The New York State Senate today passed a bill enabling people who were adopted in New York but born in other states to participate in the New York State Adoption Registry. The bill (S.5145), sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos (R, Rockville Centre) gives adoptees born in other states the same ability to access information as eligible New York-born adoptees.
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 Tom 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."
The New York State Senate today passed the Concussion Management Awareness Act, sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannon (R, C, I, - Garden City), Chairman of the Senate Health Committee, that would direct the State Health and Education Departments to adopt rules and regulations for the treatment and monitoring of students with mild traumatic brain injuries.
“The number of children each year who suffer brain injuries, such as concussions, is alarming,” Senator Hannon said. “New York needs legislation to outline rules and regulations for the treatment and monitoring of students with mild traumatic brain injuries, and that’s exactly what my legislation provides.”
The New York State Senate today passed major ethics reform legislation, entitled the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011. The measure, which is sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos, represents a three-way agreement with the Assembly and Governor Andrew Cuomo, and is a significant step toward restoring the public’s trust in government.
Senator Dean Skelos, pictured enjoying the Kulanu Fair this past Sunday, congratulated Lawrence students Ellen Liebenthal and Sam Sussman for volunteering their time and collecting food donations for the Kosher Food Pantry. The pantry, located at 1012 Central Ave in Woodmere, is a service of The JCC of the Greater Five Towns and is supported by The Five Towns Community Chest.
The New York State Senate today passed a constitutional amendment that would give New Yorkers a more direct role in the legislative process by empowering them to enact and amend laws through initiative and referendum. The bill (S.709), sponsored by Senator Joseph Robach (R-C-I, Rochester), increases the ability of New Yorkers to place an issue on a ballot for a public vote.
“This proposal to establish a process of initiative and referendum in New York State is simply good government,” Senator Robach said. “It is the type of reform that my Senate colleagues and I have consistently fought for and will continue to support so that voters statewide can be given a more direct and effective voice with which to further New York’s democratic process.”
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.
Expands District Attorneys’ Ability to Prosecute Medicaid Provider Waste and Abuse
The New York State Senate today passed a bill that implements a recommendation of the Senate Republican Task Force on Medicaid Fraud and increases the prosecution of Medicaid waste and abuse while also bringing significant savings to the state and counties. Medicaid fraud is a significant cost to the state and this legislation (S.594), sponsored by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R, Merrick), helps increase cost recoveries by allowing the state’s Office of Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) to assist local district attorneys in prosecutions of Medicaid provider fraud.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that he, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver have reached a three-way agreement on an ethics reform package that creates unprecedented transparency, strict disclosure requirements, and an enforcement unit with broad oversight of New York State government. The Governor, the Legislative Leaders and good government groups will hold a formal public announcement of the agreement on Monday in Albany.
Includes Protections Against Cyber-Bullying and Helps Empower Schools To Intervene
The New York State Senate today passed comprehensive anti-bullying legislation to help put an end to this destructive activity that often interferes with a student’s education and emotional well-being. The bill (S.4921), sponsored by Senator Stephen Saland (R-I-C, Poughkeepsie), would help prevent cyber-bullying as well as conventional bullying on school grounds to create safer learning environments for children.
Measure Spurred by the Murder of Western New York Resident Laura Cummings
The New York State Senate today passed a measure to prevent child and adult abuse and expand the authority of protective workers to enable full investigations into allegations of abuse. The bill (S.3306B), is sponsored by Senator George Maziarz (R-C, Newfane) due to the murder and abuse of Laura Cummings, a mentally and physically challenged young adult from Erie County.
Almost four months ago the Senate passed the hard property tax cap legislation proposed by Governor Cuomo. Since then, Senate Republicans have advocated every day for the enactment of a strong property tax cap. Other than the sunset provision and minor technical issues, we have reached a three-way agreement on a bill that achieves our goals and includes 95 percent of the bill we already passed and will finally put the brakes on skyrocketing property taxes.
Long Island State Senators held a news conference today to pressure the Democratic Majority in the State Assembly into acting on property tax cap legislation that passed the Senate earlier this year. They were joined by Bayport residents including Joe-Anne Curley, a homeowner whose property taxes have increased 16.2 % in the past three years.
The personal income tax surcharge is dead. It died at the end of March, when the Legislature approved a new state budget that did not extend it; a position supported by Senate Republicans and by Governor Cuomo.
I know I speak for my conference, for our constituents and for millions of taxpayers in this state who believe that cutting taxes to help businesses create jobs and help families make ends meet is the real moral imperative. Senate Republicans will not support any renewed efforts by the Assembly Democrats to extend the PIT surcharge.
The New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Jim Alesi (R-C- I, Perinton), that would enable public and private academic and research libraries in New York State to create an information infrastructure unequaled in the world.
Known as ARIA, the Academic Research Information Access Act (S.3736-A), leverages the state’s public and private higher education sector – arguably the largest and most diverse in the nation – to facilitate collaboration and efficiencies by providing for the voluntary pooling of assets in order to obtain access to high-end electronic, peer-reviewed, information resources such as journals, serials, and databases.
Registry would help law enforcement track violent offenders after release from prison
The New York State Senate today passed Brittany’s Law (S.3645B), a bill that would establish a statewide violent felony offender registry by requiring offenders to register with the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services upon release from prison. The law is intended to increase the safety of all New Yorkers by providing access to the list of convicted violent offenders.
Measure Requires Those Convicted of BWI to Obtain a Boating Safety Certificate
The New York State Senate today passed an important bill that requires all individuals, regardless of age, who have been found guilty of operating a boat after consuming alcohol to take a boating safety course before they can operate a boat again. With peak boating season soon approaching, bill S.2903B, sponsored by Senator John DeFrancisco (R-C-I, Syracuse), helps prevent accidents stemming from individuals who are guilty of boating while intoxicated.
Measure Seeks To Improve State Consideration of Issues Facing Vets
The New York State Senate today approved legislation to help older veterans by creating an advisory committee that specifically assists state officials in addressing important veterans issues. New York has the second highest veteran population in the United States and bill S.3337, sponsored by Senator Michael Ranzenhofer (R-C-I, Amherst), focuses on improving the care and state support available to aging veterans by creating a panel of gerontology and veterans’ issue experts.