Issues: Consumer Protection

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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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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Astoria dissected by Albany redistricting: Gianaris

An article by Times Ledger discusses the new state Senate and congressional district lines, which have met criticism from lawmakers.

Astoria lawmakers said they were disappointed by the new congressional and state Senate district lines, which splits the neighborhood across two districts.

 

“The maps are horrible,” said Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria). “They divide communities that should not be divided, including Astoria.”

 

Both of the new maps slice off part of the north section of Astoria above Ditmars Boulevard.

[...]

March 30, 2012
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Prohibit Brokers and Lenders From Deceiving Borrowers

News From New York StateSenator Shirley L.

March 30, 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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SENATE PASSES BILL TO INCREASE PUBLIC DISCLOSURE ABOUT THE SAFETY OF RIDES AND AMUSEMENTS

Measure Requires Enhanced Access to Safety Records

The New York State Senate today passed a measure that will help provide the public with more information about amusement parks, carnivals or county fairs so that they can make informed safety decisions. The bill (S.5868A) requires the state and amusement operators to post valuable safety information online and at a ride’s location.

March 26, 2012
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Krueger Announces Senate Passage of Ban on “Yield Spread Premiums”, Predatory Lending Practice

Albany, NY – State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) today announced the passage of her legislation permanently banning “yield spread premiums” in New York State (S. 886). This practice created perverse incentives in the mortgage market, fleecing families and creating instability in the nation’s financial system, ultimately contributing to the national mortgage foreclosure crisis.

March 22, 2012
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LaValle: Bill Will Forbid Gasoline Retailers From Charging Consumers a Surcharge for Credit Card Use.

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson) said today that he is introducing legislation in the New York State Senate that would prevent gasoline retailers from charging consumers exorbitant surcharges for using a credit card when purchasing gasoline.

March 14, 2012
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Senator Zeldin to Introduce Legislation to Protect Consumers at the Gas Pump

Albany, NY- Responding to a story in today’s Newsday, Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R, C, I- Shirley), Chairman of the Senate Consumer Protection Committee, announced he will introduce legislation to protect consumers at the gas pump.

“I am concerned that some gas stations on Long Island are getting away with charging consumers as much as $1 per gallon more for credit card than with cash. Moreover, the deceptive advertising that is happening is outrageous and has to stop,” said Senator Zeldin.

March 14, 2012
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Senator Flanagan Urges Residents To Take Advantage Of $3.5 Million Household Appliance Rebate Program

Rebates Are Available for High-Efficiency Refrigerators and Clothes Washers

March 13, 2012
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SENATE PASSES 2012-13 BUDGET RESOLUTION

Gallivan: “Senate Plan Cuts Taxes, Reforms Medicaid, Protects Seniors and Schools.”

The New York State Senate voted to approve its 2012-13 Senate Budget resolution, continuing its focus on state spending, job creation, and structural reform to government.

The Senate budget, at just under $132.5 billion, keeps the total state spending increase below two percent, and spends less than the Executive Budget. The budget closes a $2 billion budget deficit and builds on last year’s successes in putting the state’s fiscal house in order.

March 13, 2012
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ADDABBO PUSHES BILL TO KEEP RESIDENTS FROM FALLING VICTIM TO “GET RICH QUICK” CONSUMER FRAUDS

Queens, NY, March 12, 2012 --  “If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.”  That’s the word from NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Queens) as he announced his co-sponsorship of Senate legislation (S.6276) that would require financial institutions to warn New Yorkers about the trap of falling for fraud schemes that require consumers to send out money as a condition of claiming their new riches. 

March 12, 2012
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Senate Passes Legislation Prohibiting Harmful Levels of Toxics in Children's Jewelry

The New York State Senate today passed a measure that would prohibit the sale of children’s jewelry which may contain harmful levels of cadmium and other hazardous substances. The bill (S.4055A), sponsored by Senator Jim Alesi (R-C-I, Perinton) protects children from accidentally ingesting cadmium, often used in inexpensive charm bracelets, pendants and other jewelry.  “It is everyone’s responsibility to protect our children, especially from products containing hazardous substances,” said Senator Alesi. “This bill takes an important step to prevent the sale of items that could cause accidental and unnecessary exposure and severe health effects.”

March 6, 2012
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Senator Martins Brings NYLAG Mobile Legal Help Center to Westbury Library

Senator Jack M. Martins welcomed the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) mobile legal help center to the Westbury Memorial Library on Friday, March 2. Volunteers from NYLAG provided counseling on credit harassment, identity theft, collection actions and debt management.

NYLAG is a not-for-profit law office founded in 1990 to provide free civil legal counseling services to New Yorkers. For more information on NYLAG, visit their website at nylag.org.

March 6, 2012
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“PUT THE BREAKS ON GAS GOUGING!”

State Senator Eric Adams and Assemblyman David Weprin demand protection for consumers against price 

March 5, 2012
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Senator Martins Announces Home Mortgage Safety Seminar at Elmont Public Library

State Senator Jack M. Martins announced that he has joined with Governor Andrew Cuomo, Bethpage Federal Credit Union and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s offices in sponsoring a “Home Mortgage Safety Seminar” at the Elmont Public Library on Saturday, March 10th. The seminar begins at 10:30am and runs until 12 noon. The program is part of a series of community outreach initiatives by Senator Martins targeted towards working families and seniors who may not be able to access governmental offices during the work week.

February 23, 2012
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Flying Tips for Older Passengers

An editorial by the New York Times discusses some of the difficulties senior citizens may encounter when travelling by air and how some of these issues can be avoided. Senator Gianaris recommends that when flying, be sure to tell TSA officials about any medical conditions in advance of going through security.

FLYING, as most travelers know all too well, can be arduous. But while some of us may grumble about cramped airline seats and security pat-downs, simply navigating an airport can be downright disorienting for elderly travelers.

 

February 14, 2012
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I-Team: Lawmaker Wants Answers in Botched C-Section

NBC 4 covered a story on the need for greater regulations and oversight in New York hospitals in light of a mismanaged incident regarding a C-section procedure that was performed on a woman who was not pregnant. Senator Gianaris was interviewed for the story.

Watch the interview here.

February 14, 2012
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MEDIA ADVISORY: CONSUMER ALERT - BEWARE OF MORTGAGE SCAM ARTISTS

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONSUMER ALERT: BEWARE OF MORTGAGE SCAM ARTISTS

Senator Carlucci Exposes Loan Modification Company Targeting Struggling Spring Valley Homeowners

February 7, 2012
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Prevent Identity Theft

Identity theft is the number one consumer fraud complaint, affecting over 9 million Americans every year. However, there are steps that you can take to help reduce the risk of your personal information falling into the wrong hands:

STEPS TO TAKE TO PREVENT ID THEFT (from the New York State Division of Consumer Protection and the Federal Trade Commission):

February 3, 2012
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