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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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Senator Skelos Unveils Tough Plan to Crack Down on Illegal Guns and Criminals Who Use Guns

Senate Republican Conference Leader Dean G. Skelos today announced a package of tough, commonsense gun safety measures to eliminate the sale and possession of illegal guns and increase penalties for people who use guns to commit crimes. Statistics show illegal guns are used in the vast majority of gun crimes in New York State.   The proposals come in the wake of horrific recent incidents including the tragic school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut; the ambush and killing of two volunteer firefighters in Webster, New York; the shooting incidents that injured three NYPD officers just two days ago; and the cold-blooded killing of a Nassau County police officer and a motorist last October.

January 5, 2013
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Senator Skelos and Senator Young Call for Stronger, Permanent Kendra's Law

Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos and Senator Catharine Young (R-C-I, Olean) today said that enacting a stronger, permanent Kendra’s Law must be a priority for the 2013 session, and should be included in any legislative agreement on gun safety.   Their call comes in the wake of the tragic school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, and two fatal incidents of people being pushed in front of New York City subway trains, allegedly by people with histories of mental illness.

January 4, 2013
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Senate Bipartisan Task Force on Hurricane Sandy Recovery Meets on Long Island

The New York State Senate’s Bipartisan Task Force on Hurricane Sandy Recovery today visited communities on Long Island to tour storm damage and speak with local officials, business leaders, and individuals about the progress and challenges of the ongoing recovery efforts. Today’s meeting focused on Hurricane Sandy’s impacts in Nassau and Suffolk counties and included tours of Freeport, Island Park, and Oceanside to view the extensive storm damage and recovery efforts. This was the second meeting of the Bipartisan Senate Task Force for Hurricane Sandy Recovery, which first met on December 10, 2012, in the Rockaways in Queens.

January 3, 2013
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Statement by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on Hurricane Sandy Relief

The failure of Congress to act on the federal assistance legislation to help the millions of people impacted by Hurricane Sandy is absolutely unconscionable.   People in my district and throughout the region continue to struggle to put their lives back together.  Business owners are working to get back on their feet and everyone is trying to restore a sense of normalcy. By walking away from the aid bill, the House leadership has turned their backs on New Yorkers in their time of need.  Without action to provide federal aid, rebuilding homes and businesses and repairing vital infrastructure becomes even more of an uphill battle.

January 2, 2013
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Statement by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on New Jobs Report

The unemployment data released today proves that our efforts to make New York more economically competitive are working. According to the state Labor Department, New York added 83,500 new private sector jobs this year and the state’s unemployment rate dropped in November. Over the past two years, the Senate partnered with Governor Cuomo to reduce business taxes, put the brakes on rising property taxes and provide strategic economic investments across our state to encourage job creation and business growth.   Our bipartisan efforts are paying off, but there is still more work to be done. At 8.3 percent, New York’s unemployment rate is still higher than the national average (7.7 percent).  

December 20, 2012
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Laws Taking Effect on January 1, 2013

A new sales tax exemption designed to encourage solar energy use and a law to provide new protections for domestic violence victims highlight the list of new state laws that take effect on January 1, 2013.  Other measures that take effect on New Years Day include laws that help craft brewers distribute their products, prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, and authorize new ways for colleges to provide health insurance for students.

December 19, 2012
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Statement by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos

I commend Governor Cuomo for taking action to prevent a 45 percent toll hike on trucks that use the New York State Thruway.  This massive proposed increase, which was opposed by Senate Republicans, would have negatively impacted small businesses throughout New York and hurt our efforts to grow the economy.

If we are going to continue the progress we’ve made over the last two years, we’ll need to do it without raising taxes and fees, or increasing the cost of doing business.  This is great news for businesses and taxpayers.

 

December 17, 2012
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Statement by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos

There simply aren’t words that can express the sadness and shock of the senseless tragedy that took place this morning in Newtown, Connecticut.  My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims of this heinous attack that has brought such heartbreak and grief to people in Connecticut and across the country.

December 14, 2012
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Statement by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos

I join all New Yorkers in wishing Senator Steve Saland the best as he completes a 32-year career in the State Legislature, the last 22 as a distinguished member of the New York State Senate.  Steve is a highly-respected lawmaker and a dear friend.

This chamber will miss Steve Saland’s clear and steady voice, most notably in the areas of criminal justice and victim’s rights.  Steve was the author of more than 350 laws, and he has been a fierce advocate for the victims of domestic violence and child abuse. 

December 13, 2012
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Statement by Senator Dean Skelos on Reelection as Senate Republican Leader

I am honored that the members of our Senate Republican Conference have voted unanimously today to reelect me as their leader.  I appreciate their support and confidence, and look forward to being a strong voice for their priorities. By partnering with Governor Cuomo and the Independent Democratic Conference, Senate Republicans have delivered the bipartisan results New Yorkers need and deserve, including two early budgets that reduced spending, enactment of a two percent property tax cap, middle-class income tax relief and an end to Albany dysfunction.  

December 11, 2012
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