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.
April 12, 2013 - Today, Senate Co-Leader and Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeffrey D. Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) and members of the IDC proposed sweeping reforms to New York State’s current campaign finance laws. The IDC’s proposal would introduce a comprehensive system of public campaign financing under which all qualifying candidates would be eligible to receive public matching funds. Under the IDC’s plan, candidates opting not to participate in the public financing system would be required to participate in a completely overhauled campaign finance system.
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.
New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced an Election Day Hotline to help ensure that minority-language voters, people with disabilities and others are able to cast an effective ballot during the November 6th general election. The Attorney General urged voters to call the Office’s Hotline at 800-771-7755 or email firstname.lastname@example.org at any time between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. to report problems at the polls.
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.”
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.
During a budget debate on the Senate floor, Senator Montgomery protests the Senate Republican's one-house budget proposal that would allow for-profit businesses and corporations to establish charter schools. The Senator said that "New York's public education system is not for sale."
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.
The 41st Annual Legislative Conference of the NYS Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators will convene on Friday, February 17th and conclude on Sunday, February 19th, 2012. The theme of this year’s conference is “Open Doors to Employment, Opens Doors to Empowerment."
The Conference schedule of educational workshops and weekend-long events is included here in a pdf format that can be downloaded. More information on the Legislative Conference may be obtained by visiting www.nysabprl.org.
The lifetime achievements of Brooklyn native Dorothy Burnham were recognized and lauded by NYS Senator Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) during the reading of a Senate resolution, which was unanimously passed by the full Senate during the final days of the 2011 Legislative Session. The resolution paid tribute to Dorothy Burnham’s many notable contributions to our public education system, the advancement of civil rights, and to the promotion of racial and economic equality. Ms. Burnham was also honored for her designation as recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the New York Friends of the People's World. “Dorothy Burnham is a Renaissance Woman,” said Senator Montgomery.
New legislation that would allow more time for military absentee ballots to be mailed and counted in special elections has been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The legislation (S.3500) ensures that current state law conforms with the federal law requiring election officials to finalize and transmit the final ballot to military voters overseas within 45 days of a special election.
One law, signed in late May, allows voters to obtain absentee ballot applications by fax or another written instrument in addition to the current means of getting them through the mail or in person at county boards of election. Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, sponsored the legislation in her house.