Common sense legislation, sponsored by Senator Jack M. Martins, to repeal a processing fee for customers to refund unused Long Island Railroad tickets received wide bi-partisan support as it passed the Senate unanimously Tuesday by a 60-0 vote.
Currently, a customer who purchases a LIRR ticket and doesn’t use it has to pay a $10 processing fee just to receive a refund. In many cases, the refund costs more than the ticket itself. In addition, the current policy gives customers only 14 days to use a ticket or 30 days to seek a refund. Senator Martins’ bill (S.3778D) eliminates the $10 processing fee to return an unused ticket and gives customers a full six months after the purchase date to either use the ticket or receive a full refund.
Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos and members of the Senate Majority Conference outlined a plan to help middle-class families and students afford the rapidly increasing cost of a college education. The Senate’s 2012 College Affordability Plan would help parents save for higher education for their children and give students and families access to low interest student loans, as well as clear information about the size of the loan debt they are taking on.
Two sets of twins – same family – double doses of double trouble. That was life for my mom and dad: two sets of twins and another child just to stir things up. How they actually survived, especially mom, I’ll never know. But having a weekly column I think it’s high time I offer some reflection on and praise for the woman who so selflessly raised us. So I apologize in advance if this week’s column sounds like I’m being sentimental about her. It’s only because I absolutely am.
Members of the Manhasset High School Crew Team look forward to participating in the Long Island Scholastic Championship Regatta each year and once again this year, their enthusiasm for rowing showed as the team won 14 Gold, two Silver and three Bronze Medals. In fact, Manhasset had 23 boats racing, 19 of which clinched medals.
“It is a beautiful place to row and it allows us to share good times with all the Long Island schools as well as those near us,” said coach Hugo Guardado-Henriquez, who has been with the program for four years.
Senator Jack M. Martins had the privilege of nominating New Hyde Park Memorial High School senior John Fanelli for the State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College Cadet Appointment Program. As a result of the nomination, John was appointed to the Regiment of Cadets at SUNY Maritime and was awarded a four-year, full tuition scholarship as part of the distinction. John has a grade point average of 94.
“I want to congratulate John on this appointment. He comes from a wonderful family and has a bright future ahead. He is bright young man that will be an asset to the program,” said Senator Martins.
Senator Jack M. Martins recently attended an Eagle Court of Honor to congratulate Neil Daniel Duggan of Boy Scout Troop 298 of New Hyde Park for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank a scout can achieve. Senator Martins presented Neil Daniel Duggan with the resolution that was passed on the floor of the Senate on April 19.,
State Senator Jack Martins was back in Elmont this past Friday evening supporting the Elmont Memorial High School PTSA Art Show Fundraiser. The art show showcased different styles and genres of art along with some special pieces from painted by students. Elmont residents bid on the pieces as an auctioneer called out bids throughout the evening. Senator Martins was successful in his bid for a 9-11 American Flag piece as well as a commemorative photo of Yankee Great Phil Rizzuto and singer Frank Sinatra. Pictured with Senator Martins diplaying the 9-11 American Flag piece are: Dutch Broadway School PTA President Marie Saintvil, Sharon Woitko, Petula Howell, Elmont Memorial PTSA President Barbara Reynolds, Theodora Ridley, Clara Camal, Sheila Shell, Charlie Shell and Tanya Bonner.
In the latest edition of 'Your Voice' from Albany, Senator Jack M. Martins discussed his tour of the progress being made on the East Side Access Project, the Sewanhaka Central High School District Model UN, a visit from Sergeant Frame of Albertson during West Point Day in the Senate Chamber as well as a bill to help catering halls.
Hold on to your hats. I’m going to do something I rarely do and for which I may not have another opportunity for a long time: compliment the MTA, and in particular thank the Long Island Railroad. Usually when I write about them, it’s to bring to light some egregiously wasteful practice or poor decision that further burdens taxpayers or riders. To be sure, there’s still plenty of that devil-may-care attitude there to fuel columns well into the next decade but by the same token, it’s only fair that I point out when the MTA makes progress.
Senator Jack M. Martins was honored to attend the groundbreaking for the new fire station or the Roslyn Highlands Fire Department in East Hills.
“The Roslyn Highlands Fire Department has a rich history of providing valuable fire services for the communities it serves. This will enhance the volunteers’ ability to provide service when they respond to calls from residents. I want to commend Chief Robert Duchnowski, 1st Deputy Chief Adam Boll and 2nd Deputy Chief Michael Gannon and all the members of the department for their service,” Senator Martins said.
Measures Increase Penalties, Enhance Community Notification and Protection
The New York State Senate passed a package of eight bills to prevent sexual predators from obtaining access to potential victims and help law enforcement and communities keep track of their whereabouts. The bills will help increase the amount of information available about convicted sex offenders and seeks to prevent them from obtaining access to vulnerable individuals.
On Sunday, April 29, Senator Jack M. Martins participated in Helen's Walk to benefit the Helen Keller National Center. The walk takes place in scenic Sands Point, ending at the Helen Keller National Center. "I was glad to participate in Helen's Walk once again. It's a fantastic event for an organization that does amazing work," he said.
I think people in neighboring states could hear New Yorkers breathe a collective sigh of relief this past week as we finally began to see the effects of our new tax cap. More than anything else, property taxes have been the overriding issue in New York for many years, especially since they’ve grown on average more than 6 percent a year for ten years, double the rate of inflation. So, after leading the nation in runaway increases for so long, we finally hit the brakes in 2011 with a tax cap that had bi-partisan support in both houses of the legislature. With limited exceptions, it holds increases in school and local property taxes to two percent a year, or the rate of inflation, whichever is less.
During West Point Day in Albany on April 26, Senator Jack M. Martins recognized a special guest, Sergeant First Class Robert W. Frame of Albertson. Sergeant Frame, a 1998 graduate of Mineola High School, enlisted in the Army in 1998. His proud parents are Walter and Kathleen. Public service runs in the family as Walter is active in the Albertson Fire Department and involved with the Fireman's Association of the State of New York (FASNY).
“Sergeant Frame represents something larger than himself. Those who serve like Sergeant Frame serve on so many different levels. It is that multi-generational commitment to serving others that is the backbone of our communities. It’s an honor to recognize Sergeant Frame and his family,” Senator Martins said on the floor of the Senate.
Appearing on 'Your Voice' in Albany, Senator Jack M. Martins discussed the restoration of train service on the Port Washington line, important crime prevention legislation, the success of the Mineola Junior Fire Department and a visit to Albany from a group from Temple Sinai of Roslyn.
Senator Jack M. Martins recently visited the Westbury Library for its “Meet Your Elected Officials” program. Residents were able to ask Senator Martins questions and relay their concerns. He also gave the community an update on the current legislative session.
“I want to thank library director Cathleen Towey, board of trustees president Eric Dobrin and the rest fo the board for inviting me,” said Senator Martins. “This provides me the opportunity to listen to the concerns of the residents as well as update them on our efforts in Albany.”
On April 26, the New York State Senate held West Point Day, which provided an opportunity for the Legislature to meet distinguished cadets and officers from the Military Academy and show appreciation for their service. The Senate also welcomed to the Senate Chamber other guests who have served in the military or are on active duty.
Taxpayers whose state and/or federal income tax returns indicate they will receive a tax refund this year can use the Internet to find out when their refund will arrive.
Both the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allow taxpayers to track the status of tax refunds online through their respective websites. Taxpayers can utilize both refund tracking services approximately 72 hours after they file their tax returns electronically or four weeks after they mail a paper return.
Senator Jack M. Martins participated in the Sewanhaka Central High School District Model UN Conference. Approximately students from five high schools (Sewanhaka, Elmont Memorial, New Hyde Park Memorial, Floral Park Memorial and H. Frank Carey) competed in the SIDMUN Model UN Conference. The students debated crucial world issues as well as important events in history. Students represented different countries and debated various issues, making for an invaluable learning experience.
Senator Martins is pictured with the Model UN Conference delegation from his family's home country of Portugal - Chukwudi Kanu, Sean Charles, Michael Braun, Saul Ellison and Akan Brown.
Senator Jack M. Martins spent a recent morning visiting with the Manhasset High School Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). The goal of FBLA is to prepare students to be active participants in the dynamic, ever-changing business arena. The students discussed with Senator Martins the issues affecting New York State. Senator Martins explained that a major initiative of the Senate and the Governor is creating a more business-friendly environment to boost the economy and create jobs.