"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.
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.
The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S3008), sponsored by Joseph Griffo (R-C-I, Rome), to amend the state constitution to allow the Governor to call a special election to fill vacancies in the offices of Comptroller, Attorney-General or U.S. Senator, ensuring these officers are chosen by the people of the state and not the Legislature.
Bills address powdered alcohol, Utica schools, first responders and special elections
ALBANY – The New York State Senate today passed four bills sponsored by Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, including a bill to ban powdered alcohol, one to help Utica schools and another to protect first responders, and a fourth to limit government and empower voters regarding statewide offices.
ALBANY – The lieutenant governor position has drawn increased attention and scrutiny in the past month in light of an upcoming change in personnel in November.
State Sen. Joseph A. Griffo and Assemblyman Robin Schimminger believe this is a perfect time for the Legislature to reconsider how the lieutenant governor is chosen and his or her role in the governing of New York. They sponsor three bills that would institute some common-sense reforms:
In a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Parker requested the Governor to hold special elections to provide elected representatives for the 11 principally African-American and Latino districts that are without current legislative representation.
Please click the pdf link below to read the letter in its entirety.
The New York State Senate today passed two bills that would allow for the use of lever-style voting machines in non-federal elections in New York City, and in elections held by villages, school districts and special districts.Legislation (
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.
Senator Phil Boyle today announced the introduction of the Secure our Schools Act, legislation directing the New York State Education Department and the New York State Board of Elections to deliver a joint proposal that mitigates risk factors associated with the public’s access to schools that are also polling places. The bill requires that the joint proposal be delivered to the State Legislature and the Governor within six months of the law’s enactment. Senator Boyle made the announcement at the Forest Avenue Elementary School in West Babylon and was joined by West Babylon Superintendent of Schools Anthony Cacciola, West Babylon School Board President Diane Thiel and several concerned parents.
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 email@example.com 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.
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.