Senator Jack M. Martins recently visited the Atria Cutter Mill senior living in Great Neck to address the residents. The seniors asked numerous questions of Senator Martins including questions about taxes, rent control and securing the safety of our water supply.
Senator Martins spoke about the recent state budget passed in Albany. He told the residents that during tough economic times, he felt it was important to cut spending. State lawmakers worked with Governor Cuomo to cut state spending by $10 billion. The budget didn’t include any new taxes or fees.
Senator Jack M. Martins recently visited the Port Washington Children’s Center to meet the 3 and 4-year-old children who are part of the center’s pre-school program. Senator Martins asked each of the children their names and then read “The Grouchy Ladybug” by Eric Carle, which teaches children how to overcome grouchy feelings and be happy.
After reading the story, the children thanked Senator Martins by giving him a hug. “As a father of four daughters, I know that this is such a great age. The children are learning by listening to stories and by singing songs about positive values such as sharing. I want to commend the staff of the Port Washington Children’s Center. They are doing a great job,” said Senator Martins. “It was my pleasure to visit these young students.”
Senator Jack M. Martins spent a recent Friday morning visiting the Great Neck Arts Center, where he received a tour of the center from Executive Director Regina Keller Gil and Development Director Caroline Sorokoff.
Senator Martins was able to get a glimpse of 3D art of Dov Lederberg and Yael Avi-Yoneh, which is on display on the center until May 1. Senator Martins also toured the ceramics room, the drawing room and the studio.
The Great Neck Arts Center is a premier venue for art, music, dance, drama, film and literature. It offers a wide variety of education classes for both adults including singing and children. The center also offers an outreach program.
As part of his continuing listening tour of the 7th Senate District, State Senator Jack M. Martins huddled with Elmont School Superintendent Al Harper and Principal Ken Rosner and discussed Autism issues in the greater community. The Elmont School district currently has a widely recognized and celebrated Autism educational program where two dozen elmont students are successfully enrolled in the Clara H. Carlson School. Senator Martins was briefed on the program and its many facets during a tour of the Saturday academy this past week. "Clearly the Elmont schools are working very hard to address the needs of the children and families with this very specialized and well thought out program," said Senator Martins.
An effort to honor military heroes that began in the New York State Senate 11 years ago has now resulted in the U.S. Postal Service announcing that the Purple Heart postage stamp has been classified as a “Forever” stamp, ensuring that it will continue in circulation.
The campaign to create the Purple Heart Stamp was started in November 2000 by Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-On-Hudson), a 23 year Army combat veteran. After a massive letter writing effort by the Military Order of the Purple Heart and other veterans organizations, the stamp was first issued in 2003. Since that time, a letter writing effort to continue the Purple Heart stamp had to be conducted each time the price of a first class letter changed to ensure the stamp would continue.
In honor of National Donate Life Month, the New York State Senate was joined by 11-year-old heart transplant survivor Lauren Shields and passed life-saving legislation to significantly increase organ and tissue donation. Lauren’s Law (S.3885), sponsored by Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Orange), would increase the number of eligible and willing organ donors by requiring driver’s license applicants to specifically indicate their donation decision.
"The bottom line is that organ donation saves lives. We all have seen it in our own communities. The ability to give life to another is extremely powerful. We need to bring attention to this issue. It is that important," said Senator Jack M. Martins.
Senator Jack M. Martins visited the Clara H. Carlson School on a recent Saturday to tour the Elmont School District's Saturday ELA preparation academy. Principal Ken Rosner and Elmont School Superintendent Al Harper joined Senator Martins in the tour.
Students were reviewing lessons and getting extra help from teachers in preparation of the English and Math ELA exams being administered this year. The Saturday program is a unique one started in the district a few years ago through an initiative begun by Superintendent Harper. Senator Martins visited four classes and spoke to the Saturday school students about their lessons.
The New York State Senate today passed a measure requiring camp directors to report suspected child abuse regardless of the location where abuse may have occurred. With many parents now beginning to think about summer camps, the bill (S.3777A), sponsored by Senator Jack Martins (R-C-I, Mineola) would protect children and facilitate the detection of abuse by camp staff.
“It only makes sense that when it comes to our children's safety that we take the guess work out of required reports of suspected child abuse cases,” Senator Martins said. “We already require so many different professionals to report and it is clear that camp counselors in their position of supervision of our children should be added to that list of mandate reporters.”
The annual Lee Markus SIDMUN Model UN competition at Sewanhaka High School was the scene this past weekend where hundreds of high school students from Elmont, Floral Park, Carey, New Hyde Park and Sewanhaka High Schools debated the issues and represented their adopted home country’s interest in Model UN. Students represented countries from the United Kingdom to Azerbaijan in the conference taking up their respective interests and debating the issues passionately from 8:15 a.m. until sunset.
Senator Jack M. Martins congratulated FBLA member Funlola Otukoya, who is the President of the Model United Nations, on Elmont Memorial High School's outstanding wins at the annual FBLA conference held in Rochester this past weekend. Elmont Memorial's team won 25 team awards in the competition. "What a great win for Elmont Memorial's FBLA team. Elmont, Carey and all our local high school teams did an outstanding job. The dedication, work and entrepreneurial spirit the team brought to the competition was truly inspiring. It's competitions like these where our future business leaders gather to develop their skills and opportunities. They made our entire community proud," said Senator Martins.
On Thursday, April 7, Senator Martins held mobile office hours at the Hillside Public Library in New Hyde Park. The purpose of mobile office hours is to make constituent services accessible to the communities in the 7th Senate District. Residents had the opportunity to come to the library and make Senator Martins and his staff aware of any concerns they may have. Senator Martins also answered questions about state issues.
“It’s important to make our office accessible to the public. Our staff is always available in our District Office, but, through mobile office hours, we are able to make ourselves available to help our constituents in their own communities. It’s what we’re here for. I want to thank the Hillside Library for having us,” Senator Martins said.
After a busy Monday in Albany, Senator Jack M. Martins travelled home to the Village of Mineola to see his good friend Scott Strauss sworn in as the new Mayor of the village. Senator Martins served as Mayor of the Village of Mineola from 2003 to 2011. He stepped down when he was elected to the New York State Senate.
Senator Jack M. Martins has announced that a state sales tax exemption has been reinstated from April 1, 2011 until March 31, 2012. The state sales tax rate is 4 percent. The exemption applies to sales of clothing and footwear costing less than $55 per item or pair.
The exemption will be extended to purchases of less than $110 for those items next year.
“This will be an enormous boost for our local retailers,” said Senator Martins. “It will hopefully spur economic growth. At the same time, it gives our consumers a break when they go shopping for clothing or shoes. Every little bit helps.”
Bills Strengthen Penalties for Sex Offenders, Bank Robberies and Home Invasions
The New York State Senate passed several anti-crime bills to strengthen penalties and create new charges for offenses relating to sexual abuse, bank robberies, home invasions and driving irresponsibly. The measures will help deter criminals, hold violators accountable and create safer communities throughout the state.
“It is crucial that we regularly evaluate and enhance the laws that protect our public safety,” Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said. “These bills address important issues and concerns that affect our homes, businesses and families. I encourage the Assembly to act so that we can help make our communities safer.”
The New York State Senate passed a bill (S.164C) to create new penalties for individuals supervising another driver while also under the influence of alcohol or drugs, Abbagail’s Law, sponsored by Senator George Maziarz (R-C, Newfane), is named after an eight-year-old girl who died in a car accident caused by an inexperienced driver who was supervised by a parent under the influence of alcohol.
The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.2581) to increase accountability and reduce unregulated rate increases by the Long Island Power Authority. The bill, sponsored by Senator Kenneth P. LaValle and co-sponsored by Senator Jack M. Martins addresses costly rate hikes of more than 30 percent since 2001 by requiring state Public Service Commission notification and review of certain rate increases of more than 2.5 percent.
“LIPA has raised its rates seven times since 2001. If LIPA wants to raise its rates more than 2.5 percent within a year’s time, they should have to explain the reason. The end result will be a greater oversight, which will benefit our residents and business owners,” said Senator Martins.
011-12 State Budget Reduces Spending, Does Not Raise Taxes and Creates Jobs
The New York State Senate has completed passage of the 2011-12 state budget one day prior to the April 1st budget deadline. The budget achieves the Senate Republicans’ goals of reducing state spending, not raising taxes and creating new private sector jobs.
“With this budget we have begun to restore hope to millions of New Yorkers who want state government to spend less, tax less and do more to encourage job creation,” Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said. “The budget achieved all of these goals by reducing overall state spending by getting rid of some of the devastating tax and fee increases enacted by
Times are indeed changing in Albany and for the better. Not only do we have an on-time budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, but we went through the process with both sides of the aisle working together. The budget passed with overwhelming support in the legislature. Most importantly, we passed a fiscally-responsible budget that closed a $10 billion deficit without raising any taxes or fees. It is quite a change from years past when our state government found a way to overspend and overtax in the middle of a financial crisis. Quite frankly, we couldn’t suffer another year of those past practices and so we made a commitment – we would balance the budget, not on the backs of our taxpayers, but by cutting spending.
Senator Jack M. Martins attended and opened the New York State Session for the annual Somos El Futuro conference. Martins joined with Senator Gustavo Rivera, Senator Jose Peralta, Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson for the session.