Newsroom

Senate Passes Bills to Help Taxpayers

On New York State’s tax filing deadline, the state Senate today passed legislation that would expedite payment of income tax refunds and simplify STAR property tax relief filings for senior citizens.

A bill sponsored by Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R, Syosset) ensures prompt payment of a state income tax refund. Traditionally, the state Department of Taxation and Finance has held returns requesting refunds for up to two months, starting from when taxpayers file their return to when they may actually see the refund.

April 17, 2012
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Senate Passes Bill to Increase Prison Sentences For Persistent Violent Offenders

The New York State Senate today passed legislation that would keep the most dangerous, violent, repeat criminals behind bars and out of our communities. The bill (S.1539), sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos (R-C, Rockville Centre),  requires persistent violent felony offenders be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.  This bill recognizes that persistent violent offenders are most likely to commit violent crimes again and would ensure that violent, recidivist criminals are permanently prevented from posing a danger to society.

April 17, 2012
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Senate Completes Second Consecutive Early Passage of State Budget

 For the second consecutive year, the New York State Senate has completed an early passage of the state budget. The 2012-13 state budget achieves the Senate Republicans’ goals of reducing state spending, not raising taxes and creating new private sector jobs.  The new state fiscal year begins April 1st.

March 30, 2012
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Senate Passes Bill to Protect Domestic Violence Victims

The New York State Senate today passed legislation that gives judges the ability to consider well-established risk factors in determining bail or recognizance in domestic violence cases so that a victim and their family can be further protected from an assailant.  The bill (S.1414A), sponsored by Senator Stephen Saland (R-I-C, Poughkeepsie), would allow the history of violence or threats of violence, prior orders of protection, and the accused’s access to guns to be considered by a judge, potentially affecting their release conditions and sparing many victims and their children additional harm or even death.

March 29, 2012
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Senate Passes Tough Auto Insurance Fraud Measures

The New York State Senate today passed three bills to combat auto insurance fraud, which costs New Yorkers more than $1 billion a year, as well as legislation that would impose stronger criminal penalties for staging auto accidents. Recent cases of auto insurance fraud have uncovered massive crime rings, including doctors, lawyers and scam artists who staged accidents and used New York's no-fault insurance program as their own giant state-sponsored, ATM machine.

March 22, 2012
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Senate Passes Legislation to Combat Gun Crimes

The New York State Senate today passed two bills, sponsored by Senator Martin Golden (R-C, Brooklyn), to combat gun crimes and enhance penalties for gun crimes that endanger children. “As a former New York City police officer, I have seen first-hand the fear and devastation caused by criminals with guns,” Senator Golden said.  “People who use force to terrorize and prey upon others must be punished to the fullest extent of the law.  The bills I am proposing would make our laws strong enough to make use of a firearm in the commission of a crime unthinkable.”

March 21, 2012
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Senate Passes Bill to Increase Penalties for Robberies With Fake Explosives

The New York State Senate today passed legislation that would increase penalties for criminals who attempt robberies with devices appearing to be bombs or explosives. The bill (S. 720A), which was developed in collaboration with law enforcement, is sponsored by Senator Joe Robach. It would elevate the criminal charge from third degree to first or second degree robbery. “It doesn’t make any sense that there are stronger penalties when a criminal robs someone with a fake gun than with a fake bomb,” said Senator Robach. “This bill recognizes that inequity and equalizes the charge and punishment.”

March 19, 2012
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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 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."

March 19, 2012
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Senate Passes Measures to Reduce Pesticide Waste

The New York State Senate today passed two bills that would reduce the amount of pesticides that are unnecessarily released into the environment. The bills, sponsored by Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R, Syosset) and Senator Mark Grisanti (R, North Buffalo), have environmental and economic benefits by reducing the amount of pesticides needing to be applied or disposed of as hazardous waste.

March 19, 2012
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Senate Passes Bill to Increase Port Authority Accountability

The New York State Senate today passed legislation to ensure the proper functioning of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as an open, transparent and accountable interstate authority. The bill (S.5878) is named the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Transparency and Accountability Act and is sponsored by Senator Andrew Lanza (R-I, Staten Island). The Act is part of a bipartisan, bi-state effort designed to create a new system of accountability at the Port Authority.  “With passage of this legislation in the New York Senate, we are one step closer to bringing urgently needed reforms to the Port Authority requiring more open, transparent and accountable operations,” said Senator Andrew Lanza.

March 15, 2012
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Statement by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on Expansion of DNA Databank

“DNA is the 21st Century equivalent of a fingerprint and the most powerful law enforcement tool to catch and prosecute criminals and protect victims. The Senate fought to create the DNA Databank and I applaud the efforts of Governor Cuomo, the law enforcement community and victims' advocacy groups to expand it to include all crimes and make it even more effective.”

March 14, 2012
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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.

March 13, 2012
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Senate Passes Honesty in Permit Processing Act

The New York State Senate today passed legislation to help professionals and businesses by reducing delays in the issuance of permits, licenses and other approvals needed from state agencies.  The Honesty in Permit Processing Act (S.2461), sponsored by Senator Tom Libous (R-C-I, Binghamton), would require state agencies to figure out and publicize the average time it takes to process permits. The bill would then give the agency a certain amount of time past the average to issue a permit or refund the application fee.

March 13, 2012
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Senate Republicans Announce 2012 NEW JOBS-NY Job Creation Plan

Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos and members of the Senate Republican Conference today announced details of the 2012 NEW JOBS-NY Job Creation Plan that includes significant tax relief to encourage the creation of new private sector jobs, measures to ensure fiscal responsibility and control state spending, as well as other reforms and incentives to make New York more economically competitive.  The plan will be included in the Senate budget resolution to be acted on next week.

March 7, 2012
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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 Jim Alesi (R-C-I, Perinton) protects children from accidentally ingesting cadmium, often used in inexpensive charm bracelets, pendants and other jewelry.  “It is everyone’s responsibility to protect our children, especially from products containing hazardous substances,” said Senator Alesi. “This bill takes an important step to prevent the sale of items that could cause accidental and unnecessary exposure and severe health effects.”

March 6, 2012
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Senate Passes Legislation to Protect Graves of Civil War Veterans

The New York State Senate today passed legislation that would prohibit the unauthorized sale of veteran cemetery markers that are over 75 years old, and would create the new crime of desecration of a veteran cemetery plot, grave or burial place.  These bills continue the Senate’s commitment to maintain the dignity of veterans’ cemeteries and commemorative property.

The Senate passed a bill (S.1504), sponsored by Senator William Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson), that would prohibit the unauthorized sale of veteran’s commemorative cemetery markers, flag holders, monuments, statues or other physical memorabilia that are over 75 years old.  

March 5, 2012
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Senate Passes Package of Sex Crimes Bills

The New York State Senate today passed a series of bills increasing penalties for people convicted of sex crimes against children. The Senate passed legislation (S1541A), sponsored by Senator Majority Leader Dean Skelos, that would increase criminal penalties for sexual contact between a child and a person in a position of trust, which includes any adult responsible for supervision of children when they are not with their parents. 

March 5, 2012
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Senate Passes Bills to Expand Use of ATVs

The New York State today passed two bills aimed at making it easier for drivers to register and use all terrain vehicles (ATVs), especially for agricultural use. Legislation (S.3318), sponsored by Senator Patricia A. Ritchie (R-C, Heuvelton), raises the legal weight limit for registering ATVs from 1,000 pounds to 1,500 pounds.  This would allow new, larger vehicles, known as utility vehicles (UTVs), to be registered in New York State.  These types of vehicles can currently be registered in other states, such as Pennsylvania, that receive the sales tax revenues from purchases.

February 29, 2012
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Senate Passes Bill to Repeal Massive Mandate on Business

The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.6063A), sponsored by Senator John A. DeFrancisco, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, to repeal the notification provisions of the Wage Theft Prevention Act, a massive, costly mandate on every employer in the state.   “Other than costing businesses to lose countless hours and waste millions of dollars, this mandate has done nothing to help employees or create new jobs,” Senator DeFrancisco said.  “We have to eliminate mandates like this to make New York more competitive so businesses can focus on growing and creating jobs rather than keeping track of more paper and paying fines if they don’t.”

February 29, 2012
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Senate Passes Bill to Allow Continued Use of Lever-Style Voting Machines

The New York State Senate today passed a mandate relief bill that would allow school districts, special districts and villages to permanently continue using lever voting machines in their respective local elections, sponsored by Senator Jack Martins (S. 6296). This legislation would remove the 2012 sunset of provisions that would allow the ability to use the lever voting machines.  The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) required states to adopt new voting machines in federal elections, and in implementing the Act, New York chose to use new machines for all elections. This has proven costly to local governments in both time and money.

February 29, 2012
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