A Busy Legislative Week

 

    For those of you who are not aware, the state legislature will be wrapping up the 2014 Legislative Session on June 19th. I have been in Albany this week working on many bills that I believe are priority before the end of session. Check out some of the highlights of the week here, on my website or on social media.

     

    SCHOOLS IN NEW YORK CITY TO BE CLOSED WHEN THE GOVERNOR DECLARES A WEATHER EMERGENCY

    Among the many bills before the New York State Senate yesterday in which I supported, I wanted to announce that I voted for a bill, S. 6523, introduced by Senator Andrew Lanza, that would require that schools in New York City be closed when the Governor declares a weather related state of emergency.

    I think it is important that we always keep the safety of school children and staff in mind when making decisions of whether or not to open schools in bad weather.

     

     PARKS & PLAYGROUNDS SHOULD BE ABOUT SWINGS, SLIDES AND FIELDS, NOT DRUGS

     Prescription drug crisis makes law needed more than ever

     The New York State Senate today has approved S. 2173A which he sponsored, by a vote of 56-3, that would increase penalties for the sale of controlled substances if it occurs on park grounds or in playgrounds.

     Today’s vote follows the recent report published by the Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, which I am a member, that outlines and addresses the prescription drug war currently facing communities throughout the State.

     I commend my colleagues for supporting this bill that would better protect our children from drug dealers especially in places where they are supposed to be safe. Stricter laws are on the books to reduce the presence of drugs in school zones, and today, the Senate has approved this bill that would similarly guard parks and playgrounds. Parks and playgrounds should be about swings, slides and fields and not drugs.

     Read more at http://bit.ly/1n85HFQ

      

    LEGISLATION SEEKS TO COMBAT GANG VIOLENCE AND DRUG TRAFFICKING ON OUR STREETS

    The State Senate has approved legislation I sponsored, S4444A, by a vote of 50-9, that would enact the New York State Criminal Street Gang Act.

    The legislation, championed by the Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, would provide a comprehensive approach to protecting the public from gang-related crimes and violence, including those that relate to drug trafficking. According to the U.S. Justice Department, street gangs are among the primary distributors of illegal drugs on the streets. There are presently more than one hundred known gangs in New York City.

    As a former New York City Police Officer, I know that gangs on our streets destroy communities, schools, and families. In the wake of the heroin and prescription drug crisis that is taking too many young lives, this is definitely the time to create stricter penalties and education programs to reduce gang violence. We must not only work to prevent the formation of gangs, but we should penalize, track and educate their members, so that the dangers they cause on our streets can end.

    Read more at http://bit.ly/1jngl9c

     

    STATEWIDE EFFORT TO OVERSEE SANDY RECOVERY FUNDS

    New York State Senate has approved a bill I introduced, S. 4666, that would mandate the New York State Division of the Budget, to oversee, track and report on the State’s spending of funds set aside for the recovery efforts related to Superstorm Sandy.

    The legislation would require the Division of the Budget, along with the State Comptroller, to maintain detailed information on their website regarding the expenditure of Sandy recovery monies within the State. Additionally, this bill requires that a quarterly report be submitted on the receipt, distribution and administration of this funding.

    Read more at http://bit.ly/1pCzSYb