Newsroom

Statement by Senate Republican Conference Leader Dean Skelos

A report issued today by the State Department of Labor highlights the steady, bipartisan progress we’ve made with Governor Cuomo in controlling spending and taxes, creating new private sector jobs and turning New York’s economy around.                                                

March 7, 2013
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Senate Passes the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act

The New York State Senate today passed the “Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act” to further protect trafficked children and other victims, and punish the criminals who are responsible for sexual exploitation.

March 6, 2013
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Senate Approves Mixed Martial Arts Legislation

The New York State Senate today passed legislation to legalize and regulate mixed martial arts (MMA) competitions in New York State.

March 6, 2013
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Statement by Senate Republican Conference Leader Dean Skelos

Today, the Assembly once again advanced legislation to increase the minimum wage in New York State, this time proposing a hike to a full $9.

March 5, 2013
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Senate Acts to Keep Communities Safer From Sexual Predators

The New York State Senate today passed four bills that would keep communities safer from sexual predators. The package of legislation requires more stringent verification requirements for sex offender residency, and strengthens penalties for individuals who help sex offenders evade registration requirements.

March 5, 2013
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Senate Republicans Unveil "Grown in New York" to Strengthen Agriculture and Family Farms

Growing the state’s agriculture industry and helping New York’s family farms prosper is the goal of the “Grown in New York” plan, unveiled today by Senator Patty Ritchie, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee.  Senator Ritchie was joined at a Capitol news conference by other members of the committee, as well as leaders of the New York Farm Bureau to announce a plan to strengthen the state’s $5.2 billion agriculture industry by expanding markets for New York-grown products, improving the bottom lines of family farms, and investing in the future of farming.

March 5, 2013
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Senate Passes Bill to Keep Dangerous Criminals Off School Buses

The New York State Senate today passed legislation to protect children by preventing people who have been convicted of crimes involving children, sexual-based offenses, and drug offenses from being a school bus monitor. The bill (S883), sponsored by Senator John Bonacic (R,C,I-Mount Hope), also updates existing laws to include Leandra’s Law convictions in disqualifying a person from being a school bus driver for five years after conviction.

March 4, 2013
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Senate Republicans Unveil Family Tax Relief Act

Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos and members of the Senate Republican Conference today unveiled the Family Tax Relief Act, a package of tax relief and reform measures designed to provide a major economic boost to New York’s struggling middle class families.   The Senate Republican plan would increase tax breaks that have not kept pace with inflation, and, in some instances, haven’t been adjusted for more than 25 years.  The plan also restores the STAR property tax rebate check program to provide real and direct relief to millions of New Yorkers who pay some of the highest property taxes in the country.

March 4, 2013
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Senate Forecasts $242 Million in Additional State Revenues

Senate Republican Leader Dean G. Skelos and Senate Independent Conference Leader Jeff Klein today released a revenue forecast by the Senate Finance Committee that estimates additional General Fund revenues, above the Executive’s projection, of $126 million in 2013-14, and  $116 million more than the Executive’s estimate for state fiscal year 2012-13.  The revenue projection, based on an economic forecast by the Senate’s nationally recognized fiscal consultants, IHS Global Insight, shows that the total two-year General Fund revenue surplus is $242 million. 

February 28, 2013
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Senate Republicans Call For Immediate Audit of State's Medicaid Program, Announce Senate Roundtable to Investigate Allegations of "Complacent" OMIG

Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos and the Senate Republican Conference today called for an immediate independent audit of New York State’s Medicaid program and announced a forthcoming joint roundtable meeting of the Senate Health and Investigations Committees to investigate allegations of complacency and inaction by the state Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG).    In addition, Senate Republicans will work to establish a system to continually monitor and evaluate the state’s Medicaid program to ensure it is working to provide health care to those who truly need it while protecting taxpayer dollars. The system will be modeled on the strategy utilized in South Carolina to gauge the effectiveness and performance of that state’s Medicaid program.

February 22, 2013
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Statement From Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos

Two years ago, Democrats and Republicans laid aside their differences and enacted a property tax cap that finally put the brakes on rising property taxes in New York. 

Passage of the property tax cap, a long-held Senate GOP priority, sent an unmistakable message to New Yorkers who were drowning in property taxes and finding it difficult to pay their bills.  And, it served notice to the old voices of the Albany status quo, whose answer to everything was always to spend more and tax more.

While it’s clear that this lawsuit has no merit, Senate Republicans are determined to protect the property tax cap for New Yorkers and their families.

February 20, 2013
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Statement by Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos

I am disappointed that Governor Cuomo did not remove the 18-a energy tax when he submitted his 21-day amendments to the Executive Budget, as recommended on numerous occasions by Senate Republicans.  The business community has said that this onerous tax costs New York's businesses and families $509 million annually and will hurt our efforts to create jobs and revitalize the state's economy.                        

February 13, 2013
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Senate Passes Bills to Promote Bus Passenger Safety

The New York State Senate today passed two bills that would enhance the safety of bus passengers by preventing registered sex offenders from becoming bus drivers and increasing penalties for passing a stopped school bus.Legislation (

February 11, 2013
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Senate Passes Tiffany's Law

The New York State Senate today passed “Tiffany’s Law”, sponsored by Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-C-I, Syracuse). The bill (S.1790) would require all prior convictions of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, whether it be an automobile (DWI), snowmobile (SWI), or all-terrain vehicle, to be considered during sentencing of a subsequent Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) conviction. In turn, any person convicted of BWI would have that charge considered during any subsequent DWI, SWI or ATV offense.

February 11, 2013
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Senate Republicans Call on Governor To Remove Utility Tax Surcharge Extension From Executive Budget

Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos and members of the Senate Republican Conference were joined today by leaders of statewide business organizations to urge Governor Cuomo to remove the proposed extension of the utility tax surcharge from his Executive Budget. The 18-a surcharge, which has increased utility bills for every ratepayer in the state,  is scheduled to expire on March 31, 2014.  The Governor’s proposed five-year extension would cost businesses and consumers a total of almost $3 billion.

February 5, 2013
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Senate Bipartisan Task Force on Hurricane Sandy Releases Preliminary Report

Less than three months after Senate Co-Leaders Jeffrey D. Klein and Dean G. Skelos launched the New York State Senate Bipartisan Task Force on Hurricane Sandy recovery, the Task Force has released its preliminary report and recommendations on Sandy relief and storm planning. The preliminary report and recommendations come after Task Force members toured storm damaged communities across the New York City Metro Area, including Freeport, Island Park, Oceanside, The Rockaways, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Hudson Valley. 

February 4, 2013
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Senate Bipartisan Task Force on Hurricane Sandy Recovery Tours Brooklyn and Staten Island

The New York State Senate’s Bipartisan Task Force on Hurricane Sandy Recovery today visited hard-hit communities in Brooklyn and Staten Island to tour storm damage and speak with local officials, business leaders, and individuals about the progress and challenges of the ongoing recovery efforts.  Tours of Staten Island, Coney Island, Sheepshead Bay, and Gerritsen Beach provided Task Force members with the ability to witness the extensive storm damage and recovery efforts in those parts of New York City. This was the fourth meeting of the Bipartisan Senate Task Force on Hurricane Sandy Recovery, which first met on December 10, 2012, in the Rockaways in Queens. Tours and meetings also took place in Nassau County and Rockland County. 

January 31, 2013
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Skelos, Klein, Silver Announce Joint Legislative Budget Schedule

Senate Majority Coalition Co-Leaders Dean G. Skelos and Jeff Klein and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today announced an agreement on a joint legislative budget schedule that sets deadlines that lead to the earliest adoption of a state budget in two decades.

January 31, 2013
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Budget Statement by Senate Republican Conference Leader Dean Skelos

While the Senate’s Finance Committee will review the entire Executive Budget over the next few weeks, I am encouraged by the plan Governor Cuomo has submitted today.  It restrains spending, eliminates a manageable deficit without new taxes or fees, and invests in job-creation initiatives.  This budget is a blueprint for building on the progress we’ve made over the last two years in getting New York back on track. We should take this opportunity to look at reducing taxes to put more money back into the pockets of hardworking families, allowing the 18-a energy assessment to expire as scheduled, and renewing our commitment to businessmen and women looking to start or grow a business in New York. 

January 22, 2013
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Clear Majority of Voters Across NY State Continue to Embrace Bipartisan Coalition Governing Model in State Senate

According to a Siena Poll released this morning, a clear majority from all parties and from all regions of New York believe that the new bipartisan leadership structure in the Senate, in which the Senate's IDC and Republican conference share control over the chamber, will help the Senate conduct its business more effectively.

January 17, 2013
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