During the 2014 Legislative Session, several bills were enacted to address important health issues. This report summarizes some of these measures, and gives website addresses where you can obtain more information on these topics.
The Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Program (EPIC), which I helped create, has assisted many senior citizens over the years with the cost of their prescription drugs. This year, legislation was enacted to significantly increase the income eligibility thresholds for the EPIC deductible plan. To learn more, visit http://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/epic/ or call 1-800-332-3742.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley and Assemblyman Jim Tedisco announce their legislation to designate Ballston Lake as an inland waterway has been signed into law. This designation will allow the Towns of Ballston and Clifton Park to participate in New York’s Coastal and Inland Waterway Program. Earlier this year, both towns passed resolutions in support of designating the Lake as an inland waterway.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) had the pleasure of presenting a New York State Citation to Joseph Chan recently upon Mr. Chan’s retirement. Senator Farley’s Citation is the following:
WHEREAS, The State of New York takes great pride in acknowledging significant milestones in the distinguished careers of its esteemed residents; and
WHEREAS, Joseph Chan celebrated his retirement in April of 2014, after 37 years of owning and operating the Dragon Garden restaurant; and
WHEREAS, Joe was born on June 10, 1941, in Canton, China; and
WHEREAS, He moved to Hong Kong at the age of 17; it was here he began to learn English: and
From family barbecues, to hiking and boating, to sitting on a sandy beach with a good book, summer is always a fantastic time to enjoy all that the Empire State has to offer.
But the summer months can also bring some potential dangers, especially as temperatures begin to rise. To help you stay safe during periods of excessive heat, the State Department of Health and the State Office of Emergency Management are offering the following safety tips:
• Never leave children, pets or those who require special care in a parked car or other vehicles during periods of intense summer heat. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach over 140 degrees Fahrenheit quickly. Exposure to such high temperatures can kill within a matter of minutes.
Senator Farley (R, C – Schenectady) and fellow Senate Republicans today launched a plan to invest over $3 billion from the BNP Paribas bank settlement. This comprehensive and fiscally responsible budgeting approach will accelerate planned tax cuts to give New Yorkers the relief they need and deserve as soon as possible, make key infrastructure investments to create new jobs across the state and provide historic assistance to local schools and property taxpayers.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) reports that he and his colleagues in the New York State Senate gave final legislative passage to a bill (S7643A) that directs the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to design and post at public boat launches a universal sign warning of the threat of aquatic invasive species.
Aquatic invasive species (AIS), such as zebra mussels, asian clams and hydrilla, pose a serious threat to the ecosystems and economies of the communities around lakes, rivers and other bodies of waters.
The legislation requires the DEC, within one year of the effective date of the law, to conspicuously post or provide for the posting of a universal sign at each public boat launch site in the state.
As Chairman of the Senate’s Select Committee on Libraries, State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady), helped kick off the New York State Library’s Summer Reading Program today at the Schenectady County Public Library. Called “Fizz! Boom! Read!,” the program is being launched by over a thousand public libraries across the State, giving children the opportunity to access the vast resources of New York’s public libraries to support their summer reading.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) reported that the New York State Senate recently passed three bills – all part of the Senate’s Women’s Equality Agenda – that would prevent employment discrimination against people with families, stop housing discrimination against victims of domestic violence, and ensure women receive equal pay for equal work.
STOPPING DISCRIMINATION BASED ON FAMILY STATUS
The Senate unanimously passed legislation (S5875) to help working mothers by preventing discrimination in the hiring and promotion of people with families. The bill prohibits employers from denying work or promotions based on family status, such as parents and women who are pregnant.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) reports that he and his colleagues in the New York State Senate recently passed a package of eight bills to prevent criminals from using financial schemes to prey upon senior citizens. The measures were recommended in a report released by the Senate Majority Coalition in May that examined this growing issue that affects thousands of senior New Yorkers each year.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) reports that he and his colleagues in the New York State Senate recently passed a measure to protect the staff and youth in group homes and other youth residential facilities. “Renee’s Law” (S2625B) increases the criminal history and other information available to those involved in residential placements for violent youth offenders so that a thorough evaluation of the youth's rehabilitation and the risk they pose to the community can be performed.
The measure was named for Renee Greco, a 24-year-old youth care worker who was killed at a group home for troubled youths in Lockport, Niagara County
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) reported that he and his colleagues in the New York State Senate recently gave final legislative passage to “Vince’s Law,” a bill that would significantly toughen criminal penalties to get persistent drunk drivers off the road.
Bill S7108 would extend the period of time in which multiple Driving While Intoxicated convictions can occur in order to be considered a felony. Under the bill, an individual convicted of three or more DWIs within 15 preceding years would be charged with a Class D felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) reports that he and his colleagues in the New York State Senate unanimously passed legislation today that would require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with pregnancy-related medical conditions.
Bill S5880 would require employers to perform a reasonable accommodation analysis for employees with conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth. A pregnancy-related condition would be treated as a temporary disability. Additionally, it would codify in law a regulation that an employee must provide medical or other information to verify the existence of the condition. The reasonable accommodation would not have to be granted if it imposed an undue hardship on an employer.
As a longtime library advocate and Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Libraries, State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I - Schenectady) is pleased to announce six libraries in his 49th Senatorial District were recently awarded public library construction funds that will allow them to improve their facilities.
“Libraries are a place of lifelong learning that are available to everyone,” Senator Farley “These funds will help improve the buildings that house vital information and allow organizations so keep up with the demands of their users – whether it is installing climate control systems to books do not deteriorate, improving entrances for people with disabilities, or increasing space due to growing demands.”
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) reported that he and his colleagues in the New York State Senate recently gave final legislative passage to a measure (S2753B) that will assist victims of violent crimes and students who may have gone missing by requiring the timely notification of law enforcement.
The bill strengthens the existing College Safety Act by requiring colleges and universities to notify law enforcement within 24 hours of receiving a report of a violent felony or when a student who resides in campus housing is missing.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) reported that he and his colleagues in the State Senate recently passed seven bills that would provide tax relief to businesses, expand exemptions from the job-killing MTA payroll tax, encourage historic preservation projects, reduce energy taxes, protect forestland, and provide tax benefits to disabled veterans, as well as teachers who purchase school supplies.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) reported the New York State Senate honored World War II veterans on June 2nd by adopting a resolution that commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Allied Army invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, a defining day in world history that marked the beginning of the liberation of Europe and the eventual end of World War II; as well as passing a package of legislation to benefit veterans, and men and women in active military duty.
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) honored members of the 2013-2014 State Champion Scotia-Glenville Boys’ Varsity Basketball Team on Tuesday, May 20th, at the State Capitol with a State Senate Resolution honoring the team.
The Resolution congratulates the Scotia-Glenville High School Boys' Varsity Basketball Team upon the occasion of winning the NYSPHSAA Class A State Championship.
The resolution text is as follows:
WHEREAS, Excellence in competitive sports can be achieved only through strenuous practice, team play and team spirit, nurtured by dedicated coaching and strategic planning; and
State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) reported the New York State Senate passed legislation to direct more state economic development funding to small businesses so they can become more economically competitive, grow, and create more jobs. The bill (S1530) would require state agencies that award economic development assistance to give preference to small businesses and entrepreneurs because they are most in need of assistance and are significant job creators.
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.