Coming into the final four months of his current term as senator of the 7th Senate District, Jack Martins sat down with Anton Community Newspapers editors on Wednesday, July 25. He will seek re-election in November, facing off against Manhasset Democrat Daniel Ross.
Martins “tipped his hat” to Governor Andrew Cuomo concerning initiatives including the new 2 percent tax cap, a timely budget process, the states dealings concerning the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and state school district issues, most notably unfunded mandates.
New York State passed its second consecutive on-time budget. Before 2011, the state hadn’t produced an on-time budget in 15 years. The current budget represents the fourth on-time budget in 29 years.
Counting the number of bills a lawmaker gets passed certainly doesn’t tell the entire story.
Many of the bills the state Legislature approves are very small-scale in nature. And it’s an Albany truism that those in the political minority in either house (Republicans in the Assembly, Democrats in the Senate) rarely get more than a handful of their bills passed. Sometimes they give up “authorship” of a bill to a majority-party member to aid its passage.
That said, adding up bills is a way that constituents can see how active and successful their lawmakers are at getting bills through.
It was a good day for Long Island yesterday in Albany.
The state's three most powerful figures -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) -- reached agreement on a new $132.6-billion budget that builds on last year's outbreak of fiscal responsibility by reducing spending slightly while funding a bevy of worthy initiatives.
New York recently completed an historic legislative session, making significant progress toward returning our state to fiscal health. We balanced the budget, closed a $10 billion deficit by cutting spending and passed a 2 percent property tax cap. The goals were to ease taxpayer burden, spur economic growth and ultimately make New York the kind of place people move to, not away from.
It was met with ire by school districts and local villages and commended by residents and businesses. But on June 30, with positives and negatives aside, the bill became law.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo visited Lynbrook last week to sign the 2 percent property tax cap into law. The tax cap was a major platform Governor Cuomo touted during his campaign to deliver property tax relief to homeowners and business owners across the state.
Long Island employers got a bit of good news earlier this month when the State Senate passed a bill to repeal the MTA payroll tax — shortly after the MTA terminated its contract to operate Long Island Bus and reduced services throughout the Long Island Rail Road system.
Summer's first official day is June 21, and parents who are now beginning to think about sending their children to summer camps can be assured that local politicians are working to ensure more camp safety. An amendment that was introduced by Sen. Jack Martins (R-Elmont) to require directors of overnight, summer day and traveling summer day camps to report suspected child abuse or maltreatment was delivered to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on June 10.
State lawmakers yesterday passed a bill to repeal the Long Island Rail Road’s unpopular new ticket refund policy, which charges a ticket refund surcharge that can cost more than the ticket itself.
By a vote of 62 to 0, the State Senate approved the bill, which would eliminate the $10 processing fee for all LIRR ticket refunds. The bill also increases the period during which customers can apply for a refund from two weeks to six months.
The bill still must pass the State Assembly, where it is currently in the corporations, authorities and commissions committee, before going to the governor to be signed into law.
The Republican delegation of the New York Senate is behind a push to repeal the onerous MTA payroll tax. The bill, introduced by state Sens. Lee Zeldin, R-Shirley, and Jack Martins, R-Mineola, would phase out the tax over a three-year period.
Starting Jan. 1, 2012, small businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 25 employees would be exempt from the tax, as would all schools. Businesses with more than 25 employees in the seven suburban counties would have the tax rate reduced to 0.23 percent beginning on Jan. 1, 2012, reduced further to 0.12 percent for 2013 and then completely repealed as of Jan. 1, 2014.
The New York State Senate voted Tuesday to eliminate the state-imposed gas tax for three holiday weekends in 2011.
The measure, sponsored by Sen. Greg Ball, R-Carmel, would remove the roughly 33-cent per gallon tax New York charges at the pump for the Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day holiday weekends.
While the bill easily passed the Senate with a vote of 48-14, it has been held up in committee in the Assembly, making it unlikely to passed in time to take effect for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
From the New Hyde Park Illustrated News, an Anton Community Newspaper
Members of the volunteer fire services are used to coming to the aid of others. Knowing the value of volunteer firefighters in Nassau County communities, New York State Senator Jack M. Martins was glad to help one of the members of New Hyde Park’s Fire Department’s bravest.
Last Feb. 4, members of the New Hyde Park Fire Department responded to a fire in the basement of a home on 6th Avenue in New Hyde Park. Several firefighters were injured fighting the blaze including Max Devane, who was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
Injured firefighter Max Devane has a chance to thank New York State Senator Jack Martins for helping him receive his SUNY Maritime deposit.
Remember reading and hearing about how the Republican-controlled New York State Senate allocated $8.6 million toward the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Long Island Bus (LIB) system, thereby averting significant LIB service reductions this summer?
ALBANY -- Latin American college students from across the state got a chance to sit in the seat of a state senator Saturday.
About 70 students from city and state university campuses participated in the Somos Legislative Conference. For 15 years, students have been assigned to represent a Senate district, study a specific piece of legislation and then take to the Senate floor to debate.
While the students use their own names, they are supposed to represent the district and political party of the real senator. This year, they debated an actual bill that called for a five-member independent commission to redraw legislative district boundaries.
Ceremony honors the lives of African-Americans, past and present
The Round Table discussion at the Eighth Annual Black History Month Celebration, presented by Elmont Online and Highlighting Success, Inc., drew attention to a significant topic: Economic Development in Elmont. Moderated by Scott Cushing, a member of the 2011 Black History Month Committee, the discussion spanned Elmont’s potential, its progress to date, and the community’s challenges.
From the Elmont-Franklin Square Herald, a Richner Communications Newspaper
By Jackie Nash
Sen. Jack Martins (R-Elmont) introduced a bill last week to repeal a recently implemented policy by the Metropolitan Transit Authority that charges customers a $10 processing fee for returning unused Long Island Rail Road tickets. Martins said he introduced the legislation because he believes the fee is an unfair addition to the MTA’s already inconvenient fare increases and service cuts that have occurred over the past year.
From the Elmont-Franklin Square Herald, a Richner Communications Newspaper
By Jackie Nash
New York Racing Association officials committed to investing in the revitalization of Belmont Park at a State Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee meeting Feb. 7. Sen. Jack Martins, a Republican from Elmont who advocated not only for improvements at Belmont but for revamping the Hempstead Turnpike corridor at the hearing, said the commitment was “a very positive step forward” toward developing Belmont’s south lot and improving the aging racetrack.
From the Floral Park Dispatch, an Anton Community Newspaper
By Melissa Argueta
As the second month of his first term arrived, Senator Jack M. Martins of the 7th Senatorial District sauntered into a room of reporters, appearing ready to answer just about any question there was to ask. During the senator’s first roundtable, Martins, the former mayor of Mineola, provided clarification and insight on local and state issues, including Governor Cuomo’s proposed 2011-12 Executive Budget, the state Senate’s recently passed 2 percent property tax cap, as well as the importance of job creation and revitalization of downtowns to spurt growth of Long Island’s struggling economy.