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.
The New York State Senate gave final legislative approval to two measures that offer additional buffers and restrictions for protests or demonstrations seeking to disrupt military funerals, burials or memorial services. The bills, sponsored by Senators Lee Zeldin (R-C-I, Shirley) and Joseph Griffo (R-C, Rome) and co-sponsored by Senator Jack M. Martins, balance the constitutional right of free speech with the ability of families to respectfully mourn the individuals who gave their lives in service to our country.
In an effort to provide schools with mandate relief, Senator Jack M. Martins introduced a bill in the Senate that would allow boards of education to reduce the number of seats provided for student transportation if the seats aren’t being used by students. The measure was passed by the Senate on Friday and is expected to save school districts millions of dollars.
State lawmakers yesterday passed a bill to repeal the Long Island Rail Road’s unpopular new ticket refund policy, which charges a ticket refund surcharge that can cost more than the ticket itself.
By a vote of 62 to 0, the State Senate approved the bill, which would eliminate the $10 processing fee for all LIRR ticket refunds. The bill also increases the period during which customers can apply for a refund from two weeks to six months.
The bill still must pass the State Assembly, where it is currently in the corporations, authorities and commissions committee, before going to the governor to be signed into law.
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.
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.
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 Jack M. Martins is encouraging all students in kindergarden through eighth grade to participate in the New York State Senate's Summer Reading Program. The program asks students to continue reading during the summer months.
"With school out for the summer, our students should continue to read to further their education. Students should make reading part of their safe and fun summer," he said.
To participate, just go to the website, www.nyread.com and register. You can keep track of the books you read this summer as well as write summaries about them.
On Flag Day, June 14, Senator Jack M. Martins inducted John S. Davanzo of Mineola into the New York State Senate Hall of Fame, which recognizes outstanding veterans from the state who have distinguished themselves both in military and civilian life.
Senator Jack M. Martins visited the OKKK Karate School led by Sensei Serge Clark this past weekend to thank the students for their collective efforts in fundraising for Japan Tsunami Relief. The funds raised by the Karate School are being donated to the American Red Cross in support of the Tsunami Relief Operations being performed internationally. Senator Martins thanked the students at the school for caring about the people in Japan and making a difference by collecting bottles and cans and refunding them as a fundraiser for the American Red Cross. "The students at the OKKK Karate School are some of the most talented young people in Martial Arts. The fact that they hosted this fundraising event for Tsunami Relief is no surprise to me.
Senator Jack Martins visited with students of the Elmont Memorial High School Class of 2012 this past weekend where he dropped by to support their clothing and linen drive fundraiser! Students and community members brought in bags of clothing and linens in support of the drive. In total, students collected over 333 bags of clothing. "This drive was a great success thanks to the students at Elmont Memorial and the greater community. Candice Chatterpaul and all the students of the Class of 2012 should be proud of their collective efforts. I want to personally thank them for inviting me to drop by the clothing drive to support the fundraiser. I'm really honored to be a part of the drive and to spend some time with the class- THANK YOU!"
Senator Jack M. Martins was in Franklin Square continuing his listening tour of schools, communities and volunteer organizations throughout the 7th Senate district. Polk Street School was the scene for Senator Martins’ latest session where he was joined by Superintendent of Schools Patrick Manley and Polk Street School Principal Gilbert Torossian. The visit, according to Senator Martins, was “a lot of fun where he made a lot of new friends at Polk Street.”
Senator Jack M. Martins dropped by the Elmont Memorial High School Friends of Music Carwash Fundraiser this past weekend in support of the students fundraising efforts towards travelling to perform in Europe in the city of Prague! The students at Elmont washed cars all day in support of a comprehensive fundraising effort to achieve their goal. Advisor Eileen Kramer led the effort along with students. "The students in the Elmont Music Department are some of the most talented young people I have ever met. They love to perform, study music and are sensational in their performances. They make Elmont proud and I was honored to be able to support their efforts. I want to thank the students for their invitation to join them today. I'm honored to be their friend," Senator Martins said.
On Tuesday, June 14, Senator Jack M. Martins will be inducting John S. Davanzo into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame.
On June 8, 1944, during the invasion of Normandy, the U.S.S. Glennon, a Gleaves-class destroyer, struck a mine off Normandy and was eventually sunk by shore batteries. Among the survivors was John S. Davanzo.
John returned to his hometown of Mineola after his service in World War II. Those who came to know him over the years marvel at his involvement in his community and the care and compassion he shows for others.
Legislation Would Require MTA to Give Customers Full Refunds on Unused One-Way and Round-Trip LIRR Tickets
Senator Jack Martins (R-Mineola) and Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) today called for an end to the MTA’s practice of charging LIRR customers a fee for LIRR ticket refunds which in many cases costs more than the ticket itself.
Senator Martins introduced legislation to end the unfair surcharge after receiving an email from a constituent, Susan McClellan, who explained she was being charged a $10 processing fee to return a ticket that costs $7.25. Senator Martins promptly put through the bill to alleviate this unfair practice. Senator Fuschillo is cosponsoring the legislation.
The Republican delegation of the New York Senate is behind a push to repeal the onerous MTA payroll tax. The bill, introduced by state Sens. Lee Zeldin, R-Shirley, and Jack Martins, R-Mineola, would phase out the tax over a three-year period.
Starting Jan. 1, 2012, small businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 25 employees would be exempt from the tax, as would all schools. Businesses with more than 25 employees in the seven suburban counties would have the tax rate reduced to 0.23 percent beginning on Jan. 1, 2012, reduced further to 0.12 percent for 2013 and then completely repealed as of Jan. 1, 2014.
Senator Jack M. Martins and the 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament Committee announced that the Saturday, July 16th 3-on-3 Basketball tournament being held at the Dutch Broadway School will feature the New York Knicks Groove Mobile and a special guest appearance from the Knick organization! In addition, Martins and the committee have announced a special basketball game between the Henry Viscardi School Wheelchair Basketball Team and the Nassau County Championship Elmont Boys Varsity Basketball team will be played. The tournament, in its 7th year, is being played at Dutch Broadway School, 1880 Dutch Broadway, Elmont, at the Assemblyman Tom Alfano basketball courts. Tip-off is at 10:30am.
Senator Jack M. Martins and Michael Barry from the Insurance Information Institute discussed auto insurance fraud at an interview at WBAB. Auto insurance fraud is a problem in New York State with those engaging in fraud racking up thousands of dollars in medical bills in some cases.
Senator Martins explained that the costs that come from auto insurance fraud are ultimately being passed on to the policy holders. There are efforts in the State Senate to combat insurance fraud, which will ultimately lower premiums for all New Yorkers.
Mr. Barry articulated that common frauds include “padding,” or inflating actual claims, misrepresenting facts on an insurance application, submitting claims for injuries or damage that never occurred, and “staging” accidents.
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.