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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SENATE PASSES BILL TO INCREASE PRISON SENTENCES FOR PERSISTENT VIOLENT OFFENDERS“Three Strikes and You’re In”The New York State Senate passed legislation that would keep the most dangerous, violent, repeat criminals behind bars and out of our communities. The bill (S.1539), sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos (R-C, Rockville Centre), requires persistent violent felony offenders be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. This bill recognizes that persistent violent offenders are most likely to commit violent crimes again and would ensure that violent, recidivist criminals are permanently prevented from posing a danger to society.
Senator Owen H. Johnson joined elected officials, school officials and community members at the North Babylon Council of PTA’s Annual Legislative Breakfast to discuss important educational issues. The Legislative Breakfast was held at the North Babylon High School on March 24, 2012.
GOVERNOR CUOMO REMINDS JOB SEEKERS OF ANNUAL CAREER FAIRS TAKING PLACE TOMORROW THROUGHOUT NEW YORKEight Simultaneous Career Fairs Will Connect New Yorkers with Hundreds of Businesses Offering Thousands of JobsCareer Fairs Are Taking Place in Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Hauppauge, New York City, Poughkeepsie, Syracuse, and UticaGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo today reminded New Yorkers that eight career fairs are taking place throughout the state tomorrow, April 12, to help job seekers connect with hundreds of businesses offering thousands of jobs. This year, the state's annual career fair happens in eight locations: Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Hauppauge, New York City, Poughkeepsie, Syracuse, and Utica.
Senator Owen H. Johnson congratulated Walter G. O'Connell Copiague High School Valedictorian Jessica Murphy and her family recently at the Copiague Board of Education’s Annual Legislative Breakfast held at the Copiague High School Cafeteria at 1100 Dixon Avenue on March 17, 2012. Members of the Class of 2012 Top Ten Students were in attendance. Photograph from left to right: Peter Murphy; Heather Murphy; Jessica Murphy, Valedictorian; Senator Owen H. Johnson; and Michele Murphy.
Senator Owen H. Johnson (4th Senate District) joined with Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) in presenting a New York State Senate Resolution to Jeanette Altruda, Principal of the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School, for being named “Advanced Placement District of the Year” by the College Board.
GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO ANNOUNCES STATEWIDE SMALL BUSINESS OUTREACH INITIATIVETeam of State Officials to Travel Around the State to Conduct Workshops for BusinessesSmall Businesses Learn About Starting and Sustaining Successful Businesses in the State
Senator Owen H. Johnson joined employees of Bethpage Federal Credit Union along with members of the Babylon Town Chamber of Commerce and other elected officials to celebrate the opening of the new Bethpage Federal Credit Union branch in West Babylon. The official ribbon cutting ceremony took place on February 16, 2012 at the new branch location at 555 Montauk Highway, West Babylon in the Pathmark Shopping Center.
Senator Owen H. Johnson met with three talented young artists from West Islip Elementary Schools at the State Capitol on March 14, 2012. Brianna Compitello from Bayview Elementary School, and Sydney Krawchuk and Tyler Foran, both from Westbrook Elementary School were chosen to display their artwork at the 22nd Annual State-wide New York State Art Teachers Association 2012 Legislative Student Art Exhibit: A Celebration of Young Artists.“It was a pleasure to meet with such talented young artists from West Islip, and I congratulate them for being invited to show their wonderful artwork in this celebratory exhibit,” Senator Johnson said.
GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES ACCELERATED ROAD AND BRIDGE PROJECTS ON LONG ISLAND AS PART OF NY WORKS PROGRAM$40,686,000 Investment to Repair 86 Miles of Roads and Six BridgesGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an additional and accelerated $40,686,000 investment for nine NY Works projects that will repair 86 miles of roads and six bridges on Long Island. For the transportation component of NY Works, the Department of Transportation (DOT) reviewed its Capital Program and identified those projects, which can be accelerated by utilizing either the conventional design-bid-build project delivery mechanism or the newly-enacted design-build project delivery method.
For the second consecutive year, the New York State Senate has completed an early passage of the state budget. The 2012-13 state budget achieves the Senate Republicans’ goals of reducing state spending, not raising taxes and creating new private sector jobs. The new state fiscal year begins April 1st.
SENATE COMPLETES SECOND CONSECUTIVE EARLY PASSAGE OF STATE BUDGET2012-13 State Budget Reduces Spending, Does Not Raise Taxes, Creates Jobs For the second consecutive year, the New York State Senate has completed an early passage of the state budget. The 2012-13 state budget achieves the Senate Republicans’ goals of reducing state spending, not raising taxes and creating new private sector jobs. The new state fiscal year begins April 1st.
I wanted to inform you about two tax cuts taking effect this Sunday, April 1st.
* State Sales Tax Exemption for Clothing and Footwear
All clothing and footwear sold for less than $110 per item (or per pair for footwear) will be exempt from the New York State 4% sales tax starting April 1st. Additionally, most fabric, thread, yarn, buttons, snaps, hooks, zippers and similar items that are used to make or repair exempt clothing will also be eligible for the exemption. The exemption from state sales tax is in effect year-round.
Senator Owen H. Johnson and Assemblyman Phil Boyle joined Christopher Wilson at a Blood Drive and Fundraiser he hosted on March 3, 2012 at the Babylon Masonic Lodge No. 793 in Babylon. Over 113 pints of blood and $5000 were collected for Good Samaritan Hospital.Christopher, a Junior at West Islip High School, hosted the blood drive to repay the community for the kindness and support he received after serious injuries he sustained when he was struck by a car at the intersection of Barberry Road and Montauk Highway while walking to school on the morning of October 24, 2011. Christopher required 7 pints of blood in order to save his lower leg and is currently recuperating from his numerous injuries.
Measure Requires Enhanced Access to Safety Records The New York State Senate yesterday passed a measure that will help provide the public with more information about amusement parks, carnivals or county fairs so that they can make informed safety decisions. The bill (S.5868A) requires the state and amusement operators to post valuable safety information online and at a ride’s location.