"Chanukah is the celebration of miracles, a reminder that all things are possible," Senator Parker said. "As you celebrate the spirit of Chanukah with friends and family, I wish you health, happiness and good fortune." The holiday celebrates a legendary victory of the Maccabees, a band of Jews, over a Greek army that occupied the Holy Land. After the battle, the victorious Maccabees found only a one day supply of oil in the temple to light the lamps. But the oil burned miraculously for eight days, the story says.
Voters head to the polls in a couple of weeks to exercise their most basic democratic right; choosing the people they want to represent them at various levels of government. In addition to the candidates running for various federal, state and local offices, this year’s ballot includes three important statewide propositions. Unfortunately, these proposals often don’t get much attention in the media and can catch some voters by surprise.
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.
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.
I want to thank all of those who are co-sponsoring this, especially Senator Parker who has carried this bill in the past. I appreciate their efforts as well as Assemblyman Dinowitz.
Elections are the foundation of our democracy. In order to have the most representative government possible, we need a system that both attracts voters to participate in the process and requires candidates to deal with all people on all issues.
That is not the current scenario in which we find ourselves every four years. Potential presidential candidates concentrate more than two-thirds of their advertising budget and two-thirds of their campaign stops in just five states. Almost 100 percent of their message is seen in approximately 16 “battleground” states.
On Thursday, Sen. Krueger joined a diverse group of advocates, including Ramsey Adams of Catskill Mountainkeeper and Mike Long, chairman of the New York State Conservative Party, to launch a campaign against Proposal One, the constitutional amendment authorizing up to seven new casinos in New York State, which is on the November 2013 ballot for the voters' approval. Multiple news outlets covered the press conference, including the Wall Street Journal, the Daily News, and Capital New York.
Joined on the steps of City Hall by State Senator Liz Krueger, a diverse coalition of political leaders, community groups, and advocates from around the state today announced their campaign urging voters to reject Proposal One. The Proposal’s inclusion on the November ballot represents the final stage in the approval process for a proposed constitutional amendment authorizing gaming at up to seven casinos in New York State.
State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) and the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) proposed sweeping reforms to New York State’s current campaign finance laws. The IDC’s plan would introduce a comprehensive system of public campaign financing under which all qualifying candidates would be eligible to receive public matching funds. Candidates opting not to participate in the public financing system would be required to participate in a completely overhauled campaign finance system.
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.
State Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R-C-IP, Rome) today called for sweeping changes in the penalties for elected officials who are convicted of corruption and pressed for adoption of a series of initiatives to overhaul the elections process.
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.
On Wednesday, March 21, 2012, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held a press conference to discuss their opposition to the Senate redistricting plan and Tier VI pension. NAACP President Hazel Dukes introduced Senator Huntley who spoke about how the redistricting plan created by Senate Republicans. Senator Huntley proclaimed that lines were drawn in such a manner that her own house was close to not being in her district and that she has to move her Jamaica District Office. Various elected officials spoke as well including Senate Minority Leader John Sampson, Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Assemblyman Karim Camara and Assemblyman Keith Wright. Assemblyman William Boyland.