Owen H. Johnson's News items

GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES AIR CONDITIONERS AVAILABLE FOR LOW-INCOME NEW YORKERS WITH SERIOUS MEDICAL CONDITIONS

Annual Cooling Initiative, Directed by Homes and Community Renewal, Offers Relief for Vulnerable New Yorkers During Heat WaveGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced assistance for low-income New Yorkers whose health issues pose a medical emergency during the extended period of hot weather forecasted for the state in the coming days. "The late spring and early summer have already brought several heat waves, which can be life-and-death matters for New Yorkers with serious medical conditions," Governor Cuomo said. "Senior citizens and children are especially susceptible to heat-related illness, and this initiative will provide low-income homes with much-needed air conditioners so that New Yorkers have the assistance they need to stay cool and healthy."

July 17, 2012
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UPDATED "511NY" SYSTEM GIVING NEW YORK DRIVERS REAL TIME TRAFFIC AND CONSTRUCTION PROJECT UPDATES

Improved Website and New Mobile App Comes as NY Works Projects Get Under Way Across the State Statewide Effort Includes PSA to Remind New Yorkers to Check 511NY Before Hitting The Road

July 12, 2012
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LIPA Warns Customers of Nationwide Utility Bill Scam

Uniondale, NY - The Long Island Power Authority is warning customers about a new nationwide utility bill scam claiming that President Obama will pay your utility bills through a new federal program. While there have been no reports of customers victimized by this latest scam, LIPA encourages anyone contacted to notify local law enforcement officials in your area to investigate.How the scam works:Consumers have been contacted in person, through fliers, social media and text messages with claims that President Obama is providing credits or applying payments to utility bills.

July 11, 2012
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SENATOR JOHNSON SPONSORED LEGISLATION PROHIBITING THE SALE OF ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES TO MINORS

Senator Owen H. Johnson (R-Babylon) announced today that the New York State Senate passed a bill he sponsored to prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to persons under 18 years of age.Electronic cigarettes, also known as “e-cigarettes,” are battery-operated devices that vaporize cartridges filled with nicotine, flavor and other chemicals that the user inhales. Currently, there is no prohibition on the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.“This legislation is needed to protect children and young adults from the dangers of smoking electronic cigarettes,” Senator Johnson said.  “To date, electronic cigarettes are unregulated and have not been proven to be safe for use at any age.”

June 21, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILL TO PREVENT SURPRISE MEDICAL BILLS

SENATE PASSES BILL TO PREVENT SURPRISE MEDICAL BILLSNew Consumer Protections Would Help Control Unexpected And Costly Medical Charges    The New York State Senate today passed legislation to reduce costly and unexpected medical charges to health insurance consumers. The bill (S7745) establishes consumer protections to prevent surprise medical bills and ensures consumers have adequate access to necessary services.

June 21, 2012
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SENATE GIVES FINAL PASSAGE TO SEWAGE SPILL NOTIFICATION BILL

Sewage Pollution Right To Know Act Protects Public Health by Increasing Awareness of Water Conditions    The New York State Senate today gave final legislative passage to a bill that increases the amount of information available to the public when discharges of untreated or partially treated sewage to the state’s waterways could affect public health. The Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act (S6268D), sponsored by Senator Mark Grisanti (R, North Buffalo), would require prompt notification of such sewage discharges so that the public has the information they need to make decisions about water based recreation like swimming, boating, and fishing.

June 21, 2012
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LEGISLATURE APPLAUDED FOR PASSING SEAGRASS PROTECTION ACT; GOVERNOR CUOMO URGED TO SIGN IT INTO LAW

Seagrass is Critically Important Habitat for Fish, Shellfish; Important for Water Quality; New Study Highlights its Susceptibility to Nitrogen 

June 21, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILL TO REFORM NEW YORK’S CARE OF PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS AND DISABILITIES

Legislation Creates the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs to Prevent, Investigate and Prosecute Abuse and Neglect of Vulnerable New Yorkers    The New York State Senate today passed sweeping legislation that will transform how New Yorkers with special needs and disabilities are protected. The bill (S7749) is part of a three-way agreement between the Senate, Assembly and Governor Cuomo to establish the strongest standards and practices in the nation for protecting individuals in state operated, certified or licensed facilities and programs.

June 20, 2012
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SENATE APPROVES BILL TO PREVENT SPREAD OF INVASIVE SPECIES

    The State Senate today gave final legislative approval to a bill (S.6826a) that would restrict the sale, possession and importation of invasive species in an effort to combat a growing environmental and costly problem throughout New York. 

June 20, 2012
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SENATE PASSES LEGISLATION PROHIBITING THE VIEWING OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

SENATE PASSES LEGISLATION PROHIBITING THE VIEWING OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHYBill Closes Loophole Created by Recent Court of Appeals Ruling    The New York State Senate yesterday passed legislation (S7742) that would make the viewing of child pornography a felony crime. The bill is part of a three-way agreement with the Senate, Assembly and Governor Cuomo to amend current state law to make a person guilty of a crime when the person knowingly accesses child pornography with the intent to view.     The legislation comes after a state Court of Appeals ruling in May 2012 that said viewing child pornography on the Internet is not a crime. This legislation closes that loophole.

June 20, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILL TO PROTECT SOCIAL SERVICES WORKERS FROM ASSAULT

    The New York State Senate yesterday passed legislation to enhance the criminal penalties for assaulting employees of a county social services district while in performance of their duties.  The bill (S7720) represents a three-way agreement with the Governor and Assembly.    In April, the City of New York released the latest data on social service workers assaulted on the job. Last year, 61 employees of the City’s three social services agencies were assaulted while performing their job duties, a 10 percent increase from 56 assaults in 2010.

June 20, 2012
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SENATE PASSES ‘ALIX’S LAW’ Bill Would Make it Illegal for Driver to Leave Scene After Vehicle Hits Any Object

    The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.7577-A) that would hold drunk drivers accountable for leaving the scene of an accident involving their vehicle without investigating it themselves and reporting it to law enforcement.      The legislation responds to a drunk driving accident in Amherst that killed a teenage girl in Western New York.  On July 8, 2011, 18-year-old Alix Rice was killed by a drunk driver as she road home on her longboard.  The driver argued that he was not aware he had hit a person and he was acquitted on the felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident. 

June 19, 2012
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SENATE APPROVES BILL TO OFFER ASBESTOS REMOVAL TAX CREDIT Legislation will Encourage Cleanup of Unsafe properties; Spur Investment

               The New York State Senate yesterday passed legislation (S6524A) that will provide an asbestos removal tax credit to encourage the cleanup of old, unsafe properties, and spur investment throughout the State.                    This legislation offers a tax credit to help defray the costs of clean up and remediation to encourage economic development in cities across New York State, and ensure that the cost of asbestos removal is no longer an obstacle to economic development.  

June 19, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILLS TO GROW CRAFT BREWING INDUSTRY IN NEW YORK

    The New York State Senate yesterday passed three bills to help grow and expand the craft beer industry in New York State.  The bills, which represent a three-way agreement among the Senate, Assembly and Governor Cuomo, will protect an important tax benefit for small breweries that produce beer in New York, create a Farm Brewery license that will allow craft brewers to expand their operations through opening restaurants or selling new products and will exempt breweries that produce small batches of beer from paying an annual State Liquor Authority fee.

June 19, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILL TO PREVENT CYBERBULLYING

    The New York State Senate passed legislation that would provide further protections and procedures for students who are bullied or cyberbullied. The legislation clarifies and expands the Dignity for All Students Act, an anti-cyberbullying law enacted in 2010 and creates guidelines for local school districts to develop policies and procedures to address the problem.    This comprehensive measure includes within the definitions of bullying and cyberbullying  verbal and non-verbal actions, whether on or off school property, which create a risk of substantial disruption of the school environment.

June 19, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILLS TO CRACK DOWN ON ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME

SENATE PASSES BILLS TO CRACK DOWN ON ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME     The New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Lee Zeldin (R, C, I- Shirley), that would crack down on organized retail crime, a growing problem that harms businesses and their customers.    According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, organized retail theft is an industry that costs United States retailers about $30 billion per year. Supermarket losses account for $15 billion of that annual theft.  Additionally, state and local governments are losing out on tens of millions of dollars annually in lost sales tax and excise fee revenue.

June 18, 2012
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SENATE PASSES LEGISLATION TO PROTECT TEENS FROM SKIN CANCER

SENATE PASSES LEGISLATION TO PROTECT TEENS FROM SKIN CANCERLegislation Would Prohibit Teens Ages 16 and Under from Using Indoor UV Tanning Devices    The New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), to help protect teens from the dangers of skin cancer.  The legislation (S2917A) would strengthen the state’s indoor tanning law by prohibiting teens ages 16 and under from using indoor ultraviolet (UV) tanning devices.  

June 18, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILL TO HELP BREAST CANCER PATIENTS RECOVER FROM A PARTIAL MASTECTOMY

SENATE PASSES BILL TO HELP BREAST CANCER PATIENTS RECOVER FROM A PARTIAL MASTECTOMY    The New York State Senate today passed legislation that would help some breast cancer patients by requiring insurance companies to cover reconstruction for partial mastectomies. The bill (S3801A), sponsored by Senator Kenneth LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson), adds partial mastectomies to the law that already covers reconstruction for full mastectomies. It would ensure that  breast cancer patients who undergo the partial loss of a breast have reconstruction as an option covered by insurance.

June 18, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILLS TO COMBAT DANGEROUS DRIVING

SENATE PASSES BILLS TO COMBAT DANGEROUS DRIVINGBills Would Require Breathalyzer Tests in All Serious Auto Accidents And Increase Punishment for Drivers Who Hit Pedestrians     The State Senate today passed two bills intended to keep dangerous drivers off our streets and increase penalties for drivers who injure or kill pedestrians or other drivers.

Legislation passed today (S.562), sponsored by Senator Joseph Robach (R-C-I, Rochester), would require breathalyzer tests for drivers involved in accidents causing serious physical injury or death.

June 18, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILL TO CREATE NEW CRIME OF EXPLOITING THE ELDERLY AND VULNERABLE ADULTS

SENATE PASSES BILL TO CREATE NEW CRIME OF EXPLOITING THE ELDERLY AND VULNERABLE ADULTSMeasure Helps Deter Stealing From Senior Citizens or People With Physical or Mental Disabilities    The New York State Senate today responded to the need for increased protection against financial exploitation of elderly and vulnerable adults by passing legislation to make such actions a crime. The legislation (S6712), sponsored by Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma), gives district attorneys and police the tools they need to prosecute instances of financial exploitation of vulnerable elderly or people with physical or mental disabilities.

June 18, 2012
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