Issues: Constituents Corner

Monthly Column: 2012 State Budget passes ahead of schedule

By Michael H. Ranzenhofer

Working together in a bi-partisan fashion with Governor Cuomo, I am pleased to report that the 2012-2013 State Budget has passed ahead of schedule for the second consecutive year.  The recently adopted budget is a fiscally responsible plan that closes a $2 billion deficit by cutting spending without raising taxes.  It is a plan that will help to create thousands of jobs and strengthen our economy. 

For the second year in a row, overall spending has been reduced.  In an effort to shrink the size of State government, the budget plan eliminates 25 repetitive, inactive boards and commissions, consolidates various departments, and implements efficiencies to reduce government expenditures.

April 18, 2012
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Senator Martins Congratulates Manhasset Resident For Completing Documentary on the Environment

Senator Jack M. Martins recently congratulated Chris Johnston on completing his documentary film, “Take the Challenge Now,” which examined how everyone can play their part in protecting the environment.

Chris, a sophomore at Chaminade High School, spent the past four years working on the documentary, which took him as far as Sweden to conduct interviews on environmental issues. As a resident of Manhasset, Chris also focused on Manhasset Bay and found some good news with regard to the cleanliness of the bay. This could be due to storm water treatment as well organizations such as the Manhasset Bay Protection Committee.

April 16, 2012
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Senator Squadron Honored at Chinatown Cherry Blossom Festival

CHINATOWN -- This weekend, State Senator Daniel Squadron was honored at the annual Chinatown Cherry Blossom Festival for his work to improve quality of life along the Bowery and throughout Confucius Plaza. Senator Squadron has led the efforts to bring more trees and green space to the community, working with the Parks Department and the community on a number of initiatives, including the planting of 37 new trees (largely cherry trees) in November 2010.

The festival was organized by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of New York, the Confucius Plaza Board, and the Confucius Plaza Tenants Council.

In photo: State Senator Daniel Squadron (center) receives a citation from Chinese Chamber of Commerce Chairman Justin Yu (immediate right) and the Chamber board.

April 16, 2012
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SQUADRON, KAVANAGH, QUINN, TENANTS RALLY FOR RENT GUIDELINES BOARD REFORM AHEAD OF ANNUAL VOTE

Squadron-Kavanagh Legislation Would Require Council Approval of RGB Appointments, Ensure More Accessible and Diverse Board

NEW YORK – Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Tenants & Neighbors, the Real Rent Reform coalition, elected officials, and tenants from around the City rallied to urge passage of state legislation to reform the Rent Guidelines Board (RGB), ahead of the RGB's annual vote to adjust rents this spring.

April 16, 2012
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Senator Martins Set for Helen's Walk on April 29

On Sunday, April 29, the annual Helen's Walk, presented by the Helen Keller National Center for deaf-blind youths and adults, will take place throughout the beautiful Sands Point. Check-in time and registration for the 5K/3.1-mile walk will be held from 8 to 9 a.m. with the official start at 9:15 a.m.

The walk will start at the Sands Point Park & Preserve, 127 Middle Neck Road in Sands Point and end at the Helen Keller National Center at 141 Middle Neck Road in Sands Point.

For more information on Helen's Walk to support the Helen Keller National Center, visit www.hknc.org.

April 12, 2012
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New statistics show Queens’ population is growing rapidly

The New York Daily News discusses flawed reporting by the U.S. Census Bureau, which came to light after recent population statistics for Queens showed a much larger population increase than the numbers reported by the Census.

Recent Queens population statistics show the borough is growing despite a lackluster showing in the 2010 Census.

 

Officials say the new numbers boost their claim the Census count was flawed.

 

From April 2010 to July 2011, the population of Queens grew by 17,126, according to data released last week but the U.S. Census Bureau.

 

The new figures place the population of Queens at 2,247,848.

 

April 11, 2012
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Plan to close Bryant draws ire at hearing

The Queens Chronicle reports on the public hearing held in regards to Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to close down and overhaul Bryant High School, which drew a great deal of protest.

The rumblings started low at first — emanating from the football players in the middle of the room, the student government leaders perched closer to the stage and the parents dispersed throughout Bryant High School’s auditorium —and grew until loud boos drowned out a deputy schools chancellor, whose voice was no match for the hundreds of people protesting the city’s plan to shutter the institution established in 1889.

April 9, 2012
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Community Fights To Save Bryant H.S.

An article written by The Queens Gazette reports on the rally held by Assemblymember Aravella Simotas opposing the City Department of Education's proposal to drastically alter Bryant High School. Senator Gianaris attended the rally and believes that the proposed changes will bring more harm than good.

Assemblymember Aravella Simotas held a rally at William Cullen Bryant H.S. on April 3, in opposition to the city Department of Education’s proposal to dramatically overhaul the structure of the Western Queens institution.

 

Simotas, a Bryant alumna, was joined by elected officials, community leaders as well as Bryant students, teachers and parents in calling on the city to reconsider Bryant’s designation for the Turnaround model.

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April 9, 2012
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SQUADRON, DOT BREAK GROUND ON CHINATOWN PONDING REPAIRS

DOT Resurfaces Roads, Fills Ponds Throughout Neighborhood Following Squadron Report

NEW YORK – This morning, State Senator Daniel Squadron joined the NYC Department of Transportation's Manhattan Borough Commissioner Margaret Forgione on Mott Street to officially break ground on work to repair road-curb ponding conditions in Chinatown, following his report that detailed ponding's impact on the local economy and quality of life. 

In September, Senator Squadron released his report, “Road-Curb Ponding: A Drain on Chinatown,” and called on DOT to address ponding -- water that accumulates along the sides of roads and curbs and remains days after a rainfall -- while improving agency-community collaboration to prioritize repairs and ensure reporting.  

April 5, 2012
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Governor Cuomo in Syracuse to Discuss Budget

I was pleased to join Governor Cuomo in discussing budget accomplishments for Central New York. Click the link for more details.

File: 
Gov Cuomo CNY Budget Presentation.pdf

April 5, 2012
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Senator Gallivan Addresses 2012 State Budget In Video Message

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R,C,I - 59th District) speaks to the taxpayers and families of Western New York concerning the just enacted 2012 State Budget.

April 4, 2012
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Senator Gianaris speaks at the public hearing on the proposed changes for Bryant High School

Senator Gianaris attending the rally against the Bryant High School turnaround proposal. 

April 3, 2012
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Senator Gianaris speaks at the rally opposing the closing of Bryant High School

Senator Gianaris attending the rally against the Bryant High School turnaround proposal.

April 3, 2012
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State Passes Fiscally Responsible Budget That Respects Taxpayers

Budget Comes Early, Controls Spending and Holds The Line On Taxes

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan hailed the 2012 state budget today as lawmakers approved the spending plan ahead of the April 1st deadline, marking the second consecutive year New York State will enact an on-time budget.

“Passing a second on-time budget in as many years is indicative of the larger progress we’ve seen lately in Albany. Just as late budgets were once a symbol of dysfunction, on-time budgets are symbolic of continued progress,” the Senator said. “Even more important than passing an on-time budget, is that we passed a fiscally responsible budget that respects New York’s taxpayers and keeps the State moving forward.”

April 3, 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

April 2, 2012
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SQUADRON, ELECTEDS, COMMUNITY RALLY TO BRING JULY 4TH FIREWORKS TO EAST RIVER THIS YEAR

Move Would Bring Fireworks to More New Yorkers, More Business and Visitors to Growing Harbor Park & Waterfront Communities

Electeds Propose “Fireworks Community Outreach Plan” to Ensure Community Notification of Planned Fireworks

BROOKLYN – Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Council Member Stephen Levin, elected officials and community leaders urged Macy’s to bring its Fourth of July fireworks to the East River this year.

In 2009, Macy’s moved the fireworks to the Hudson River to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s journey up the river. There have not been Fourth of July fireworks displays on the East River for the last three summers, limiting the number of New Yorkers who can enjoy the fireworks and sending visitors and business to New Jersey instead of into more New York City communities.

April 2, 2012
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Senator Martins Congratulates Floral Park Eagle Scouts

Senator Jack M. Martins attended the Eagle Scout ceremony of Alessandro Sindoni and Nicholas Longobardi of Troop 482 in Floral Park at  Floral Park Village Hall. Senator Martins congratulated these distinguished Scouts for achieving the highest rank in scouting. The rank of Eagle symbolizes a commitment to scouting and community.

April 2, 2012
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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.

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March 30, 2012
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