Andrea Stewart-Cousins's Blog entries

Trick-or-Treating This Halloween? Don't Forget, Safety First!

Halloween is a festive time of year, especially for children, but it is also an important time to increase vigilance and be on the lookout for possible safety hazards so take the necessary steps to ensure that Halloween celebrations remain safe and fun for all participants.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has provided tips to help guarantee a safe holiday this Halloween. These tips include:

October 30, 2013
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November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

November is Lung Cancer Awareness month. Lung cancer continues to affect thousands of New Yorkers and their families every year, and represents a significant risk to public health. Thousands of lives can be saved each year through awareness, healthful lifestyles, and medical care.

October 28, 2013
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Senator Stewart-Cousins Earns High Marks in Environmental Advocate Ranking

EPL/ Environmental Advocates released their annual legislative score card and Senator Stewart-Cousins received the second highest score of any member of the Senate. Each year, the advocacy group grades legislators on their environmental voting records on a select group of bills chosen by the organization called “super bills”. Senator Stewart-Cousins consistently places near the top of the rankings each year. This year, EPL/ Environmental Advocates had far fewer bills from which to grade legislators in the State Senate because that body only voted on 11 environmental bills, compared to 26 in the Assembly.

October 18, 2013
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New York State of Health: Getting Started with the New, More Affordable Health Plan

Under the federal Affordable Care Act, New York's new marketplace for health insurance debuted on October 1st. New York State of Health (NYSOH) is an organized marketplace of health insurance policies designed to help New Yorkers find affordable health coverage. NYSOH allows visitors to compare costs, determine eligibility, evaluate insurance options, and purchase health insurance online, in person, or by mail. NYSOH also tells applicants what financial assistance is available to them when buying coverage through the marketplace.

File: 
NYSOH Fact Sheet-Small Businesses

File: 
NYSOH Fact Sheet-Why It's Now Easier to Pay for Health Insurance

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NYSOH Fact Sheet-Young Adults

File: 
NYSOH Fact Sheet-Mid-Hudson 411

File: 
NYSOH Fact Sheet-Immigrants

October 7, 2013
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October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The issue of addressing and ending domestic violence and helping its victims to reclaim their lives remains a top priority for Senator Stewart-Cousins. It starts with awareness in our communities, and our willingness to reach out to friends, family, and neighbors to let them know that help is available.

October 2, 2013
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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and all New Yorkers are encouraged to take the time to promote breast cancer awareness and early detection. 

The fight for breast cancer starts with early detection. Preventative screenings, routine mammograms and setting up regular visits can make all of the difference in the battle against disease and the fight for survival.

Excluding skin cancer, nearly 1 in 4 cancers diagnosed in women is breast cancer. Though 95% of diagnoses are in women aged 40 and up, younger women and roughly 2,000 men are annually diagnosed with this disease.

October 1, 2013
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September 15th through October 15th is National Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15th through October 15th is National Hispanic Heritage Month, an annual tradition celebrating the many ways that Hispanic Americans have contributed to our American identity and history, and a wonderful opportunity to share the rich cultural mosaic that is unique to the Americas and Spain, and to learn about the vital roles Hispanic Americans play in our nation’s past, present and future.

September 15, 2013
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Statement from Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins on Observing Yom Kippur

"I would like to wish all those who will be observing Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, this evening and tomorrow an easy and meaningful fast. May you and your loved ones be signed and sealed in the Book of Life."

September 13, 2013
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Statement from Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins on Celebrating Rosh Hashanah

"As we approach the start of the Jewish High Holy Days, I want to wish all those celebrating Rosh Hashanah a happy new year. Let us hope that this new year ushers in a time of joy, progress and prosperity for our Jewish neighbors, and all New Yorkers. May we all have a Shanah Tovah U’Metukah – a happy, healthy and sweet new year."

September 4, 2013
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Have a Safe & Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Labor Day celebrates the work ethic and indomitable spirit of American workers, and the labor movement that formed to protect them from unsafe work conditions and unfair practices. This Labor Day weekend, let us take the time to reflect on our values of hard work and high quality results, and be thankful for the high standard of safety and fairness that so many struggled to establish.

August 30, 2013
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September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Show your support for women living with ovarian cancer, the fifth leading cause of cancer death amongh American women, by wearing the color teal on September 7th with the brave women who are fighting for their lives against this disease.

August 26, 2013
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Registration for STAR Now Open!

Attention homeowners! If you are one of the millions of New Yorkers receiving the Basic STAR exemption, you must re-register with the Department of Taxation and Finance in order to receive the exemption in 2014. This is part of a new law, passed by the Legislature this year, to protect taxpayers against fraudulent or inappropriate STAR exemptions. Registration has already begun and will continue through the end of December.

You can apply online by visiting this website, or by calling 518-457-2036. You will need your STAR code to apply. In the next couple of weeks, homeowners will receive a letter from the New York Tax Dept. which will include their STAR code.

File: 
0814.STAR fact sheet.pdf

August 21, 2013
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Happy 4th of July!

The 4th of July is a time to celebrate with friends and family. But its also a time to reflect on our history and the principles upon which our nation was founded.

Equality, freedom, independence and democracy were declared in America on this day and we continue to strive for these ideals. Though the road has been hard, we are proud of the significant progress we have made throughout our history.

So as you enjoy BBQ's, parades and celebrations with loved ones on this gorgeous summer day, please remember how important these ideals are to our nation and do what you can to strive for them

July 4, 2013
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Protect Yourself and Loved Ones from the Heat!

New Yorkers are advised today to take safety measures as weather temperatures continue to rise throughout New York State. While the current wave of excessively hot humid weather persists, all New Yorkers are urged to be aware of its dangers and take appropriate precautions. Checking in on elderly neighbors and others who are more vulnerable to the dangers of extreme temperatures could save lives.

June 25, 2013
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Happy Father's Day!

On Father's Day, we recognize the special influence our Dads and father figures have on our growth and lives. A heartfelt thank you to the Dads and father figures who stand by us through thick and thin and whose unconditional love is felt every day. Happy Father's Day!

June 16, 2013
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Closed Sentencing Loophole for Repeat Sexual Abusers

A bill designed to close a loophole in the sentencing law for persistent sexual abusers has passed the senate. Sexual abuse is a serious crime that deserves serious consequences. When persistent sexual abusers fall through criminal loopholes it puts all New Yorkers at risk for harm and this bill was created to prevent that.

June 15, 2013
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Straightforward Tax Relief Applications for Senior Citizens

A simplified application process for senior citizens seeking the enhanced school tax relief exemption has been announced. Many of New York’s senior citizens live on a fixed-income and rely on their tax exempt status to afford their cost of living. Under current law, senior citizens applying for tax exemption status must complete the full STAR form every year, a long and complicated process, even if their eligibility information remains the same as in the previous year. Senate Bill S.2937 will require the tax commissioner to

June 15, 2013
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In-State Tuition Rates For All Veterans

A legislation was announced today allowing all veterans to pay the lower in-state tuition rates offered at state funded universities and community colleges regardless of their official state of residence. Senate Bill S.1978 would entitle all eligible veterans of the Armed Forces to pay the reduced college tuition fees that are already available to New York residents only.

June 13, 2013
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Greater Tax Deductions for K-12 Teachers

A bill that would increase the deduction amount that teachers at public or non-public schools can claim on their income tax return was announced today. Because many of our teachers selflessly spend hundreds of their own hard-earned dollars on supplies for their classrooms and students, they should not be taxed for using their own money to provide better public services to New York's children.

June 13, 2013
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Legislation Supporting Reservists & National Guard Members

The Senate Democratic Conference supported legislation allowing local governments to grant a 5% tax reduction to long-term veterans of the National Guard or any of the reserve branches of the United States Military. 

Specifically, this bill (S.553B) gives any municipality in the state the authority to create a 5% local property tax exemption for all Reservists and National Guard members who have received their standard “20-year letter,” which informs them of their eligibility for military retirement benefits.

June 6, 2013
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