Senator Jack Martins was given a special tour of the Elmont Memorial Public Library’s “Black History Month” Art exhibit this past weekend where he viewed national artist Charles Winslow’s Black History Collection. Senator Martins toured the exhibit with Winslow whose showcase was part of the annual Black History Month Celebration. The internationally known “thread" artist developed his unique art style in the 1960’s. Mr. Winslow is a self taught artist and is a member of the Long Island Black Artist Association. “It was a real honor to be given this tour by Charles and to hear his story. He showed me each of his pieces and their unique historical backgrounds. I especially liked his thread pieces that have been displayed around the country.
Senator Jack M. Martins is teaming with New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) to bring a mobile legal help center to the Westbury Memorial Library, located at 455 Jefferson Street, in Westbury on Friday, March 2 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
NYLAG will be providing two services for this event:
- Consumer protection legal counseling in the areas of creditor harassment, identify theft, collection actions and debt management.
- Financial counseling for those facing debt.
NYLAG is a not-for-profit law office founded in 1990 to provide free civil legal services to New Yorkers who would otherwise be unable to afford or receive legal assistance. The mobile legal help center is a way to bring legal services to the community.
On February 12, the New York State Mandate Council met on Long Island for the first time, at SUNY Old Westbury to hear testimony from local government leaders on ideas for mandate relief measures.
The council was created as a means to review certain maintains that are placed on school districts and local governments to see if there are regulations that can be changed or eliminated in order to provide relief to local communities. Senator Jack M. Martins, the chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Local Government, was appointed to the council and is its only Long Island member.
You might call it a pedestrian “no-man’s land,” a 16-mile stretch of roadway where an average of five people die each year. It’s not Manhattan’s Broadway or the Bronx’s Grand Concourse, nor is it notorious Queens Boulevard. It’s actually here in our backyard, Route 24, better known as Hempstead Turnpike.
The Tri-State Transportation Campaign has indentified the turnpike as the most dangerous road for pedestrians in the region for the last three years. This is an unfortunate distinction, but one that is finally drawing attention to a problem many of us have at least intuitively recognized for a long time. If you live, work, or even regularly drive there, you know it can be dangerous.
Roundtable Discussion and Awards Presention Highlight Program
State Senator Jack Martins celebrated the 8th annual “Black History Month Awards” this past weekend with an educational roundtable discussion and entertainment awards presentation at the Elmont Public Library. The program was sponsored by Senator Martins and Highlighting Success. The Black History Month Celebration is a program that entails a community roundtable discussion revolving around a specific issue series, entertainment, awards and spoken word.
Legislation Would Ensure that Commuters Receive $240 a Month State Tax Benefit to Help Offset Mass-Transit Costs
The New York State Senate passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), and co-sponsored by Senator Jack M. Martins, to fully restore the state’s pre-tax commuter benefit to provide savings to commuters who use the Long Island Rail Road and other mass transit.
With the support of Senator Jack M. Martins, the New York State Senate passed “Tiffany’s Law” (S.2860A) that requires all prior convictions of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, whether it be an automobile (DWI), snowmobile (SWI), or all-terrain vehicle, 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 the abuse of illegally-obtained prescription narcotics growing rapidly, the New York State Senate passed several bills to curb the black market in prescription painkillers.
Senate action on the bills, sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannon (R, C, I - Garden City), Chairman of the Senate Health Committee, and Senator Jack Martins (R-C-I, Mineola), followed roundtable discussion on the issue of abuse of prescription painkillers. This was a second in a series of public meetings discussing legislation to combat prescription drug abuse and to examine improving New York’s prescription reporting system.
The Great Port Washington Business Improvement District hosted an awards ceremony at the Port Washington Library to honor winner of the BID’s 2011 Shop Port Student Holiday Essay Contest. Senator Martins congratulated each of the winners and presented them with a certificate.Winners included:
Noah White, Ryan Schwartz, Jillian Keyes, Naome Sajnani, Anthony Guzzello, Caleb Thomas, Yasmen Munoz, Sam Rothenberg, Epsy Cassidy, Bella Feigin, Christina Corbo, Stephen Jagard, Taehoon Kim, Ali Seltzer, Kieran Dennis, Madeline Fagen, Jonathan Lin, Helena Sanders, Claire Bumberg, William Lowe, Jonathan Nadolne, Christina Sanders, Will Popovich and Maximus Mongelli.
The New York State Senate passed a bill that would ban certain criminal offenders from working on school buses (S.6157A). The bill prohibits people who are convicted of offenses, such as sex and drug crimes, from being school bus monitors.
The bill also bans anyone convicted under Leandra’s Law from being a school bus driver for five years after conviction. Leandra’s Law makes it a felony to drive drunk with others in the car who are under 16 years old.
“This is another measure we can take to make sure our children are safer on their way to school and on their way home. Anyone who would jeopardize a child’s safety should not be on a school bus,” said Senator Jack M. Martins, who supported the bill.
Senator Jack M. Martins brought his “Pizza and Politics” program to Westbury High School, where he met with members of the student council to discuss issues that affect the student body as well as current issues that are important in New York State.
The “Pizza and Politics” program was started by Senator Martins as a way to make government accessible to the students. The students council members are able to discuss political issues with the Senator over pizza, supplied by Senator Martins.
Senator Jack M. Martins was a guest speaker at a recent meeting of the Manhasset Men’s Luncheon Club at the Congregational Church of Manhasset. Senator Martins spoke about the executive budget proposed by the Governor and the need to continue to pass budgets in the state without raising any taxes or fees. Senator Martins also spoke about the current pension system and how local governments and school districts are burdened with having to fund the pension system during difficult economic times. Senator Martins explained that current employees’ pensions are protected by the New York State Constitution. However, going forward, he supports Governor Cuomo’s proposal for a Tier VI, which includes an option for a defined benefit plan, as well as a higher contribution rate.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo traveled to Molloy College to outline his 2012-13 Executive Budget and Reform Plan, which expands on the historic reforms enacted last year to continue building a New New York. As a result of the tough decisions and bipartisan cooperation of the past year, the State is able to close the current deficit without broad cuts, new taxes, fees or gimmicks. In addition, the Governor's Executive Budget proposes major reforms to reduce the cost of government for taxpayers, implements accountability in our schools to put students first, and puts the State in a position to leverage billions of dollars in private sector investment to grow the economy and create jobs.
Senator Jack M. Martins presented the ‘How a Bill Becomes a Law’ program to an assembly at the Floral Park-Bellerose School. Senator Martins discussed the process of how a bill starts with an idea and then how it progresses until it makes it onto the Governor’s desk in Albany.
During the assembly, Senator Martins told the students bills begin with an idea that originates in the community. It is then introduced in the State Senate. From there, it is discussed in a committee made up of lawmakers and then, if it passes the committee, it is voted on by the entire Senate. If it passes, the bill goes to the State Assembly. If the Assembly passes it, it will then arrive on the desk of the Governor, who can either sign it or veto it.
State Senator Jack Martins went to lunch at Elmont's newest restaurant on Dutch Broadway called "LENA" Dominican Restaurant. The restaurant was opened by Elmont Memorial and Dutch Broadway School graduate Edwin Fernandez and his wife Mercedes. The restaurant serves Dominican and American cuisine and is open seven days a week. The restaurant is located in the "Ryans" store shopping plaza across the street from Dutch Broadway School. Senator Martins was given a tour of the restaurant and enjoyed lunch with the owners. "I want to wish Edwin and Mercedes the best of luck with "LENA" Restaurant. t's so great to see our young people coming back to the community and striving for their dreams. I was happy to support them and will be dropping by for lunch again," said Senator Martins.
Not long after the State Senate passed a bill to improve oversight of LIPA, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law. The law requires LIPA to undergo periodic audits of internal policies and procedures to improve efficiency and transparency. The LIPA Board will be required to publicly present the findings and recommendations of the audit, allowing LIPA's decisions to be held to a more rigorous standard than those that currently exists for any other utility in the state.
Legislation Would Enact Governor's Proposal to Include Misdemeanors
The New York State Senate passed legislation for the largest expansion of the state’s DNA databank since it was created in 1994. The legislation mirrors the databank expansion plan proposed by Governor Cuomo in his Executive Budget to require people convicted of all felonies, as well as all misdemeanors in the penal law to submit DNA samples.
Legislation Would Provide Tax Relief for Long Island
Senators Jack M. Martins and Lee Zeldin (R, C, I- Shirley) have introduced a bill (S-6206) to exempt all counties, towns and villages from having to pay the MTA Payroll Tax. Senators Martins and Zeldin, since taking office last January, have been committed to eliminating the payroll tax that was enacted in 2009. The Senators are introducing the bill as a way to provide tax relief to municipalities that are still forced to pay the .34 percent tax per $100 of payroll to pay the MTA.