senate Bill S5987

Establishes and administers a supplemental state disaster aid program

download pdf

Sponsor

Co-Sponsors

view all co-sponsors

Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
view actions

actions

  • 20 / Nov / 2013
    • REFERRED TO RULES
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO FINANCE
  • 13 / Jan / 2014
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 13 / Jan / 2014
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.4
  • 27 / Jan / 2014
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 27 / Jan / 2014
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 27 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO GOVERNMENTAL OPERATIONS

Summary

Establishes a supplemental state disaster aid program within the NYS emergency assistance program to aid municipalities, residents and businesses that have been otherwise denied assistance from the federal government.

do you support this bill?

Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8318
Versions:
S5987
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Law Section:
State Finance Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §53, St Fin L; amd §29-e, Exec L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5987

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the state finance law and the executive
law, in relation to the establishment of a New York state disaster
recovery program

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would establish a New York
State Disaster Recovery Program for prevention, response and recovery of
natural and man made disasters, when federal assistance is unavailable.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section one of this bill would add a new subdivision 9 to the state
finance law to provide for the expenditure of funds appropriated for the
New York State Disaster Recovery Program by the division of homeland
security and emergency services for natural and man-made disaster
prevention, response and recovery pursuant such program's requirements.

Section two of the bill would establish the New York State Disaster
Recovery Program, by extending the New York State Emergency Assistance
Program to authorize the division of homeland security and emergency
services to provide natural and man-made disaster prevention, response
and recovery pursuant such program's requirements.

This expansion would specifically include the provision of assistance
for damage to municipal buildings, facilities, and infrastructure, or to
private residential or commercial property sustained by municipalities,
residents or businesses as a result of the natural or man made disaster.
Such assistance would be granted under this program, pursuant to its
guidelines, if assistance from the federal government is denied to the
municipality, resident or business which has sustained injury due to the
natural or man-made disaster. Application for such assistance pursuant
to this program would be made to the Division of Homeland Security and
Emergency Services.

This bill would further provide for the establishment of a supplemental
state disaster aid program, that shall be administered by the Division
of Homeland Security and Emergency Services in consultation with the
Department of Financial Services and the Empire State Development Corpo-
ration. This program shall be in addition to any funds provided pursuant
to any federally sponsored program, and shall include individual assist-
ance, public assistance and hazard mitigation, and shall be available to
municipalities, residents and businesses.

Section three of the bill would provide for an immediate effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: New York is a state of significant geographic diversity
and a large population Because of these factors it has always been, and
will continue to be, subject to the onset of serious natural and man-
made disasters.

Although the Federal Government has frequently been of enormous help in
seeking to assist in the prevention, response and recovery to these
disasters, because of New York's special circumstances, sometimes this
valuable federal help may prove unavailable or insufficient. According-
ly, it is therefore incumbent upon the state government to provide the
assistance necessary to provide the necessary resources to fully promote
the full prevention, response and recovery that our state and its citi-
zens need.

This bill would provide for the full establishment of such a state
program, defining the mechanisms for its delivery and administration,
while still offering the legal flexibility it will need to be success-
ful.

Subject to budget appropriations, this bill would set up a much needed
system to assure that the expenditure of state resources is successful
and that the best means of prevention, response and recovery to the
natural or man-made disaster is accomplished.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill

Fiscal Implications: This program would be subject to budgetary appro-
priations

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act would take effect immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  5987

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            November 20, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  GRIFFO,  SEWARD, FARLEY, MAZIARZ, VALESKY -- read
  twice and ordered printed, and when printed to  be  committed  to  the
  Committee on Rules

AN  ACT to amend the state finance law and the executive law, establish-
  ing and administering a supplemental state disaster aid program

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Subdivision  9  of section 53 of the state finance law is
renumbered subdivision 10 and a new subdivision 9 is added  to  read  as
follows:
  9.  IN  ADDITION  TO  THE  PROVISIONS  OF THIS SECTION, FUNDS SHALL BE
EXPENDED BY THE DIVISION OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY SERVICES FOR
NATURAL AND MAN-MADE DISASTER PREVENTION, RESPONSE AND RECOVERY PURSUANT
TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION TWENTY-NINE-E OF THE EXECUTIVE LAW.
  S 2. Section 29-e of the executive law, as added by chapter 603 of the
laws of 1993, paragraph (e) of subdivision 1 as amended  by  section  8,
paragraphs (a), (f) and (g) of subdivision 3 as amended by section 9 and
paragraphs (a) and (b) of subdivision 4 as amended by section 10 of part
B of chapter 56 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
  S 29-e. New  York  state emergency assistance program. 1. For purposes
of this section the following terms shall have the following meanings:
  (a) "Infrastructure" shall mean and include publicly owned  storm  and
sanitary  sewers, water supply systems, drainage systems, transportation
systems, roads and bridges.
  (b) "Municipality" shall mean any county, city, village,  or  town  of
the state.
  (c)  "Public  facilities" shall mean and include publicly owned build-
ings, including traditional government buildings, such  as  courthouses,
firehouses, police stations, parks, recreational facilities, and correc-
tional facilities.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD11827-02-3

S. 5987                             2

  (d) "Fund" shall mean the state's contingency reserve fund established
by law.
  (e)  "The office of emergency management" shall mean the office within
the division of homeland security and emergency services.
  2. The governor may, upon a finding that a municipality in  the  state
has  suffered substantial damage by an unanticipated natural OR MAN-MADE
disaster which has resulted in significant economic distress within such
municipality, issue a declaration of significant  economic  distress  in
accordance  with  the  provisions  herein.  In  determining whether such
significant economic distress exists, the governor shall consider wheth-
er ANY OR ALL OF the following criteria have been met:
  (a) the municipality suffered a substantial loss of assessed value;
  (b) substantial damage has occurred to municipal buildings, facilities
and infrastructure, OR TO PRIVATE RESIDENTIAL OR COMMERCIAL PROPERTY;
  (c) the cost incurred by the municipality for clean-up  operations  is
significant;
  (d)  businesses  within  the municipality have experienced significant
economic loss due to the inability to conduct normal business due to the
disaster;
  (e) a significant increase in unemployment  claims  filed  by  persons
employed within the municipality has occurred; and
  (f)  the county or the county within which the municipality is located
has been declared eligible by the United States small business  adminis-
tration for physical disaster and economic injury disaster loans.
  In  addition,  the  governor shall also consider the extent that other
financial resources, including federal  assistance  and  insurance,  are
available  to  assist the municipality, AND ITS RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES
to repair damage caused by the disaster.
  3. (a) Upon the issuance of  a  declaration  of  significant  economic
distress due to unanticipated natural OR MAN-MADE disaster by the gover-
nor, a municipality recognized by the governor as being affected by such
disaster  which  occurred  on  or after December first, nineteen hundred
ninety-two, OR A RESIDENT OR BUSINESS ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY SUCH  DISAS-
TER,  may  apply  to  the  division  of  homeland security and emergency
services on a form prescribed by such office, for reimbursement from the
state's contingency reserve fund, OR ANY OTHER DESIGNATED FUND EXPRESSLY
ESTABLISHED FOR  THE  PURPOSE  OF  PROVIDING  EMERGENCY  ASSISTANCE  FOR
NATURAL  AND/OR  MAN-MADE  DISASTERS, for reimbursement of extraordinary
and unanticipated costs associated with the reconstruction or repair  of
[public] buildings, facilities or infrastructure.
  (b) Where the municipality applying for assistance authorized pursuant
to  this  section  is  a city, and such application pertains to a county
wholly contained within such city, such city may submit separate  appli-
cations for such assistance for each such county.
  (c)  [Such]  IF  ASSISTANCE FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS DENIED TO A
MUNICIPALITY, RESIDENT OR BUSINESS WHICH HAS SUSTAINED INJURY DUE  TO  A
NATURAL  OR  MAN-MADE DISASTER, STATE ASSISTANCE SHALL BE GRANTED WITHIN
THE GUIDELINES OF SUBDIVISION FOUR OF THIS SECTION.
  (D) A municipality shall be granted the assistance  provided  pursuant
to this section, within the amounts made available by appropriation from
[the]  A  fund  SPECIFIED  IN  PARAGRAPH  (A)  OF THIS SUBDIVISION, upon
approval of [such] AN application SUBMITTED TO THE DIVISION OF  HOMELAND
SECURITY  AND EMERGENCY SERVICES, provided that such municipality agrees
to have a local disaster preparedness plan pursuant to  section  twenty-
three  of  this  article  in  effect  by December thirty-first, nineteen
hundred  ninety-three.  On  or  after  December  thirty-first,  nineteen

S. 5987                             3

hundred  ninety-three,  no municipality shall be eligible for reimburse-
ment of such expenses unless such plan is in effect.
  [(d)]  (E)  Municipalities  which have received assistance pursuant to
this section shall, as soon thereafter as may be possible,  amend  their
respective local disaster preparedness plans to include corrective meas-
ures that must be taken in order to avoid, to the extent possible, simi-
lar emergencies in the future.
  [(e)]  (F)  Municipalities,  RESIDENTS  AND  BUSINESSES  applying  for
assistance pursuant to this section shall accurately describe the  emer-
gency  conditions  which  necessitate the expenditure of funds for which
reimbursement is being sought pursuant to this section.
  [(f)] (G) In providing assistance pursuant to this section, the  divi-
sion  of homeland security and emergency services may give preference to
applicants which demonstrate the greatest need or  which  document  that
such  assistance will be utilized to bring the applicant into compliance
with federal or state law.
  [(g)] (H) In the event that amounts appropriated are  insufficient  to
provide  for  full  reimbursement of all extraordinary and unanticipated
costs incurred by such municipality, RESIDENT OR BUSINESS  approved  for
reimbursement pursuant to this section, the division of homeland securi-
ty  and  emergency services is authorized to provide a pro rata share of
the appropriations, appropriated herein, to such municipality.
  4. (A) THE DIVISION OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND  EMERGENCY  SERVICES,  IN
CONSULTATION  WITH  THE  DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL SERVICES AND THE EMPIRE
STATE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, SHALL ESTABLISH AND ADMINISTER  BY  REGU-
LATION  A SUPPLEMENTAL STATE DISASTER AID PROGRAM. SUCH PROGRAM SHALL BE
IN ADDITION TO ANY FUNDS EXPENDED OR PROVIDED THROUGH  THE  DIVISION  BY
MEANS  OF  FUNDS  PROVIDED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. WITHIN THE SUPPLE-
MENTAL DISASTER AID PROGRAM THERE SHALL BE  THREE  MAJOR  CATEGORIES  OF
DISASTER  AID.  SUCH  CATEGORIES  SHALL  INCLUDE  INDIVIDUAL ASSISTANCE,
PUBLIC ASSISTANCE AND HAZARD MITIGATION, AND SHALL BE AVAILABLE TO MUNI-
CIPALITIES, RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES THAT  HAVE  BEEN  OTHERWISE  DENIED
ASSISTANCE FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
  (B)  PURSUANT  TO  THE SUPPLEMENTAL DISASTER AID PROGRAM, APPLICATIONS
FOR STATE ASSISTANCE SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO POTENTIAL AID RECIPIENTS
BY THE DIVISION. AFTER A COMPLETED APPLICATION IS RECEIVED BY THE  DIVI-
SION,  THE DAMAGED PROPERTY SHALL BE INSPECTED TO VERIFY THE LOSS. IF AN
APPLICATION FOR A GRANT IS APPROVED BY THE DIVISION, THE APPLICANT SHALL
RECEIVE AID NOT MORE THAN THIRTY DAYS AFTER THE SUBMISSION OF THE APPLI-
CATION. IF AN APPLICATION FOR A LOAN IS APPROVED BY  THE  DIVISION,  THE
APPLICANT  SHALL  RECEIVE  AID  NOT  MORE  THAN  SIXTY  DAYS  AFTER  THE
SUBMISSION OF THE APPLICATION.
  (C) THE DIVISION SHALL COOPERATE WITH THE OFFICE OF  THE  STATE  COMP-
TROLLER  TO  PROVIDE  FOR  THE PROVISION OF PERIOD AUDITS OF THE SUPPLE-
MENTAL DISASTER AID PROGRAM, TO ASSURE THAT ALL AID AND  LOANS  PROVIDED
WERE  GIVEN ONLY TO THOSE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE SUCH ASSISTANCE AND IN THE
AMOUNTS SO REQUIRED, AND THAT SUCH DISASTER FUNDS AND  LOANS  WERE  USED
ONLY  FOR  THEIR INTENDED PURPOSES. FUNDS AND LOANS FOR THE SUPPLEMENTAL
DISASTER AID PROGRAM SHALL NOT DUPLICATE ASSISTANCE  PROVIDED  BY  OTHER
SOURCES,  INCLUDING  THOSE  PROVIDED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OR INSUR-
ANCE.
  (D) AFTER A MAJOR DISASTER, THE  DIVISION  OF  HOMELAND  SECURITY  AND
EMERGENCY  SERVICES  SHALL  ATTEMPT TO NOTIFY ALL DISASTER VICTIMS ABOUT
THE AVAILABLE AID PROGRAMS OFFERED BY THE FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS,
INCLUDING THE SUPPLEMENTAL DISASTER AID PROGRAM, AND URGE THEM TO APPLY.

S. 5987                             4

  (E) IN APPROPRIATE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE DIVISION SHALL AWARD  ASSISTANCE
TO INDIVIDUALS WHO SUSTAINED INJURY TO PERSON OR PROPERTY AS A RESULT OF
A  NATURAL AND/OR MAN-MADE DISASTER. APPLICATION FOR ASSISTANCE SHALL BE
MADE AND DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF  THIS  SECTION.
THE  DIVISION SHALL FOLLOW THE PRESCRIBED PROTOCOLS OF THIS PARAGRAPH IN
PROVIDING INDIVIDUAL ASSISTANCE.  IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE  DECLARATION  OF
THE  DISASTER,  THE  DIVISION  SHALL  FACILITATE THE ARRIVAL OF DISASTER
WORKERS AT THE VICINITY OF THE DISASTER, AND SHALL SET UP AND  ESTABLISH
A  CENTRAL  FIELD OFFICE TO COORDINATE THE RECOVERY EFFORT. THE DIVISION
SHALL FURTHER ESTABLISH AND PUBLICIZE A TOLL-FREE TELEPHONE  NUMBER  FOR
USE BY AFFECTED RESIDENTS AND BUSINESS OWNERS TO GAIN INFORMATION ON THE
APPLICATION  FOR  ASSISTANCE.  THE DIVISION SHALL FURTHER FACILITATE THE
OPENING AND  OPERATION  OF  DISASTER  RECOVERY  CENTERS  WHERE  DISASTER
VICTIMS  CAN  MEET  WITH  PROGRAM REPRESENTATIVES AND OBTAIN INFORMATION
ABOUT AVAILABLE AID AND THE RECOVERY PROCESS. WHERE POSSIBLE, THE  DIVI-
SION SHALL INTEGRATE AND COORDINATE ITS EFFORTS TO FOLLOW THE PRESCRIBED
PROTOCOLS  OF  THIS  PARAGRAPH WITH FEDERAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT EFFORTS
ALSO PROVIDING DISASTER AID OR SERVICES.  DISASTER  AID  TO  INDIVIDUALS
SHALL BE PROVIDED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES:
  I. DISASTER HOUSING. THE DIVISION SHALL MAKE INDIVIDUAL ASSISTANCE AID
AVAILABLE FOR DISASTER HOUSING FOR A PERIOD OF UP TO EIGHTEEN MONTHS FOR
DISPLACED  RESIDENTS  OF  THE MUNICIPALITY WHOSE RESIDENCES WERE HEAVILY
DAMAGED OR DESTROYED. THE DIVISION SHALL ALSO  MAKE  AVAILABLE  AID  FOR
HOUSING REPAIRS, AND FOR THE REPLACEMENT OR REPAIR OF DAMAGED ITEMS THAT
WOULD MAKE SUCH DAMAGED OR DESTROYED RESIDENCES HABITABLE.
  II. DISASTER GRANTS. THE DIVISION SHALL MAKE INDIVIDUAL ASSISTANCE AID
AVAILABLE  TO  HELP MEET OTHER SERIOUS DISASTER RELATED NEEDS AND NECES-
SARY EXPENSES NOT COVERED BY INSURANCE  AND  OTHER  AID  PROGRAMS.  SUCH
SERIOUS  DISASTER  RELATED  NEEDS  AND  NECESSARY  EXPENSES  MAY INCLUDE
REPLACEMENT OF PERSONAL PROPERTY, AND  TRANSPORTATION,  MEDICAL,  DENTAL
AND FUNERAL EXPENSES.
  III.  LOW INTEREST DISASTER LOANS. THE EMPIRE STATE DEVELOPMENT CORPO-
RATION SHALL MAKE INDIVIDUAL  ASSISTANCE  LOW  INTEREST  DISASTER  LOANS
AVAILABLE TO RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES, TO COVER UNINSURED PROPERTY LOSS-
ES.  LOW  INTEREST  DISASTER LOANS SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR REPAIR OR
REPLACEMENT OF HOMES, AUTOMOBILES, CLOTHING OR  OTHER  DAMAGED  PERSONAL
PROPERTY.  LOW  INTEREST  DISASTER LOANS SHALL ALSO BE MADE AVAILABLE TO
BUSINESSES FOR PROPERTY LOSS AND ECONOMIC INJURY. APPLICATION  FOR  SUCH
LOW INTEREST DISASTER LOANS SHALL BE MADE TO THE DIVISION, WITH APPROVAL
OF  SUCH APPLICATION REQUIRING BOTH THE APPROVAL OF THE DIVISION AND THE
EMPIRE STATE  DEVELOPMENT  CORPORATION.  THE  EMPIRE  STATE  DEVELOPMENT
CORPORATION  SHALL  BE AUTHORIZED TO ISSUE BONDS FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS
SUBDIVISION.
  IV. PERSONAL SERVICE AID. THE DIVISION SHALL MAKE  INDIVIDUAL  ASSIST-
ANCE  AID  AVAILABLE  TO PROVIDE NECESSARY PERSONAL SERVICES TO DISASTER
VICTIMS,  INCLUDING  CRISIS  COUNSELING,  DISASTER-RELATED  UNEMPLOYMENT
ASSISTANCE, LEGAL AID, INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE, SOCIAL SECURITY ASSISTANCE
AND VETERAN'S BENEFIT ASSISTANCE.
  (F)  THE  DIVISION SHALL MAKE MUNICIPALITY ASSISTANCE AID AVAILABLE TO
LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO PAY ALL OR PART OF THE COSTS OF REBUILDING A COMMU-
NITY'S DAMAGED INFRASTRUCTURE. UNLESS SUCH COST IS LESS THAN  TEN  THOU-
SAND  DOLLARS,  SUCH  MUNICIPALITY ASSISTANCE AID SHALL PAY FOR NOT MORE
THAN SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF THE APPROVED PROJECT  COSTS.  THIS  MUNICI-
PALITY  ASSISTANCE  AID  SHALL  INCLUDE  AID FOR DEBRIS REMOVAL, AID FOR
EMERGENCY PROTECTIVE MEASURES, AID FOR PUBLIC SERVICES, AID  FOR  REPAIR

S. 5987                             5

OF  DAMAGED PUBLIC PROPERTY, AID FOR ESSENTIAL GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONS, AND
INFRASTRUCTURE GRANTS FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
  (G) THE DIVISION SHALL MAKE HAZARD MITIGATION ASSISTANCE AID AVAILABLE
TO  DISASTER  VICTIMS AND PUBLIC ENTITIES TO AVOID THE LIFE AND PROPERTY
RISKS OF  FUTURE  DISASTERS.  HAZARD  MITIGATION  ASSISTANCE  AID  SHALL
INCLUDE,  BUT  NOT BE LIMITED TO, AID FOR THE ELEVATION OR RELOCATION OF
CHRONICALLY FLOOD-DAMAGED HOMES AWAY FROM FLOOD HAZARD  AREAS,  AID  FOR
THE  RETROFITTING  OF BUILDINGS TO MAKE THEM RESISTANT TO EARTHQUAKES OR
STRONG WINDS, AND AID FOR THE ADOPTION AND ENFORCEMENT OF ADEQUATE CODES
AND STANDARDS BY LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. THE DIVISION SHALL
SEEK  TO  COORDINATE   HAZARD   MITIGATION   MEASURES   WHEN   REPAIRING
DISASTER-DAMAGED STRUCTURES. IN ADDITION TO THE GRANTS PROVIDED PURSUANT
TO  APPROVED HAZARD MITIGATION ASSISTANCE AID, THE EMPIRE STATE DEVELOP-
MENT CORPORATION SHALL MAKE  HAZARD  MITIGATION  LOW  INTEREST  DISASTER
LOANS  AVAILABLE TO MUNICIPALITIES, RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES, TO PROVIDE
FOR HAZARD MITIGATION. HAZARD MITIGATION  LOW  INTEREST  DISASTER  LOANS
SHALL  BE MADE AVAILABLE UPON APPLICATION TO THE DIVISION, WITH APPROVAL
OF SUCH APPLICATION REQUIRING BOTH THE APPROVAL OF THE DIVISION AND  THE
EMPIRE  STATE  DEVELOPMENT  CORPORATION.  THE  EMPIRE  STATE DEVELOPMENT
CORPORATION SHALL BE AUTHORIZED TO ISSUE BONDS FOR THE PURPOSE  OF  THIS
SUBDIVISION.
  [4.]  5. (a) The commissioner of the division of homeland security and
emergency services as defined in article twenty-six of this chapter with
the advice and consent of the disaster preparedness  commission  created
pursuant  to  this  article, shall have the power to make such rules and
regulations as may be necessary and proper to effectuate the purposes of
this section.
  (b) The commissioner of the division of homeland security and emergen-
cy services shall by March fifteenth of each year report to the governor
and the legislature describing  the  activities  and  operation  of  the
program  authorized  by  this  section.  Such report shall set forth the
number of reimbursement applications received and approved; the  identi-
ties  of  the counties, cities, towns and villages, AS WELL AS THE INDI-
VIDUALS AND BUSINESSES receiving  reimbursement,  ASSISTANCE  OR  LOANS,
together with the amount and purpose of the reimbursement, ASSISTANCE OR
LOAN.
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.