Issues: Local Government

From the Desk of Senator Jack M. Martins

Independence Day

You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn. You cannot build character and courage by destroying men's initiative and independence. And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves. - Rev. William John Henry Boetcker

This 4th of July, I thought I’d go beyond a column wishing you the usual round of safe holidays and hearty barbecues. Don’t get me wrong. Of course, I hope your holiday will be all of those things and more, but sentiment alone is never enough for a thoughtful column. Instead, I thought we could reflect on a more particular aspect of the holiday and how it may actually apply to some good news about our home state of New York.

July 5, 2012
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Newsday: Senator Martins Leads LI Delegation in Bills Passed

Newsday - Monday July 2, 2012

By Yancey Roy

Counting the number of bills a lawmaker gets passed certainly doesn’t tell the entire story.

Many of the bills the state Legislature approves are very small-scale in nature. And it’s an Albany truism that those in the political minority in either house (Republicans in the Assembly, Democrats in the Senate) rarely get more than a handful of their bills passed. Sometimes they give up “authorship” of a bill to a majority-party member to aid its passage.

That said, adding up bills is a way that constituents can see how active and successful their lawmakers are at getting bills through.

July 3, 2012
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State Rep: Unblock Sunscreen Ban In Schools

NY1 did a story on Senator Gianaris' sunscreen in school bill. 

Watch the video here.

July 2, 2012
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Little known policy bans sunscreen in schools

Senator Gianaris appeared on Channel 7's segment on sunscreen in schools and talked about his bill that would make it easier for children to use sunscreen while in school.

Watch the video here.

July 2, 2012
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Sen. Michael Gianaris' bill would change New York's restrictive policy that lets students apply sunscreen

New York Daily News wrote about Senator Gianaris' proposed legislation, which would reverse the New York State Department of Eduaction's ban on students bringing sunscreen to school.

State officials are looking to change regulations that give New York school kids a sunburn.

Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) said New York has the same restrictive sunscreen policy that led two Washington state sisters to be hospitalized last week with severe sunburns — and he’s proposed legislation to change it.

Gianaris said his bill would rewrite state Education Department guidelines that prevent students from applying sunscreen unless they have a note from their doctor. Instead, Gianaris’ bill would permit sunscreen application with a note from a parent.

 

July 2, 2012
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Second Round of Low-Cost Power Allocations to Long Island Announced

Low Cost Power Program will Help to Create and Retain Thousands of Jobs across New York

An additional 161 businesses and not-for-profit organizations across the state have been awarded more than 80 megawatts (MW) of low cost power in the second round of allocations under the ReCharge New York program. This round of RNY allocations is expected to generate substantial private capital investments and retain approximately 25,000 jobs.

For Long Island, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) Board of Trustees this week approved allocations that total almost 7 MW of power to 24 enterprises, and are linked to almost 7,000 jobs and significant capital investments in the region.

July 2, 2012
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Senator Martins' Bill to Assist Firefighters Awaits Governor's Signature

Long Island is blessed to have its fire services provided by dedicated volunteers who commit their time and talent, often entering dangerous situation at all hours of the day and night, in order to protect their neighbors.

When the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) brought forth a concern, Senator Jack M. Martins, chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Local Government, sponsored legislation to alleviate the concern. It passed both houses overwhelmingly and now awaits Governor Cuomo’s signature.

June 28, 2012
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Senator Martins: Getting It Done For New York

Since taking office in Janaury 2011, Senator Jack M. Martins has worked with his colleages and the Governor to make Albany gridlock and dysfunction a thing of the past . Over the past two years, hard work and compromise resulted in landmark new laws that will keep New York State moving in the right direction. These major new initiatives include the following:

· DNA Databank: This landmark crime-fighting law will implement the largest expansion of the State’s DNA databank since it was first created in 1994.

June 27, 2012
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From the Desk of Senator Jack M. Martins

Another Step Forward

After the final 24 hours of our legislative session, I felt like I had been shot out of a cannon. On Thursday, June 21, my colleagues and I in the State Senate had a jam-packed day that officially finished up our work for the 2012 session. We adjourned just after 10 p.m., at which time I picked up my bags at the hotel to start home, making the nearly three hour drive from Albany to Mineola. It's great to be home.

June 26, 2012
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New York Times: Upstate Legislators Aid Caterer in Its Bid for Liquor License on Park Ave.

The New York Times reports:

After spending at least $30,000 a month on lobbyists, the Rose Group Park Avenue L.L.C., which operates a catering hall at Park Avenue and 63rd Street, has enlisted two upstate lawmakers to help in its fight for a liquor license.

 

The State Senate voted on Wednesday to support the catering hall’s request, despite opposition from neighbors, the local community board, a nearby Presbyterian church and local lawmakers, who were concerned about noise and traffic.

 

June 25, 2012
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Senator Gianaris Speaks Against S.7789

Watch this YouTube video of Senator Gianaris' remarks opposing a bill that would make it easier for power plants that were supposed to be placed here on a temporary basis to become permanent.

June 25, 2012
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Senator Gianaris Speaks on S.7517 Regarding Queens Parkland

Watch this YouTube video of Senator Gianaris speaking on the Senate floor about S7517, regarding Hallet's Point land. The Senate GOP tried to keep Gianaris from sponsoring this bill, despite his work on the issue and the fact that it's in his district.

June 25, 2012
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Gianaris Remains 12th S.D. Senator, Maloney Hailed

Queens Gazette posted an article reporting that Senator Gianaris will continue to represent Dutch Kills and the 12th senate district.

June 25, 2012
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The Capitol Pressroom for June 20, 2012

Senator Gianaris was interviewed on Susan Arbetter's show, discussing the probability of ending session without a deal on the decriminalization of marijuana and teacher evaluations.

Listen to the audio here.

June 25, 2012
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Voter Empowerment Act Introduced

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.

 

[...]

 

June 25, 2012
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Senator Gianaris on RNN's Richard French Live Discussing Stop & Frisk Policy

Check out Senator Gianaris' interview on RNN's Richard French Live discussing how his bill to increase penalties for the imposition of quotas by the police department would also reduce the number of stop and frisks.

June 25, 2012
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Law could simplify voter registration

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.

 

June 25, 2012
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Senator Martins Honors Officer Brennan For Brave Service

Wounded Police Officer Recovers From Shooting

Senator Jack M. Martins recently honored New York City Police Officer Kevin Brennan, who has made an incredible recover after being shot in the back of the head earlier this year while in the line of duty.

On January 31, 2012, Officer Brennan responded to a report of a shooting in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The Garden City Park resident was shot in the base of his skull. The suspect was later arrested. For Brennan, the recovery process was slow, but focusing on his family has served as motivation for a full recovery.

Brennan’s wife Janet has been a constant source of support and his daughter, Maeve, who was six-weeks-old at the time of the shooting, has been his inspiration.

June 25, 2012
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New York State Senate 2012 Session Highlights

2012-2013 NEW YORK STATE BUDGET

For the second consecutive year, the New York State Senate completed an early passage of the state budget. The 2012-13 state budget achieved the Senate Republicans’ goals of reducing state spending, not raising taxes and creating new private sector jobs.

Highlights include:

STATE SPENDING GROWTH HELD UNDER TWO PERCENT

> The $133.4 billion spending plan reduced all-funds spending for the second year in a row. In addition, the budget limited growth in state operations spending to 1.9 percent, which is less than the two percent spending cap passed last year by Senate Republicans and enacted for local government and school district budgets.

June 22, 2012
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Martins-Schimel Voting Mandate Relief Measure Passes Both Houses

Just as they did two years ago, Senator Jack M. Martins and Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel stood up to fight for villages, school districts and special districts by passing legislation that ensures the democratic process will go on in local communities without a costly mandate that would ultimately have to be borne by taxpayers.

June 22, 2012
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