Kenneth P. LaValle

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Senate Gives Final Legislative Approval To Bills Limiting Military Funeral Protests

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R,C,I – Port Jefferson) said the Senate gave final legislative approval on Thursday June 16 to two measures that offer additional buffers and restrictions for protests or demonstrations seeking to disrupt military funerals, burials or memorial services. The bills 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.

June 17, 2011
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LaValle/Sweeney: Carman’s River Watershed Protection Passes Senate and Assembly, Will Add 1,000 Acres to Central Pine Barrens Area.

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R,C,I – Port Jefferson) said today that his legislation to protect the Carmans River watershed and add approximately 1,000 acres of land to the Central Pine Barrens area has passed the New York State Senate by a vote of 60 – 0 and the Assembly 140-0.

June 17, 2011
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Senate Increases Penalties for DWI Recidivists

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle said  today that the Senate passed a measure on June 16 that imposes mandatory jail time for individuals who choose to drive again under the influence of drugs or alcohol after having been previously convicted of such a crime. The bill (S.2597) is intended to increase the penalties for multiple DWI offenders.

“It is critical to the safety of motorists that we do our best to ensure that those who endanger the lives of others are kept off the road,” said Senator LaValle.  “This measure will protect the public from drunk drivers by giving law enforcement additional tools to effectively prosecute recidivist drunk drivers.”

Under the measure:

June 17, 2011
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LaValle: LIPA/PSC Bill Passes Assembly; Long Island Power Authority Must Get Public Service Commission Approval Before Hiking Rates.

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R,C,I – Port Jefferson) said his legislation that would make rates fair, just and transparent by requiring the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) to seek approval by the Public Service Commission (PSC) if LIPA seeks a rate increase by more than two and a half percent per year has been passed by the Assembly and is headed to the Governor’s desk for his signature.  If enacted, the PSC would be required to review and approve LIPA's rate increase requests before they are passed on to Long Island ratepayers. The bill was co-sponsored by Assemblyman Robert Sweeney.

LaValle introduced similar legislation in 2008 that passed both houses of the legislature but was vetoed by then Governor David Paterson.

June 16, 2011
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SENATE PASSES EXPANSION OF DNA DATABANK

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R,C,I – Port Jefferson) said the Senate passed a bill (S.5560) today that significantly expands the ability of law enforcement to solve crimes by requiring those convicted of all felonies and misdemeanors to submit DNA samples.

The measure is supported by the District Attorneys across the state, crime victims’ advocates and Governor Andrew Cuomo.

“This  bill would greatly enhance the DNA database and protect communities by keeping more criminals off the streets, while also reducing the financial costs and victims’ emotional strain by solving more crimes in an expeditious manner,” said LaValle,  “for New Yorkers throughout the state, this legislation will provide an additional layer of safety.”

June 16, 2011
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LaValle: Bill Enabling Discharge of Fire Commissioners For Unexcused Absences Passes Senate.

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R, C, I-Port Jefferson) said today that his bill (S3101) enabling fire district commissioners who have excessive unexcused absences to be removed from office has passed the New York State Senate. The bill was passed on June 14. “Fire commissioners make most of the key decisions affecting fire and emergency medical service throughout New York State and sit on boards that have the authority to raise taxes and approve budgets to cover expenses including insurance,  payroll, pensions and the purchase of trucks, and other equipment,” LaValle said. Commission members, LaValle explained, set policy for fire districts, hire staff who maintain firehouses and dispatch calls.

June 16, 2011
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Bill Gives Adoptees from Other States Access to NYS Registry

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle said the Senate passed a bill enabling people who were adopted in New York but born in other states to participate in the New York State Adoption Registry. The bill (S.5145), passed on June 13,  gives adoptees born in other states the same ability to access information as eligible New York-born adoptees. “The Adoption Registry can help a person learn more about their heritage, medical history and even potentially reunite with their birth family,” LaValle said.

June 14, 2011
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SENATE PASSES LEGISLATION TO STRENGTHEN LAW ON TEXT MESSAGING WHILE DRIVING

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R,C – Port Jefferson) said the Senate today passed a bill (S.5643) 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 represents an agreement with the State Assembly which is also expected to act on the legislation today. 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.

June 14, 2011
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LaValle: Senate Toughens Sex Offender Laws

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R,C, - Port Jefferson) said the Senate today passed additional restrictions for sex offenders to help protect children and families. The four bills strengthen the penalties for not registering as a sex offender or following other post-release conditions, expand the current registry to include certain criminals serving sentences after committing a sex offense as a result of mental disease or defect, and prevent sex offenders from preying upon mental health workers and patrons in library settings.

June 14, 2011
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Senate Passes The “Buy From the Backyard Act”

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle said he voted for and the Senate passed the “Buy From the Backyard Act” on June 13 to promote the purchase of food grown or produced locally. The bill requires state agencies with food contracts to buy at least 20 percent of their food from New York sources.“If every household in New York spent just $15 per week on local food, we could pump $5.5 billion into New York State’s economy,” said Senator LaValle, who noted that Suffolk County is the largest agricultural county in New York State.  “This bill will help state agencies join in supporting our farmers and stimulate the economy,” LaValle said.

June 14, 2011
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LaValle: Senate, Assembly Pass Ethics Reform

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R,C- Port Jefferson) announced the passage of major ethics reform legislation, entitled the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011. The bill passed both houses of the legisalture on June 13.

“The measure represents a three-way agreement with the Assembly and Governor Andrew Cuomo, and is a significant step toward restoring the public’s trust in government,” LaValle said.

June 14, 2011
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LaValle: Senate Passes Bill to Convey Former Armory Site to Town of Riverhead.

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle today said the Senate has passed his bill (S-4404) that transfers  5.7 acres of the former New York State Armory to the Town of Riverhead. The bill was passed on June 13. “Riverhead Town’s repurposing of the armory site will enable the Town of Riverhead Police Department and Justice Court to be relocated,” LaValle said “and with it the ability to better serve and protect the public and administer justice.”

June 14, 2011
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LaValle Launches Summer Reading Program

“Reading is a cornerstone of a solid education,” LaValle said. “My Summer Reading Program will help parents and educators keep children interested in reading while preparing them for the next school year. I urge all children to head down to their local library and pick up a book today and take part in my Summer Reading Program.”

The program is designed for students in Grades 4-6 but is open to any child in the community who enjoys reading.  Complete details are available at the New York State Senate’s summer reading program website at www.nyread.com.

A parent or guardian can register a child. The complete program will be administered online.

June 13, 2011
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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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Tax Cap Now!

The Long Island state senate delegation gathered in Bayport Thursday afternoon to pressure their Democrat colleagues in the state Assembly to approve legislation that would cap property tax increases at two percent.During a press conference at the home of Richard and Joanne Curley, the Senators said the property tax cap would help ease the burden on homeowners across Long Island.Senate officials said the Curley's home was selected because it is representative of the tax burden facing homeowners in Nassau and Suffolk counties. According to Joanne Curley, the property taxes on her family's home have risen from slightly more than $6,000 eight years ago to more than $11,000 today.

May 19, 2011
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