the confiscation of personal information, such as bank PINs, are not "seasonal" crimes, but they occur with greater frequency during periods of increased financial activity—like the Christmas shopping season.

 Gangs are becoming more involved in these and other white-collar crimes, such as bank fraud, credit card fraud, money laundering, counterfeiting and mortgage fraud, according to the FBI's National Gang Intelligence Center, which identifies New York and Florida as the twin epicenters of this troubling new development in organized crime.

“Despite the increasing prominence of these crimes, the law used in New York to prosecute gangs and organized crime organizations does not include a wide variety of cyber and identity crimes,” Senator Peralta said.  “That’s not surprising considering that when the Enterprise Corruption Statute was passed in 1986, pagers were the cutting-edge personal technology of the day and the identity theft law did not even exist.”

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, who worked closely with Senator Peralta in drafting the legislation, said, “Those committing the crimes of identity theft are well-organized enterprises that inflict economic harm on a global scale, often leaving multiple victims and significant financial losses in their wake. My office has utilized the enterprise corruption statute in the past to pursue justice against those committing these crimes and this legislative fix to strengthen the law will allow us to do that more efficiently. I thank Senator Peralta for his leadership in introducing this legislation and for recognizing that the law must keep pace with emerging technology.”

Including crimes such as identity theft in the Enterprise Corruption Statute would also save the state money by eliminating duplicative legal proceedings, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of dollars per case.

When a defendant is charged with the crime of enterprise corruption by committing larceny through identity theft, for example, current law requires the defendant be indicted twice for the same underlying actions—one indictment for enterprise corruption and larceny and a second indictment for the identity theft charges.

In turn, a defendant must also be arraigned twice, have bail set twice and have two sets of motions.  In the end, a defendant is tried for the same conduct not once, but twice.

In addition to being needlessly costly to the state, the current law is inequitable to defendants, who also face duplicative costs stemming from needing to pay two retainers to defense counsel.

Here’s a small sampling of high-profile cases of new-age organized crime activity: U.S. Says Ring Stole 160 Million Credit Card Numbers; an identity theft ring spearheaded by the Crips, Bloods and a Brooklyn-based gang called the Outlaws stole more than $2 million from New York charities;  a cyber-theft of 10 million credit and debit card records was attributed to a New York City based street gang with ties to Central America; a Romanian man with ties to organized crime was charged with stealing at least $1.5 million by installing "skimmer" devices at ATM machines across New York City and Long Island.

“The bill would bring the law into the 21st Century,” Senator Peralta said.  “And it would make it easier for police and prosecutors to go after gangs and organized crime syndicates, in addition to saving the state money.”

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December 10, 2013
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Senator David Valesky Welcomes DFS Mobile Command Center to CNY

Department of Financial Services' Assistance Available for Homeowners during Mobile Command Center Visits to Syracuse on Thursday and Liverpool on Friday

State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) today announced that the Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) Mobile Command Center (MCC) will be in Central New York this week to help provide foreclosure prevention assistance to struggling homeowners.

Department representatives will be available to meet homeowners in the MCC at two locations:

November 21, 2013
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Griffo/Magee Bill A Win For Communities...And Their Banks

Community banks can now accept millions more in state deposits - and make additional funds available for local loans - after a bill sponsored by Sen. Joseph A. Griffo and Assemblyman William Magee was signed into law Thursday.The bill (S.2494/A.3236) permits the state comptroller and state Taxation & Finance commissioner to deposit up to $20 million in state funds at each community bank. The previous limit was $10 million.

November 19, 2013
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Legislative Update

I spoke with Cypress Hills Local Development Corp. Homeownership Director, Lisa Maldonado for this week's Legislative Update.

March 22, 2013
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Department of Financial Services to Speek Resolution of Insurance Claims in Areas Affected by SANDY

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.

February 27, 2013
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Governor Cuomo Outlines 2013-2014 Executive Budget to Maintain Fiscal Responsibility and Continue to Invest in Economic Growth

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.

January 23, 2013
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September 2012 Newsletter - Identity Theft

Please click the file below to view the Identity Theft newsletter.

File: 
Identity Theft

January 22, 2013
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August 2012 Newsletter - Credit Cards & College Students

Please click the file below to view the Credit Cards & College Students newsletter. 

File: 
Credit Cards & College Students

October 17, 2012
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Statement by Senate Finance Chairman John A. DeFrancisco - - On Standard and Poor's Upgrade of New York's Credit Outlook

The announcement on August 27, 2012, that the rating agency Standard and Poor has upgraded New York State's credit outlook is a positive development for our state and for hard-working, middle-class taxpayers.

Although there is more work to be done, New York is on the right track since the Senate Republicans regained leadership of the Senate nearly two years ago. Under the Senate Democrats' leadership, $14 billion dollars in new taxes and fees were approved at a time when our state was in a financial crisis.

August 28, 2012
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Foreclosure Prevention Program to Offer Help to Bedford-Stuyvesant Homeowners; Mobile Command Center to Visit Community on July 14

Foreclosure Prevention Assistance Available to Homeowners at Department of Financial Services' Mobile Command Center During Family Health & Resource Day in Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, July 14, 2012.

The Department of Financial Services, in partnership with Neighborhood Housing Services of Bedford-Stuyvesant, is reaching out to offer help to Bedford-Stuyvesant area homeowners in Brooklyn struggling to save their homes from foreclosure.

July 12, 2012
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Senate Passes Bill Making Theft of Credit and Debit Card Numbers a Crime

The New York State Senate today passed a bill (S.1411), sponsored by Senator Steve Saland, that makes the theft of credit and debit card numbers a crime. Current law states that the theft of the card itself is a crime and this legislation expands the law to include the theft of the numbers. Someone who steals credit or debit card numbers with the intent to use them would face felony charges.

May 30, 2012
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