Newsroom

July 7, 2011
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2011 Summer Reading Challenge - Let your book take you away on a summer journey!

Now that school is out for the summer, Senator Owen H. Johnson is inviting all elementary school students in his district to participate in his Summer Reading Program.  Senator Johnson is sponsoring this free program to encourage students throughout our community to continue reading this summer vacation.The program is open to any young child who enjoys reading.  To complete Senator Johnson’s reading challenge, students will be asked to read at least three books over the summer and record their thoughts about their chosen works in a Summer Reading Journal.  The children who return a completed log to Senator Johnson’s office by August 31, 2011 will receive a Summertime Reading Certificate to recognize their efforts.

June 28, 2011
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SENATE PASSES CONCUSSION MANAGEMENT AWARENESS ACT

    The New York State Senate passed the Concussion Management Awareness Act, sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannon (R, C, I, - Garden City), Chairman of the Senate Health Committee, that would direct the State Health and Education Departments to adopt rules and regulations for the treatment and monitoring of students with mild traumatic brain injuries.    “The number of children each year who suffer brain injuries, such as concussions, is alarming,” Senator Hannon said. “New York needs legislation to outline rules and regulations for the treatment and monitoring of students with mild traumatic brain injuries, and that’s exactly what my legislation provides.”

June 27, 2011
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SENATE PASSES NY-SUNY 2020 CHALLENGE GRANT LEGISLATION Legislation To Spur Investments In SUNY Expansion & Job Creation

    The New York State Senate passed legislation to establish the NY-SUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program that includes capital funds for investments in economic expansion and job creation at the four SUNY University Centers, as well as a predictable and rational plan for SUNY tuition that will allow students and families to plan for tuition costs.    The bill (S.5855) represents a three-way agreement among the Governor, Senate and Assembly.

June 27, 2011
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SENATE PASSES HISTORIC PROPERTY TAX LEVY CAP LEGISLATION: BILL ALSO PROVIDES FOR MANDATE RELIEF

     The New York State Senate passed historic property tax relief legislation that enacts a cap on the growth of local property taxes. The bill (S.5856), sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos, will cap school and local government taxes to less than two percent or the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is lower. Mandate relief is also included, with $127 million in savings to local governments, in addition to the creation of a Mandate Relief Council to identify and repeal unsound, unduly burdensome laws and regulations.

June 27, 2011
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Henry Dam Recipient of the Owen H. Johnson Award

Henry Dam, of Cold Spring Harbor, was the recipient of the Owen H. Johnson Award for his lifetime achievements as a sportsman.  Senator Owen H. Johnson presented the award at the First Annual Suffolk County Sportsmen’s Women’s Dinner Auction at the Stony Brook Yacht Club on May 21, 2011.  Henry Dam was honored for his dedication as an environmentalist and as a conservationist.  Having nearly 70 years of experience as a sportsman, Mr. Dam has become an invaluable resource of historical knowledge to his fellow sportsmen and sportswomen.    

June 24, 2011
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SENATE PASSES LANDMARK “POWER NY” LEGISLATION Renews and Enhances Article X, Increases Energy Efficiency Investments and Explores Solar Power Potential

    The New York State Senate gave final legislative passage to the “Power NY Act” to secure the state’s energy future by expanding the availability of affordable, clean and reliable electricity, while also creating jobs and boosting the economy. Power NY (S.5844), sponsored by Senator George Maziarz (R-C, Newfane), has three main components: it reauthorizes and modernizes the licensing process for major electric generating facilities (also known as Article X), provides incentives to consumers for energy efficiency investments, and explores the potential for additional solar power generation in the state.

June 23, 2011
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Memorial Day Unveiling of New Babylon Village Fountain

Little Ava Smith enjoys a cool splash as state and local officials join for the Memorial Day unveiling of the new Babylon Village Fountain in front of the Babylon Historical Preservation Society Museum on Main Street.  The new statue, a replica of one that originally stood in Babylon almost 100 years ago, honors the work of women within the community.Photograph left to right:  Corine DiSomma, Receiver of Taxes, Town of Babylon; Steve Bellone, Supervisor, Town of Babylon; Lindsay P. Henry, Town Councilman, Town of Babylon;  Ava Smith; Wayne Horsley, Suffolk County Legislator; Owen H. Johnson, NY Senator; Angie Carpenter, Suffolk County Treasurer; and Ralph Scordino, Mayor, Babylon Village

June 22, 2011
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SENATE PASSES BILL TO FACILITATE EARLY DETECTION OF BREAST CANCER

    The New York State Senate today passed legislation to provide stronger preventative health care for women.  The bill (S.1883A), sponsored by Senator John Flanagan (R-C-I, East Northport), requires insurance companies to cover the cost of supplemental screening for women who have dense breast tissue or who are at greater risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer.

June 22, 2011
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SENATE PASSES BILL TO LOWER COUNTIES’ PUBLIC DEFENSE COSTS

    The New York State Senate gave final legislative passage to legislation, sponsored by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), to help counties save money in providing public defense services to individuals who cannot afford an attorney.     The legislation (S5474) would exempt legal aid societies from having to pay a fee to search DMV records in public defense cases. This exemption would provide savings to the counties who fund the services provided by legal aid societies.

June 22, 2011
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SENATE GIVES FINAL LEGISLATIVE PASSAGE TO JUVENILE “SEXTING” AND “CYBERBULLYING” PREVENTION BILL

    The New York State Senate gave final legislative passage to a bill (S.5253B) to divert youth to an education program addressing the sending of nude or obscene photographs through electronic technologies, also known as “sexting,” as well as conduct that constitutes “cyberbullying.”     The bill, entitled the “Cyber-Crime Youth Rescue Act,” sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannon (R-C-I, Garden City), requires the development of an educational program about the numerous perils of sexting and cyberbullying. The program provides an option other than a permanent criminal record for juveniles deemed eligible by a court.  

June 22, 2011
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SENATE GIVES FINAL LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL TO NYRA CALL CENTER BILL Bill Requires NYRA Call Centers to Be Located in New York State

    The New York State Senate gave final legislative approval to a measure that keeps jobs in New York by requiring racing and wagering call centers to be located in-state. The bill (S.4876), sponsored by Senator Andrew Lanza (R-I, Staten Island), arises following a recent decision by the New York Racing Association (NYRA) to locate it’s pari-mutel wagering call centers in Oregon.

June 22, 2011
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SENATE PASSES BILL ENABLING COVERAGE FOR ORAL CHEMOTHERAPY

    The New York State Senate passed a bill to potentially save chemotherapy patients thousands of dollars in pharmaceutical costs by ensuring  that chemotherapy treatment, no matter how administered, is covered equally by insurance companies. The bill (S.3988), sponsored by Senator Andrew Lanza (R-C, Staten Island), would help patients by enabling oral chemotherapy – a treatment in pill form - to be covered by insurance as a chemotherapy treatment. “There is absolutely no reason why life-saving medicines should be covered differently simply because of the way they are administered,” said Senator Lanza. “This bill is about keeping up with the times and the changing face of medicine.”

June 21, 2011
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Senator Owen H. Johnson Cosponsored Legislation Imposing Jail Time On Multiple DWI Offenders: Measure Makes Incarceration Mandatory for Persons who Commit Second DWI Offense

Senator Owen H. Johnson cosponsored legislation that imposes mandatory jail time for individuals who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol after having been previously convicted of such a crime. The bill (S.2597) passed the New York State Senate unanimously and is intended to increase the penalties for multiple DWI offenders.“Repeat DWI offenders are going to jail,” Senator Johnson said.  “ I have zero tolerance for those who repeatedly choose to put innocent lives at risk on our highways.  Our current DWI laws are weak, sometimes imposing a fine or allowing for community service.  Mandatory jail time would make DWI offenders think twice before driving drunk again.” Under the measure:

June 21, 2011
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Senator Owen H. Johnson Sponsored Legislation That Helps Over 98,000 Charities and Non-Profits in New York

Senator Owen H. Johnson sponsored legislation that helps over 98,000 charities and non-profits in New York continue to provide desperately needed social work services to those in need.  The bill (S.5713), passed by the NY Senate on June 17, 2011, grants a nine month extension for charitable organizations to apply for a New York State Education Department waiver that will allow them to continue to lawfully employ licensed social workers and other mental health professionals.  

June 21, 2011
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Bill would bring NY into compliance with federal gun law

The Assembly and Senate have passed legislation that would require New York to report data to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on firearm ownership so New York would be in compliance with the Gun Control Act. The federal law prohibits people convicted of misdemeanor domestic-violence crimes from buying or owning firearms. The bill now goes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is expected to sign it.

June 21, 2011
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SENATE PASSES BILL TO ALLOW PRIVATE AIR AMBULANCE SERVICES TO OFFER MEMBERSHIP SUBSCRIPTIONS

    The New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Patricia Ritchie (R-C, Heuvelton),  that would allow private air ambulance services to offer membership subscriptions to private air ambulance services.  This proposal would help ensure the continuation of air ambulance services in rural areas of New York State.

June 21, 2011
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SENATE GIVES FINAL LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL TO “GOOD SAMARITAN” LAW Bill Would Help Reduce the Potential for Fatalities From Drug Overdoses

    The New York State Senate today gave final legislative passage to a bill that would help reduce the potential for fatalities caused by drug overdoses. The bill (S.4454B), sponsored by Senator John DeFrancisco (R-C-I, Syracuse), is known as a “good Samaritan” measure because it limits the use of evidence of illicit activity when an individual seeks treatment for someone experiencing an accidental drug overdose. “The primary reason people do not call 911 or go to the hospital for an overdose is fear of prosecution,” Senator DeFrancisco said. “This bill doesn’t condone drug use, but rather, acknowledges the importance of helping a victim and spurring a response from witnesses that may help protect the well-being of another person.” 

June 20, 2011
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