Andrea Stewart-Cousins's Blog entries

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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Action to Increase Penalties for Financial Exploitation of Elderly

Stealing from the elderly is a serious crime that deserves harsh prosecution. To close the loopholes that allow criminals to exploit senior citizens with impunity, the Senate passed a legislation that increases penalties on criminals who attempt to financially take advantage of New York’s elderly residents.

June 6, 2013
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June is LGBT Pride Month

June is Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month. New York has a proud tradition of bringing social issues to the forefront and leading the nation on progressive, civil rights initiatives, and let us all rededicate ourselves to ensure full equality for all of our state’s residents as part of celebrating LGBT Pride Month.

June 4, 2013
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June is Caribbean-American Heritage Month

Caribbean-American Heritage is part of the story of America. In the month of June, let's take the opportunity to celebrate and learn about the contributions that Caribbean-Americans have made to our country and state, and enjoy the variety of culture, music, literature and food of the Caribbean.

June 1, 2013
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Kawasaki Celebrates 25 Years in Yonkers

Twenty-five years ago, Kawasaki built its first passenger rail car in downtown Yonkers, and has since supplied trains to various transit systems in surrounding cities including New York City, New Jersey and Boston. Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins commemorated this milestone and said at the 25th Anniversary Celebration, “I’m pleased to congratulate Kawasaki Rail Car on their 25th Anniversary in the City of Yonkers. This is a significant accomplishment which underscores what Kawasaki means to our City. Lead by CEO Hiroji Iwasaki, the company has created and sustained hundreds of jobs, boosted economic activity in the downtown and developed leading innovations that have changed the industry.

May 9, 2013
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May is Asthma Awareness Month

May is Asthma Awareness Month, a month-long period dedicated to help people with asthma take control of this chronic but treatable disease.

Asthma affects over 1.1 million people in New York, causing an average of 301 deaths per year and 41,797 hospitalizations.  It is the leading cause of missed school days for children and workplace absences for adults.  However, asthma is a treatable form of cardio pulmonary disease (COPD) and can be controlled with a variety of common medications. 

April 30, 2013
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Fair Local Election Act Press Conference

On Friday, April 19th, Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and other local elected officials gathered at the Greenburgh Town Hall to announce the introduction of the Fair Local Election Act, a bill, which would fall under the umbrella of the Fair Election Act, that would allow for local municipalities and counties to opt-in for campaign finance. Sponsored by Leader Stewart-Cousins, the Fair Election Act would provide for optional partial public financing of certain election campaigns in the state and identifies the source of certain political contributions.

April 18, 2013
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EILEEN FISHER is Proud to Support Woman Entrepreneurs Through Their Annual Business Grant Program

The EILEEN FISHER grant program seeks applicants from wholly women-owned businesses that combine the principles of social consciousness, sustainability, and innovation to create new businesses or invigorate existing ones. For more information or to apply, click here.

April 15, 2013
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Westchester for Change Campaign Finance Reform Discussion Forum

On Thursday, April 11th, Westchester for Change hosted an open community forum at the Greenburgh Town Hall in White Plains, NY to discuss campaign finance reform in New York State. Forum participants included Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, Jessica Wisneski, Campaigns Director of Citizen Action of New York, and Ian Vandewalker, Counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice, NYU School of Law, and was moderated by Elizabeth Saenger, co-organizer of Westchester for Change.

April 11, 2013
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CDC Awards Yonkers YMCA REACH Grant

On Thursday, April 4, 2013, Senator Stewart-Cousins spoke at a press conference where Yonkers Family YMCA was awarded a $300,000 REACH grant to fund educational programs and seminars that promote fitness and healthy living in the city’s minority neighborhoods as an effort “to improve the health and eliminate disparities related to chronic diseases in African-American and Hispanic communities”. As one of the 15 YMCAs nationwide to receive this grant, Yonkers YMCA plan to implement programs that will help community members achieve a healthy weight, gain access to nutritious foods, become more physically active, become less exposed to smoke and other tobacco products, and live in places that encourage emotional well-being”.

April 5, 2013
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Leader Stewart-Cousins on Minimum Wage and the State Budget

Citing "serious issues", Leader Stewart-Cousins released a statement expressing her disappointment with the minimum wage proposal being put forth in the State budget agreement.

"While increasing the minimum wage to $9.00 is something that the Senate Democrats have long supported, we are disappointed that the current proposal doesn't reach this level for three years, is not indexed to the rate of inflation and does not raise the wages of certain service workers," the Leader commented.

March 26, 2013
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WORLD AIDS DAY: LEARN ABOUT HIV/AIDS AND GET TESTED

On Decemeber 1st , countries across the globe will celebrate World AIDS Day, honoring those who have fallen to HIV/AIDS, and in doing so use the day to increase awareness of the rising infection rates and what can be done to stop this trend. In recognition of World AIDS Day, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins is urging people to increase their own awareness of HIV/AIDS and also get themselves tested.

November 23, 2010
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