Long Island’s two freshman Senators – Senator Jack M. Martins and Senator Lee M. Zeldin – have introduced legislation to eliminate the MTA Payroll Tax, which has been burden to Long Island businesses, school districts, local governments, hospitals and even not-for-profits ever since it was enacted in 2009.
The Martins-Zeldin plan calls for the MTA Payroll Tax to be phased out each year until 2014, when it will be completely eliminated.
My first Senate session in Albany will be ending on June 20 and looking back on it, I believe our state has made significant progress toward fiscal health. The most visible highlight of the past six months has been our passage of an on-time state budget that cut spending by $10 billion. Our goal was simple: to get spending in line with revenue. In years past, the state would routinely spend more than it brought in and then turn to taxpayers to make up the difference. This practice has proved disastrous for our economy and worse for our citizens. But I am proud to say that we have put an end to it.
Senator Jack M Martins thanked the members of the Elmont Fire Department for their service to the greater community at the Belmont Elmont Day Parade this past weekend. The members of the Elmont Fire Department welcomed Senator Martins to the parade and showed him the fire department aparatus during the parade set-up. Senator Martins and County Legislator John Ciotti spoke to the volunteers and thanked them for their participation in community events in addition to their duties with the department and emergency services. "The men and women who serve in our fire departments are the backbone of our communities. They are our first responders and are always there when our communities need them. I can't thank them enough for their service," said Senator Martins.
Senator Jack M. Martins held mobile hours at the Port Washington Library. The mobile office hours brings Senator Martins' office directly to his constituents to answer their questions and hear their concerns. It is one of Senator Martins' initiatives to listen to the residents of the 7th Senate District.
A bill sponsored by Senator Jack M. Martins to give ambulances and other emergency vehicles better protection has passed the New York State Senate. The bill (S.5483) would give ambulances and other emergency service vehicles the option of using rear projecting blue lights to prevent the possibility of being struck at night.
Current law allows blue lights affixed to police and fire vehicles. In the event that the trunk or rear gate of a police or fire vehicle hampers that visibility of emergency lighting, a blue light can be affixed to the trunk, rear gate of interior of vehicle. The law went into effect in 2010, but ambulances were omitted.
Senator Martins, a co-sponsor of the bill to eliminate the MTA Payroll Tax, spoke about the need to repeal the tax on the Senate floor. The Senate voted in favor of eliminating this tax, which has been a blow to New York's economy.
Like so many of you at this time of year, I recently had the pleasure of watching one of my own children graduate from middle school. The auditorium was awash with the pure, unadulterated excitement of students, parents and even their teachers. As I sat quietly wondering where the years had gone, I got to thinking about this phenomenon. Exactly what were the ingredients of this energy? Was it pride in accomplishment? Was it a sense of relief? Or was it simply the prospect of summer vacation? While I think all of these things played a role, the conversations throughout the room made it clear. The reason was hope.