John A. DeFrancisco's Press releases

SENATE PASSES “GOOD SAMARITAN” BILL

Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C, Syracuse) announced that the New York State Senate today passed the “Good Samaritan Bill,”  (S4454-B) which would encourage a witness or victim of a drug or alcohol related overdose to save the life of the victim by calling 911 without being punished for drug or alcohol possession.            

“Fear of prosecution has become an obstacle in seeking medical care for someone suffering from a drug or alcohol overdose,” said Senator DeFrancisco. This bill would change that by encouraging people to call emergency services when lives are in jeopardy, regardless of their state of mind.”             

June 20, 2011
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SENATE PASSES LEGISLATION TO INCREASE PENALTIES FOR PARTICIPATING IN ANIMAL FIGHTING

Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C, Syracuse) today announced legislation that he co-sponsored (S3237-A) to increase penalties for those who have knowingly participated in animal fighting passed the New York State Senate. 

“The criminal organization and participation in the cruel activity of animal fighting unfortunately still takes place in New York State despite the penalties currently associated with it,” said Senator DeFrancisco. “This legislation would strengthen the current laws against animal fighting and ensure that anyone attending an animal fight would face tougher penalties. Without spectators, there would be no animal fighting.”

June 20, 2011
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SENATE GIVES FINAL LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL FOR LANDMARK AUTISM INSURANCE REFORM

Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C Syracuse) announced that the New York State Senate today passed a bill that he co-sponsored (S.4005A), which would enable individuals with autism spectrum disorders to receive insurance coverage for screening, diagnosis and treatment. The legislation would require insurance companies to provide coverage for the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of autism spectrum disorders, including behavioral health treatments, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. Insurance companies would be prohibited from terminating coverage or refusing to renew, adjust, amend, issue, or execute a policy solely because the individual has been diagnosed with or received treatment for autism spectrum disorders.

June 20, 2011
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SENATE PASSES BILL REQUIRING IMPLEMENTATION OF BIOMETRIC TECHNOLOGY TO CRACK DOWN ON MEDICAID FRAUD

Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C Syracuse) announced that the New York State Senate today passed a bill that he co-sponsored (S4384B), which would require the Department of Health, in consultation with the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and the Office of the Attorney General, to implement a program requiring the use of biometric technology to help prevent Medicaid fraud.                

June 20, 2011
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SENATE GIVES FINAL LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL TO BILLS LIMITING MILITARY FUNERAL PROTESTS

Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C Syracuse) announced that the New York State Senate yesterday passed a bill that he co-sponsored (S3901A), which would authorize local governments to create a permitting system for demonstrations conducted within one thousand feet of a veteran’s funeral, memorial service, wake or burial.                

This bill would establish a fine for violations that occur on state property and would allow a city, town, village or county to enact a permit requirement and to establish a reasonable civil penalty for any person who is found to have intentionally organized a demonstration without first acquiring the required permit.

June 20, 2011
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SENATE PASSES GOLD ALERT

Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C Syracuse) announced that the New York State Senate today passed his “Gold Alert” bill (S3293B) to assist in locating vulnerable missing adults.

June 20, 2011
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SENATE PASSES BILL TO HELP PHARMACIES COLLECT CO-PAYMENTS

Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C Syracuse) announced that the New York State Senate today passed his bill (S4749), which would allow pharmacies to collect prescription drug co-payments at the point of sale.

Currently, recipients of Medicaid and Family Health Plus can refuse to pay a modest co-payment, which can range between $1 and $6 depending on the prescription. The pharmacy must still honor the prescription despite a beneficiary’s refusal to pay, resulting in significant financial losses to New York State pharmacies each year.

June 20, 2011
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SENATE PASSES BILL CREATING THE NEW YORK STATE GOVERNOR’S COUNCIL ON PHYSICAL FITNESS

Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C Syracuse) announced that the New York State Senate today passed his bill (S2856A) that would establish a New York State Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Sports and Health. 

“Obesity in children is on the rise. More than 30 percent of children ages six to 11 are overweight, and the numbers are even worse for adolescents,” said Senator DeFrancisco. 

“We need to be proactive about promoting healthy lifestyles to our young people, so that we can reverse the unhealthy trends that cost our nation $117 billion annually in health care expenses,” said Senator DeFrancisco. 

June 14, 2011
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SENATE PASSES BILL LIMITING TIME TO COLLECT STATE TAX LIABILITIES TO 20 YEARS

Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C Syracuse) announced that the New York State Senate today passed his bill (S3946) that would require the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to collect an unpaid tax debt within 20 years of its issuance, or the tax liability would expire.

The current law provides no time frame in which the tax liability must be collected, resulting in manpower being wasted on old record maintenance and on attempts at unlikely collection of debt. 

June 14, 2011
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SENATE PASSES SENATOR DEFRANCISCO'S BILL NAMED AFTER THE LATE TIFFANY HEITKAMP

Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C Syracuse) announced that his bill (S2860-A), which would create a link between all of a person’s driving under the influence of alcohol or drug offenses, passed the New York State Senate today. 

Named after the late Tiffany Heitkamp, who was killed during an alcohol related boating accident in July of 2006, the bill would link Boating While Intoxicated (BWI), with Snowmobiling While Intoxicated (SWI), Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), as well as driving an ATV while intoxicated. Under current law, there is no linkage between these offenses, making it possible to be convicted in two or more separate cases and still be treated as a first time offender. 

June 6, 2011
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SENATE PASSES LEGISLATION TO ESTABLISH ANIMAL FIGHTING HOTLINE

In honor of the first-ever Animal Advocacy Day, proclaimed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C, Syracuse) today announced that his bill (S3317), which would establish a toll-free statewide hotline for use in the investigation and prevention of animal fighting, passed the New York State Senate.

“Animal fighting is a barbaric practice that cannot be condoned by any civilized society,” said Senator DeFrancisco. “This legislation would provide a resource for individuals to anonymously report instances of animal fighting.”

The toll-free hotline would be operated by the Division of Criminal Justice Services and tips would be shared with law enforcement officials and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

June 1, 2011
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SENATE PASSES BILL THAT WOULD INCREASE PENALTIES FOR LEAVING THE SCENE OF A BOATING ACCIDENT

Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C, Syracuse) announced that his bill (S3760), which would stiffen penalties for persons leaving the scene of a boating accident without making a report, passed the New York State Senate on May 25, 2011.

A second offense within five years of the first offense would be an E felony.
If a third offense is committed and all three offenses are committed within twenty-four months, then the third offense would be punished by an E felony.

 Failing to report a boating accident to the Transportation Commissioner could carry the penalty of an A misdemeanor.

May 27, 2011
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SENATOR DEFRANCISCO HONORS INDI SHELBY AS CENTRAL NEW YORK'S "WOMAN OF DISTINCTION"

Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C Syracuse) presented Indi L. Shelby, with the 2011 "Women of Distinction" award for the 50th Senate District. The Senate honors women from Central New York and throughout the State at a reception in Albany. 

"I am proud to honor the many contributions of Indi Shelby," said Senator DeFrancisco. "She has touched the lives of so many citizens in our community. She should be commended for her dedication to helping others and for the kindness and caring that she has shown others." 

May 26, 2011
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SENATE PASSES AIRPORT AUTHORITY BILL

Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C, Syracuse) announced that his bill (S3250A), which would create a Syracuse Regional Airport Authority, passed the New York State Senate today. 

“By creating this new entity, the airport could function more like a business and find ways to operate more efficiently,” said Senator DeFrancisco. “The savings realized from a more efficiently run operation could be passed on to the consumer in the form of lower air fares.” 

The bill calls for the Airport Authority to provide safe and efficient air transportation by enhancing the airport capacity and improving and expanding aviation and related facilities. 

May 25, 2011
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SENATE PASSES BILL THAT WOULD AMEND PROPERTY TAX INSTALLMENT PAYMENTS

School Board Would Determine the Percentage of the Installment 

Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C, Syracuse) announced today that his bill (S3110), which would authorize local school boards to determine the amount of an installment payment for school taxes, has been passed by the New York State Senate. 

“The amended Senate Bill allows local school boards to pass a resolution that would allow the receiver of taxes in a municipality to accept payments smaller than 50 percent of the tax bill as a first payment, instead of turning away them away,” said Senator DeFrancisco. 

The current law requires that at least 50 percent of the total tax bill be paid in the first installment, and the bill must be paid in three installments. 

May 24, 2011
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Senate Passes Boating While Intoxicated Safety Measure

 

Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C, Syracuse) sponsored a bill passed by the Senate today (S2903B) that would require individuals 21 years of age or younger, who have been convicted of alcohol-related boating offenses, to obtain a boating safety certificate before operating a vessel.

 

“Boating tragedies on Skaneateles and Oneida lakes, as well as the July 2006 BWI death of Syracuse-resident Tiffany Heitkamp have brought the problem of boating while intoxicated to the forefront,” said Senator DeFrancisco. “It is important to educate those who have already been convicted of boating while intoxicated, on how to drive a boat safely, in the hopes of preventing future tragedies,” said Senator DeFrancisco.

 

May 17, 2011
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Apply for a Conspicuous Service Cross, a Conspicuous Service Medal, or a Medal for Merit.

Requirements and links to applications for each medal are listed below. For more information or to receive a hard copy of an application, please contact Tiffany Latino in my office at 315-428-7632.

May 10, 2011
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SENATOR DEFRANCISCO AND COLLEAGUES PASS “TAXPAYER ADVOCATE ACT"

Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C, Syracuse) today sponsored a bill (S1072) that would create the Office of Taxpayer Advocate to assist taxpayers in their dealings with the New York State Department of Tax and Finance.

“This new entity would be independent of the Tax and Finance Department and would assist taxpayers in resolving their problems with the tax department, and would help to ensure a fair and consistent application of the tax law,” said Senator DeFrancisco.

The Taxpayer Advocate would also identify areas in which taxpayers have problems dealing with the tax department, propose solutions, including administrative changes to departmental practices and procedures, recommend legislative action, and promote communication.

May 9, 2011
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SENATOR DEFRANCISCO AND COLLEAGUES PASS LIBRARY COST SAVINGS BILL

Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C, Syracuse) today sponsored a bill (S3297) that would authorize the State Library to coordinate and negotiate purchases of electronic databases and information resources on behalf of libraries, state agencies and other governmental agencies to save money.

“As our state struggles with escalating costs, we must provide ways for governmental organizations to operate more efficiently and reduce their costs, while maintaining quality services,” said Senator DeFrancisco.

May 9, 2011
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Senator DeFrancisco Shares Legislative Survey Results

Friends:

I recently sent out a survey asking constituents of my Senate District their opinions on important budget issues facing our state. Below, you will find a link to the results of this survey.

As you can see, my constituents overwhelmingly want state government to control its spending. I do too. During the budget hearings as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, I aggressively advocated for this position.

I am pleased to tell you that the budget not only was on time but it calls for less spending than last year. This is the first time in more than 15 years that state spending will decrease.

April 4, 2011
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