The New York State Mandate Relief Council, which was created as part of the tax cap legislation that went into law this year, met for the first time on Wednesday, January 25. Senator Jack M. Martins, the lone member from Long Island to sit on the 11-member council, said he is looking forward to working with his fellow council members to bring relief to local governments and school districts.
The council will be charged with reviewing mandates that are passed on to local governments and school districts. The elimination or modification of some of the regulations will result in costs savings for local governments and school district, which can then pass on the savings to taxpayers.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of "NY Youth Works," a statewide program to combat the unacceptably high unemployment rates among inner city youth in communities across New York. The new program, passed last month in an extraordinary session of the state legislature, includes $25 million in tax credits for businesses that hire unemployed and disadvantaged youth and $62 million to support job training programs.
Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R,C,I – 59th District) announced that legislation (S.5889C / A.8644A) he authored to structurally reform the cost administration of New York State’s Medicaid system passed the Senate Social Services Committee with unanimous support today. Gallivan’s bill -- the subject of much attention in the Capital and across the state -- incrementally transfers the local share of Medicaid traditionally paid by county governments to the state over the course eight years.
The Queens Courier wrote an article about the Department of Justice's $4.8 million settlement with Morgan Stanley for their illegal pricing scheme, which cost ratepayers roughly $300 million. Senator Gianaris and other local politicians are pushing the Dept. of Justice to increase the fine, arguing that the current settlement is unacceptable and would allow Morgan Stanley to keep millions in profit.
Local elected officials are expending “energy” to ensure Morgan Stanley doesn’t get a quick “fix” to its illegal pricing ploy.
The Times Ledger wrote an article that talks about Fresh Direct's potential move to New Jersey and New York's attempt to keep them in the city. Senator Gianaris agrees that it would be disappointing if the online grocer were to leave New York.
A Long Island City online grocery company has filed for a large tax incentive program in New Jersey, but New York state and city agencies are hoping that Fresh Direct stays — if not in Queens, then at least in the city.
“It would certainly be disappointing if they left,” said state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria). “I think it’s important that the business climate in New York continues to be welcoming.”
The Queens Gazette wrote an article that talks about New York City's push to keep the online grocer Fresh Direct from making a move to New Jersey. Senator Gianaris believes that it is crucial to remain welcoming to local businesses, like Fresh Direct, in order to keep jobs in our neighborhood.
Fresh Direct, an online grocer that delivers to residences and offices in the New York City metropolitan area and one of the largest employers in Long Island City and Queens as a whole, has become a prize in a bidding war between New York City and New Jersey. The business, which bowed in New York City in 2002, is rapidly expanding and expects to outgrow its Long Island City facility in a few years.
An editorial written by Times Union investigates the matter of Senate Republicans' wanting to add a 63rd Senate seat, despite the fact that New York is losing two seats in Congress. Senator Gianaris and Senate Deomcrats are opposed to the addition of a 63rd seat on the grounds that the Senate Republican ploy is unconstitutional.
New York is losing two seats in Congress, so how in the world can it add another state senator?
Under the current and much-maligned redistricting process, the Republicans who control the state's upper chamber hold the pens in the once-a-decade exercise that draws district lines. Late Friday, they released an analysis explaining why they will draw 63 Senate districts, adding a member to the chamber.
State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) was named to a newly-created bipartisan Senate Select Committee on Libraries.
“Libraries are an integral resource in our communities, providing access to books, technology and education to people of all ages,” Senator Valesky said. “I am pleased to serve on this committee, to focus on the specific needs of libraries in Central New York and across the state.”
ALBANY, 01/17/12 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today commented on Governor Cuomo’s budget proposal:
“The governor’s budget proposal is a sound continuation of last year’s effort to rein in state spending without raising taxes or resorting to new borrowing. I believe the plan hits close to the mark on a number of my key priorities and provides a solid starting point for this year’s budget discussion.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today unveiled his 2012-13 Executive Budget and Reform Plan, which expands on the historic reforms enacted last year to continue building a New New York. As a result of the tough decisions and bipartisan cooperation of the past year, the State is able to close the current deficit without broad cuts, new taxes, fees or gimmicks. In addition, the Governor’s Executive Budget proposes major reforms to reduce the cost of government for taxpayers, implements accountability in our schools to put students first, and puts the State in a position to leverage billions of dollars in private sector investment to grow the economy and create jobs.
Queens, NY, January 16, 2012 – NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Queens), released the following statement today, reacting to Mayor Bloomberg’s State of the City comments regarding high school closures in his district:
ONEONTA, 01/12/12 – In media conferences across his district kicking off the 2012 session of the New York State Senate, State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) opened up his legislative playbook and detailed his “Keys for Success.” Seward’s game plan focuses on economic development, mandate relief, reform of the education aid formula, and continued flood recovery assistance.
The New York State Senate today final legislative passage to the Iran Divestment Act, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and co-sponsored by Senator Jack M. Martins. The bill would prohibit companies that provide goods, services or credit worth $20 million or more to Iran's energy industry from entering into or renewing state and local government contracts.