The New York State Senate today passed legislation to legalize and regulate mixed martial arts (MMA) competitions in New York State. The bill (S.2755), sponsored by Senator Joseph Griffo (R-C-I, Rome), would allow single discipline martial arts organizations to hold professional competitions in New York State and gives the state Athletic Commission the jurisdiction to regulate professional mixed martial arts promotions, participants, bouts and exhibitions.
Today, the Assembly once again advanced legislation to increase the minimum wage in New York State, this time proposing a hike to a full $9. I continue to have concerns that this measure may be counterproductive to our efforts to help businesses create new jobs and rebuild the state’s economy.
Measures Strengthen Residency Information Collection and Enforcement, Help Limit Contact With Students
The New York State Senate today passed four bills that would keep communities safer from sexual predators. The package of legislation requires more stringent verification requirements for sex offender residency, and strengthens penalties for individuals who help sex offenders evade registration requirements. It also puts additional protections in place to prevent certain sex offenders from residing with students or assuming roles in school governance.
Growing the state’s agriculture industry and helping New York’s family farms prosper is the goal of the “Grown in New York” plan, unveiled today by Senator Patty Ritchie, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Senator Ritchie was joined at a Capitol news conference by other members of the committee, as well as leaders of the New York Farm Bureau to announce a plan to strengthen the state’s $5.2 billion agriculture industry by expanding markets for New York-grown products, improving the bottom lines of family farms, and investing in the future of farming.
Measure Prohibits People Convicted of Serious Crimes from Being Bus MonitorsAlso Prevents Individuals Convicted of Leandra’s Law from Driving School Buses
The New York State Senate today passed legislation to protect children by preventing people who have been convicted of crimes involving children, sexual-based offenses, and drug offenses from being a school bus monitor. The bill (S883), sponsored by Senator John Bonacic (R,C,I-Mount Hope), also updates existing laws to include Leandra’s Law convictions in disqualifying a person from being a school bus driver for five years after conviction.
Plan Would Increase Tax Credits to Help Struggling Middle Class Families,
Restore STAR Property Tax Rebate Checks for Millions of New Yorkers
Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos and members of the Senate Republican Conference today unveiled the Family Tax Relief Act, a package of tax relief and reform measures designed to provide a major economic boost to New York’s struggling middle class families.
The Senate Republican plan would increase tax breaks that have not kept pace with inflation, and, in some instances, haven’t been adjusted for more than 25 years. The plan also restores the STAR property tax rebate check program to provide real and direct relief to millions of New Yorkers who pay some of the highest property taxes in the country.
Annual Program Honors Women's Contributions to Our Community
In honor of Women’s History Month, Senator Skelos today invited local residents to nominate friends, coworkers and neighborhood leaders whose outstanding work on behalf of our communities makes them deserving of special recognition by the State Senate as a New York "Woman of Distinction."
The Senate will honor distinguished woman from our area and throughout the state at an Albany reception to be held on Tuesday, May 7th, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., where each honoree's photograph and biography will become part of a special exhibit proclaiming the special contributions of exemplary New York women.
Funds Should Be Used For Tax Relief or State Reserves – Not New Spending
Senate Republican Leader Dean G. Skelos and Senate Independent Conference Leader Jeff Klein today released a revenue forecast by the Senate Finance Committee that estimates additional General Fund revenues, above the Executive’s projection, of $126 million in 2013-14, and $116 million more than the Executive’s estimate for state fiscal year 2012-13.
Voluntary mediation offers speedy resolution when insurers and homeowners can’t agree
Senator Skelos today announced that the Department of Financial Services has established a voluntary mediation process for homeowners disputing their insurance claims or dissatisfied with denials of their claims arising from Storm Sandy.
Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos and the Senate Republican Conference today called for an immediate independent audit of New York State’s Medicaid program and announced a forthcoming joint roundtable meeting of the Senate Health and Investigations Committees to investigate allegations of complacency and inaction by the state Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG).
I am disappointed that Governor Cuomo did not remove the 18-a energy tax when he submitted his 21-day amendments to the Executive Budget, as recommended on numerous occasions by Senate Republicans. The business community has said that this onerous tax costs New York's businesses and families $509 million annually and will hurt our efforts to create jobs and revitalize the state's economy.
Legislation Would Prevent Sex Offenders from Becoming Bus Drivers & Strengthen Penalties for Passing Stopped School Buses
The New York State Senate today passed two bills that would enhance the safety of bus passengers by preventing registered sex offenders from becoming bus drivers and increasing penalties for passing a stopped school bus.
Bill Links Convictions for Operating Different Vehicles While Intoxicated
The New York State Senate today passed “Tiffany’s Law”, sponsored by Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-C-I, Syracuse). The bill (S.1790) would require all prior convictions of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, whether it be an automobile (DWI), snowmobile (SWI), or all-terrain vehicle, to 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.
With a major snowstorm predicted to impact our area begninning today, below are contact numbers where you can get storm-related information or services. You may wish to print this out and keep it on hand during the storm.
Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos and members of the Senate Republican Conference were joined today by leaders of statewide business organizations to urge Governor Cuomo to remove the proposed extension of the utility tax surcharge from his Executive Budget. The 18-a surcharge, which has increased utility bills for every ratepayer in the state, is scheduled to expire on March 31, 2014. The Governor’s proposed five-year extension would cost businesses and consumers a total of almost $3 billion.
After touring New York’s hardest hit areas and hosting stakeholder roundtables across the NYC metro area, the Bipartisan Task Force issued its first report with 10 preliminary recommendations to aid recovery efforts and assist in future disaster planning
Less than three months after Senate Co-Leaders Jeffrey D. Klein and Dean G. Skelos launched the New York State Senate Bipartisan Task Force on Hurricane Sandy recovery, the Task Force has released its preliminary report and recommendations on Sandy relief and storm planning. The preliminary report and recommendations come after Task Force members toured storm damaged communities across the New York City Metro Area, including Freeport, Island Park, Oceanside, The Rockaways, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Hudson Valley.
Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program Extended in NY for an Additional 14 Days; Individual Assistance Program Extended 30 days
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), at the request of the State of New York, has approved a 14-day extension to the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program and a 30-day extension for the Individual Assistance (IA) program.