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 announced his office will remain open from 8:00 A.M. until 8:00 P.M. on Primary Day, Tuesday, September 10, as well as on Election Day, Tuesday, November 5, to help constituents who may be confused about their polling site locations or which candidates are running for a particular seat or office. Senator Felder’s office can be reached at 718-253-2015 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Redistricting has led to polling site changes for many people who may not even be aware of the new locations,” said Senator Felder. “I want to ensure that anyone who wants to go out and vote has the correct information they need to cast a vote.”
Senator Michael Gianaris addressed dozens of attendees at the Woodhaven Residents Block Association Town Hall meeting on Saturday, May 18th. Woodhaven residents offered their opinions on topics ranging from broad issues such as transportation and public cleanliness to more specific issues like the future of a recently collapsed building on Jamaica Avenue.
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.
On Wednesday, January 23, S.2107 was brought to the floor of the Senate for a vote. The measure, if approved, would pave the way for a referendum offered to the public in the fall to change the redistricting process in the New York State Constitution.
After consideration, Senator Gipson voted no on the measure because the details of the bill would institiutionalize partisanship in the process; a process, ironically called "independent, non-partisan redistricting."
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 email@example.com at any time between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. to report problems at the polls.
City and State reported that Senator Gianaris' video at this year's LCA show was funny and well received by those in attendance.
Word on the street is the Democratic Senator from Queens got the most laughs at this year’s LCA show, with a bit making fun of the Senate Dems’ failed bid at an independent redistricting process this year. It’s not always easy to make fun of yourself, especially on an issue that wasn’t very funny to Gianaris when the gerrymandered district lines were being passed in the Senate during the Big Ugly. (Who can forget Gianaris telling Republican Sen. Mike Nozzolio to take his map and “shove it?”)