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Senate Passes Bill to Increase Penalties for Stalking

The New York State Senate today passed a bill, sponsored by Senator Carl L. Marcellino, that would increase the penalties for stalking (S. 924A). An estimated 3.4 million people are victims of stalking in the United States each year. "The obsessive nature of stalkers is unimaginable until you have suffered as the target of their endless pursuit,” said Senator Marcellino. “Stalking is a serious and potentially life-threatening crime. It changes the lives of the people who are victimized forever. This heinous behavior often proves lethal and the punishment must fit the crime.”

February 13, 2012
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Senate Passes Bills to Curb Illegal Prescription Drug Abuse

With the abuse of illegally-obtained prescription narcotics growing rapidly, the New York State Senate today passed several bills to curb the black market in prescription painkillers. Senate approval of the bills, sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannon (R, C, I - Garden City), Chairman of the Senate Health Committee, and Senator Jack Martins (R-C-I, Mineola), followed a roundtable discussion on the issue of abuse of prescription painkillers, held today by Senator Hannon and Senator Jeff Klein, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Alcohol and Substance Abuse.  This was a second in a series of public meetings discussing legislation to combat prescription drug abuse and to examine improving New York’s prescription reporting system.

February 13, 2012
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Senate Passes Bill Banning Offenders from Working on School Buses

The New York State Senate today passed a bill that would ban certain criminal offenders from working on school buses (S.6157A). The bill, sponsored by Senator John Bonacic, prohibits people who are convicted of offenses, such as sex and drug crimes, from being school bus monitors.  The bill also bans anyone convicted under Leandra’s Law from being a school bus driver for five years after conviction. Leandra’s Law makes it a felony to drive drunk with others in the car who are under 16 years old.

February 7, 2012
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Senate Passes Package of School Bus Bills

The New York State Senate today passed a series school bus bills that will ensure child safety and enhanced communication. A bill was passed, sponsored by Senator John Bonacic, that increases the penalties for passing a stopped school bus (S.3099A).  The legislation would impose a sixty day suspension of a driver’s license if convicted of passing a stopped school bus two or more times.

February 6, 2012
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Senate Passes DNA Databank Expansion Legislation

The New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Steve Saland (R-I-C, Poughkeepsie) and Senator Martin Golden (R-C, Brooklyn), for the largest expansion of the state’s DNA databank since it was created in 1994.  The legislation mirrors the databank expansion plan proposed by Governor Cuomo in his Executive Budget to require people convicted of all felonies, as well as all misdemeanors in the penal law to submit DNA samples.  

January 31, 2012
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Skelos and Silver Announce Joint Legislative Budget Schedule

Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today announced an agreement on a joint legislative budget schedule that, for the first time, sets deadlines that lead to an early adoption of a state budget.   “This schedule sets out a plan to adopt a new budget more than a week before the April 1st deadline,” Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said. “This is another example of how the Senate, Assembly and Governor are working together to make state government function and planning for another early budget.”  

January 27, 2012
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Bipartisan Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment Release New State Senate District Lines

The bipartisan Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment --co-chaired by Senator Michael F. Nozzolio and Assemblyman John J. McEneny  --  today released new Senate district lines, based on population shifts which occurred over the last ten years. 

January 26, 2012
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Senate Passes Bill to Ban Salvia Divinorum

In an effort to keep drugs out of the hands of New York State’s youth, the New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator John Flanagan (R-C-I, East Northport), to ban the sale of the legal hallucinogen salvia divinorum.  

January 24, 2012
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Senate Passes Bill to Toughen Laws for Driving Under the Influence

The New York State Senate today passed legislation that creates new penalties for individuals supervising another driver while also under the influence of drugs or alcohol, also known as Abbagail’s Law (S.164C).   The bill, sponsored by Senator George Maziarz (R-C, Newfane), is named after eight-year-old Abbagail Buzard, who died in a car accident caused by an inexperienced driver who was supervised by a parent under the influence of alcohol.

January 23, 2012
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Senate Passes Legislation to Create Felony Charges for Wrong-Way and Reckless Drivers

The New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), to create felony charges for wrong-way and other reckless drivers. “Wrong-way drivers have caused tragedies and endangered lives on our roadways; it has to stop.  Creating felony charges for wrong-way and reckless drivers will give law enforcement another tool to prosecute these individuals and get them off the roads,” said Senator Fuschillo, Chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee.

January 23, 2012
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Senate Passes Michelle and Jordan's Law

The New York State Senate today passed legislation to increase penalties for unlawful high-speed car racing which has caused numerous accidents across the state, including the deaths of a 17-year-old Staten Island girl and a 5-year-old Queens boy. Michelle and Jordan’s Law (S.2938A)  is sponsored by Senator Andrew Lanza (R-I, Staten Island) and stems from tragic crashes involving suspected drag racing at excessive speeds.

January 19, 2012
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Statement by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on Governor's Budget Proposal

I am very encouraged that the Governor has again proposed a budget that closes the deficit by reducing spending and without increasing taxes or fees, and includes plans for job creation, property tax relief and other reforms to make sure tax dollars are spent wisely. These are long held priorities of the Senate Republican conference.   The Governor has advanced a number of innovative reforms and made it clear that we need to reform Medicaid and the pension system to ease these costly burdens on local governments and property taxpayers. 

January 17, 2012
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Senate Passes Iran Divestment Legislation

The New York State Senate today gave final legislative passage to the Iran Divestment Act, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.  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. 

January 9, 2012
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Senate to Act on Iran Divestment Legislation Monday

Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos today announced that the Senate is expected to pass the Iran Divestment Act of 2012 during the Senate session on Monday, January 9th. “When I introduced this bill last fall, I said the Senate would take it up very early in the 2012 session and we are keeping that commitment,” Senator Skelos said.  “The Senate’s swift action shows how important it is that we stand together to condemn tyrannical governments like Iran which sponsor terrorism, have attempted to acquire nuclear weapons and threaten U.S. allies like Israel, as Iran has repeatedly done.  I applaud Speaker Silver for taking the lead on this effort and moving it forward in the Assembly.”

January 6, 2012
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Statement by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos

Archbishop Timothy Dolan is an inspiring spiritual leader who has devoted his life to the Catholic Church and to improving the lives of New Yorkers of all faiths.  His elevation to Cardinal is a well deserved recognition of his faith, service and leadership.  He is a good friend and I look forward to working with him as he continues his outstanding service to the Catholic Church.

January 6, 2012
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Senator Skelos' Prepared Remarks at the State of the State

I want to thank Governor Cuomo for the invitation to speak to you today.

Governor, you have been a leader, an innovator, and a friend.  Thank you for that.

It is a pleasure to again share this stage with Lieutenant Governor Duffy,  Speaker Silver,  Comptroller DiNapoli and Attorney General Schneiderman.

And it’s nice to see Chief Judge Lippman and the members of the Court of Appeals.

Happy New Year to you and to all my colleagues and to members of the public from across the state.

And a special thank you to Archbishop Demetrios and Rabbi Romm for being with us today.

January 4, 2012
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Tax Cuts and Property Tax Cap Highlight New Laws That Take Effect January 1, 2012

Middle class tax cuts that will reduce tax rates for millions of hardworking taxpayers and the two-percent property tax cap highlight new state laws that will go into effect on January 1, 2012. The recently enacted tax cuts will reduce tax rates on middle class taxpayers to their lowest levels in more than 50 years (Chapter 55, L.2011). About 4.4 million middle class taxpayers will receive a total of  $690 million in personal income tax relief.  A tax relief measure for manufacturers that will help them expand and create new jobs will also take effect next year, beginning January 1, 2012, as will provisions for flood relief and recovery, and the implementation of inflation adjustments to reduce personal income taxes. 

December 16, 2011
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Statement by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on the Creation of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics

"Today's creation of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics is another step forward in restoring the public's trust in state government. While the vast majority of people enter public service for all the right reasons, this bipartisan commission will ensure that every legislator continues to be accountable to the people they work for. I am confident that former Senator Rath, Justice Covello and George Weismann will do outstanding work alongside Chairwoman DiFiore and the other representatives of this commission."

December 12, 2011
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Statement by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on MTA Payroll Tax Repeal

"The MTA payroll tax has been an enormous burden on businesses and today we are lifting that burden. More than 290,000 small businesses will now have a greater opportunity to invest in their businesses and invest in creating new jobs. I want to thank the members of the Senate Republican Conference, especially Senator Lee Zeldin, for keeping up the pressure to repeal this job-killing tax; and I thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership and for signing this measure into law."

December 12, 2011
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Senate Passes $3.3 Billion Tax Cut and Job Creation Plan

The New York State Senate today passed the Middle Class Tax Cut and Job Creation Plan that will reduce taxes for millions of hardworking, middle-class taxpayers to their lowest levels in more than half a century.  In addition, the comprehensive plan will help strengthen our economy and create new jobs by eliminating the job-killing MTA payroll tax for more than 78 percent of the small employers that pay the tax.  The plan will provide a total of more than $3.3 billion in tax relief to individuals and businesses.

December 7, 2011
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