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.
I was pleased to join students and facility from MCC today for their voter registration drive, a grassroots effort to get more students registered to vote on National Voter Registration Day. It was great meeting with so many interested students and discussing the importance of voting with them.
Calling the latest voting literature from the Board of Elections “ridiculous,” Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) is urging constituents who may be confused about their polling site locations to contact his office for assistance.
“The mail from the Board of Elections is poorly-designed, confusing, and looks like junk-mail,” said Senator Felder. “I suspect most prospective voters will end up tossing it in the garbage without realizing that it contains important content. It’s just ridiculous.”
(Queens, New York) Senator Michael Gianaris, a long-time advocate of reforming the state’s electoral system, cheered a recent electoral reform package proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“I am thrilled to see Governor Cuomo is taking real steps to empower the voters of our state by making it easier to register to vote and encouraging voter participation,” said Senator Gianaris. “Reforming the voter registration process will allow more New Yorkers to participate in the most fundamental aspect of our democracy, and thereby improve government from the bottom up.”
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.
Gianaris-Kavanagh's Bill (Voter Empowerment Act) aims at facilitating the registration process and initiating more participation in the elections. It includes, among others, preregistration of 16- and 17- year olds, online registration of voters and automatic registration tranfer of New Yorkers who move within the State.
State Senator Michael Gianaris (D–Astoria) emerged last week as part of a nonpartisan, statewide group answering Governor Andrew Cuomo’s call to increase voter participation as the 2012 election season draws near.
Gianaris and Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh have introduced legislation that would amend the state’s election law to streamline and make more efficient the voter registration process in the state.
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.
An article by the Queens Gazette talks about the introduction of the Voter Empowerment Act, which aims to optimize the voter registration process in New York.
State Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh and the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law joined with good government and advocacy groups on June 7 to announce the introduction of the Voter Empowerment Act of New York, a nonpartisan initiative to increase voter participation as the 2012 election season commences. This legislation would amend the election law to update, streamline and make more efficient the voter registration process in New York.
The Queens Chronicle wrote an article about the Voter Empowerment Act of New York bill, which Senator Gianaris introduced along with Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh and the Brennan Center for Justice. Senator Gianaris believes this proposal could save the state and its counties hundreds of thousands of dollars per election.
State Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria), Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh (D-Manhattan) and the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law introduced the Voter Empowerment Act of New York bill on June 7.
According to a report by New America Media, new legislation that would modernize New York state's voter registration system could add one million voters to the rolls. Senator Gianaris is the co-sponsor of the legislation.
An estimated one million potential voters could be added to New York state’s rolls should forthcoming legislation be enacted, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. State Sen. Michael Gianaris, the co-sponsor of legislation that would modernize New York’s voter registration system, said his bill “will make it easier for people to vote.” He said he plans to introduce the bill by early June at the latest and, if adopted, it would take effect in 2013.
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.
An editorial by the New York Daily News reports on the proposal by New York City's Deptartment of Education to overhaul struggling schools. Under the plan, schools face options that range from having to replace 50% of their staff to having to shut down completely.
The future of eight large Queens high schools — and the hundreds of educators who work there — are in jeopardy as the city plans to overhaul the struggling institutions.
The schools could lose up to half of their staff and receive a new principal and name this fall after the city and teachers union failed to reach an agreement on teacher evaluations.
The move could help the city get up to $60 million in federal funds.