Newsroom

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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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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