Kenneth P. LaValle's Press releases

Senator LaValle Nominates Yaphank’s Eugene Smith to Senate Veteran’s Hall of Fame.

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle has nominated Yaphank Vietnam War veteran Eugene ‘Gene’ Smith  to the New York State Senate Veteran’s Hall of Fame. Smith will be inducted with veterans from throughout New York State at a Capitol ceremony on Tuesday, June 14.

“Eugene Smith is deserving of a place among New York State’s elite veterans for heroic and gallant service to his country during the Vietnam War,” said LaValle.

Smith, LaValle said, was awarded numerous commendations and medals for his service including three Purple Hearts, a Combat Infantry Badge, the Vietnam Service Medal,  Vietnam Combat Medal, Air Medals and a Bronze Star.

June 13, 2011
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First-Time Home Buyer Bill Signed Into Law

Assemblyman Robert K. Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst) and Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R,C,I-Port Jefferson) today announced that legislation they sponsored to allow municipalities to continue the tax exemption for first-time home buyers of newly constructed homes has been signed into law.

“Young, working families have a very hard time trying to meet the costs associated with the purchase of their first home. This legislation will make it easier for families to move from renter to homeowner,” said Sweeney.

“Owning a home is still the American dream,” said Senator LaValle. “This measure will help ease the financial strain in making that dream a reality by providing a real property tax exemption for first-time home buyers.”

June 9, 2011
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LaValle And Thiele Announce New Legislation Increasing Veteran Property Tax Exemptions

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle and New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (I, D, WF-Sag Harbor) were joined today by Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst to announce the introduction of new State Legislation which would allow municipalities to increase the maximumproperty tax exemptions under the alternative veteran’s exemptions.

A.8186/S.5597 would further amend the Real Property Tax Law by providing exemptions to veterans which more appropriately reflect the recent rise in real property values. Under the proposed legislation the new cap for wartime veterans would increase from $54,000 to $75,000; from $36,000 to $50,000 for combat veterans; and, from $180,000 to $250,000 for disabled veterans.

June 9, 2011
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SENATE PASSES MEASURE TO REDUCE MEDICAID FRAUD

Expands DA’s Ability to Prosecute Medicaid Provider Waste and Abuse

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle said he voted for a bill (S.594) that passed the Senate on June 6 that implements a key recommendation of the Senate Republican Task Force on Medicaid Fraud and increases the prosecution of Medicaid waste and abuse while also bringing significant savings to the state and counties.

The legislation helps increase cost recoveries by allowing the state’s Office of Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) to assist local district attorneys in prosecutions of Medicaid provider fraud.

June 7, 2011
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LaValle Co Sponsors Legislation To Repeal The MTA Payroll Tax

Hauppauge, NY- Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R, C, I- Shirley) and Senator Jack Martins (R-Mineola) announced today the introduction of legislation to repeal the job killing MTA Payroll Tax.  This announcement came on the heels of months of studying, listening and learning about the MTA and its financial situation.  Also joining them at today's announcement in Hauppauge was Senate co-sponsor Kenneth P. LaValle (R, C, I- Port Jefferson).

June 6, 2011
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Bill Would Require Disclosure of Spending for School Budget Votes

New legislation sponsored by Senator Kenneth LaValle and Assemblymember Sam Hoyt  (A7223/S5071) would amend state election law to require reporting by groups that spend $1,000 or more to influence public votes on school district budget votes outside of the “Big Five” city school districts. While there are currently disclosure requirements for monies spent on local school board elections, none are required for local school budget votes.

June 2, 2011
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Senate Passes Boater Safety Bill

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle said the Senate has passed an important bill (S.2903B) requiring boat operators, regardless of age, who have been convicted of boating while intoxicated (BWI) to take a boating safety course before operating a boat again.

“Long Island’s peak boating season is fast approaching,” LaValle said. “Educating those who have been convicted of BWI, may prevent future tragedies,” LaValle said.

The state already requires those age 21 and over and who are convicted of boating while intoxicated to obtain a boating safety certificate before operating a vehicle. The bill passed today expands upon that law by requiring those under 21 and convicted of an alcohol-related boating offense to obtain a certificate as well.

May 18, 2011
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First-Time Home Buyer Bill Passes State Legislature

Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R,C,I-Port Jefferson) and Assemblyman Robert K. Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst) today announced that legislation they sponsored to allow municipalities to continue the tax exemption for first-time home buyers of newly constructed homes has passed both chambers of the New York State Legislature.  The bill will now go before Governor Cuomo for signature.

“Young, working families have a very hard time trying to meet the costs associated with the purchase of their first home. This legislation will make it easier for families to move from renter to homeowner,” said Sweeney.

May 12, 2011
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Seniors and Others Helped in Claiming STAR Benefits

Legislation (S.3576) sponsored by Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson) and passed May 3 in the New York State Senate will help make it easier for property owners to claim STAR benefits if they missed the March 1 filing deadlines.

This is particularly important to senior citizens, who must remember to file for the enhanced STAR exemption each year. Missing the deadline, and therefore the exemption, could result in a homeowner facing an unexpected and significantly increased tax bill. LaValle’s bill instead authorizes municipalities to accept STAR applications after the locality’s taxable status date and before January 10 of the following year.

May 4, 2011
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LaValle: Senate Passes Legislation to Strengthen Law on Text Messaging While Driving

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle today co-sponsored and voted for a bill (S.998B) that will make it easier for law enforcement to crack down on texting-while-driving offenses and prevent tragic accidents caused by drivers distracted by texting.

The bill would make text messaging while driving a primary violation rather than a secondary violation. Under the current law, a driver can only be cited for texting-while-driving if another violation, such as speeding, is also being cited.

 Federal data shows 16,000 deaths nationwide due to texting while driving.

May 4, 2011
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LaValle Bills Provide Full Public Service Commission Authority Over LIPA and Authorizes NYPA to Acquire LIPA as a Subsidiary.

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle introduced two bills in the New York State Senate on Tuesday. The first places the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) under the “full oversight” of the Public Service Commission (PSC). LaValle’s  second bill allows the New York Power Authority (NYPA)  to acquire LIPA as a subsidiary.

May 4, 2011
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Senator LaValle Names Southampton’s Nicole Behrens a Woman of Distinction From First Senatorial District, Statewide Capitol Fete May 24.

“Nicole Behrens,  survived 10 years of violence against her by her own husband, in her own home and – with tremendous courage –  rose above that experience and lifted her daughter with her  to not only escape the life of violence and devastation, but to then give back tremendously and consistently to the community.”

excerpt from nominating letter to NY State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle

May 2, 2011
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LaValle Bill Brings Relief to Those Who Unintentionally Paid Property Taxes Late in ’08 –’09.

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle today said his bill permitting Suffolk County to refund penalties and interest associated with non-payment of real property taxes where a customary payment-due notice was not provided has passed the New York State Senate.

April 12, 2011
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LaValle: State Budget Includes Money for Roads, Highway Improvement Programs.

 New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle announced today the availability of Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) dollars to help local municipalities with road repairs.

The Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) was established by the Legislature in 1981 to assist localities in financing the construction, reconstruction, or improvement of local highways, bridges, highway-railroad crossings, and/or other local facilities.

“I know this money will help many cash-strapped municipalities with repairs to  the pock-marked and pot-holed roads that have erupted as a result of the harsh winter, “ LaValle said.

 

April 12, 2011
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Senate Honors School Basketball Teams from Port Jefferson, Mattituck and Center Moriches with Floor Resolutions Acknowledging Championship Seasons.

The New York State Senate is scheduled today to adopt resolutions acknowledging the championship seasons of three Suffolk basketball teams  -- Port Jefferson, Center Moriches and Mattituck  -- for each team’s respective outstanding accomplishments and championship season according to State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson), the sponsor of the resolutions. The regularly scheduled Senate session begins at 3 PM. The reading and adoption of resolutions is webcast at: http://www.livestream.com/nysenate.

April 12, 2011
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Faculty Council of Community Colleges and SUNY Stony Brook’s Center For Italian Studies Honor LaValle

Recognizing individuals who have made major contributions to higher education in general and community colleges in particular, The State University of New York (SUNY) Faculty Council of Community Colleges has awarded New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, chairman of the Senate’s Higher Education Committee,  its 2011 Distinguished Service Award.  The award was presented at the SUNY Faculty Council of Community Colleges’ Spring  Plenary.

March 31, 2011
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State Budget Closes $10 Billion Deficit, Restores Fiscal Responsibility, Builds Road to Job Creation With No New Taxes, No Borrowing.

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson),  chairman of the Senate’s Higher Education Committee today said  the budget about to be enacted restored an orderly and open budget negotiation process, brought back fiscal responsibility to the state, closes a $10 billion budget deficit and creates a road to job creation and economic recovery, all with no new taxes or borrowing.

“This budget,” LaValle said, “reaches its financial goals with no new taxes and no borrowing and will cut next year's projected budget deficit from $15 billion to about $2 billion.”

School Aid     

March 30, 2011
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Fishermen Off the Hook: Saltwater License Law Repealed in State Budget

The State Legislature has reached an agreement with the Governor to repeal the 2009 Saltwater Fishing License New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson) said today.

The license law, LaValle said,  will be transformed into a registration requirement to meet federal law. In addition, the registration is guaranteed to be free for the next two years and those who purchased lifetime licenses will be granted a refund minus the fee for the past year.

"I voted against the license law and fee when it was part of the 2009 budget and am happy to see the demise of what was essentially a hidden tax,” said LaValle. 

The agreement must still be ratified in the State Budget, which is expected to be approved shortly.

March 24, 2011
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LaValle Bill to Help Commercial Fishermen Unanimously Passes Senate.

A  bill to help commercial fishermen by allowing them to aggregate their daily catch limits over a seven day period and conserve fuel, unanimously passed the Senate on Tuesday it was announced by New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson), the sponsor of the bill.

LaValle said his bill (S. 1456A) allows fishermen, for example, to catch three times the daily catch limit on Monday and two times the limit on Wednesday and then stay off the water until the following Monday when a consecutive period of seven days is complete. The bill also allows individuals with different fishing licenses to go out and catch each of their daily limits from the same boat (currently prohibited).

March 23, 2011
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