Newsroom

Statement by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on CSEA Contract Approval

The approval of a new five-year contract by CSEA is a victory for all New Yorkers. I applaud Governor Cuomo, CSEA President Danny Donohue and the members of CSEA for achieving a deal that will save taxpayers $73 million this fiscal year, and will help ensure a balanced state budget, avert layoffs and maintain vital state services.  

August 16, 2011
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Statement by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos

It is a very sad day for all New Yorkers as we mourn a great statesman and leader, Governor Hugh Carey, who brought the state and the city back from the financial abyss in the 1970’s. He will be remembered as a man of courage who put partisan politics aside and made the tough decisions needed to get New York’s fiscal house back on sound footing. Governor Carey’s message during that crisis of financial discipline and living within our means still resonates to this day.

August 7, 2011
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Senate Introduces "Protect Our Children Act"

In the wake of Caylee Anthony’s tragic murder case and the murder of eight-year-old Leiby Kletzky in Brooklyn, legislation has been introduced in the New York State Senate that would make sweeping, comprehensive changes to the state’s child protection laws to help protect children from cruel and repeated abuse. The bill, called the “Protect Our Children Act” (S.5862), is sponsored by Senators Mark Grisanti (R, North Buffalo), Stephen Saland (R-I-C, Poughkeepsie), Andrew Lanza (R-I, Staten Island), Greg Ball (R-C, Pawling) and Charles Fuschillo (R, Merrick). 

July 21, 2011
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Statement by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on Tax Report

Today’s report by Comptroller DiNapoli, showing that tax collections for the first quarter of the State’s Fiscal Year have far outpaced recent estimates, is encouraging, and we must continue to monitor this situation over the next six months. 

July 20, 2011
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Historic Property Tax Cap Becomes Law

The New York State Senate today announced enactment of an historic property tax relief law that caps the growth of local property taxes.

 

The Governor signed the law passed by the Senate on June 24, 2011, and sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos. The law caps school and local government taxes to less than two percent or the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is lower. The new law also includes $127 million in mandate relief savings to local governments, in addition to the creation of a Mandate Relief Council to identify and repeal unsound, unduly burdensome laws and regulations.

 

June 30, 2011
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Summary of 2011 Senate Legislative Action

2011-2012 NEW YORK STATE BUDGET

June 27, 2011
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Senate Passes Historic Property Tax Cap Legislation

The New York State Senate today passed historic property tax relief legislation that enacts a cap on the growth of local property taxes. The bill (S.5856), sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos, will cap school and local government taxes to less than two percent or the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is lower. Mandate relief is also included, with $127 million in savings to local governments, in addition to the creation of a Mandate Relief Council to identify and repeal unsound, unduly burdensome laws and regulations.

June 24, 2011
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Senate Passes NY-SUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Legislation

The New York State Senate today passed legislation to establish the NY-SUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program that includes capital funds for investments in economic expansion and job creation at the four SUNY University Centers, as well as a predictable and rational plan for SUNY tuition that will allow students and families to plan for tuition costs. The bill (S.5855) represents a three-way agreement among the Governor, Senate and Assembly.

June 24, 2011
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Statement from Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on Same Sex Marriage Legislation

After many hours of deliberation and discussion over the past several weeks among the members, it has been decided that same sex marriage legislation will be brought to the full Senate for an up or down vote.   The entire Senate Republican Conference was insistent that amendments be made to the Governor’s original bill in order to protect the rights of religious institutions and not-for-profits  with religious affiliations.  I appreciate the Governor’s cooperation in working with us to address these important issues and concerns. As I have said many times, this is a very difficult issue and it will be a vote of conscience for every member of the Senate.

June 24, 2011
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Senator Fuschillo and Assemblyman Morelle Announce Agreement On Landmark Autism Insurance Reform

State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R, Merrick) and Assemblyman Joseph D. Morelle (D, Rochester) today announced an agreement between the Legislature and the Governor’s office in support of legislation to enable individuals with autism spectrum disorders to receive insurance coverage for screening, diagnosis and treatment. The bill (S.4005-B) 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.

June 23, 2011
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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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