Newsroom

Senate Gives Final Legislative Approval to Bill That Protects New York's Water Resources

The New York State Senate today passed a bill protecting protect New York’s environmental and economic future by improving management of water supplies and preventing over-consumption by large-scale users. The bill (S.3798), sponsored by Senator Mark Grisanti (R, Buffalo), ensures that water supplies will be protected to meet the needs of New York’s residents, industry, agriculture and environment now and into the future.

June 16, 2011
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Senate Passes Expansion of DNA Databank

The New York State Senate today passed a bill (S.5560) that significantly expands the ability of law enforcement to solve crimes by requiring those convicted of all felonies and misdemeanors to submit DNA samples. The measure, sponsored by Senator Stephen Saland (R-I-C, Poughkeepsie), is supported by the District Attorneys across the state, crime victims’ advocates and Governor Andrew Cuomo. The bill would greatly enhance the DNA database to protect communities by keeping more criminals off the streets, while also reducing the financial costs and victims’ emotional strain by solving more crimes in an expeditious manner.

June 16, 2011
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Senate Passes MTA Payroll Tax Repeal

The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.5596A/ A.8193A) to repeal the MTA Payroll Tax, easing an enormous financial burden that has caused job losses and hurt businesses across the downstate  region.  The bill, which has strong support from business organizations including the Business Council of New York State and the National Federation of Independent Businesses,  is sponsored by Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R, C, I- Shirley), Senator Jack Martins (R-C-I, Mineola) and other Senators representing the 12-county MTA region.  

June 15, 2011
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Senate Passes Renee's Law

The New York State Senate today passed “Renee’s Law,” which would help protect staff of the state’s youth residential programs and ensure appropriate placement of youth based on their criminal history. The bill (S.5565), co-sponsored by Senator Catharine Young (R,I,C – Olean) and Senator George Maziarz (R,C – Newfane), was prompted by the brutal 2009 murder of Renee Greco committed by youth in her care. Renee Greco was only 24-years-old when she was bludgeoned to death while supervising troubled teenagers at a group home in Lockport, Niagara County.  

June 15, 2011
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Senate Passes Legislation to Strengthen Law Against Text Messaging While Driving

The New York State Senate today passed a bill (S.5643) that will make it easier for law enforcement to crack down on texting-while-driving offenses and prevent tragic accidents caused by drivers distracted by texting.  The bill represents an agreement with the State Assembly which is also expected to act on the legislation today. The bill is sponsored by Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R-Syosset), Senator Jim Alesi (R-C-I, Perinton), and Senator Joseph Robach (R-C-I, Rochester). The bill would make text messaging while driving a primary violation rather than a secondary violation. Under the current law, a driver can only be cited for texting-while-driving if another violation, such as speeding, is also being cited.

June 14, 2011
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Senate Passes Bill to Give More Adopted New Yorkers Access to Valuable Information

The New York State Senate today passed a bill enabling people who were adopted in New York but born in other states to participate in the New York State Adoption Registry. The bill (S.5145), sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos (R, Rockville Centre) gives adoptees born in other states the same ability to access information as eligible New York-born adoptees. 

June 13, 2011
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Senate Passes "Buy From the Backyard" Act to Boost Local Agricultural Purchases

The New York State Senate today passed the “Buy From the Backyard Act” to promote the purchase of food grown or produced locally. The bill (S.2468), sponsored by Senator Thomas Libous (R-C-I, Binghamton), requires state agencies with food contracts to buy at least 20 percent of their food from New York sources. “If every household in New York spent just $15 per week on local food, we could pump $5.5 billion into New York State’s economy,” Senator Tom Libous said. “And that’s just households. This bill will help state agencies join in supporting our farmers and stimulating the economy. We're investing taxpayer dollars right back into our state."

June 13, 2011
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Senate Passes Concussion Management Awareness Act

The New York State Senate today passed the Concussion Management Awareness Act, sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannon (R, C, I, - Garden City), Chairman of the Senate Health Committee, that would direct the State Health and Education Departments to adopt rules and regulations for the treatment and monitoring of students with mild traumatic brain injuries. “The number of children each year who suffer brain injuries, such as concussions, is alarming,” Senator Hannon said. “New York needs legislation to outline rules and regulations for the treatment and monitoring of students with mild traumatic brain injuries, and that’s exactly what my legislation provides.”

June 13, 2011
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Senate Passes Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011

The New York State Senate today passed major ethics reform legislation, entitled the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011.  The measure, which is sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos, represents a three-way agreement with the Assembly and Governor Andrew Cuomo, and is a significant step toward restoring the public’s trust in government.  

June 13, 2011
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Senate Passes Initiative and Referendum

The New York State Senate today passed a constitutional amendment  that would give New Yorkers a more direct role in the legislative process by empowering them to enact and amend laws through initiative and referendum. The bill (S.709), sponsored by Senator Joseph Robach (R-C-I, Rochester), increases the ability of New Yorkers to place an issue on a ballot for a public vote.

June 7, 2011
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Senate Passes Legislation to Establish ResultsNY.gov Website

The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.3657), sponsored by Senator  Joseph Griffo (R-C, Rome) to create a new website, ResultsNY.gov, that would enable the public to review the performance of government programs to see how effectively agencies are spending tax dollars.   People visiting the site could also submit their own suggestions and recommendations on how to stop government waste and reduce State spending.

June 7, 2011
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Statement by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011

"We're pleased that the Governor is handing up this program bill today, and look forward to strengthening New York's ethics laws for those who serve in both the State Legislature and the Executive branch. As a result of this historic ethics reform agreement, which was the result of months of hard work, we've taken another step forward in restoring the public's trust in its government. I thank the Governor and the Speaker, and Senators Lanza, Flanagan and Hannon, for their commitment to achieving a positive result for all New Yorkers."

June 7, 2011
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Senate Passes Measure to Reduce Medicaid Fraud

The New York State Senate today passed a bill that implements a recommendation of the Senate Republican Task Force on Medicaid Fraud and increases the prosecution of Medicaid waste and abuse while also bringing significant savings to the state and counties. Medicaid fraud is a significant cost to the state and this legislation (S.594), sponsored by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R, Merrick), helps increase cost recoveries by allowing the state’s Office of Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) to assist local district attorneys in prosecutions of Medicaid provider fraud. 

June 6, 2011
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Senator Skelos' Statement on Ethics Reform Agreement

I am pleased to be part of this historic ethics reform agreement, and want to thank Governor Cuomo, Speaker Silver and Senators Lanza, Hannon and Flanagan for their hard work in putting this package together. After passing an on-time, fiscally responsible budget and reaching an agreement on a property tax cap, this ethics agreement signals that we've taken another step in restoring the public's trust in their government. Last year, Senate Republicans said we could do better than the ethics bill that was presented to the Legislature and ultimately vetoed by the previous governor, and today we have done so.

June 3, 2011
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Senate Passes Bill Requiring Criminal Background Checks for Bus Drivers

The New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Charles Fuschillo (R, Merrick), that would help ensure bus safety and crack down on so-called “terror” bus drivers.  The bill requires bus drivers to submit to a criminal history check. The legislation aims to improve safety for bus passengers following a string of bus crashes caused by dangerous bus drivers with a history of criminal driving convictions.

June 2, 2011
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Senate Passes Anti-Bullying Legislation

The New York State Senate today passed comprehensive anti-bullying legislation to help put an end to this destructive activity that often interferes with a student’s education and emotional well-being. The bill (S.4921), sponsored by Senator Stephen Saland (R-I-C, Poughkeepsie), would help prevent cyber-bullying as well as conventional bullying on school grounds to create safer learning environments for children.

June 1, 2011
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Senate Celebrates Memorial Day With Passage of Bills to Help Veterans and Active Military Personnel

To commemorate New York State’s upcoming Memorial Day observance, the state Senate took time to honor current and former military service members, and especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice. 

May 25, 2011
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Senate Acts to Protect New York's Most Vulnerable Children and Adults

The New York State Senate today passed a measure to prevent child and adult abuse and expand the authority of protective workers to enable full investigations into allegations of abuse. The bill (S.3306B), is sponsored by Senator George Maziarz (R-C, Newfane) due to the murder and abuse of Laura Cummings, a mentally and physically challenged young adult from Erie County.

Twenty-three-year-old Laura Cummings was murdered last year by her mother and suffered a lifetime of physical, mental, and sexual abuse by her mother and half-brother. The abuse was reported to Social Services officials on numerous occasions but no actions were taken to prevent the terrible conditions Laura endured.

May 24, 2011
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Statement by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on Property Tax Cap

Almost four months ago the Senate passed the hard property tax cap legislation proposed by Governor Cuomo.  Since then, Senate Republicans have advocated every day for the enactment of a strong property tax cap. Other than the sunset provision and minor technical issues, we have reached a three-way agreement on a bill that achieves our goals and includes 95 percent of the bill we already passed and will finally put the brakes on skyrocketing property taxes. This agreement maintains the maximum two-percent increase threshold on the total tax levy, as well as the 60 percent level necessary for school district voters to override the cap that were included in the original legislation passed by the Senate.  

May 24, 2011
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