Massapequa, L.I.: The Daily News is correct that the commuter tax benefit “is a tax cut for ordinary working folk who ride to their jobs” (“Give us a break,” editorial, March 19). Washington’s inaction translated into a tax hike for commuters. While it can’t restore the federal benefit, New York State can, and must, fully restore the state benefit. Under legislation I sponsor, commuters could exempt up to $240 a month from state income tax to cover mass-transit commuting expenses for 2012 — equal to the parking benefit. Albany shouldn’t wait for Congress to get its act together.
Nearly two dozen Long Island public officials, including its two county executives, gathered Friday to support a proposed state law to end the Metropolitan Transportation Authority payroll tax on large municipalities.
"Property-tax payers paying for village, town and county services should not have their hard-earned tax dollars diverted to subsidize the MTA through this payroll tax," said state Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola). He and state Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) are sponsoring the bill in the Senate. Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor) is the Assembly sponsor.
New York State Sen. Charles J. Fuschillo Jr. has called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to "do everything possible to expedite" a proposed project to construct a second track on the Long Island Rail Road line between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma.
The project is "a critical component of the proposed Republic/Route 110 Corridor HUB project, which would help create additional jobs and economic development for Long Island," said Fuschillo (R-Merrick), chairman of the Senate transportation committee.
That's the $175 billion question. Because that's how much the state needs to spend to maintain its transportation infrastructure over the next 20 years.
We need to start addressing this problem now, beginning with a statewide transportation capital plan to repair our infrastructure.
Our transportation infrastructure is facing a crisis. Approximately one in three state and local highway bridges is either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, according to the state Department of Transportation.
The MTA could jack up the fine for farebeating from $100 to $500 under legislation the state Senate passed Monday.
The bill — inspired by a Daily News article — would deter riders from jumping turnstiles or entering through emergency exit gates, Sen. Charles Fuschillo (R-L.I.), who drafted the legislation, said.
"The MTA and its fare-paying riders shouldn't have to spend tens of millions of dollars more each year paying for other people’s illegal free rides," Fuschillo, chairman of the Senate's transportation committee, said.
Fare beaters might want to think about investing in a monthly MetroCard.
The state Senate yesterday voted to raise the maximum penalty for subway scofflaws to $500 a summons — five times the highest fine currently on the books. The legislation also raises fines on turnstile jumpers from $50 to $100.
“At a time when every dollar counts, the MTA needs stronger tools to discourage fare evasion,” said Sen. Charles Fuschillo (R-LI), the Transportation Committee chairman and sponsor of the bill.
An Assembly version of the bill must pass and be signed by Gov. Cuomo before the higher fines become law.
ALBANY -- Driving the wrong way on a public highway while drunk or impaired would be a felony under a bill that unanimously passed the Senate Monday. The legislation would create a new crime called aggravated reckless driving, a class E felony punishable by up to four years in prison.
The bill's sponsor, Sen. Charles Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), said there were more than 20 "wrong-way tragedies" on the Island last year.
"It has to stop," he said. The legislation is intended as a deterrent and to "punish those that put lives at risk," he said.
Lawmakers at the state and federal levels say they are fighting to restore a recently expired tax break for commuters that previously saved transit users on Long Island hundreds of dollars a year.
State Sen. Charles Fuschillo (R-Merrick) earlier this month introduced a bill to allow commuters in the state to deduct up to $240 in transit costs from their state taxes -- a move meant to ease the hurt caused when a federal tax benefit for commuters expired Dec. 31.
"The residents of Long Island rely heavily on the Long Island Rail Road," Fuschillo said. "They should not be penalized because Congress can't get their act together."
The father of America’s interstate highway system, President Dwight Eisenhower, once wrote that its “impact on the American economy— the jobs it would produce in manufacturing and construction — was beyond calculation.”
Decades later, those same words hold true as New York faces its own infrastructure and economic crisis. Investing in transportation projects can, and must, be a part of the solution.
Newsday is absolutely correct: The state's economy won't thrive without the infrastructure needed to support it ["Wish list for the new year," Editorial, Jan. 1].
Major projects like the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement are looming and one-third of all state and local highway bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Facing budget deficits and a weak economy, we must find innovative ways to complete necessary projects that improve our infrastructure, economy and quality of life.
For a few moments, the children had more pressing issues than aches, boo-boos, yucky medicines and scary-looking medical devices at Winthrop-University Hospital's pediatric center.
"Look at all the toys," Carey Davis Jr., 7, shouted to his mom.
Mounds of stuffed animals, board games and toy cars awaited children at the Mineola hospital Friday.
It was part of the 14th annual Extend the Holidays toy drive organized by state Sen. Charles Fuschillo Jr. (R-Merrick). More than 2,000 toys were collected to be given to Winthrop's young patients throughout the year.
A Long Island senator blasted the Port Authority Thursday after it disclosed in court documents last month that this year's toll hikes would not be used to rebuild the World Trade Center.
"During the debate and discussion the Port Authority members . . . [said] this will complete the World Trade Center project," said Sen. Charles Fuschillo Jr. (R-Merrick). He said the authority "lied to the public."
In September, the New York and New Jersey chapters of AAA sued the authority to try to block the hike, arguing that use of funds for non-transportation projects would violate federal laws. The case is scheduled for a hearing in federal court in New York City next week.
A new law banning smoking on the platforms of Long Island Rail Road train stations took effect Sunday, bringing some harsh penalties along with it.
The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Charles Fuschillo, R-Merrick, and signed into law in August by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, extends existing smoking bans on all indoor mass transportation areas to outdoor ticketing, boarding or platform areas of train stations operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Convicted drunken drivers would have to fill out a sworn affidavit to transfer their car registration to someone else, under a law being proposed by two Long Island lawmakers.
The idea is to hinder drivers from simply switching their vehicles' registrations to someone else to avoid having to install court-ordered detectors that prevent cars from starting if alcohol is detected.
ALBANY - Convicted drunk drivers who don't install breathalyzer-like devices in their cars might have to instead wear alcohol-detection anklets under a bill being unveiled this week, the Daily News has learned.
The bill would make it more difficult for those convicted of drunk driving to avoid having BAC monitors installed in their cars before they drive again.
Anyone claiming they no longer have a car in order to avoid having to install the device would be required to strap on an device similar to one Lindsay Lohan once sported.
State Sen. Charles Fuschillo Jr., a Republican from Merrick, has introduced legislation to ensure that people with autism receive insurance coverage for the screening, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders.
Currently, those with autism are routinely denied insurance benefits for the treatment of their disorder, forcing their families to pay for costly treatments.