The 2014 Legislative Session kicks off in January with the Governor's annual State of the State message. Governor Cuomo will outline his priorities to the Legislature and to all New Yorkers and, in the months that follow, I will work with my colleagues on initiatives that we identify as being important to the future of our state and betterment of our communities.
Your willingness to complete this legislative questionnaire will help me develop a better understanding of the views of residents of the 9th Senate District. Your responses and information will remain confidential.
Hundreds of thousands of small businesses and manufacturers in New York will see a reduction in their state taxes as a result of new tax cuts that take effect on January 1, 2014. In addition, tax relief for hardworking, middle class families, new health care protections, legal casino gaming, and the START-UP NY economic development program are among the new state laws that take effect on New Year’s Day.
You may be entitled to some of the over $12 billion in unclaimed funds in New York State.
For your protection, banks, insurance companies, utilities, investment companies and many other businesses are required by State law to surrender inactive accounts to the State. These accounts are known as "lost," "abandoned," or "unclaimed" funds.
Congratulations to members of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, particularly co-chairs Stuart Rabinowitz of Hofstra University and Kevin Law of the Long Island Association, for their outstanding and dedicated work, which resulted in our region receiving the top award of $83 million in the third round of state economic development funding announced today.
We are pleased that the Governor’s New York State Tax Relief Commission report incorporates key elements of a Senate Republican tax reform plan advanced by Senators DeFrancisco and Marcellino that focuses on cutting taxes to create new jobs, reforming our tax structure and giving hardworking taxpayers some much-needed relief.
It is encouraging that today’s report includes proposals to address issues related to achieving broad-based tax reductions for job creators, including reducing corporate tax rates, reducing taxes on manufacturers and accelerating the elimination of the 18-a energy surcharge, while also reducing the estate tax burden.
Like many Americans, I stand very much opposed to the deal the President Obama recently announced with Iran. This agreement alienates us from Israel, some of our closest allies in the Middle East, and does nothing to prevent this rogue nation from developing nuclear weapons. How can we trust a nation whose leaders violate basic human rights on a daily basis? Please join me in calling on Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to demand the release of imprisoned Pastor Saeed Abedini. While the U.S. Senate deliberates on additional sanctions against Iran, this Pastor deserves to have his country’s support.
State Senate Republicans today issued a comprehensive report on state taxes that calls for personal income taxes, business taxes, estate taxes and local property taxes to be reformed, simplified and reduced. The report makes sweeping recommendations for reducing the tax burden on all New Yorkers. The plan recommends enacting a permanent two-percent state spending cap and dedicating surplus revenues to tax reductions.
All homeowners currently receiving the Basic STAR exemption must register with the New York State Department of Taxation & Finance in order to continue receiving the exemption in 2014 and subsequent years. This is part of a new initiative to ensure that tax dollars are not wasted on inappropriate or fraudulent STAR exemptions.
Who must register?
Resident homeowners who currently receive the Basic STAR exemption must register with the New York State Tax Department to continue receiving the exemption in 2014 and future years.
Homeowners do not need to re-register every year. Based on the information provided in the registration process, the Tax Department will confirm homeowners’ eligibility in future years.
Senior Citizens receiving the Enhanced STAR exemption are not affected by the new registration requirement. However, in order to receive Enhanced STAR, seniors must continue to apply annually or participate in the income verification program.
Governor Cuomo, Senator Skelos, Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, Comedian Billy Crystal and basketball legend Nancy Lieberman joined together in Long Beach this past Sunday, November 10th, to open two new public basketball courts as part of an effort to help Long Beach rebound from Superstorm Sandy.
The courts were paid for by money donated and raised by Nancy, an Olympic silver medalist and retired women's professional basketball star, along with Crystal and his wife, Janice.
More than 100 children tried out the new courts on Sunday.
On Sunday, November 10, Senator Skelos joined with Governor Cuomo in Long Beach to announce that New York State is committing to fund an approximately $13 million project to provide more than 6,000 feet of flood barriers for the Long Beach industrial district. The industrial district was flooded in the storm surge brought on by Superstorm Sandy, which damaged the city’s key infrastructure facilities and resulted in the loss of essential services to the community.
This Monday, it is important that we remember the great sacrifices that our military personnel have given to our nation. There is no greater service a citizen can give to their country than to place their life on the line so that our freedoms and democratic principles remain intact.
Click here to watch my Veterans Day Video Tribute.
As your Senator, I am always looking for positive, meaningful ways to show how much we value the service of New York State's heroic veterans. Below are just a few examples of important initiatives and opportunities that help us honor and support these courageous men and women.
Senator Skelos is pictured meeting with the second half of Rockville Centre Cub Scout Troop, Pack 31, Den 6, who stopped by his District Office on Wednesday, October 30, 2013, to speak with the Senator about out how State Government functions as they attempt to fulfill the requirements for earning the Citizenship Merit Badge.
Regardless of how the Courts ultimately rule on its constitutionality, this much is clear: The MTA payroll tax imposed by Senate Democrats is an onerous and unfair job-killing tax that never should have been enacted in the first place.
The MTA payroll tax was put in place over our objections in 2009, when every Senate Republican voted against it and every Senate Democrat voted for it. The payroll tax magnified the impact of a national economic recession in New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley, and made it even more difficult for young people to find a job.
Panel To Develop Recommendations for A State Action Plan To Increase Prevention, Improve Treatment and Diagnosis
Senate Majority Coalition Co-Leaders Dean Skelos and Jeffrey Klein today announced the creation of the Senate Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases to examine state and federal efforts to combat the continued spread of these diseases and make recommendations for a plan to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
The task force will be co-chaired by Senator Kemp Hannon (R-C-I, Garden City), Chairman of the Senate Health Committee, Senator David Carlucci (D, Rockland/Westchester), Senator Kenneth LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson) and Senator Elizabeth Little (R-C-I, Queensbury).
I commend Governor Cuomo for joining Senate Republicans in making tax cuts for middle class families and businesses a top priority. New Yorkers are overtaxed at all levels of government. For years, Senate Republicans have been the strongest advocates for cutting taxes to create jobs, help families make ends meet, and make New York State more competitive.
In fact, we’ve been conducting statewide public hearings, led by Senators John DeFrancisco and Carl Marcellino, on the most effective ways to reduce property taxes, simplify the state’s tax code, lower broad based taxes and help businesses create jobs. The hearings conclude this week and our members have already received many strong recommendations. We are eager to share this information with the Governor.
College Scholarships Awarded to Young Leaders, Informative Workshops Among the Highlights of the Two-Day Event
The New York State Senate today celebrated the conclusion of the third annual Unidad Latina conference, which brought hundreds of community, business, and elected leaders together to help increase economic opportunities for the growing Hispanic community in New York State. The conference was held on September 27th and 28th, 2013, in Manhattan.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While great strides have been made in the fight against this deadly disease, there is still a long way to go: over 40,000 women (and 400 men) die annually of breast cancer.
Mammograms remain an effective tool in the diagnosis of breast cancer. Now, thanks to a law enacted last year by the State Senate and Governor Cuomo, patients must be notified in writing if an initial screening indicates that they have dense breast tissue. The law requires that women be provided with an explanation of how dense breast tissue can present additional challenges for cancer detection efforts, followed by a discussion about the possible need for additional screenings.
When they are misused by teenagers, over-the-counter drugs can be just as dangerous as more notorious narcotics.
To combat the growing problem of teens using Dextromethorphan (DXM) to get high, I've voted to enact a new law will prohibit pharmacies and stores from selling DXM to any person under the age of 18 unless they have a prescription.