The New York State Senate today passed legislation to prevent the tragic injuries and deaths that can occur due to hazing at colleges and universities. The bill (S.1937), sponsored by Senator Kenneth LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson), would help cut down on hazing by strengthening a college or university’s enforcement authority and increasing awareness of the consequences of hazing, underage drinking, and illegal drug use.
“Hazing can create physical as well as emotional scars that may last a lifetime,” Senator LaValle said. “There is nothing ‘good-natured’ about hazing and it cannot be tolerated on our college and university campuses.”
The New York State Senate today passed the Protection of People With Special Needs Act, which reforms and strengthens protections for more than one million state residents with special needs. The bill (S.7400), sponsored by Senator Roy McDonald (R-C-I, Saratoga), will enhance the safeguards for children and adults who are particularly vulnerable to abuse and neglect and receive care from New York’s human service agencies and programs.
Bill closes loophole after Court of Appeals ruling that it is not a crime
The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.7407), sponsored by Senator Martin Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn), that would make the viewing of child pornography a felony crime. The bill amends current state law to say that a person is guilty of a crime when the person knowingly accesses child pornography with the intent to view.
The legislation comes after a state Court of Appeals ruling earlier this month that said viewing child pornography on the Internet is not a crime. This legislation closes that loophole.
Bill Would Provide a Preference in State Contracts for Disabled Veterans
The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.2423), sponsored by Senator Gregory R. Ball (R-C, Pawling), that would give greater access to state contracts to veterans who were disabled during their service.
This bill would codify for New York an identical and highly successful program adopted for federal contracting. Given the increase in the number of veterans and disabled veterans due to recent overseas conflicts, this bill would provide a small measure of recognition that this group of selfless men and women deserve.
The New York State Senate today passed a bill (S.476), sponsored by Senator Michael Nozzolio (R-C, Fayette), that would protect the taxpayers of New York State by requiring state and county correctional facility inmates to make copayments for health care visits the same policy that is in place in the federal prison system and two-thirds of the states.
The New York State Senate today passed legislation that would make it a crime for school employees to engage in sexual activity with students, including those who are older than New York’s legal age of consent.
The New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Michael Ranzenhofer (R-C-I, Amherst), that would close a loophole in the state health law that gave a Western New York man who killed his wife the sole rights to her remains.In 2009, Constance Shepherd of Tonawanda was brutally murdered by her husband, Stephen Shepherd. Her family fought to gain control of her remains to ensure a proper funeral and burial.
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Senator Jack Martins met with the 2012 3-on-3 Tournament Committee at First Church of God in Elmont this past Saturday. Over 200 committee members attended the session. The tournament is the largest community event in Elmont history outside the Belmont Stakes. Senator Skelos and Senator Martins sponsor the tournament which entails 3-on-3 Basketball, 7-on-7 football, slam dunk contest, soccer, 3 point shoot out and many more events. The tournament is in its 9th year and boasts an attendance of nearly 5,000 players, residents and fans who come out for an Elmont community day of fun.
I had the distinct pleasure of being the key note speaker at today’s 2nd Annual Long Island Breast Cancer Awareness Summit. A staggering 1 in 9 women on Long Island will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. The summit offeredattendees, including many breast cancer survivors, a chance to learn about the latest innovations and medical discoveries in breast cancer treatment.
Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos today announced that the Senate will act next week on legislation to reform and strengthen protections for more than one million state residents with special needs who are served by facilities and programs operated, licensed and certified by State agencies.
The New York State Senate today gave final legislative passage to an expansion of the Iran Divestment Act. The bill (S.6462), sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, includes state and local public authorities, the State University of New York, and the City University of New York among the governmental entities prohibited from entering into new or renewed contracts with companies that provide goods, services or credit worth $20 million or more to Iran's energy.
Measure Provides Timely Notification to Law Enforcement of Abuse of Children in Residential Care
The New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Steve Saland (R, I, C – Poughkeepsie), that would modify current reporting procedures involving the abuse of children in residential care.
New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos, Senate Insurance Committee Chairman Senator James L. Seward and Senator Martin Golden today joined law enforcement, insurance advocates, business groups, and victims to press for the Assembly’s passage of three auto insurance fraud prevention bills before the end of this year’s legislative session. Auto insurance fraud costs New Yorkers more than $1 billion a year and has led to injuries - even death - for innocent victims.
I am gratified that the Court of Appeals has unanimously ruled that the Senate's reapportionment plan is fair and complies with the State Constitution.
Today's decision by the State's highest court upholds the addition of a 63rd Senate seat, consistent with the requirements of the State Constitution. It was the Senate Democrats who wrongly dragged us into court and wasted taxpayer money pursuing this matter.
This ruling comes on the heels of the Obama administration’s decision to preclear our reapportionment plan, after determining it complied with Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
Finally, I am grateful that the Court of Appeals heard this important case on an expedited basis.
Measures Increase Penalties, Enhance Community Notification and Protection
The New York State Senate today passed a package of eight bills to prevent sexual predators from obtaining access to potential victims and help law enforcement and communities keep track of their whereabouts. The bills will help increase the amount of information available about convicted sex offenders and seeks to prevent them from obtaining access to vulnerable individuals.
The New York State Senate today passed legislation to criminalize the sale and possession of synthetic marijuana. The bill (S.6694), sponsored by Senator John Flanagan (R-C-I, East Northport), would also criminalize the sale and possession of hallucinogenic chemicals deceptively called “bath salts.”
Published reports show the vast majority of school districts throughout New York are presenting budgets to voters that fall within the 2 percent property tax cap adopted by the Legislature and signed by the Governor. This is good news for taxpayers.
Passage of a school property tax cap which finally slams the door on massive tax increases that middle-class families could not afford was a long-held priority of the Senate Republican conference. In fact, the Senate approved the very first property tax cap bill in 2008.
I am pleased that we have successfully worked with Governor Cuomo and the Assembly to produce two budgets that reduced state spending, and enacted a property tax cap that helps taxpayers and moves our state forward.
The New York State Senate today welcomed cadets and staff from the United States Military Academy at West Point as part of an annual day of recognition. In honor of the celebration, the Senate passed several bills focusing on helping veterans obtain jobs and protect their rights.
Senator Skelos recently met with Colin Robinson, a Boy Scout from the the Rockville Centre Boy Scouts Troop 214, who spoke with the Senator about State Government in an effort to fullfill the requirments for earning the Citizenship Merit Badge.
I was pleased to partner with Assemblyman Ed Ra and Rosalie Norton of the West Hempstead Community Support & Civic Association in working to bring a piece of steel from the World Trade Center to West Hempstead. With twelve lives lost on September 11th from the West Hempstead community, it is only fitting that a memorable and lasting tribute be built and this piece of steel will be the centerpiece of this memorial when it is built.