This past week saw the state legislature, Senate and Assembly, work with the Governor to pass significant legislation and reforms in what is being hailed as a week of momentous initiative. Unfortunately, no matter how much was positively accomplished, there will always be special interests that focus on the negatives and attempt to diminish the accomplishments as insufficient to their cause.
A measure passed by the New York State Senate to expand the DNA Databank to include all crimes has been signed into law. The measure is seen as a major tool to protect New Yorkers and bring justice to crime victims by requiring that DNA sample be collected from everyone convicted of a felony or penal law misdemeanor.
“The use of DNA assists our law enforcement in solving crimes and is a valuable tool in prosecuting criminals as we work to protect the safety of our citizens,” said Senator Jack M. Martins, who supported the measure.
Senator Jack M. Martins appeared on "Your Voice" in Albany, where he discussed the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Mineola, his bill to protect Long Islands' drinking water from hydrofracking waste, honoring two extraordinary students from Great Neck South and Commack High Schools for their groundbreaking research, his "How a Bill Becomes a Law" program, his bill to allow villages and school districts to continue using lever voting machines and efforts to pass a fiscally sound state budget.
Senator Jack M. Martins is informing residents about a program which will provide rebates to residents who purchase high-efficiency refrigerators and clothes washers. The rebate program, which is being administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), will begin on Monday, March 19th.
You might be familiar with the tale of the traveler who journeyed through Europe several hundred years ago. He came upon a village where there was a great deal of construction. He walked directly into the activity and asked a stone mason, “Excuse me sir, what’s going on here?” The worker replied curtly, “Can’t you see? I’m cutting stone.” The traveler approached another worker and asked the same question. The second replied, “Can’t you see? I’m preparing a foundation.” The traveler then approached a third laborer with the same question. The third mason paused and looking up at the edifice, replied, “Can’t you see? We’re building a cathedral.”
Over 437 local residents packed the Elmont Public Library this past Saturday for Senator Jack Martins’ “Home Mortgage Safety Seminar.” The program, sponsored by Senator Martins, was a partnership with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s offices. Also participating in the seminar were Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Sovereign Bank, New York Communities for Change and Bank of America. Residents from Elmont, Franklin Square, Floral Park, South Floral Park, Westbury, New Cassell, Bellerose Terrace and North Valley Stream packed the Elmont Library.
Senator Jack M. Martins helped members of Boy Scout Troop 10 of Great Neck earn their Citizenship in the Community Badge. As part of the badge requirements, the Scouts had to meet with a local leader to discuss community issues. On Saturday, March 11, the Scouts met with Senator Martins at his District Office in Garden City Park. The Scouts had a roundtable discussion about issues concerning their community.
“The Boy Scouts and Girl Scout are noble organizations that help shape our youth into future leaders. I was glad to help and will continue to support them,” said Senator Martins.
Plan Would Create Jobs, Cut Taxes and Control State Spending
Members of the Senate Republican Conference today announced details of the 2012 New Jobs-NY Job Creation Plan that includes significant tax relief to encourage the creation of new private sector jobs, measures to ensure fiscal responsibility and control state spending, as well as other reforms and incentives to make New York more economically competitive. The plan will be included in the Senate budget resolution to be acted on soon.
The New York State Senate passed a series of bills, with the support of Senator Jack M. Martins, increasing penalties for people convicted of sex crimes against children.
The Senate passed legislation (S.1541A) that would increase criminal penalties for sexual contact between a child and a person in a position of trust, which includes any adult responsible for supervision of children when they are not with their parents. Currently, there are no additional penalties for sexual contact with a minor by persons in a position of trust.
Senators John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) and Jack Martins (7th Senate District) joined together to recognize Commack High School junior Kayla Neville and Great Neck South High School senior John Yang for their efforts to study experimental nanoparticles in an effort to better treat and diagnose cancer in human. The two students were honored by the full Senate and presented with New York State Senate Resolutions for recently being recognized nationally for their joint project and for their dedication in the fight against cancer.
On the floor of the New York State Senate, Senator Jack M. Martins entered into the record a resolution honoring Great Neck South High School student John Yang and Commack High School student Kayla Neville for their extraordinary work in studying experimental nanoparticles.
Neville and Yang spent last summer working together, under the supervision of biomedical engineering professor Balaji Sitharaman, at Stony Brook University in a project that was jointly sponsored by the Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition and the Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition. In the study, the two young scientists injected the experimental nanoparticle into human cells and discovered that the human body could tolerate the material.
Senator Jack M. Martins welcomed the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) mobile legal help center to the Westbury Memorial Library on Friday, March 2. Volunteers from NYLAG provided counseling on credit harassment, identity theft, collection actions and debt management.
NYLAG is a not-for-profit law office founded in 1990 to provide free civil legal counseling services to New Yorkers. For more information on NYLAG, visit their website at nylag.org.
Senator Jack M. Martins took part in the St. Patrick's Day Parade by marching with his friends from his hometown of Mineola. The parade began at the Nassau County courthouse on Old Country Road; it proceeded north on County Seat Drive, turning left on Old Country Road and then north on Mineola Boulevard to Jericho Turnpike; the parade then headed east on Jericho Turnpike to Willis Avenue, where it ended.
Numerous organizations as well as schools took part in the parade, which brought out the spirit of St. Patrick's Day. The Grand Marshal was Betty McLoughlin, the past president of the Irish American Society.
Pictured with Senator Martins are John DaVanzo and Assemblyman Ed Ra.
The New York State Senate passed legislation (S.6063A), to repeal the notification provisions of the Wage Theft Prevention Act, a massive, costly mandate on every employer in the state.
“We have to continue to be vigilant in examining mandates that are placed on our businesses, local governments and school districts. Providing relief from those mandates that serve no purpose is one of the ways we can grow our economy,” said Senator Jack M. Martins, who serves on the state mandate relief council.
Senator Jack M. Martins appeared on the show from Albany, "New York State Senate Your Voice." He discussed the ongoing budget discussions, pension reform, mandate relief and the Iran Divestment Act as well as important issues in the Seventh Senate District.
In the South, if you were to make a plan that isn’t particularly sound or useful, you might hear someone utter, “That dog don’t hunt.”
For example, if a husband planned to golf on his wedding anniversary, that’s definitely “a dog that don’t hunt.” His decision to smooth things over by telling his wife he’ll take her along - even more so. If she responds with tickets to a Broadway show on Super Bowl Sunday – well, you get the picture.
Senator Jack M. Martins has been visiting schools throughout the Seventh Senate District to present “How a Bill Becomes a Law,” a program his office started to engage elementary schools in the process of state government.
Senator Martins speaks to the students about how a bill becomes a law in New York State. It all starts with an idea and then involves building consensus through the legislature, which includes the New York State Senate and New York State Assembly. If the bill passes both houses, it is sent to the Governor, who can sign the bill into law or veto it.
Senator Martins ends the discussion by asking students for their ideas for bills. The program has been embraced by schools as an educational tool to get students thinking about public service.
Senator Jack M. Martins has introduced a bill that prohibits the storing and processing of hydraulic-fracturing waste water in areas of New York State where drinking water is derived primarily from a sole source aquifer, including Nassau and Suffolk counties.
The process of hydraulic-fracturing involves injecting water along with chemicals into shale rock formation at high pressure to release natural gas. Senator Martins’ bill (S.6583) will ban the treatment, storage or processing of that drilling fluid as well as any waste resulting from the exploration, development, extraction or production of crude oil or natural gas, in areas that rely primarily on a single water source.
The New York State Senate passed a mandate relief bill that would allow school districts, special districts and villages to permanently continue using lever voting machines in their respective local elections, sponsored by Senator Jack Martins (S.6296). This legislation would remove the 2012 sunset of provisions that would allow the ability to use the lever voting machines.
The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) required states to adopt new voting machines in federal elections, and in implementing the Act, New York chose to use new machines for all elections. This has proven costly to local governments in both time and money.
I spent Presidents' Week break away with my wife and our girls and I guess I relaxed as much as a dad with four daughters who text and e-mail actually can. I can’t say that I totally managed to put my Senate work aside either, but my wife says that I was definitely less compulsive about it than usual, so I’ll take that as progress. Anyway, while on break I discovered an interesting book entitled "100 Quotes to Make You Think!" and this particular one struck me as a great metaphor for our government and what we should strive for:
A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
It's a Greek proverb and it's as true today as the day it was first uttered.