By working together with Governor Cuomo and our colleagues in the Assembly, we have turned the corner in Albany, and for the second year in a row reached a Budget agreement that continues to protect taxpayers and help the private sector create jobs. This agreement puts us in a position to deliver another early budget that controls spending and taxes, and builds on the bipartisan successes we achieved last year. I applaud Governor Cuomo for his leadership and continued partnership, and look forward to enacting a final budget that realizes many long-held Senate Republican priorities.
The New York State Senate today passed three bills to combat auto insurance fraud, which costs New Yorkers more than $1 billion a year, as well as legislation that would impose stronger criminal penalties for staging auto accidents. Recent cases of auto insurance fraud have uncovered massive crime rings, including doctors, lawyers and scam artists who staged accidents and used New York's no-fault insurance program as their own giant state-sponsored, ATM machine.
The New York State Senate today passed two bills, sponsored by Senator Martin Golden (R-C, Brooklyn), to combat gun crimes and enhance penalties for gun crimes that endanger children. The bills approved by the Senate would strengthen the penalty for displaying a gun in the commission of a crime and lengthen the sentence for criminal sale or possession of a weapon at a residence of a child or in the presence of a child.
The New York State Senate today passed legislation that would increase penalties for criminals who attempt robberies with devices appearing to be bombs or explosives. The bill (S. 720A), which was developed in collaboration with law enforcement, is sponsored by Senator Joe Robach. It would elevate the criminal charge from third degree to first or second degree robbery.
“It doesn’t make any sense that there are stronger penalties when a criminal robs someone with a fake gun than with a fake bomb,” said Senator Robach. “This bill recognizes that inequity and equalizes the charge and punishment.”
The New York State Senate today passed the “Buy From the Backyard Act” to promote the purchase of food grown or produced locally. The bill (S.2468), sponsored by Senator Thomas Libous (R-C-I, Binghamton), requires state agencies with food contracts to buy at least 20 percent of their food from New York sources.
“If every household in New York spent just $15 per week on local food, we could pump $5.5 billion into New York State’s economy,” Senator Libous said. “And that’s just households. This bill will help state agencies join in supporting our farmers and stimulating the economy. We’re investing taxpayer dollars right back into our state."
Bills Would Help Lessen Use of Some Pesticides and Prevent Unnecessary Disposal
The New York State Senate today passed two bills that would reduce the amount of pesticides that are unnecessarily released into the environment. The bills, sponsored by Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R, Syosset) and Senator Mark Grisanti (R, North Buffalo), have environmental and economic benefits by reducing the amount of pesticides needing to be applied or disposed of as hazardous waste.
Legislation Seeks To Reform Organizational Deficiencies
The New York State Senate today passed legislation to ensure the proper functioning of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as an open, transparent and accountable interstate authority. The bill (S.5878) is named the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Transparency and Accountability Act and is sponsored by Senator Andrew Lanza (R-I, Staten Island). The Act is part of a bipartisan, bi-state effort designed to create a new system of accountability at the Port Authority.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Skelos, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today announced an agreement on legislation to put the Governor's new groundbreaking teacher and principal evaluation system into law, firmly establishing New York as a national leader in school accountability.
The new evaluation system will provide clear standards and significant guidance to local school districts for implementation of teacher evaluations based on multiple measures of performance including student achievement and rigorous classroom observations. The legislation follows through on New York’s commitment to establish a real and effective teacher evaluations as a condition of the $700 million granted through the federal Race to the Top program.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today announced a landmark agreement to begin the process of amending the state constitution to allow casino gaming in New York. Legalized casinos have the potential to create thousands of good-paying jobs while keeping the tourism and revenue that accompany gaming here in New York State.
New Law Expands Access to DNA Testing and Discovery for Defendants
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today announced an historic agreement that will make New York State the first “all crimes DNA” state in the nation, by requiring DNA samples be collected from anyone convicted of a felony or penal law misdemeanor. In addition, the bill also significantly expands defendants' access to DNA testing and comparison both before and after conviction in appropriate circumstances, as well as to discovery after conviction to demonstrate their innocence.
Website Would Increase Accountability of State Government Agencies
The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.3657), sponsored by Senator Joseph Griffo (R-C, Rome), to create a new website, ResultsNY.gov, that would enable the public to review the performance of government programs to see how effectively agencies are spending tax dollars. People visiting the site could also submit their own suggestions and recommendations on how to stop government waste and reduce state spending.
Plan Would Create Jobs, Cut Taxes and Control State Spending Jobs Proposal Will Be Included in Senate Budget Proposal
Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos and members of the Senate Republican Conference today announced details of the 2012 NEW JOBS-NY Job Creation Plan that includes significant tax relief to encourage the creation of new private sector jobs, measures to ensure fiscal responsibility and control state spending, as well as other reforms and incentives to make New York more economically competitive. The plan will be included in the Senate budget resolution to be acted on next week.
The New York State Senate today passed a measure that would prohibit the sale of children’s jewelry which may contain harmful levels of cadmium and other hazardous substances. The bill (S.4055A), sponsored by Senator Jim Alesi (R-C-I, Perinton) protects children from accidentally ingesting cadmium, often used in inexpensive charm bracelets, pendants and other jewelry.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to protect our children, especially from products containing hazardous substances,” said Senator Alesi. “This bill takes an important step to prevent the sale of items that could cause accidental and unnecessary exposure and severe health effects.”
The New York State Senate today passed legislation that would prohibit the unauthorized sale of veteran cemetery markers that are over 75 years old, and would create the new crime of desecration of a veteran cemetery plot, grave or burial place. These bills continue the Senate’s commitment to maintain the dignity of veterans’ cemeteries and commemorative property.
The Senate passed a bill (S.1504), sponsored by Senator William Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson), that would prohibit the unauthorized sale of veteran’s commemorative cemetery markers, flag holders, monuments, statues or other physical memorabilia that are over 75 years old.
Legislation would keep children safer, increase penalties for criminals
The New York State Senate today passed a series of bills increasing penalties for people convicted of sex crimes against children.
The Senate passed legislation (S1541A), sponsored by Senator Majority Leader Dean Skelos, that would increase criminal penalties for sexual contact between a child and a person in a position of trust, which includes any adult responsible for supervision of children when they are not with their parents.
Wage Theft Prevention Act Is A Mountain of Costly, Useless Paper
The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.6063A), sponsored by Senator John A. DeFrancisco, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, to repeal the notification provisions of the Wage Theft Prevention Act, a massive, costly mandate on every employer in the state.
Significant cost savings to local school districts, villages and special districts
The New York State Senate today passed a mandate relief bill that would allow school districts, special districts and villages to permanently continue using lever voting machines in their respective local elections, sponsored by Senator Jack Martins (S. 6296). This legislation would remove the 2012 sunset of provisions that would allow the ability to use the lever voting machines.
Funds Should Be Used For Tax Relief or State Reserves – Not New Spending
Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos and members of the Senate Majority Conference today released a revenue forecast by the Senate Finance Committee that estimates additional General Fund revenues, above the Executive’s projection, of $290 million in 2012-13, and $65 million more than the Executive’s estimate for state fiscal year 2011-12.
The revenue projection, based on an economic forecast by the Senate’s nationally recognized fiscal consultants, IHS Global Insight, shows that the total two-year General Fund revenue surplus is $355 million.
Spending Reduced $7.8 million in Last 6 Months, Down $11.1 million in Just One Year
The Senate’s Republican Majority has reduced Senate spending by $7.8 million over the last six months and $11.1 million in the last year alone, saving hardworking taxpayers millions of dollars while creating a leaner, functional and more efficient state government.
These figures were released today as part of the Senate’s biannual expenditure report, which is similar to reports produced by the U.S. Congress. The report provides a line-by-line account of actual Senate spending for the period of April 1, 2011 through September 30, 2011, which totals $40.2 million.
From creating the historic STAR and Enhanced STAR programs, to enacting property tax rebate legislation, the Senate Republican Majority has consistently led the fight to provide hardworking families with property tax relief.