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Senate Passes BRIDGE Reform Act

The New York State Senate today passed the Bridge and Road Investment and Dedicated Fund Guaranteed Enforcement Reform Act, also known as the BRIDGE Reform Act. The bill (S.1071), sponsored by Senator Tom Libous, will ensure that the dedicated fund, originally enacted in 1991, will go towards rebuilding, replacing and reconditioning highways and bridges to improve the safety of drivers who travel them.  

May 21, 2012
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Senate Passes Bill to Develop Training and Certification Program for Animal Control Officers

The New York State Senate today passed a bill (S.2409E), sponsored by Senator Mark Grisanti (R-Buffalo) to implement a training, examination, and certification program for animal control officers. The certification program, to be developed by Agriculture and Markets and the Department of Education, would be available to localities that choose to require animal control officers take the training program.

May 21, 2012
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Statement by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos RE: Redistricting

Yesterday, the federal three-judge panel denied the motion for a preliminary injunction, and ordered the 2012 Senate elections to proceed under the lines enacted by the Legislature. The decision comes just two weeks after the New York Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that our redistricting plan complied with the State Constitution, and less than a month since we received preclearance from the Obama administration’s Department of Justice. I am extremely pleased with this decision, and it ensures the state can administer an orderly and fair election this fall.

May 17, 2012
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Senate Passes Bill to Crack Down on College Hazing

The New York State Senate today passed legislation to prevent the tragic injuries and deaths that can occur due to hazing at colleges and universities. The bill (S.1937), sponsored by Senator Kenneth LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson), would help cut down on hazing by strengthening a college or university’s enforcement authority and increasing awareness of the consequences of hazing, underage drinking, and illegal drug use. “Hazing can create physical as well as emotional scars that may last a lifetime,” Senator LaValle said. “There is nothing ‘good-natured’ about hazing and it cannot be tolerated on our college and university campuses.”

May 16, 2012
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Senate Passes Protection of People With Special Needs Act

The New York State Senate today passed the Protection of People With Special Needs Act, which reforms and strengthens protections for more than one million state residents with special needs. The bill (S.7400), sponsored by Senator Roy McDonald (R-C-I, Saratoga), will enhance the safeguards for children and adults who are particularly vulnerable to abuse and neglect and receive care from New York’s human service agencies and programs.

May 16, 2012
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Senate Passes Legislation to Help Disabled Veterans

The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.2423), sponsored by Senator Gregory R. Ball (R-C, Pawling), that would give greater access to state contracts to veterans who were disabled during their service.   This bill would codify for New York an identical and highly successful program adopted for federal contracting.  Given the increase in the number of veterans and disabled veterans due to recent overseas conflicts, this bill would provide a small measure of recognition that this group of selfless men and women deserve.

May 15, 2012
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Senate Passes Legislation Which Makes Viewing Child Pornography a Felony

The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.7407), sponsored by Senator Martin Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn), that would make the viewing of child pornography a felony crime. The bill amends current state law to say that a person is guilty of a crime when the person knowingly accesses child pornography with the intent to view.  The legislation comes after a state Court of Appeals ruling earlier this month that said viewing child pornography on the Internet is not a crime. This legislation closes that loophole.

May 15, 2012
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2012 College Affordability Plan - Making College Affordable for Middle Class Families

SENATE REPUBLICANS PROPOSE COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY PLAN

Making College Affordable for Middle Class Families Through: Increased Tuition Tax Breaks; Lower Student Loan Interest Rates;Tuition Pre-Payment; Truth-in-Lending for Student Loans

May 15, 2012
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Senate Passes Legislation to Require Inmates to Make Medical Copayments

The New York State Senate today passed a bill (S.476), sponsored by Senator Michael Nozzolio (R-C, Fayette), that would protect the taxpayers of New York State by requiring state and county correctional facility inmates to make copayments for health care visits the same policy that is in place in the federal prison system and two-thirds of the states.

May 14, 2012
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Senate Passes Bill to Protect Teens from Sexual Predators at Schools

The New York State Senate today passed legislation that would make it a crime for school employees to engage in sexual activity with students, including those who are older than New York’s legal age of consent. The bill (S.6714), sponsored by Senator Betty Little (R-C-I, Queensbury), addresses inappropriate student-school employee relationships by criminalizing sexual conduct between school employees and full-time students of elementary and secondary schools.

May 14, 2012
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Senate Passes Bill to Protect Remains of Crime Victims

The New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Michael Ranzenhofer (R-C-I, Amherst), that would close a loophole in the state health law that gave a Western New York man who killed his wife the sole rights to her remains. In 2009, Constance Shepherd of Tonawanda was brutally murdered by her husband, Stephen Shepherd. Her family fought to gain control of her remains to ensure a proper funeral and burial.  However, under the state Public Health Law Stephen Shepherd had the sole rights to control the disposal of her remains.  

May 14, 2012
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Senate to Act Next Week on 'Protection of People With Special Needs Act'

Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos today announced that the Senate will act next week on legislation to reform and strengthen protections for more than one million state residents with special needs who are served by facilities and programs operated, licensed and certified by State agencies.

May 9, 2012
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Senate Gives Final Passage to Iran Divestment Act Expansion

The New York State Senate today gave final legislative passage to an expansion of the Iran Divestment Act.  The bill (S.6462), sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, includes state and local public authorities, the State University of New York, and the City University of New York among the governmental entities prohibited from entering into new or renewed contracts with companies that provide goods, services or credit worth $20 million or more to Iran's energy. The Assembly has already approved the legislation (A.9224), which is sponsored by Speaker Sheldon Silver.

May 9, 2012
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Senate Passes Bill to Require Immediate Investigation by Law Enforcement of Abuse in State Facilities

The New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Steve Saland (R, I, C – Poughkeepsie), that would modify current reporting procedures involving the abuse of children in residential care.   The measure (S.6563) guarantees that reports of certain abuse will be immediately forwarded to law enforcement.  The passage of this legislation comes amidst the latest announcement by Governor Andrew Cuomo of his proposal to establish the Justice Center for the Protection of Persons with Special Needs.

May 8, 2012
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Senate Renews Call for Assembly to Pass Measures to Fight Auto Insurance Fraud

New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos, Senate Insurance Committee Chairman Senator James L. Seward and Senator Martin Golden today joined law enforcement, insurance advocates, business groups, and victims to press for the Assembly’s passage of three auto insurance fraud prevention bills before the end of this year’s legislative session. Auto insurance fraud costs New Yorkers more than $1 billion a year and has led to injuries - even death - for innocent victims. 

May 8, 2012
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Senate Passes Bill Protecting Homeowners Who Make Changes to Accommodate Older Relatives or Disabled People

The New York State Senate today passed a bill (S.638), sponsored by Senator Martin Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn), which allows local governments to authorize property tax exemptions for people who make improvements or changes to their homes to accommodate senior relatives or disabled people. The legislation means that homeowners are able to add on to their homes for this purpose without having to pay higher taxes resulting from increased property assessments.

May 7, 2012
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Statement by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on COA Ruling

I am gratified that the Court of Appeals has unanimously ruled that the Senate's reapportionment plan is fair and complies with the State Constitution.  Today's decision by the State's highest court upholds the addition of a 63rd Senate seat, consistent with the requirements of the State Constitution.  It was the Senate Democrats who wrongly dragged us into court and wasted taxpayer money pursuing this matter.  This ruling comes on the heels of the Obama administration’s decision to preclear our reapportionment plan, after determining it complied with Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Finally, I am grateful that the Court of Appeals heard this important case on an expedited basis.

May 3, 2012
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Senate Passes Bill to Crackdown on Drunk Drivers

The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.4740C), sponsored by Senator Owen H.

May 2, 2012
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Senate Passes Sex Abuse Prevention Bills

The New York State Senate today passed a package of eight bills to prevent sexual predators from obtaining access to potential victims and help law enforcement and communities keep track of their whereabouts. The bills will help increase the amount of information available about convicted sex offenders and seeks to prevent them from obtaining access to vulnerable individuals. “When sexual predators are released from prison, we need to make sure laws are in place to keep our children and communities safe,” Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said. “This package of bills would address recidivism by increasing penalties for crimes and improves public awareness by enhancing the information collected and disseminated about sex offenders.” 

May 1, 2012
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Senate Passes Bill to Criminalize Synthetic Marijuana

The New York State Senate today passed legislation to criminalize the sale and possession of synthetic marijuana. The bill (S.6694), sponsored by Senator John Flanagan (R-C-I, East Northport),  would also criminalize the sale and possession of hallucinogenic chemicals deceptively called “bath salts.” 

April 30, 2012
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