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.
Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) has taken the lead as the prime Senate sponsor of a bill which streamlines the process of special education placements and requires a more expeditious placement and tuition reimbursement process for private schools. The bill will be introduced this week in the Senate and is being sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein (D-Brooklyn).
Senate Select Committee on Science, Technology, Incubation and Entrepreneurship Chair: Senator Martin Golden Public Meeting: Presentation by Kevin Younis, Deputy Commissioner, Empire State Development Corporation, on START-UP NY Program Place: Room 410, Legislative Office Building, Albany, New York Time: 4:00 P.M. Contact: Meg Brown (518) 455-2730 Media Contact: John Quaglione (718) 238-6044
$138 billion spending plan funds citywide Pre-K, increases to TAP and higher-ed opportunity programs.Senator Martin Malavé Dilan (D-Bushwick) announced the passage of a $138 billion budget that includes $300 million for universal Pre Kindergarten programs in New York City, new government reforms and increased funding to social programs.“This year’s budget has made great strides to meet new, and greater demands while continuing to offset the gaps left by previous year’s cuts. I commend Governor Cuomo and my Senate Colleagues for delivering a responsible spending plan that spends smart, invests in our students, and offers some much-needed relief for our working families,” said Senator Dilan.
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.
In a letter to New York City Department of Education Chancellor Carmen Farina, Senator Kevin Parker requested the Brooklyn charter school be given additional time to demonstrate and build upon its success. Despite strong community and elected official support, this past November the NYC DOE made the ill-advised decision not to renew the charter for Fahari Academy School, co-located at Walt Whitman Middle School in Flatbush.
(Utica) – In an effort to focus on challenges confronting
education and exploring a variety of ideas and policies for North County and
Mohawk Valley school districts and colleges, State Senator Joseph A. Griffo
today announced that the he would be hosting a three-part Education Town
Hall Series in Oneida County. The series will feature some of the state’s
Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn), a first-term Senator and Chair of the Subcommittee on New York City Education, had two bills signed into law last Thursday by Governor Cuomo.
“It is extremely gratifying that Governor Cuomo saw the necessity for and value of these bills,” said Senator Felder. “I am thankful to my colleagues and to all those who worked behind the scenes to help make these bills a reality.”
The first of Senator Felder’s bills, S5730-2013, excludes Saturdays from being considered a business day for purposes of responding to violations for defective motor vehicle equipment.
Previously, the law encouraged timely repairs by offering a full waiver of the fine if repairs were made within one business day, excluding Sundays and federal holidays. This meant that a Sabbath-observant individual who received a summons late Friday afternoon, and could not make the necessary repairs until Sunday, was unable to take advantage of the grace period. Senator Felder’s measure remedies this oversight.
“This legislation levels the playing field and allows all New Yorkers to benefit equally from the grace period,” Senator Felder said. “Sabbath-observant New Yorkers no longer have to choose between their religious observance and the dismissal of a ticket.”
Senator Asks the Public to Weigh in Through 2013 School Survey
State Senator Patty Ritchie is asking the public to weigh in on schools in the Central and Northern New York region through her 2013 School Survey, which was launched this week.
The survey—which covers topics ranging from school safety to curriculum—is available here, and is designed to gather public opinion and ideas for use in the next legislative session, as Senator Ritchie continues to advocate for local education.
“Here in the Central and Northern New York region, our schools are among the very best. While our schools are excellent, as with anything, there are always opportunities for change and improvement, and that’s what this survey is about,” said Senator Ritchie.
“I plan on taking the feedback from this survey and using it to build upon work we have done to improve our state aid formula and ensure our rural and Upstate schools get the resources they need to provide top notch educational opportunities for our region’s students.”
Teachers Receive Special Funding for Classroom Enrichment
More than 40 educators from Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties were each awarded $500 in special funding for classroom enrichment at Senator Patty Ritchie’s “Teachers of Excellence” program, held Thursday in Watertown.
The funding—which represents a $22,000 addition to the increase in state education funding local schools received this year—will be used by educators for technology, supplies and other improvements in the classroom.
Leader Stewart-Cousins attended the JCY-Westchester 15th Annual Scholarship Brunch on Sunday, June 2nd at the Royal Regency Hotel in Yonkers, NY to personally thank and congratulate Jay Cheraskin, Ronit Razinovsky and Marty Siegal, recepients of the 2013 Education Leadership Award and scholarship, for their exceptional service to the Yonkers Public Schools.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Today, Senator O'Brien stood with local agencies who provide services and support to people with developmental disabilities in calling for the restoration of $120 million in funding cuts proposed in a recent budget amendment.
"Governor Cuomo has led the way in reforming the budget process and returning stability to Albany. However, as we continue budget negotiations, I believe it is vital that we enable our state’s nonprofits to fulfill their essential roles in our communities. I look forward to working with the Governor and legislative leaders to pass a responsible, yet fair, budget,” Senator O’Brien said.
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.