Weekly Update: Week of March 11 to March 18
Fighting For Yonkers Education Funding: Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins is fighting for the $15 million of Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) Aid that the Senate Republican Budget Resolution cut from Yonkers, which will directly affect the school district. This cut would be added to the $17 million reduction in education aid that Governor Cuomo already proposed for Yonkers, and since VLT Aid is disbursed directly to the city schools, the district will face a $32.5 million shortfall if the Senate GOP budget is enacted. The Senator has written a letter to Majority Leader Skelos, detailing the impact of these cuts on the district’s 26,000 students and 3,500 employees. To read it, click here. She also spoke at length on the floor of the Senate about how these massive cuts would set Yonkers back. To see video of the Senator speaking on the floor, click here. The Senate and Assembly majorities are currently negotiating final details in conference committees, and the final budget must receive Governor Cuomo’s signature to become law.
Bills to Assist New York’s Veterans Approved by Senate: This week, the Senate passed a package of bills, supported by Senator Stewart-Cousins, relating to honoring and assisting New York’s veterans. One measure authorizes the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to hold license-free fishing events to provide rehabilitation for veterans or active duty members of the armed forces. “It is our duty to be mindful of the sacrifices that our men and women in the armed services have made on our behalf, and it is important to support programs and policies designed to assist them, their families and their honor,” stated Senator Stewart-Cousins.
Kensico Elementary Students Travel to Albany; Visit with Senator Stewart-Cousins: Students, parents, and teachers from Kensico Elementary School took a class trip to Albany this week and met with Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins during their visit. The Senator gave the students a homework assignment—they are to research the total amount of spending in last year’s State Budget, and write back to the Senator in her Albany office with the correct answer. To see a picture, click here.
In The District
Coffee and Conversation: Senator Stewart-Cousins and County Legislator John Nonna held a successful Coffee and Conversation event this week, turning out over 50 members of the community to the Mt. Pleasant Public Library in Pleasantville. Attendees had the opportunity to enjoy coffee and discuss state and county issues with their Senator and County Legislator. Topics of discussion ranged from ethics legislation in Albany to school funding.
St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations: Senator Stewart-Cousins celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with residents and staff of the Richmond Children’s Center in Yonkers. The center, located on North Broadway, provides care for individuals with developmental disabilities. At the celebration, the Senator and other attendees were treated to a performance by the St. Christopher’s Marching Band of Dobbs Ferry. Senator Stewart-Cousins also celebrated the holiday by marching in last weekend’s Tarrytown/ Sleepy Hollow St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Speaking to 4th Graders at Padeia School: Senator Stewart-Cousins spoke to fourth graders at The Padeia School in honor of Women’s History Month. The Senator discussed how women fought for the right to vote, and how they play a critical role in government today.
Did you know?
NYS Sales Tax on Clothing and Shoes Ends April 1: You will no longer have to pay sales tax on clothing and shoes under $55 per item, starting April 1.