When I first heard about hydro-fracking a few years back, I thought it was going to be played on my children’s X-box and cost me at least $100. While I happily discovered it wasn’t another video game, what I did learn gave me cause for concern.
The New York State Senate today final legislative passage to the Iran Divestment Act, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and co-sponsored by Senator Jack M. Martins. The bill would prohibit companies that provide goods, services or credit worth $20 million or more to Iran's energy industry from entering into or renewing state and local government contracts.
As is custom, Governor Cuomo gave his State of the State speech last week in which New York governors traditionally outline where we stand and where they hope to take us. The news outlets naturally put their own spin on things so although there’s not enough room here to touch on all aspects of the speech, I thought it would be good to review a few major ones together.
A packed gymnasium at the Polk Street School was the scene this past Friday, where State Senator Jack Martins held a “Town Hall Style” meeting with the entire 5th grade on how a bill becomes a law. The session had students asking Senator Martins about his work as a State Senator that represents Franklin Square as well as sharing their ideas on the Franklin Square community. The meeting, according to Senator Martins, was “a great way to hear what’s on young people’s minds and listen to their hopes and dreams for the future.”
Senator Jack M. Martins recently presented Bellerose firefighter Rob Syverson with the New York State Gift of Life medal for a selfless act of generosity that captured the spirit of giving during the holiday season.
Having been on the bone marrow registry for the past 16 years, Syverson was contacted a few months as a match for a 43-year-old woman who was suffering from leukemia. Although Syverson didn’t know the woman, he decided to undergo the painful procedure of having bone marrow extracted from his pelvis to be donated to the patient. On November 30, two quarters of bone marrow were extracted while Syverson was under general anesthesia.
I love the holiday season but like many of you, there are some time-consuming, tedious aspects that I can do without. Shopping is definitely not my bag but, more than anything else, the jumble of lights that patiently waits for me in the attic, tangled beyond recognition, is what annually unsettles me. Regardless, I have been officially designated the master de-tangler of all twisted strands in our household, and it's a title I hold proudly.
State Senator Jack Martins congratulated Metros boxing champion Titus Williams on his sensational Boxing Victory this past week. Williams fought his bout in Franklin Square’s Plattdeutsche Hall in front of a packed hometown crowd from Franklin Square, Elmont and South Floral Park. Senator Jack Martins congratulated Titus on his victory and wished him continued success as he continues to climb the ladder of boxing success throughout New York State and the tri-state area. “Titus is a great young man who makes Elmont, South Floral Park and Franklin Square proud. His win was truly extraordinary. He shows everyone what commitment and hard work can achieve,” said Senator Martins.
An assembly at the Clara H. Carlson School in Elmont was the scene for a discussion on a very important issue that is dominating nationwide headlines- the subject matter was bullying. The gathering of students was an effort to educate young people on the very real and emotional testimony from Jamie Isaacs who was a victim of bullying and national advocate. Isaacs has electrified audiences and educated thousands on the issue and gives heartfelt perspective about the issue from her own personal experience.
Senator Jack M. Martins is reminding residents that lower state income tax rates take effect on January 1st.
"This was an important step in providing some relief to our taxpayers," Senator Martins said. “Enacting the new tax code was a fitting way to end a very productive 2011 during which we closed a $10 billion budget deficit without raising taxes, cut government spending, approved new job creation and economic development measures, and enacted a property tax cap. We must continue to build upon these achievements in the coming year.”
The past month, Senator Jack M. Martins sponsored a toy drive to benefit The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island. With every passing day during the holiday season, toys kept on piling up in Senator Martins’ District Office, located at 151 Herricks Road in Garden City Park. On Thursday, December 22, thanks to the generosity of the residents of the Seventh Senate District, The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island received the biggest donation of toys it has ever received in its 25 year history.
Senator Jack M. Martins took part in the Menorah lighting at the Port Washington train station on December 20, the beginning of the Festival of Lights. The ceremony was led by Rabbi Paltiel of the Port Washington Chabad. Happy Chanukah and may the lights of Chanukah shine bright and provide warmth during this holiday season.
Senator Jack M. Martins is sponsoring a toy drive to benefit The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island. Recently, the Harbor Hills School gave a generous donation to the cause. The toys will be distributed by The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island to a local children's hospital. "The generosity of the students, parents and staff of the Harbor Hills School is overwhelming. This is for a great cause and I can't thank the school enough for their work in making the holidays brighter for other children. Thank you and happy holidays," Senator Martins said
Middle class tax cuts that will reduce tax rates for millions of hardworking taxpayers and the two-percent property tax cap highlight new state laws that will go into effect on January 1, 2012.
The recently enacted tax cuts will reduce tax rates on middle class taxpayers to their lowest levels in more than 50 years (Chapter 55, L.2011). About 4.4 million middle class taxpayers will receive a total of $690 million in personal income tax relief.
A tax relief measure for manufacturers that will help them expand and create new jobs will also take effect next year, beginning January 1, 2012, as will provisions for flood relief and recovery, and the implementation of inflation adjustments to reduce personal income taxes.
The Elmont Spartan Football team was honored by State Senator Jack Martins on their outstanding season which took them all the way to the Hofstra finals. Throughout the season, Senator Martins was on the sidelines during several games in the sunshine and in the snow with team members and Principal John Capozzi during the regular season. This past week, Senator Martins visited with team members and congratulated them for not only making All-County, but also their outstaning season. Joining Senator Martins in the presentation was Coach Jay Hegi, Principal John Capozzi, Athletic Director Pete Gaffney and Captains Jeffery Brenya, Ben Odugbesan, Kyle Johnson and Nikai Carter.
Senator Martins is sponsoring a program for all 4th and 5th grade students in the Seventh Senate District to submit an idea for legislation. The program is designed to encouraged students to learn about government by being active participants.
Submissions will be accepted from January 2 through February 2. Ideas will be reviewed as Senator Martins heads to the State Capitol for the 2012 Legislative Session!
Members of SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and Key Club were thanked for their community service by Senator Jack Martins this past week for volunteering at the annual Petrocelli Classic Basketball Tournament. The clubs sold food and baked items during the games in an effort to raise funds. Dozens of club members worked shifts and fed hundreds of spectators during the fundraising tournament. "Key Club and SADD did a terrific job at the tournament and served alot of food. The work the volunteers put into the event was outstanding and the crowd loved it," said Senator Martins adding, "the member of Key Club and SADD made sure nobody left hungry!"
Optimum Lightpath, a division of Cablevision, awarded a $10,000 grant the Searingtown School in Albertson to roll out ambitious new technology-driven learning programs. The grant program was open to public and private elementary and secondary schools in the counties of Nassau and Suffolk. Grants were awarded based on how the school would:
· Leverage technology to improve instruction;
· Promote the use of technology to improve the overall education experience;
· Utilize new technology to promote distance learning; and
· Create new school initiatives centered around new technologies.
State Senator Jack Martins saluted the Elmont Boys Soccer team this morning and presented team members with New York State Senate Citations commemorating their conference championship season. Senator Martins joined Principal John Capozzi, Athletic Director Pete Gaffney and Coach Pat Corvetti in the presentation to Senior Team Captains Richard Robinson and Justin Okoro. "The Elmont Soccer team made the entire Elmont and North Valley Stream community proud with their conference championship. They worked incredibly hard and earned every win they posted," said Senator Martins adding, "I'm honored to have been able to join Elmont Memorial High School in recognizing them and Coach Corvetti on their outstanding season."
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Middle Class Tax Cut and Job Creation Plan at the Cornwell Avenue School in West Hempstead, The bill, that as passed by the New York Senate last week, reduces the state tax burden for millions of New Yorkers to their lowest levels in more than fifty years. The far-ranging plan also strengthens our economy and creates jobs by eliminating the MTA payroll tax for more than 78 percent of employers that currently pay it, provides funds for state infrastructure projects and tax credits for youth employment. The plan provides a total $3.3 billion in tax relief to individuals and businesses.
I couldn’t wait to sit down and pen this column, and to be frank, I wasn’t sure the day would ever come. The subject is a tax cut for the middle class, an issue discussed relentlessly by politicians, but one that has proven to be a rare and elusive animal in the world of real policy. Now, after over fifty years of increased New York State income taxes, it became a reality this past week in Albany.