Owen H. Johnson's News items

SENATE PASSES BILL TO ADDRESS COSTLY TELEPHONE SCAMS

SENATE PASSES BILL TO ADDRESS COSTLY TELEPHONE SCAMSLegislation Protects Consumers From “Remote Call Forwarding” Charges    The New York State Senate today passed a bill to stop scammers from charging phone customers who are unwittingly forwarded to additional and costly phone numbers. The bill (S7652), sponsored by Senator Mark Grisanti (R, North Buffalo), requires better notification if consumers calling a phone number for information are then prompted to call a second number that charges hefty fees.

June 18, 2012
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SENATE GIVES FINAL PASSAGE TO BILL PROTECTING CONSUMERS FROM INTRUSIVE TELEMARKETERS

The New York State Senate gave final legislative passage to a bill that protects New Yorkers from intrusive or unwanted telemarketing practices. The bill (S7567A), sponsored by Senator Lee Zeldin (R-C-I, Shirley), regulates all telemarketers who do business in New York, wherever they may be located, and adds new consumer protections from unwelcome prerecorded calls, known as robocalls, from telemarketers.“This legislation finally gives consumers the protections needed from unwanted telemarketers,” said Senator Zeldin, Chairman of the Senate Consumer Protection Committee. “By allowing individuals the ability to opt-out and by strengthening the state's registry for telemarketers, we will be reducing the flood of calls to protect New Yorkers."

June 14, 2012
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SENATE GIVES FINAL PASSAGE TO BILL REQUIRING MINORS TO OBTAIN PARENTAL PERMISSION FOR BODY PIERCING

SENATE GIVES FINAL PASSAGE TO BILL REQUIRING MINORS TO OBTAIN PARENTAL PERMISSION FOR  BODY PIERCINGAnyone Under 18 Would Need A Parent’s Approval Before Receiving Non Ear-Piercing     The New York State Senate today gave final legislative passage to a bill (S7446) that would require minors to obtain consent from a parent or guardian for unemancipated persons who wish to receive body piercings, other than piercing one’s ears.

June 13, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILL TO REDUCE MERCURY IN LIGHT BULBS

SENATE PASSES BILL TO REDUCE MERCURY IN LIGHT BULBSMeasure Cuts Down the Hazardous Chemical’s Potential Environmental Effects    The New York State Senate today passed legislation that prohibits the sale of light bulbs that contain high levels of mercury – a known hazardous chemical. The bill (S7004), sponsored by Senator Mark Grisanti (R, North Buffalo), would protect the environment and public health by reducing the amount of mercury that ends up in homes and the waste stream. “This is a positive step towards reducing the potentially harmful exposure to mercury in our communities,” Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said. “I commend Senator Grisanti for leading the charge to protect the health of our families and environment.”

June 12, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILL TO HONOR FALLEN FIREFIGHTERS

Legislation Also Passed that Allows Volunteer Firefighters to be Absent from Work During States of Emergency    The New York State Senate today passed a bill (S.7458), sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos (R, Rockville Centre) that would ensure the names of firefighters who are killed while performing services in the line of duty be included on the New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial. 

June 12, 2012
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LIPA Urges Customers with Special Medical Needs to Enroll in Critical Care Program

Uniondale, NY - With June 1st marking the official beginning of the hurricane season, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) wants to remind all customers who rely on electricity to power life-supporting equipment in their homes to register with LIPA’s Critical Care Program.

June 12, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILLS MAKING IT EASIER TO OBTAIN STAR EXEMPTIONS

The New York State Senate today passed legislation to simplify the process for senior citizens and other qualifying homeowners to apply for and receive their STAR property tax exemption.  Legislation (S1924), sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannon (R, C, I, - Garden City), would eliminate the requirement that senior citizens reapply for the STAR property tax exemption every year.

June 11, 2012
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LEGISLATURE PASSES “I-STOP” TO REDUCE PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE

    In response to the escalating problem of prescription drug abuse, the state Legislature passed legislation that would make significant changes to the way prescription drugs are distributed and monitored in New York State.     The legislation includes “real time” prescription tracking to provide more information to doctors and pharmacists, in an effort to prevent deaths from abuse and overdoses of prescription drugs, particularly painkillers.

June 11, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILL TO RESTORE STAR PROPERTY TAX REBATE CHECKS

SENATE PASSES BILL TO RESTORE STAR PROPERTY TAX REBATE CHECKS$202 Million in Property Tax Relief For Seniors;$1.2 Billion for Middle Class Families in ’13-14    The New York State Senate passed legislation that would restore the STAR property tax rebate program. The bill (S7447) would provide $202 million in property tax relief to senior citizens in the 2012-13 school year and $1.2 billion in property tax relief to middle class families starting in 2013-14.

June 6, 2012
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SENATE PASSES UNIT PRICING BILL TO MAKE SHOPPING FOR VALUE EASIER FOR CONSUMERS

     The New York State Senate today passed a bill (S.7277A), sponsored by Senator Mark Grisanti, that would require certain retail chain stores to disclose their unit pricing in an effort to make shopping less confusing for customers looking for the best values. The changes would only affect stores with more than $2.5 million in annual sales.     Consumers are faced with an array of packages for items such as soap, coffee, cosmetics, detergents, and paper products, as well as some foods, including pet foods. Unit pricing is the only true means a customer has to find the best value between brands and packaging sizes.

June 6, 2012
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SENATE PASSES “CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE AND EXPLOITATION PREVENTION ACT”

Legislation cracks down on Internet crimes against children     The New York State Senate yesterday passed the “Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention Act” (S5226A), sponsored by Senator Steve Saland (R-I-C, Poughkeepsie), Chairman of the Senate Codes Committee.  The bill creates new, tougher crimes for predators who prey on children over the Internet.     The sexual exploitation of children is a growing issue. It is estimated that there are between 100,000 and 300,000 children sexually exploited annually through prostitution and pornography in the United States. 

June 6, 2012
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SENATE PASSES COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY PLAN MAKING COLLEGE AFFORDABLE FOR MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES

SENATE PASSES COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY PLANMaking College Affordable for Middle Class Families Through:Increased Tuition Tax Breaks; Lower Student Loan Interest Rates; Tuition Pre-Payment; Truth-in-Lending for Student Loans    The New York State Senate today passed legislation to help middle-class families and students afford the rapidly increasing cost of a college education.  The Senate’s 2012 College Affordability Plan (S7449A), sponsored by Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson), would help parents save for higher education for their children and give students and families access to low-interest student loans, as well as clear information about the size of the loan debt they are taking on.   

June 4, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILL WAIVING 24-HOUR WAITING PERIOD FOR MILITARY MEMBERS TO GET MARRIED

    The New York State Senate today passed a bill (S.490), sponsored by Senator Joe Robach, that waives the 24-hour waiting period for military members to get married after receiving a marriage license. This would apply to military members who are scheduled for deployment in less than 30 days. “Given the sacrifice, coupled with the unique circumstances of active veterans, we feel this bill will better accommodate the requests of some of our brave men and women in the military with their personal and family lives,” said Senator Robach. “This is one small favor we can do to accommodate their time frame.”   

May 31, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILL TO ENCOURAGE ONLINE ORGAN DONATION

    The New York State Senate today gave final legislative passage to legislation (S6972), sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannon (R-C-I, Garden City), Chairman of the Senate Health Committee, that would make it easier for New Yorkers to register online to become an organ donor.    "I continually stress the importance of becoming a donor because donating an organ is saving a life," Senator Hannon said. "This bill would make the process of registering for organ donation online more convenient by allowing donors to receive electronic confirmation of their registration and amend or revoke their registration online.”

May 31, 2012
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SENATE PASSES “NEW JOBS-NY” JOB CREATION PLAN

    The New York State Senate passed the 2012 NEW JOBS-NY Job Creation Plan.  The Senate’s comprehensive plan will help create thousands of new private sector jobs by delivering tax relief to small businesses and manufacturers, reducing energy costs, and enacting major fiscal reforms to make New York State more economically competitive. 

May 31, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILL TO CLOSE LOOPHOLE IN “SON OF SAM” LAW

Measure Prevents Criminals From Profiting From Their Crimes    The New York State Senate today passed legislation that closes a loophole in the “Son of Sam” law to further restrict a criminal’s ability to profit from their crimes. The bill (S.4393A), sponsored by Senator John Flanagan (R-C-I, East Northport), corrects a longstanding flaw in the state’s existing “Son of Sam” law by preventing all criminals, regardless of their final plea or conviction, from commercially exploiting their crime.   

May 30, 2012
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NY WORK PROJECTS OPENED TO BIDDING IN THE 4TH SENATE DISTRICT

CREATING JOBS THIS SUMMER WHILE IMPROVING THE CONDITION OF ROADS AND BRIDGES ON LONG ISLANDFirst Contracts Awarded to Begin Vital Highway and Bridge RepairsGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced that contracts for 22 additional New York Works projects have been opened to bidding, representing more than $39 million in repair work to highways, bridges, and parks across New York State.The State Department of Transportation (DOT) opened bids on three separate NY Works contracts, which represent $34.8 million in highway and bridge construction at 19 sites. The State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) opened bids on three separate NY Works contracts which represent $4.2 million in repair and upgrade projects at three state parks.

May 30, 2012
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GOVERNOR CUOMO AND LEGISLATIVE LEADERS AGREE TO LEGISLATION TO BETTER PROTECT NEW YORKERS FROM INTRUSIVE AND UNWANTED TELEMARKETING

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today announced an agreement to pass legislation that will better protect New Yorkers from intrusive telemarketing tactics.The legislation would prohibit all telemarketers doing business in New York from delivering prerecorded messages by telephone call to customers without express consent from the recipient.

May 30, 2012
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SENATE PASSES LEGISLATION TO STRENGTHEN LEANDRA’S LAW

    The New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) to strengthen Leandra’s Law.  The legislation would ensure that offenders comply with the provision of the law requiring them to use ignition interlocks.

May 22, 2012
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SENATE UNVEILS “NEW JOBS-NY” JOB CREATION PLAN

    Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos and members of the Senate Republican Conference today continued their strong focus on job creation and economic growth by announcing that the Senate will pass legislation next week to implement the 2012 NEW JOBS-NY Job Creation Plan.  The Senate’s comprehensive plan will help create thousands of new private sector jobs by delivering tax relief to small businesses and manufacturers, reducing energy costs, and enacting major fiscal reforms to make New York State more economically competitive. 

May 22, 2012
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