The New York State Senate today passed a law which gives courts the ability to consider a greater number of issues–including victims’ safety—when setting bail. The bill (S.259), sponsored by Senator George Maziarz, also known as “Jilly’s Law”, is named for Jill Cahill who was killed in 1998.
Jill Cahill, of Onondaga County, was in the process of trying to divorce her husband, Jeff Cahill, when he attacked her with a baseball bat, striking her more than seven times and nearly killing her.
On New York State’s tax filing deadline, the state Senate today passed legislation that would expedite payment of income tax refunds and simplify STAR property tax relief filings for senior citizens.
A bill sponsored by Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R, Syosset) ensures prompt payment of a state income tax refund. Traditionally, the state Department of Taxation and Finance has held returns requesting refunds for up to two months, starting from when taxpayers file their return to when they may actually see the refund.
The New York State Senate today passed legislation that would keep the most dangerous, violent, repeat criminals behind bars and out of our communities.
The bill (S.1539), sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos (R-C, Rockville Centre), requires persistent violent felony offenders be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. This bill recognizes that persistent violent offenders are most likely to commit violent crimes again and would ensure that violent, recidivist criminals are permanently prevented from posing a danger to society.
2012-13 State Budget Reduces Spending, Does Not Raise Taxes, Creates Jobs
For the second consecutive year, the New York State Senate has completed an early passage of the state budget. The 2012-13 state budget achieves the Senate Republicans’ goals of reducing state spending, not raising taxes and creating new private sector jobs. The new state fiscal year begins April 1st.
The New York State Senate today passed legislation that gives judges the ability to consider well-established risk factors in determining bail or recognizance in domestic violence cases so that a victim and their family can be further protected from an assailant.
The bill (S.1414A), sponsored by Senator Stephen Saland (R-I-C, Poughkeepsie), would allow the history of violence or threats of violence, prior orders of protection, and the accused’s access to guns to be considered by a judge, potentially affecting their release conditions and sparing many victims and their children additional harm or even death.
Senator Skelos is pictured with Christy Fox of Long Beach High School who had the opportunity to shadow the Senator during her visit to Albany for the Students Inside Albany Conference. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of New York State Education Foundation, the Students Inside Albany Conference provides a wonderful opportunity for students throughout New York State.
Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos today invited local residents to nominate veterans from their community whose service on behalf of our nation designates them worthy of induction into the New York State Veteran’s Hall of Fame.
This on-line Hall of Fame is designed to pay tribute to New Yorkers whose gallantry in the U.S. Armed Forces is complemented by their service to the community.
“The Senate takes this opportunity to honor the brave men and women who serve our nation and protect our freedom as members of the military, said Senator Skelos. “The Senate Veteran’s Hall of Fame pays tribute to all who serve, but also singles out for special recognition those whose sacrifices and service have helped make our nation and our community better places to live.”
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.