Owen H. Johnson's News items

BABYLON VILLAGE PATCH: Owen Johnson's Seagrass Protection Act Passes State Senate By Jacqueline Sweet

Owen Johnson's Seagrass Protection Act Passes State Senate The new Seagrass Protection Act will allow regulation of seagrass management areas. •    By Jacqueline Sweet  jboydsweet@gmail.com

May 21, 2012
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SENATE PASSES LEGISLATION WHICH MAKES VIEWING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY A FELONY

SENATE PASSES LEGISLATION WHICH MAKES VIEWING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY A FELONYBill closes loophole after Court of Appeals ruling that it is not a crime    The New York State Senate passed legislation (S.7407) that would make the viewing of child pornography a felony crime. The bill amends current state law to say that a person is 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 earlier this month that said viewing child pornography on the Internet is not a crime. This legislation closes that loophole.

May 17, 2012
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SENATE PASSES LEGISLATION TO HELP DISABLED VETERANS Bill Would Provide a Preference in State Contracts for Disabled Veterans

SENATE PASSES LEGISLATION TO HELP DISABLED VETERANSBill Would Provide a Preference in State Contracts for Disabled Veterans    The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.2423), sponsored by Senator Gregory R. Ball (R-C, Pawling), that would give greater access to state contracts to veterans who were disabled during their service.  This bill would codify for New York an identical and highly successful program adopted for federal contracting.  Given the increase in the number of veterans and disabled veterans due to recent overseas conflicts, this bill would provide a small measure of recognition that this group of selfless men and women deserve.

May 17, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILL TO CRACK DOWN ON COLLEGE HAZING

    The New York State Senate today passed legislation to prevent the tragic injuries and deaths that can occur due to hazing at colleges and universities. The bill (S.1937), sponsored by Senator Kenneth LaValle (R-C-I, Port Jefferson), would help cut down on hazing by strengthening a college or university’s enforcement authority and increasing awareness of the consequences of hazing, underage drinking, and illegal drug use.“Hazing can create physical as well as emotional scars that may last a lifetime,” Senator LaValle said. “There is nothing ‘good-natured’ about hazing and it cannot be tolerated on our college and university campuses.”

May 16, 2012
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SENATE PASSES PROTECTION OF PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS ACT

    The New York State Senate yesterday passed the Protection of People With Special Needs Act, which reforms and strengthens protections for more than one million state residents with special needs. The bill (S.7400) will enhance the safeguards for children and adults who are particularly vulnerable to abuse and neglect and receive care from New York’s human service agencies and programs. 

May 16, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILL TO PROTECT TEENS FROM SEXUAL PREDATORS AT SCHOOLS

The New York State Senate today passed legislation that would make it a crime for school employees to engage in sexual activity with students, including those who are older than New York’s legal age of consent. The bill (S.6714), sponsored by Senator Betty Little (R-C-I, Queensbury), addresses inappropriate student-school employee relationships by criminalizing sexual conduct between school employees and full-time students of elementary and secondary schools.

May 14, 2012
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SENATE GIVES FINAL PASSAGE TO IRAN DIVESTMENT ACT EXPANSION

      The New York State Senate today gave final legislative passage to an expansion of the Iran Divestment Act.  The bill (S.6462), sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, includes state and local public authorities, the State University of New York, and the City University of New York among the governmental entities prohibited from entering into new or renewed contracts with companies that provide goods, services or credit worth $20 million or more to Iran's energy. The Assembly has already approved the legislation (A.9224), which is sponsored by Speaker Sheldon Silver.

May 9, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILL TO REQUIRE IMMEDIATE INVESTIGATION BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OF ABUSE IN STATE FACILITIES

SENATE PASSES BILL TO REQUIRE IMMEDIATE INVESTIGATION BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OF ABUSE IN STATE FACILITIESMeasure Provides Timely Notification to Law Enforcement of Abuse of Children in Residential Care    The New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Steve Saland (R, I, C – Poughkeepsie), that would modify current reporting procedures involving the abuse of children in residential care.      The measure (S.6563) guarantees that reports of certain abuse will be immediately forwarded to law enforcement.  The passage of this legislation comes amidst the latest announcement by Governor Andrew Cuomo of his proposal to establish the Justice Center for the Protection of Persons with Special Needs.

May 8, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILL PROTECTING HOMEOWNERS WHO MAKE CHANGES TO ACCOMMODATE OLDER RELATIVES OR DISABLED PEOPLE

    The New York State Senate yesterday passed a bill (S.638), sponsored by Senator Martin Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn), which allows local governments to authorize property tax exemptions for people who make improvements or changes to their homes to accommodate senior relatives or disabled people. The legislation means that homeowners are able to add on to their homes for this purpose without having to pay higher taxes resulting from increased property assessments.

May 8, 2012
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Please make the pledge NOT to text and drive! 109 tickets were issued for texting while driving in Suffolk County from April 23 to April 29, 2012.

GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES MORE THAN 3,000 TICKETS ISSUED DURING SECOND OPERATION HANG-UPSecond Enhanced Enforcement Campaign Continues To Crack Down on Motorists that Illegally Use a Hand-Held DeviceGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York State Police issued 3,172 tickets for texting-while-driving violations during the second Operation Hang Up campaign held from April 23 to April 29, 2012.

May 4, 2012
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GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES FRESHCONNECT GRANTS TO HELP PROVIDE LOW-INCOME & UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES WITH NY FARM PRODUCTS

State of New York | Executive ChamberAndrew M. Cuomo | GovernorFor Immediate Release: May 3, 2012GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES FRESHCONNECT GRANTS TO HELP PROVIDE LOW-INCOME & UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES WITH NY FARM PRODUCTS34 Projects Feature Creative, Local Solutions to Improve Access to Fresh, Healthy FoodGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced FreshConnect grants to 34 projects around the state that will increase access to New York farm products for residents in low-income and underserved areas.

May 3, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILL TO CRACK DOWN ON DRUNK DRIVERS

Bill Would Require Offenders to  Take a Motor Vehicle Accident Prevention Course    The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.4740C), sponsored by Senator Owen H. Johnson (R-C, Babylon), that would require certain drivers convicted of drunk driving to take a motor vehicle accident prevention course.  The bill requires drivers convicted of a drunk driving offense to take the motor vehicle accident prevention course if they are convicted of drunk driving, or refuse to take a chemical test, or have accumulated more than six points on their license.

May 2, 2012
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SENATE PASSES SEX ABUSE PREVENTION BILLS

SENATE PASSES SEX ABUSE PREVENTION BILLSMeasures Increase Penalties, Enhance Community Notification and Protection    The New York State Senate today passed a package of eight bills to prevent sexual predators from obtaining access to potential victims and help law enforcement and communities keep track of their whereabouts. The bills will help increase the amount of information available about convicted sex offenders and seeks to prevent them from obtaining access to vulnerable individuals.

May 1, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILL TO CRIMINALIZE SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA

    The New York State Senate today passed legislation to criminalize the sale and possession of synthetic marijuana. The bill (S.6694), sponsored by Senator John Flanagan (R-C-I, East Northport),  would also criminalize the sale and possession of hallucinogenic chemicals deceptively called “bath salts.”

April 30, 2012
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SENATE CELEBRATES WEST POINT DAY AT THE CAPITOL

SENATE CELEBRATES WEST POINT DAY AT THE CAPITOLLegislation Would Help Veterans Get JobsThe New York State Senate today welcomed cadets and staff from the United States Military Academy at West Point as part of an annual day of recognition. In honor of the celebration, the Senate passed several bills focusing on helping veterans obtain jobs and protect their rights.

April 26, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILL TO PROVIDE SEARCH AND RESCUE TRAINING FOR VOLUNTEERS HELPING FOREST RANGERS

SENATE PASSES BILL TO PROVIDE SEARCH AND RESCUE TRAINING FOR VOLUNTEERS HELPING FOREST RANGERS    The New York State Senate today passed legislation that allows for the creation of a training program for volunteers interested in assisting the search and rescue operations of state forest rangers. The bill (S.553), sponsored by Senator Betty Little (R-C-I, Queensbury), will enhance the safety of volunteers and the public during search and rescue operations in the Adirondacks, Catskills and other forested communities across the state.

April 19, 2012
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SENATE APPROVES LEGISLATION ON MIXED MARTIAL ARTS BOUTS

Senate Approves Legislation on Mixed Martial Arts Bouts

    The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.1707A) to legalize and regulate mixed martial arts (MMA) competitions in New York State.

        One of the fastest growing sports in America, MMA is regulated in 47 states including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and Florida. The Ultimate Fighting Championship is the most heavily regulated of the mixed martial arts leagues. Since 2001, UFC has employed strenuous rules and regulations to protect its athletes, including medical testing and safety requirements more rigorous than those in professional boxing.

April 19, 2012
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SENATE PASSES LEGISLATION GIVING COURTS GREATER CRITERIA FOR GRANTING BAIL

SENATE PASSES LEGISLATION GIVING COURTS GREATER CRITERIA FOR GRANTING BAIL “Jilly’s Law” intended to protect victims    The New York State Senate today passed a law which gives courts the ability to consider a greater number of issues–including victims’ safety—when setting bail. The bill (S.259), sponsored by Senator George Maziarz, also known as “Jilly’s Law”, is named for Jill Cahill who was killed in 1998.    Jill Cahill, of Onondaga County, was in the process of trying to divorce her husband, Jeff Cahill, when he attacked her with a baseball bat, striking her more than seven times and nearly killing her.

April 19, 2012
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SENATE PASSES PET PROTECTION BILL

SENATE PASSES PET PROTECTION BILLMeasure Makes the Theft of Dogs or Cats A Felony    The New York State Senate today passed a bill to help prevent the theft of pets by increasing the penalties for committing the crime. The bill, (S.946), sponsored by Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R, Syosset), would make stealing a licensed dog or cat a felony and takes into account the monetary and emotional value of a pet.    According to the American Kennel Club’s database of customer and media reports, there is a continuing trend of pet thefts in the United States, with a 49 percent increase in the number of pets reported stolen in the first seven months of 2011 as compared to 2010.

April 19, 2012
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SENATE PASSES BILLS TO HELP TAXPAYERS

  On New York State’s tax filing deadline, the state Senate yesterday passed legislation that would expedite payment of income tax refunds and simplify STAR property tax relief filings for senior citizens.    A bill sponsored by Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R, Syosset) ensures prompt payment of a state income tax refund. Traditionally, the state Department of Taxation and Finance has held returns requesting refunds for up to two months, starting from when taxpayers file their return to when they may actually see the refund.

April 18, 2012
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