The Aquarium of Niagara wowed visitors when it opened nearly a half-century ago. But many believe it is, as one lawmaker put it, a gem in need of repolishing.
Aquarium officials are beginning the first steps of that process, and the state has pitched in to help. USA Niagara Development Corp. agreed last month to fund a $66,000 study that will document the deficiencies of the entire 32,000-square-foot complex - which officials say is a much-needed step.
"Just like a home or apartment, you need some upgrades," said Development Director Gay B. Molnar. "What the study will show us is what are our strengths, what are our weaknesses and what do we need to do to enhance [our offerings] here."
City of Tonawanda Mayor Ron Pilozzi and Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick joined with state Sen. Mark Grisanti to publicly support an anti-fraud Medicaid bill at the Edward A. Rath County Office Building on Monday. The bill aims to save millions of dollars in Medicaid funds, but has repeatedly died in the State Assembly.
The bill, co-sponsored by Grisanti, would create a Medicaid identification and anti-fraud biometric technology program that would measure human body characteristics, like fingerprints, DNA, eye retinas, voice patterns and hand movements. The technologies would be used in clinics, hospitals and pharmacies to verify a patient’s identity prior to the state paying for the services.
In 2010, only 6,256 people voted in the Buffalo School Board elections held in May. A News editorial recently endorsed changing this election from May to the November general election, which is something that I proposed in two consecutive legislative sessions. This change would increase voter turnout and save taxpayers money.
The School Board helps determine the overall quality of education by both setting the standards for teaching and creating the budgets that govern the teacher-student ratio. Perhaps of most importance, it appointed the new superintendent who will run the 30,000-student district. Buffalo needs to improve its educational system to compete in the state and the nation for good jobs and a sound, growing economy.
Senator Mark Grisanti (R, I-60) today announced that the state Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) has selected the City of Buffalo and the City of Niagara Falls police departments to each receive funding as a part of Operation IMPACT to target violent and gun crime and domestic violence. Operation IMPACT awarded $13 million to 17 counties with priority given to those jurisdictions with the highest volume of crime.
Senator Mark Grisanti (R- North Buffalo) and Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak (D-Cheektowaga) today announced that Governor Cuomo has signed into law legislation to protect victims against the filing of a false financial statement. The new law proposed in both houses by the local legislators will require a court to issue and file a certificate of conviction with the New York Secretary of State in cases where a defendant is convicted of a crime related to the intentional fraudulent filing of a financial statement.
New York State law says a person is guilty of issuing a false financial statement when they knowingly describe the financial condition or ability to pay of a person in an inaccurate manner on a signed written document.
SKM Group, a full-service marketing communications agency, recently announced that it has donated $50,000 to cancer-related causes throughout the country.
The donation was a result of $25,000 the agency raised through various fundraising efforts and community events in 2011-12 and $25,000 SKM committed to match.
“I knew it was a pretty ambitious goal, but I continue to be impressed by the generosity of the community, our partners and our clients,” said Susan K. Meany, President. “This was no exception. Our team dove into this with such enthusiasm and creativity, and it’s been so rewarding to see all of our hard work come to fruition.”
Senator Mark Grisanti (R-Buffalo) today announced at a Press Conference a bill in the Senate to return the funding levels for municipalities in which video lottery gaming facilities operate to the levels from the fiscal year 2008-2009. Over the past four budget cycles, the amount of money returned to the local governments that contain video lottery operations was cut by almost 60 percent. In the seven regions across New York State where there are nine racetrack casinos, the fiscal strain placed on budgets has resulted in cutbacks or tax increases to cover the short fall.
The New York Senate today passed the “Public Assistance Integrity Act” which will protect public assistance for welfare recipients from being used to purchase cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets or for casino gambling. Present law allows cash assistance purchases of these items. The Bill S.7671 which was sponsored by State Senator Thomas W. Libous, Senate Deputy Majority Leader, and co-sponsored by Senator Grisanti (R-Buffalo) stops individuals receiving welfare from using the EBT card to make ATM withdrawals from certain places including liquor stores, casinos and strip clubs.
Senator Mark Grisanti (R-60) today announced that the Senate has passed his bill S.7677 that requires cities or other employers of firefighters to identify if a firefighter will be exposed to entrapment’s at higher levels, identify if those firefighters will be exposed to fire and determine the appropriate escape system. The bill will provide the firefighter community with the latitude to effectively respond to the needs of their locality, to consider appropriate alternatives and to provide communities with the flexibility to outfit their firefighters with the equipment that best suits their unique needs. Present law has inadvertently prevented the firefighting community from using equipment generally recognized to be acceptable because it was not covered in the most r
Senator Mark Grisanti (R-60) today announced that the Senate has passed his bill S7652 which amends the general business law to require persons or entities operating a telecommunications service system to provide notice when the caller will be charged a fee on their telephone bill. The purpose of this bill is to prevent unsuspecting victims from dialing information and resources telephone numbers that turn out to be telephone scams that cost money. Scammers often use an ad with a local number that is transferred to a pay-per-call line
The New York State Senate today passed a bill (S.7277A), sponsoredby Senator Mark Grisanti, that would require certain retail chain stores todisclose their unit pricing in an effort to make shopping less confusingfor customers looking for the best values. The changes would only affectstores with more than $2.5 million in annual sales.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced that the state will host eleven job fairs across New York during June as part of National Job Fair month.
The job fairs are a part of the Governor’s NY Works program to put New Yorkers back to work, and the eleven events will bring together more than 375 employers statewide and feature more than 10,000 job openings.
The New York State Senate today passed the 2012 NEW JOBS-NY JobCreation Plan. The Senate’s comprehensive plan will help create thousandsof new private sector jobs by delivering tax relief to small businesses andmanufacturers, reducing energy costs, and enacting major fiscal reforms tomake New York State more economically competitive.
Senator Mark Grisanti (R, I -60) today announced that the New York State Senate has voted to pass Bill S.3133B to amend the public housing law to grant the Buffalo Common Council the power to appoint one commissioner to the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority governing board.
The Housing Authority will now be comprised of seven members including two elected by tenants, one member appointed by the common council and four members appointed by the mayor of the City of Buffalo. The Mayor will designate the Chairman who will serve at his pleasure. Members of the Municipal Housing Authority receive a designated salary and the two tenant members receive a monthly stipend of $250.