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Senate Passes Landmark "Power NY" Legislation

The New York State Senate today gave final legislative passage to the “Power NY Act” to secure the state’s energy future by expanding the availability of affordable, clean and reliable electricity, while also creating jobs and boosting the economy.  Power NY (S.5844), sponsored by Senator George Maziarz (R-C, Newfane), has three main components: it reauthorizes and modernizes the licensing process for major electric generating facilities (also known as Article X), provides incentives to consumers for energy efficiency investments, and explores the potential for additional solar power generation in the state.

June 22, 2011
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Senate Passes Bill to Facilitate Early Detection of Breast Cancer

The New York State Senate today passed legislation to provide stronger preventative health care for women.  The bill (S.1883A), sponsored by Senator John Flanagan (R-C-I, East Northport), requires insurance companies to cover the cost of supplemental screening for women who have dense breast tissue or who are at greater risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer.

June 22, 2011
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Senate Gives Final Legislative Passage to NYRA Call Center Bill

The New York State Senate today gave final legislative approval to a measure that keeps jobs in New York by requiring racing and wagering call centers to be located in-state. The bill (S.4876), sponsored by Senator Andrew Lanza (R-I, Staten Island), arises following a recent decision by the New York Racing Association (NYRA) to locate it’s pari-mutel wagering call centers in Oregon.

June 21, 2011
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Senate Gives Final Legislative Passage to Juvenile "Sexting" and "Cyberbullying" Prevention Bill

The New York State Senate today gave final legislative passage to a bill (S.5253B) to divert youth to an education program addressing the sending of nude or obscene photographs through electronic technologies, also known as “sexting,” as well as conduct that constitutes “cyberbullying.”  The bill, entitled the “Cyber-Crime Youth Rescue Act,” sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannon (R-C-I, Garden City), requires the development of an educational program about the numerous perils of sexting and cyberbullying. The program provides an option other than a permanent criminal record for juveniles deemed eligible by a court.    

June 21, 2011
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Senate Passes Bill to Lower Counties' Public Defense Costs

The New York State Senate today gave final legislative passage to legislation, sponsored by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), to help counties save money in providing public defense services to individuals who cannot afford an attorney.  The legislation (S5474) would exempt legal aid societies from having to pay a fee to search DMV records in public defense cases. This exemption would provide savings to the counties who fund the services provided by legal aid societies.

June 21, 2011
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Senate Passes Bill Enabling Coverage for Oral Chemotherapy

The New York State Senate passed a bill to potentially save chemotherapy patients thousands of dollars in pharmaceutical costs by ensuring  that chemotherapy treatment, no matter how administered, is covered equally by insurance companies. The bill (S.3988), sponsored by Senator Andrew Lanza (R-C, Staten Island), would help patients by enabling oral chemotherapy – a treatment in pill form - to be covered by insurance as a chemotherapy treatment.  “There is absolutely no reason why life-saving medicines should be covered differently simply because of the way they are administered,” said Senator Lanza. “This bill is about keeping up with the times and the changing face of medicine.”

June 21, 2011
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Senate Passes Bill to Allow Private Air Ambulance Services to Offer Membership Subscriptions.

The New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Patricia Ritchie (R-C, Heuvelton),  that would allow private air ambulance services to offer membership subscriptions. This proposal would help ensure the continuation of air ambulance services in rural areas of New York State.

June 20, 2011
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Senate Approved Bill Would Allow Local Governments to "Piggy-Back" on Procurement Contracts

The New York State Senate today approved legislation (S.5525B), sponsored by Senator Betty Little (R-C-I, Queensbury), that would allow local governments to cooperatively purchase, or piggy-back, on contracts already approved for other government agencies, including those of other states or the federal government.   The same terms and conditions of a contract already awarded would apply and there is a provision in the legislation to ensure that competitive bidding standards consistent with state law must have been used.   “This is a cost savings measure,” said Senator Betty Little.  “It gives our local governments a lot more options when they have a need to contract for goods or services.”

June 20, 2011
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Senate Gives Final Legislative Passage to "Good Samaritan" Law

The New York State Senate today gave final legislative passage to a bill that would help reduce the potential for fatalities caused by drug overdoses. The bill (S.4454B), sponsored by Senator John DeFrancisco (R-C-I, Syracuse), is known as a “good Samaritan” measure because it limits the use of evidence of illicit activity when an individual seeks treatment for someone experiencing an accidental drug overdose.  “The primary reason people do not call 911 or go to the hospital for an overdose is fear of prosecution,” Senator DeFrancisco said. “This bill doesn’t condone drug use, but rather, acknowledges the importance of helping a victim and spurring a response from witnesses that may help protect the well-being of another person.”  

June 20, 2011
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Senate Passes Legislation to Establish Fixed School Tax Rate for Seniors

The New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson), that would establish a fixed real property school tax rate for seniors who are eligible for the enhanced STAR exemption, providing much needed tax relief to hundreds of thousands of seniors throughout New York State.

June 20, 2011
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Senate Approves Bill to Strengthen Due Process Provision of Medicaid Law

The State Senate today approved legislation (S.3184), sponsored by Senator Betty Little (R-C-I, Queensbury), to ensure appropriate due process protections for providers and recipients of Medicaid who come under the scrutiny of the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG). The legislation adds to the law which created the OMIG in 2007, to assure fairness and procedural clarity when audits are conducted.

June 20, 2011
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Senate Passes "Complete Streets" Legislation

The New York State Senate today passed the “Complete Streets” legislation which would help make roadways safer for all who use them. The bill (S.5411A), by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) requires state, county, and local transportation agencies to consider roadway design features that increase the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists.

June 20, 2011
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Senate Passes School Bus Mandate Relief Act

The New York State Senate today passed the “School Bus Mandate Relief Act” (S.4434A) to provide schools with budget savings by allowing boards of education to reduce the number of seats provided for student transportation if the seats aren’t being used by students. The measure, sponsored by Senator Jack Martins (R-C-I, Mineola) is expected to save school districts millions of dollars.

June 17, 2011
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Senate Gives Final Legislative Approval for Landmark Autism Insurance Reform

The New York State Senate today approved legislation to enable individuals with autism spectrum disorders to receive insurance coverage for screening, diagnosis and treatment. The bill (S.4005A), sponsored by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R, Merrick), would save tens of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses spent by families caring for individuals with autism and address insurance companies’ refusal to cover costs for autism treatments and therapies. Autism Spectrum Disorders affect individuals of all ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic groups. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1 in 110 children, including 1 in 70 boys, are currently affected with autism.

June 17, 2011
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Senate Passes Bill to Protect Railroad Passengers from Second-Hand Smoke

The New York State Senate today gave final legislative passage to a bill, sponsored by  Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), to help protect MTA passengers from harmful second-hand smoke exposure. The legislation (S3461C) would ban smoking in outdoor spaces for ticketing, boarding or platforms of train stations operated by the MTA or its subsidiaries, such as Long Island Rail Road or Metro-North. Both the City of New York and the State of New Jersey have already enacted similar laws banning smoking on outdoor train platforms.

June 16, 2011
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Senate Gives Final Legislative Approval to Bills Limiting Military Funeral Protests

The New York State Senate today gave final legislative approval to two measures that offer additional buffers and restrictions for protests or demonstrations seeking to disrupt military funerals, burials or memorial services. The bills, sponsored by Senators Lee Zeldin (R-C-I, Shirley) and Joseph Griffo (R-C, Rome), balance the constitutional right of free speech with the ability of families to respectfully mourn the individuals who gave their lives in service to our country.

June 16, 2011
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Senate Passes Legislation Prohibiting Harmful Levels of Toxics in Children's Jewelry

   The New York State Senate today passed a measure that would prohibit the sale of children’s jewelry which may contain harmful levels of cadmium and other hazardous substances. The bill (S.4055A), sponsored by Senator James Alesi (R-C-I, Perinton) protects children from accidentally ingesting cadmium, often used in inexpensive charm bracelets, pendants and other jewelry.

June 16, 2011
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Senate Passes Legislation Allowing Towns to Set Speed Limits

The New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Elizabeth Little (R-C-I, Queensbury), to allow towns throughout New York State to establish their own speed limits. Currently, towns are required to seek permission from the New York State Department of Transportation to change a speed limit, a sometimes long and arduous process.  However, villages, towns with populations greater than 50,000 residents, suburban class towns and all cities are not required to seek the same approval. “This is a clear example of the confusing and contradictory nature of New York laws affecting local governments,” said Little.  “This legislation addresses a simple issue and I’m hopeful it will pass the Assembly and receive the governor’s approval.”

June 16, 2011
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Senate Passes Bill Imposing Jail Time on Multiple DWI Offenders

The New York State Senate today passed a measure that would impose mandatory jail time for individuals who chose to drive again under the influence of drugs or alcohol after having been previously convicted of such a crime. The bill (S.2597) is sponsored by Senator Charles Fuschillo (R- Merrick), Chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee, and is intended to increase the penalties for multiple DWI offenders.

June 16, 2011
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Senate Gives Final Passage of "Gold Alert"

The New York State Senate today gave final passage of legislation that expands an existing alert system to help locate missing vulnerable adults. The “Gold Alert” bill (S.3293B), sponsored by Senator John A/ DeFrancisco (R-I-C, Syracuse), creates a system to help authorities get proper notifications, coordinate resources, and investigate incidents where individuals, such as those with illnesses or disabilities, go missing.

June 16, 2011
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