Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that he signed legislation, sponsored by State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) to ensure that the flags lowered to half-staff at the State Capitol in honor of a fallen soldier are presented to the loved ones of the deceased.
Several constituents have contacted my office this month, thanking me and my colleagues in the State Senate for our support in designating September as Suicide Prevention Month in New York State. A recent walk was held in Saratoga Springs that highlighted this designation and brought about the awareness that suicide is one of the top ten causes of all deaths in the Nation. Advocates of suicide prevention have also told me that suicide is the third leading cause of death among people ages 15 – 24 and the second cause of death among college students.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) visited Niskayuna Central School officials on July 30th to discuss school aid and other educational issues. Pictured, from left, are Superintendent Susan Kay Salvaggio, Senator Farley, Board of Education President Deborah Oriola, and Board of Education member Bob Winchester.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) announces the State Flood Helpine has been activated.
“I wanted to let you know that Governor Cuomo activated the NYS Flood Helpline to aid residents affected by widespread flooding across areas of New York State,” said Senator Farley, who represents portions of Herkimer, Saratoga and Schenectady Counties as well as all of Fulton and Hamilton counties.
The NYS Flood Helpline is (888) 769-7243. New Yorkers can call the helpline for assistance, including local information for the Red Cross and Salvation Army, health and safety tips, where to go to receive a tetanus shot, and what to do in case of an oil spill or power outage. Life threatening emergencies should be reserved for 911.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) announced the New York State Senate recently gave final passage to legislation (S4777D) that would protect providers of services for the developmentally disabled from state funding cuts.
The legislation would appropriate up to $90 million, or as much as is needed, to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to protect providers from funding reductions if recommended savings measures falls short of projections.
Senate Republicans strongly opposed the proposal in the Governor’s budget for $240 million in across-the-board funding cuts to OPWDD. The Senate’s budget resolution, passed in March, called for the full restoration of funding for OPWDD.
The Senate’s Select Committee on Libraries Chair, State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady), reports the New York State Library teamed up with more than 1,100 public libraries and neighborhood branches statewide to launch “Summer Reading at New York Libraries,” the 2013 New York State summer reading program. The annual program gives children the opportunity to access the vast resources of New York’s public libraries to support their summer reading.
Through participating in summer reading programs, children can receive reading lists and participate in activities at their local libraries. At the end of the program, participants receive formal recognition for their reading achievement.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) announced the New York State Senate recently passed legislation to address the threat posed to the public by “legal” but dangerous drugs. The bill (S1686) criminalizes the sale and possession of synthetic marijuana and “bath salts.”
Synthetic marijuana or “fake pot” are herbs sprayed with chemicals called “synthetic cannabinoids.” These products -- including Spice, K2, Cloud 9 and Black 9 -- have dangerous side effects, including rapid heart rate, tremors, loss of consciousness and hallucinations. “Bath salts,” or “substituted cathinones,” are chemically related to methamphetamines or ecstasy and cause harmful physical and psychological reactions.
State Senator hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) reported the New York State Senate recently passed a measure to deter terrorist recruitment and punish those who seek to employ others for their criminal plans. The bill (S1520) would complement law enforcement’s efforts to expose groups who actively seek to engage in terrorist activity by creating a new crime to prosecute those who recruit others to assist them.
Terrorist organizations and their membership are in a perpetual search to recruit new members. This bill makes it a Class C felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, when someone with the intent of committing a crime recruits, solicits, requests, commands, importunes or otherwise attempts another person to engage in terrorist conduct.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) announced the New York State Senate recently passed legislation that would prosecute those who intentionally or recklessly damage the environment while committing another crime. The bill (S1016) would deter thieves or other vandals from committing crimes that could result in contamination, and hold those accountable for financial and environmental damage from their actions.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) announced the New York State Senate recently passed legislation to require certain violent felons to serve their maximum prison term if there is evidence that their release would pose an imminent threat to society. The bill (S.3871) would help protect the public by keeping repeat offenders off the streets and limit “good behavior” and other rewards from reducing the time spent in prison.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) announced the New York State Senate recently passed legislation (S4791) that would increase criminal penalties for sexual contact between a child and a person in a position of trust.
The bill would create the new crimes of sexual assault against a child by a person in a position of trust in the first, second, and third degrees, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. There are prohibitions in law against sexual contact with a minor, however the law does not increase penalties if the crime is committed by a person in a position of trust.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R,C, I – Schenectady) announced the New York State Senate recently passed legislation to require mandatory jail sentences for repeat DWI offenders.
Current law does not require repeat DWI offenders to spend any time in jail. Right now, repeat DWI offenders face class E or D felony charges punishable by up to four or seven years in jail and/or a fine between $1,000-$5,000 or $2,000-$10,000. However, judges have the discretion to sentence these offenders to only a fine or a fine and community service under the law.
The legislation (S750) would require drunk drivers with multiple DWI convictions to serve a jail sentence. Under the proposed law:
May is National Military Appreciation Month and today is Memorial Day, times to honor our military service men and women who protect our Nation.
Our veterans have sacrificed so much for keeping our country safe and free, but do we ever take the time to tell them? Next time you see a local veteran, shake his or her hand and say "thank you" -- that all of the sacrifices were worth it.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) announced the New York State Senate recently passed legislation to encourage the building of more “green” homes by creating a property tax exemption. The bill S1710 would help increase demand for environmentally friendly housing by allowing local municipalities to offer a real property tax exemption of 35 percent for a maximum of 20 years.
Green building increases a home’s value while decreasing utility expenses, maximizing the use of natural resources, and minimizing environmental impact. Green buildings are crafted to exceed building codes while remaining cost-effective to own and operate.
May is National Military Appreciation Month and State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R - Schenectady) said constituents can help our local veterans by voting on Facebook.
The Guardian House, located not far from Senator Farley's District Office in Ballston Spa, is a homeless shelter for female veterans. It is operated by the Saratoga County Rural Preservation Company with support from the Saratoga County Veterans Agency.
The Guardian House just won $25,000 from a Home Depot "Aprons in Action" Facebook contest and is currently in the running for a Home Deport Facebook prize of $250,000. The money would be used for the shelter and to help build a wellness center.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R – Schenectady) reported the New York State Senate ecently passed legislation to crack down on auto insurance fraud which has led to injuries - even death - for innocent victims and costs hundreds of millions of dollars a year in higher premiums when New Yorkers already pay some of the highest auto insurance rates in the country.
The three bills approved would significantly cut down on auto insurance scams by increasing penalties for those who commit or assist in the fraud and by giving more flexibility to insurance companies to prevent criminals from getting policies and continuing to commit auto fraud.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), New York ranks among the top five states for fraudulent auto insurance claims.
It’s hard to believe, but it is true. Fifty years after the 1963 Equal Pay Act was signed into law, pay discrimination in the workplace still exists in America.
In June, the Senate unanimously passed legislation to strengthen New York’s laws and ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work. However, action is still needed by the State Assembly on this bill.