Issues: Constituents Corner

Budget Update From State Senator David J. Valesky

The New York State Legislature has completed passage of an on-time budget for the second year in a row. Though it was another challenging budget, requiring the closure of a $3.5 billion deficit, we were able to balance the budget without tax increases or fiscal gimmickry. In addition, overall spending was reduced for the second straight year, the frist time this has happened in at least three decades. 

Some highlights include:

March 30, 2012
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Judge set to hear suit on extra Senate seat

The Queens Campaigner reports on the lawsuit filed by citizens and state Senator Martin Dilan, which disputes the addition of a 63rd state Senate seat. Senator Gianaris is optimisitc that the lawsuit will succeed and that we will have one more chance at fair and transparent district lines.

Queens politicians expect a lawsuit challenging the creation of a 63rd state Senate seat to be decided next month, and state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) will then decide in which district she will run.

The suit was filed in January by a group of citizens and state Sen. Martin Dilan (D-Brooklyn), and if State Supreme Court Judge Richard Braun rules next month that creating an extra seat violates the state Constitution, then the lines might have to be redrawn.

March 30, 2012
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Greek Community Celebrates 191 Years Of Freedom

The Queens Gazette wrote an article about the 74th annual Greek Independence Day Parade. Senator Gianaris attended the event and was happy to see colleagues and community members participate in the celebration.

On March 25, the Greek Independence Day Parade was held along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The theme of the 74th annual parade was “Solidarity with Greece”.

 

The parade was organized by the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York who has dedicated its resources in promoting support and solidarity for Greece, which has suffered through an economic crisis.

[...]

March 30, 2012
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3/30/2012: Honoring Shirley N. Moore Resolution

LEGISLATIVE  RESOLUTION  honoring Shirley N. Moore posthumously upon the occasion of the co-naming of a section of 150th Street between  Rockaway   Boulevard  and  North Conduit in Queens, New York, in her honor on March  7, 2012 WHEREAS, It is the custom of this Legislative Body  to  pay  tribute  to  citizens  of  the  State  of  New York whose lifework and civic endeavor  served to enhance the quality of life in their communities and the great  State of New York; and

March 30, 2012
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Senator Martins Welcomes Elmont Resident Ivana Roman to Somos El Futuro Senate Session

State Senator Jack Martins welcomed Elmont resident and CUNY College student Ivana Roman to Albany this past week for the Statewide Latino American Conference "Somos El Futuro." Roman participated in the the mock Senate Session forum held at the State Capitol. The session debates a current events topic and individual students take the roles of Senator during the session. Roman is an honors graduate of Elmont Memorial High School and currently attends CUNY. Senator Martins attended the session and welcomed college students to the much heralded forum. "Ivana did a terrific job and made the Sewanhaka Central High School District and Elmont Memorial High School particularly proud. I was honored to watch her work and debate during the conference," said Senator Martins.

March 29, 2012
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Governor Cuomo and Legislative Leaders Announce Agreement on 2012-13 State Budget

Governor Cuomo released the following announcement on March 27, 2012:

The Budget continues the Governor’s commitment to fiscal responsibility while creating jobs and strengthening communities across the state. It closes a multi-billion dollar deficit with no new taxes, fees or gimmicks, limits spending growth to two percent or below for the second year in a row, and launches the New York Works Task Force to invest billions of dollars to rebuild the state's roads, bridges, parks, and other infrastructure and create tens of thousands of jobs.

March 29, 2012
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SQUADRON HERALDS NURSE-FAMILY PARTNERSHIP, SOCIAL SERVICES FUNDING IN BUDGET

Even in Minority, Squadron Pushes Forward Priorities as Social Services Ranker

ALBANY – Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron, the ranking member and former chair of the Senate Social Services Committee, heralded the $2.5 million allocated for Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) in the state budget, as well as significant investments in other critical social services programs.

March 29, 2012
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Gianaris Bill Opposes Police Quotas

The Queens Gazette reports on a new bill proposed by Senator Gianaris, which opposes Police Department quota requirements.

Addressing a very sensitive area of police-public relations, state Senator Michael Gianaris has proposed a bill opposing Police Department quota requirements.

 

“The use of quotas puts undue pressure on our police force and results in too many unwarranted arrests and tickets,” Gianaris explained as he released the legislation.

 

“Raising the penalty for the imposition of quotas would deter the practice and ensure that police activity is conducted for public safety first and foremost,” the Astoria lawmaker added.

 

March 28, 2012
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SQUADRON ON WTC: PLAN MUST INCREASE ACCESS WHILE ENSURING SECURITY

In Testimony, Squadron Lays Out Ideas for Improved Access, Including Off-Site Vehicle Screening and MTA Bus Service Through Site

NEW YORK -- This week, State Senator Daniel Squadron submitted testimony on the draft World Trade Center Campus Security Plan, arguing that it is possible to increase access to and passage through the site while ensuring security. 

"The design and rebuilding of the site after September 11th, 2001, promised a reconnection to the grid. With a booming residential and commercial population in Battery Park City, Greenwich South, Tribeca, and the Financial District, it is as important as ever that the site is woven into the fabric of Lower Manhattan," said Squadron.

March 28, 2012
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Travyvon Martin: History shows that True Justice Still

News From New York State For Immediate Release: March 28, 2012 Contact: Bryant G. Gaspard | gaspard@nysenate.gov | (518) 455-3531

March 28, 2012
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Your Voice with Senator Ranzenhofer - March 27

Senator Ranzenhofer outlines his 2012-2013 State Budget priorities - funding for education, infrastructure projects, STAR rebate check program and WNY STAMP project - as the April 1st deadline approaches.

March 27, 2012
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Join Me for the Fourth Annual 25th Senate District Community Convention!

Please join me on Sunday, April 22nd for the Fourth Annual 25th Senate District Community Convention!

I'm pleased to announce that MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph Lhota will join us to keynote the plenary. He'll share his thoughts on NYC's transit system and how riders can engage to make it work better today and help plan for its future.

I hope you'll join us to make your voice heard on all of the legislative and community priorities that shape our district and our state. A full list of discussion topics is included below.

March 27, 2012
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Bill Introduced By Senator Martins to Rename Roslyn Viaduct Passes Senate

A bill sponsored by Senator Jack M. Martins to rename the Roslyn Viaduct in honor of William Cullen Bryant has passed the Senate. The inspiration for the bill (S.6240) comes from the community's strong commitment to preserve its history.

Mr. Bryant, a prominent poet and civic leader in the 19th Century, is one of Roslyn’s most famous residents, having served as editor of the New York Evening Post for half a century. Mr. Bryant purchased a country house in Roslyn in 1843, which remained in his family until the 1970s.

March 27, 2012
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Senator Martins Congratulates Swimming Champion Aaron Buissereth

State Senator Jack Martins congratulated Sewanaka Central High School District Swimming Champion Aaron Buissereth on his sensational victories in county meets throughout this swimming season this past week. Buissereth qualified for the Nassau County Championships and has posted some outstanding wins capturing 1st place six times in the 200 freestyle and winning the Metros Silver Championship for the 100 meter breastroke. Aaron is a member of the class of 2014 at Elmont Memorial High School where he is a high achieving student and involved in volunteer activities. "It was a great honor talking to Aaron and hearing about his outstanding acheivement. He trains hard and is an outstanding student.

March 27, 2012
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Taking On Police Tactic, Critics Hit Racial Divide

An article by The New York Times talks about the stop-and-frisk police tactic, which has garnered significant criticism from minority lawmakers and citizens. Senator Gianaris introduced legislation with Assemblymember Camara that would make it illegal for police departments to impose quotas for a certain number of stops officers make.

ALBANY — Black and Latino lawmakers, fed up over the frequency with which New York City police officers are stopping and frisking minority men, are battling what they say is a racial divide as they push legislation to rein in the practice.

 

March 26, 2012
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Queens Celebrates Greek Independence

The Queens Gazette reports on the 10th annual Queens celebration of Greek Independence Day. Senator Gianaris and other elected officials attended the event, representing the proud Greek community of Queens.

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall presided at the 10th annual Queens celebration of Greek Independence Day on March 16 at the Hellenic Cultural Center in Astoria.

 

Held one week before the 191st anniversary of Greece’s independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1821, the evening’s event honored the civic achievements of four members of the Greek-American community.

 

Accompanying Marshall were state Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas, Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. and City Comptroller John Liu.

March 26, 2012
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Senator Gianaris celebrates the 2012 Greek Independence Day

Senator Gianaris marching up Fifth Avenue during the 2012 Greek Independence Day Parade.

 

March 25, 2012
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SQUADRON TO CITY: MISSING BUSHWICK INLET PARK MONEY MUST BE SPENT NOW

Squadron, Colleagues Urge City to Honor Commitment, Fully Fund North Brooklyn Park

NEW YORK -- Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron urged the City to honor its pledge to North Brooklyn and use the budget process to fully fund Bushwick Inlet Park, in testimony at the City Council Parks and Recreation Committee's preliminary budget hearing.

North Brooklyn has long been starved for open, green space. As part of the 2005 rezoning of the Williamsburg and Greenpoint waterfront, the City committed $309 million to develop 28 acres of parkland along the East River.

March 22, 2012
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Senator John Bonacic Attends LIberty Middle School's 7th and 8th Grade Band and Jazz Ensemble's Annual Concert

Senator John Bonacic attended the Liberty Middle School’s 7th and 8th Grade Band and Jazz Ensemble’s Annual Concert on the Concourse in Albany this week. Pictured: Senator Bonacic, Liberty Middle School Jazz and Band Director, Gary E. Siegel and Liberty Middle School students and parents.

March 21, 2012
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SQUADRON JOINS ADVOCATES TO PUSH FOR STRONGER DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAW

Urges Senate Action on His Domestic Violence Bill That Has Won Assembly Support

Legislation Dedicated to NYPD Officer Killed by Serial Abuser Would Give DAs New Tool to Better Protect Domestic Violence Victims

ALBANY – Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron joined advocates and leaders to push for his legislation that would increase penalties for repeat domestic violence offenders, as the NYS Coalition Against Domestic Violence's Legislative Awareness Day brought hundreds of advocates to the Capitol. Last week, the Senate Republican Majority shelved the legislation, which passed the Assembly in 2011, by referring it to the Rules Committee and effectively preventing future debate or a vote. 

The legislation -  S.1510/A.1986 (Golden-Squadron/Rosenthal) - would provide district attorneys with the tools to crack down on recurring violence and abuse by establishing the felony-level crime of “aggravated domestic violence” for abusers who commit two or more offenses within five years.  It is dedicated to fallen NYPD Office Alain Schaberger, who was killed last March in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn responding to a domestic violence call. Officer Schaberger was thrown over a staircase railing by a serial domestic violence abuser who had a 12-year history of offenses.

March 21, 2012
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