Newsroom

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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Senate Acts to Help Protect Pedestrians From Truck Accidents

The New York State Senate today passed legislation that will require certain trucks to be equipped with a special convex mirror that helps improve visibility and reduces the risk of pedestrian accidents. The bill (S.3151), sponsored by Senator Martin Golden (R,C,I-Brooklyn), was requested by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg following a significant number of pedestrian deaths and injuries attributed to the inability of some truck drivers to see people passing in front of their vehicles.

May 23, 2011
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Statement by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on PIT Surcharge

The personal income tax surcharge is dead.  It died at the end of March, when the Legislature approved a new state budget that did not extend it; a position supported by Senate Republicans and by Governor Cuomo. I know I speak for my conference, for our constituents and for millions of taxpayers in this state who believe that cutting taxes to help businesses create jobs and help families make ends meet is the real moral imperative. Senate Republicans will not support any renewed efforts by the Assembly Democrats to extend the PIT surcharge. 

May 18, 2011
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Senate Passes Academic Research Information Access Act

The New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Jim Alesi (R-C- I, Perinton), that would enable public and private academic and research libraries in New York State to create an information infrastructure unequaled in the world.  Known as ARIA, the Academic Research Information Access Act (S.3736-A), leverages the state’s public and private higher education sector – arguably the largest and most diverse in the nation – to facilitate collaboration and efficiencies by providing for the voluntary pooling of assets in order to obtain access to high-end electronic, peer-reviewed, information resources such as journals, serials, and databases.

May 17, 2011
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Senate Passes Brittany's Law, Creates Statewide Violent Felony Offender Registry

The New York State Senate today passed Brittany’s Law (S.3645B), a bill that would establish a statewide violent felony offender registry by requiring offenders to register with the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services upon release from prison. The law is intended to increase the safety of all New Yorkers by providing access to the list of convicted violent offenders.

May 17, 2011
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Senate Passes Boater Safety Bill

The New York State Senate today passed an important bill that  requires all individuals, regardless of age, who have been found guilty of operating a boat after consuming alcohol to take a boating safety course before they can operate a boat again. With peak boating season soon approaching, bill S.2903B, sponsored by Senator John DeFrancisco (R-C-I, Syracuse), helps prevent accidents stemming from individuals who are guilty of boating while intoxicated.

May 16, 2011
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Senate Acts to Create New Panel to Support Aging Veterans

The New York State Senate today approved legislation to help older veterans by creating an advisory committee that specifically assists state officials in addressing important veterans issues. New York has the second highest veteran population in the United States and bill S.3337, sponsored by Senator Michael Ranzenhofer (R-C-I, Amherst), focuses on improving the care and state support available to aging veterans by creating a panel of gerontology and veterans’ issue experts. “Our veterans have sacrificed so much for our country and for the freedoms which we all enjoy,” Senator Ranzenhofer said.  “They have earned only the best care and support programs and establishing a Veterans Advisory Committee will ensure that continues.”

May 16, 2011
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Senate Passes "Adopt-A-Park" Program

The New York State Senate today passed the “Adopt-a-Park” bill, which allows the state and municipalities to work together to develop agreements with volunteers to beautify parklands. Bill S.2686A, sponsored by Senator Mark Grisanti (R, North Buffalo), would assist local governments in continuing to provide communities with safe and enjoyable public spaces by allowing volunteer groups to provide services to enhance and maintain parks.

May 16, 2011
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Senate Transportation Committee Holds Public Hearing Examining Use of Public-Private Partnerships to Fund Transportation Projects

The New York State Senate Transportation Committee, chaired by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), today held a public hearing examining the use of public-private partnerships (P3s) to fund transportation infrastructure projects. The hearing comes at a time when the State is facing an infrastructure crisis. The state is replacing and rehabilitating far below the necessary number of bridges and highways to maintain a state of good repair. Nearly half of New York’s 17,400 state and local highway bridges are either deficient now or will become deficient within the next ten years.

May 16, 2011
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Senate Acts to Prevent Prostitution Near Schools

The New York State Senate today passed legislation to protect the welfare of children by  creating new crimes of promoting or patronizing prostitution near school grounds. The bill (S.1313A) would make schools safer by enabling law enforcement to charge anyone involved in the sex trade and acting within 1,000 feet of school grounds with a class E felony.

May 10, 2011
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Senate Passes Bill to End Criminals' Ability to Profit from Crime

The New York State Senate today passed legislation that protects the rights of victims by prohibiting criminals from profiting from crimes, regardless of their plea or conviction.  The bill (S.4393) sponsored by Senator John Flanagan (R-C-I, East Northport) closes a loophole in the original Son of Sam law which was designed to prevent the Son of Sam, David Berkowitz, from profiting from his crime.  

May 10, 2011
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