Albany, NY— Independent Democratic Conference Leader State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) and State Senator Diane Savino (D-Staten Island/Brooklyn) announced Tuesday that the State Senate passed two critical pieces of legislation they sponsor aimed at predatory subprime auto lending in New York.
Senator Klein’s bill (S.5485A) increases required surety bonds used car dealerships must hold as a consumer protection from $10,000 to $100,000 if the used car dealership sells more than 50 cars annually. Smaller used car dealers can take out $20,000 bonds if they sell fewer than 50 vehicles a year.
State Senator Jeff Klein along with Senator Diane Savino and the Senate Banks Committee examine the sub-prime auto loan and auto title loan industry at a hearing on Wednesday to determine possible legislative and/or regulatory solutions. The Committee spoke with experts to determine how to best protect consumers from harmful business practices without impeding on financing options for low-income individuals.
In honor of the countless contributions that African-Americans have made to our country, State Senator Gustavo Rivera, the Montefiore Health System, Health First and the Claremont Community Center will host a Black History Month Celebration on Saturday, February 7th from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM.
"Chanukah is the celebration of miracles, a reminder that all things are possible," Senator Parker said. "As you celebrate the spirit of Chanukah with friends and family, I wish you health, happiness and good fortune." The holiday celebrates a legendary victory of the Maccabees, a band of Jews, over a Greek army that occupied the Holy Land. After the battle, the victorious Maccabees found only a one day supply of oil in the temple to light the lamps. But the oil burned miraculously for eight days, the story says.
Brooklyn – State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) today is renewing calls for New York State to adopt smart chip technology for debit and credit cards, in the wake of the possible security breach being investigated by Home Depot. Media reports indicate that Home Depot is looking into unusual activity related to credit and debit cards of store customers and are working with law enforcement and bank officials.
Senator Marty Golden stated, “Today, I renew my efforts to mandate smart chip technology here in New York State. There is no reason to delay this upgrade on our credit and debit cards, and as each day passes, we see a greater urgency to put better protections in place to prevent financial identity theft.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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:
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.
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.