Long Island employers got a bit of good news earlier this month when the State Senate passed a bill to repeal the MTA payroll tax — shortly after the MTA terminated its contract to operate Long Island Bus and reduced services throughout the Long Island Rail Road system.
On Friday night, June 24, the New York State Senate passed landmark legislation that was negotiated between the Senate, Assembly and the Governor. The new law will call for a 2 percent tax cap on municipalities and school districts to ease the property tax burden for taxpayers across the state. A significant part of the legislation was mandate relief that Senator Jack M. Martins, chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Local Government, fought to include as part of the tax cap bill.
Mandates handed down from the state on school districts and local governments, which are not funded by the state, are ultimately passed on to the taxpayers. Easing some of these burdens will help bring tax relief to Long Island property owners.
Senator Jack M. Martins speaks about an historic legislative session in Albany during which a budget was passed that cuts spending in order to close a $10 billion budget deficit. The State Senate also worked together with the Governor to pass tax cap legislation. Senator Martins also led the way in providing mandate relief to school districts and local governments.
Sometimes, writing a weekly column about state government is more challenging than others. There are complex issues not easily addressed in so few words yet are of vital importance to my constituents. This is unquestionably one of those subjects.
This past week, together with Governor Cuomo and the Assembly, the NY State Senate passed an historical and long-overdue tax cap. While New Yorkers will finally get the tax-relief we deserve some very real problems have come along with it. Most pressing among these are public employee pensions.
As the hours of this legislative session wound down, the New York State Senate The New York passed an historic property tax relief legislation that enacts a cap on the growth of local property taxes. The bill, which includes both the tax cap and mandate relief, has been signed into law by the Governor.
The bill (S.5856), sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos and co-sponsored by Senator Jack M. Martins, will cap school and local government taxes to less than two percent or the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is lower. Mandate relief is also included, with $127 million in savings to local governments, in addition to the creation of a Mandate Relief Council to identify and repeal unsound, unduly burdensome laws and regulations.
Summer's first official day is June 21, and parents who are now beginning to think about sending their children to summer camps can be assured that local politicians are working to ensure more camp safety. An amendment that was introduced by Sen. Jack Martins (R-Elmont) to require directors of overnight, summer day and traveling summer day camps to report suspected child abuse or maltreatment was delivered to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on June 10.
The New York State Senate passed additional restrictions for sex offenders to help protect children and families. The four bills strengthen the penalties for not registering as a sex offender or following other post-release conditions, expand the current registry to include certain criminals serving sentences after committing a sex offense as a result of mental disease or defect, and prevent sex offenders from preying upon mental health workers and patrons in library settings.
“I fully supported these bills to provide additional protections for our children and families. We will not tolerate our children being preyed upon by sex offenders who need to follow the law,” said Senator Jack M. Martins. “Children and families deserve to be safe in our communities.”
On Saturday, July 16, Senator Jack M. Martins will be sponsoring a 3-3 basketball tournament in Elmont. As part of the tournament, Senator Martins has arranged a game between the Elmont Memorial High School Spartans basketball team and the Henry Viscardi School Cougars basketball team.
Elmont Memorial High School and the Henry Viscardi School are both in the Seventh Senate District. Senator Martins has become fond of both schools. He had the idea to set up the game since he met the members of the Elmont team during the Spartans' run to the Nassau County championship. He has also been impressed with the work the Henry Viscardi School does with students with disabilities.
The New York State Senate gave final legislative passage to the “Power NY Act” to secure the state’s energy future by expanding the availability of affordable, clean and reliable electricity, while also creating jobs and boosting the economy.
Power NY (S.5844) has three main components: it reauthorizes and modernizes the licensing process for major electric generating facilities (also known as Article X), provides incentives to consumers for energy efficiency investments, and explores the potential for additional solar power generation in the state.
“This legislative is extremely important since it will expand affordable and clean energy while improving our environment and encouraging economic growth,” said Senator Jack M. Martins.
The New York State Senate today passed legislation to provide stronger preventative health care for women. The bill (S.1883A), sponsored by Senator John Flanagan (R-C-I, East Northport), requires insurance companies to cover the cost of supplemental screening for women who have dense breast tissue or who are at greater risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer.
The New York State Senate today gave final legislative passage to a bill (S.5253B) to divert youth to an education program addressing the sending of nude or obscene photographs through electronic technologies, also known as “sexting,” as well as conduct that constitutes “cyberbullying.”
The bill, entitled the “Cyber-Crime Youth Rescue Act,” sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannon (R-C-I, Garden City), requires the development of an educational program about the numerous perils of sexting and cyberbullying. The program provides an option other than a permanent criminal record for juveniles deemed eligible by a court.
The New York State Senate today passed legislation that would establish a fixed real property school tax rate for seniors who are eligible for the enhanced STAR exemption, providing much needed tax relief to hundreds of thousands of seniors throughout New York State.
“The goal of this legislative session was to bring tax relief to our residents. This bill will bring some relief to our seniors who have built our communities. It is important that we ensure that our seniors remain in our communities. This measure makes it a little easier during these difficult economic time. This will help to stabilize taxes for those 70 and older,” said Senator Jack M. Martins, who supported the bill.
The New York State Senate gave final legislative passage to a bill that would help reduce the potential for fatalities caused by drug overdoses. The bill (S.4454B), sponsored by Senator John DeFrancisco (R-C-I, Syracuse), is known as a “good Samaritan” measure because it limits the use of evidence of illicit activity when an individual seeks treatment for someone experiencing an accidental drug overdose.
"This legislation will reduce the potental for fatalities from drug overdoses. It is important that we encourage people to call for help for someone who may have overdosed. The number one priority is saving a life," said Senator Jack M. Martins, who supported the bill.
This week I write to you about a subject that touches the lives of just about everyone in some way: autism. Perhaps you know a child who suffers from it and the family who struggles with it. Maybe you don’t know anyone personally but admire the local family you see about town who determinedly shares a special love with their autistic child. Or, perhaps it is your child and your family. If so, you already know that one in every 110 children is diagnosed to be within the autism spectrum and while there is debate over diagnostic criteria, we know that more and more of our children are locked in this invisible prison.
The New York State Senate today passed the “Complete Streets” legislation which would help make roadways safer for all who use them. The bill (S.5411A), by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) requires state, county, and local transportation agencies to consider roadway design features that increase the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists.
“This legislation will help make our roads safer for everyone. Complete Streets design principles have been proven to reduce fatalities and injuries,” said Senator Fuschillo, Chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee. “Taking them into consideration on future projects will greatly improve the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers. The Assembly should join the Senate in passing this legislation.”
Senator Jack M. Martins congratlated the Garden City Park Fire Department on their 100th anniservary. The department held a parade and carnival to celebrate the occasion. Senator Martins was proud to celebrate the occasion by marching in the parade through the streets of the Garden City Park Fire District, ending at the Tully Park Aquatic Center.
"To achieve 100 years of serving the community is a tremendous achievement. I congratulate all those who have served over the years including the present members of the department for their service to the community," said Senator Martins.
Senator Jack M. Martins and the 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament Committee announced today that basketball division sign-ups are in full swing and tournament sign-ups continue until tournament day! Forms can be requested by emailing Dutchtourney@gmail.com or by calling State Senator Jack Martins’ office at 746-5924. The tournament is entirely free and there are no costs or entry fees for any events.
The New York State Senate today approved legislation to enable individuals with autism spectrum disorders to receive insurance coverage for screening, diagnosis and treatment. The bill (S.4005A), sponsored by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R, Merrick), would save tens of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses spent by families caring for individuals with autism and address insurance companies’ refusal to cover costs for autism treatments and therapies.
Autism Spectrum Disorders affect individuals of all ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic groups. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1 in 110 children, including 1 in 70 boys, are currently affected with autism.