Today’s decision by federal Judge Loretta Preska to grant a temporary injunction allowing religious institutions to hold their services in New York City schools this weekend is a positive development for those institutions and their many parishioners.
This decision is the right one, and it ensures that members of religious institutions aren’t subject to discrimination and otherwise prevented from utilizing public facilities which are open to others.
Bill Would, For the First Time, Link Convictions for Operating Different Vehicles While Intoxicated
The New York State Senate today passed “Tiffany’s Law” (S.2860A), sponsored by Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-C-I, Syracuse). The bill would require all prior convictions of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, whether it be an automobile (DWI), snowmobile (SWI), or all-terrain vehicle, be considered during sentencing of a subsequent Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) conviction. In turn, any person convicted of BWI would have that charge considered during any subsequent DWI, SWI or ATV offense.
Legislation Would Ensure that Commuters Receive $240 a Month State Tax Benefit to Help Offset Mass-Transit Costs
The New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), to fully restore the State’s pre-tax commuter benefit to provide savings to commuters who use the Long Island Rail Road and other mass transit.
Legislation Would Require Consecutive Sentences for Each Act of Rape
The New York State Senate today passed a bill, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, that would ensure significantly longer prison sentences for serial rapists.
Under current law, it is possible for a judge to issue concurrent sentences for multiple counts arising from separate and distinct acts of rape. The legislation (S.1826) would require consecutive prison sentences for each separate count of first degree rape when an individual is convicted of multiple counts.
The New York State Senate today passed a bill, sponsored by Senator Carl L. Marcellino, that would increase the penalties for stalking (S. 924A). An estimated 3.4 million people are victims of stalking in the United States each year.
"The obsessive nature of stalkers is unimaginable until you have suffered as the target of their endless pursuit,” said Senator Marcellino. “Stalking is a serious and potentially life-threatening crime. It changes the lives of the people who are victimized forever. This heinous behavior often proves lethal and the punishment must fit the crime.”
Bill Would Enact Governor’s Proposal To Include Misdemeanors
The New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Steve Saland (R-I-C, Poughkeepsie) and Senator Martin Golden (R-C, Brooklyn), for the largest expansion of the state’s DNA databank since it was created in 1994. The legislation mirrors the databank expansion plan proposed by Governor Cuomo in his Executive Budget to require people convicted of all felonies, as well as all misdemeanors in the penal law to submit DNA samples.
Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today announced an agreement on a joint legislative budget schedule that, for the first time, sets deadlines that lead to an early adoption of a state budget.
“This schedule sets out a plan to adopt a new budget more than a week before the April 1st deadline,” Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said. “This is another example of how the Senate, Assembly and Governor are working together to make state government function and planning for another early budget.”
In an effort to keep drugs out of the hands of New York State’s youth, the New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator John Flanagan (R-C-I, East Northport), to ban the sale of the legal hallucinogen salvia divinorum.
The New York State Senate today passed legislation that creates new penalties for individuals supervising another driver while also under the influence of drugs or alcohol, also known as Abbagail’s Law (S.164C). The bill, sponsored by Senator George Maziarz (R-C, Newfane), is named after eight-year-old Abbagail Buzard, who died in a car accident caused by an inexperienced driver who was supervised by a parent under the influence of alcohol.
The New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), to create felony charges for wrong-way and other reckless drivers.
“Wrong-way drivers have caused tragedies and endangered lives on our roadways; it has to stop. Creating felony charges for wrong-way and reckless drivers will give law enforcement another tool to prosecute these individuals and get them off the roads,” said Senator Fuschillo, Chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee.
I am very encouraged that the Governor has again proposed a budget that closes the deficit by reducing spending and without increasing taxes or fees, and includes plans for job creation, property tax relief and other reforms to make sure tax dollars are spent wisely. These are long held priorities of the Senate Republican conference.
On Friday, January 20, Senator Skelos, Assemblyman Curran and Valley Stream Mayor Ed Fare will be sponsoring a free mammogram screening van in the Valley Stream Village Hall parking lot from 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. located at 123 South Central Avenue in Valley Stream. Appointments are necessary and given on a first come, first served basis. To set up an appointment, or for more information, please call Senator Skelos' office at (516) 766-8383.
The New York State Senate today gave final legislative passage to the Iran Divestment Act, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. The bill would prohibit companies that provide goods, services or credit worth $20 million or more to Iran's energy industry from entering into or renewing state and local government contracts.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan is an inspiring spiritual leader who has devoted his life to the Catholic Church and to improving the lives of New Yorkers of all faiths. His elevation to Cardinal is a well deserved recognition of his faith, service and leadership. He is a good friend and I look forward to working with him as he continues his outstanding service to the Catholic Church.
Senator Skelos is pictured with Joseph Quagliata, President and CEO of South Nassau Communites Hospital, as well as several caring members of the South Nassau staff while dropping off this year's collection of toys to children at the hospital.
The MTA payroll tax has been an enormous burden on businesses and today we are lifting that burden. More than 290,000 small businesses will now have a greater opportunity to invest in their businesses and invest in creating new jobs. I want to thank the members of the Senate Republican Conference, especially Senator Lee Zeldin, for keeping up the pressure to repeal this job-killing tax; and I thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership and for signing this measure into law.