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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
Thank you for your military service. Eligibility requirements and links to applications for each military medal are listed below. For more information, or to receive a hard copy of an application, please contact Lindsay Bednarczyk in my district office at 315-428-7632.
All completed applications can be sent to my district office:
800 State Office Building333 E. Washington Street Syracuse, NY 13202
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.
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.
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.
Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C, Syracuse) and his colleagues passed legislation (S.3164) yesterday to create “Recharge NY,” a program that would provide low-cost power to help businesses create and retain jobs.
“This bill will provide businesses with a permanent solution for low-cost electricity. With a permanent solution in place, businesses will have the stability they need to make long-term plans for their businesses, and they will be able to create jobs,” said Senator DeFrancisco.
“The current Power for Jobs program requires businesses to receive extensions each year, which makes it impossible to plan for the future,” said Senator DeFrancisco.
I want to remind you that the deadline for New York State’s School Tax Relief Program (STAR) is March 1, 2011. STAR is a tax relief program that lowers property taxes for owner-occupied primary residences. There are two levels of STAR benefits: Basic STAR and Enhanced STAR. Basic STAR is available to residents who own and live in their own 1- ,2- , or 3-family house, condominium, or cooperative apartment and earn less than $500,000 a year. There is no age limit for Basic STAR. For qualifying homeowners, Basic STAR exempts the first $30,000 of the full value of a home from school taxes. Once you are approved for Basic STAR, you need not reapply each year unless you move to a new primary residence.