Recent tornadoes have caused extensive damage throughout the heartland of America. Five states (Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Alabama & Georgia) have reported deaths, totaling at least 38 victims.
Many local governments and voluntary agencies are providing shelter for disaster survivors displaced by the storms, but the road to recovery will be a long one and further assistance is always welcome.
For those seeking a way to help out our fellow Americans in this time of need, I have provided a list below of some non-profit agencies and the different ways one can contribute.
Legislation advanced by state Senate would criminalize acts against 11- and 12-year-olds
By Arlene Gross - February 29, 2012
Though New York State already had laws on the books to prosecute the most serious sex crimes committed against minors, the Senate recently passed legislation 58-2 to expand the definitions of aggravated sexual abuse of victims younger than 13 years old when the abuser is at least 18.
Sponsored by Sen. John Flanagan (R-East Northport), the bill passed in the Senate Jan. 30 and was delivered that day to the Assembly, where Assemblyman Peter Abbate (D-Brooklyn) is leading the charge.
State Sen. Greg Ball introduces fellow Republican state senator and education chairperson State Sen. John Flanagan.
Photo credit: Art Cusano
Ball Hosts Education Forum in Peekskill
PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – The state tax cap and mandates, both unfunded and partially unfunded, were the hot topics of conversation at an education forum at Peekskill High School Tuesday evening hosted by District 40 State Sen. Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson).
Senator John Flanagan (New York State) joins educators at the Eighth Annual Longwood Regional Legislative Breakfast sponsored by the Longwood Central School District and Eastern Suffolk BOCES -- February 11, 2012
Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) is urging all homeowners in Suffolk County to remember to register for the School Tax Relief (STAR) program prior to the upcoming March 1ST deadline. Homeowners who have not yet signed up for the STAR program are able to sign up until March 1st through their local assessor’s office to take advantage of this program.
The program has two components to help everyone eligible get the tax relief they are entitled to:
To give residents an opportunity to provide their input on the issues facing New York State, Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) recently hosted a series of Town Hall meetings throughout the region. The meetings, which were held at the Smithtown Library in Nesconset, the Half Hollow Hills Public Library in Dix Hills and the Middle Country Public Library in Centereach, gave community members an open forum to publicly speak about the subjects important to them.
Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) recently voted for the largest expansion of the state’s DNA databank since it was created in 1994. The legislation mirrors the DNA databank expansion plan proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in his recently introduced Executive Budget and would require those who are convicted in New York State of a felony and a misdemeanor under penal law to submit DNA samples to the authorities.
Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) announced today that legislation he sponsored to strengthen protections for young victims of sexual crimes has passed the New York State Senate. The legislation, which has been sent to the Assembly for action, would expand the definitions of aggravated sexual abuse to include victims less than thirteen years old when the abuser is eighteen years of age or older.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's proposed budget has good news -- and a modicum of bad news -- for four Suffolk school districts facing the loss of $48 million in construction aid due to missed deadlines, state lawmakers said this week.
The governor's 2012-13 budget plan, released Tuesday, would allow the Central Islip, Smithtown, Babylon and Rocky Point districts to reapply for the aid this year, lawmakers said. But they may be docked part of the aid as a penalty for the filing errors.
The measure requires approval by the State Legislature as part of the budget process, which has an April 1 deadline.
Senator John Flanagan today announced that legislation he sponsored to ban the sale of the hallucinogen salvia divinorum throughout New York State has passed the Senate. The Senator has been advocating since 2005 for a statewide ban of the hallucinogen, which is widely claimed to have the same effects as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). While his efforts have gained Senate passage five times prior to this vote, the New York State Assembly has repeatedly failed to act.
This year, however, the legislation is being sponsored by Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (51st Assembly District) and Senator Flanagan is hopeful that the Assembly will act so the legislation can be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo to finally become law in New York State.
Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) announced that over $22.5 million in funding he secured in 2006 for the environmental cleanup of the Nissequogue River State Park has been reappropriated in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget. The funding was requested by Senator Flanagan in a recent letter to Governor Cuomo and announced as part of the Executive Budget unveiled on January 17th.
A total of $29 million has been secured by Senator Flanagan for Nisseqougue River State Park. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) has already spent $4 million of those funds on an environmental engineering study and has set aside additional funds related to an upcoming demolition project at the site.
Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) welcomed the members of the Colonel Francis S. Gabreski Cadet Squadron from the Long Island group of Civil Air Patrol Color Guard to the Senate Chamber in Albany. The group, which is comprised of young adults from across Long Island and included several young constituents from Senator Flanagan’s district, presented the colors at the ceremonial beginning of the 2012 Senate Session.
Continuing their effort to protect property taxpayers, Senators Kenneth P. LaValle (1st Senate District), John Flanagan (2nd Senate District), Lee Zeldin (3rd Senate District) and Owen H. Johnson (4th Senate District) are pushing forward to get restoration of building aid to four Suffolk County school districts. Today, they took the first step in that process by gaining Senate Education Committee approval of legislation that would restore funding that was vetoed last year by Governor Andrew Cuomo for Central Islip, Smithtown, Rocky Point and Babylon.
Senator John Flanagan (New York Senate) and his colleagues in the New York State Senate welcome the Colonel Francis S. Gabreski Cadet Squadron from the Long Island group of Civil Air Patrol Color Guard to Albany -- January 9, 2012
The state Senate is fast-tracking at least eight education funding bills that were vetoed in September by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The bills all involve school districts that have been stripped of state aid because of minor errors. The bills include the restoration of $3.8 million to the Schenectady City School District.
In this morning's state Senate Committee on Education meeting, Chairman John Flanagan, R-Long Island, said, "We're going to push the issue." The eight bills have been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance.