The Senate Democratic Majority has passed legislation (S7323/Foley) establishing the “School District Financial Security Task Force” charged with helping school districts fortify protections for funds in bank and other financial accounts.
This year has been very difficult for the City of Yonkers and for the State of New York. In the wake of a multi-million dollar deficit crisis, Mayor Amicone has proposed layoffs and drastic cuts in services in order to close the City's budget gap. We have made a commitment to the residents of Yonkers that we would fight to try to avoid his doomsday scenario. Today we have reached a budget agreement that will make this a reality.
Earlier this week, the Westchester Rent Guidelines Board voted against the proposal to increases rents on regulated apartments where tenants have one- and two-year leases. As a consistent and persistent advocate for tenants, I have worked with hundreds of constituents on housing issues, sponsored and attended community forums on tenants' rights, introduced major tenant protection legislation in the Senate, and, most recently, provided testimony to the Westchester Rent Guidelines Board urging them to avoid rent increases in Westchester County in 2010-11.
In an effort to end voter coercion and intimidation practices, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (35th District –D/WF) announced passage of legislation in the Senate (S2554-B) making voter suppression punishable as a misdemeanor. If signed into law, the legislation will amend New York State election laws to address issues pertaining to voter coercion and intimidation that are not currently covered.
Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins introduced and passed a Legislative Resolution today, recognizing the hard work and achievements of the independent living movement on behalf of New Yorkers with disabilities. Independent Living Centers (ILCs) in New York State are part of a national network of centers that provide support, resources, and services to assist individuals in becoming as independent as possible.
The Senate Democratic Majority passed groundbreaking legislation to protect children with autism, setting the bar for a new national standard for treatment and services. The legislation (S7000B/Breslin) requires early intervention screening, diagnosis and treatment for autism spectrum disorders, saving families facing autism thousands of dollars a year.
Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (35th District- D/WF) announced that the Senate Task Force on Government Efficiency has once again discovered excessive spending practices in State Agencies. The Senate Task Force on Government Efficiency released a report that has found excessive waste within the State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD), recommending a $3.8 million reduction in overtime costs for the agency.
The New York State Senate has passed legislation (S2286A) to enter an interstate agreement to elect the U.S. President by national popular vote, striking away an arcane system in which candidates work for votes in a handful of states while reducing voters in more progressive or conservative states to little more than bystanders in the democratic process.
Saturday evening, June 5, New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins delivered the keynote address at the White House Project’s annual “Go Run” civic and political leadership training for women.The multi-day program sponsored by the White House Project is part of an initiative called, “Vote, Run, Lead,” intended to engage women in the political process as voters, activists and candidates through trainings, inspiration and professional networking.
State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D/WF – 35th District) announced today that the Senate unanimously approved legislation that will empower renters that have been cheated out of their deposits, by making it easier to take landlords to small claims court. The bill, (S4781A), allows tenants to be heard in court where their apartment is located rather than where the landlord’s business is registered.
On June 1st, NYS Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Senator Eric Adams announced a new and improved NYS Senate Veterans Hall of Fame. Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins was joined in Albany by Yonkers resident and a 2010 nominee, Eli Michael Vetrano, who is a United States Army veteran. In the coming weeks, a ceremony will be held to honor all members of the Hall of Fame in the 35th District, recognizing their service in the United States Armed Forces.
Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins announced that every State park and historic site will be open Memorial Day weekend, for the entire summer and well into next year. Senate Democrats were able to negotiate an agreement to restore full funding for all parks, fulfilling their promise to keep parks, campgrounds, historic sites and botanical gardens open for New York’s families.
On Tuesday, May 25th, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins was proud to honor Yonkers resident Helen Henkel as one of the New York State Senate’s Contemporary Women of Distinction. As a Contemporary Woman of Distinction, Ms. Henkel was honored for her contributions that have enriched the quality of life in our community.
Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins announced that legislation she introduced in the Senate, S7190, to provide additional aid to the Yonkers City School District, passed this week out of the Local Government Committee. The Yonkers City School District has a fully implemented Universal Pre-kindergarten Program in its schools that has served as a model for other districts and has had a significant positive impact on improving student performance in the region.
On May 14th, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins was honored with a proclamation from the Pleasantville Special Education PTA (SEPTA). The Senator was proclaimed an honorary lifetime member for demonstrating, "consistent and compassionate support of the Pleasantville Community, the Pleasantville School District, and the families of the Pleasantville SEPTA"
On May 18th, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins announced passage of legislation (S1899A) to provide law enforcement with new tools to prosecute career car thieves. This bill, introduced by Deputy Majority Leader Jeff Klein (D-Bronx) makes it easier to bring felony auto theft charges against suspects previously convicted of a broader range of vehicle-related crimes, assisting police and prosecutors in their efforts to break up auto theft rings.
As the school year draws to a close, students naturally turn their thoughts to summer vacation and time away from books! It is important, though, to keep school age children in the mindset of learning. For this reason, New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins encourages all parents to bring their children to the local public library this summer.
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Building upon its efforts to combat the unemployment crisis through innovative job creation and retention initiatives, the State Senate Majority passed legislation to create a permanent “Economic Benefit Power Program” to streamline and build on the success of ‘Power for Jobs’ and other successful low cost power for economic development programs.
On Sunday, April 25th Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins joined Senator Kristen Gillibrand at the Yonkers YMCA to host a productive roundtable discussion with federal, State and County government officials, City Council Members and more than two dozen civic leaders, clergy members, community-based organization leaders, law enforcement officers and health and education professionals, on violent crime prevention through youth development and anti-gang initiatives in the City of Yonkers.
The New York State Senate Democratic Majority passed overdue protections (S2664/Duane) for New York renters living in poverty with AIDS or HIV, by humanely limiting the percentage of household income which can be paid in shelter costs. The benefit applies to those who live in emergency shelter facilities or reside in housing which receives financial assistance.