Senator Owen H. Johnson joined Assemblyman Phil Boyle in welcoming Helen Bagnato, of North Babylon, to the State Capitol on February 29, 2012. Ms. Bagnato, an NSF S STEM Scholar (National Science Foundation – Scholarships for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) at Suffolk County Community College, participated in the “SUNY Undergraduate Research Symposium: A Showcase of Scholarly Posters at the Capitol.”
At the symposium, Ms. Bagnato presented her research on Atmospheric Stability Classification, a project she worked on as part of a Suffolk County Community College internship at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Her research involved a measure of stability class or how quickly gaseous pollutants spread using mathematical analysis. The purpose of the research was to provide information to be used to evaluate applications for emergency response.
The New York State Senate today passed three bills to combat auto insurance fraud, which costs New Yorkers more than $1 billion a year, as well as legislation that would impose stronger criminal penalties for staging auto accidents. Recent cases of auto insurance fraud have uncovered massive crime rings, including doctors, lawyers and scam artists who staged accidents and used New York's no-fault insurance program as their own giant state-sponsored, ATM machine.
My colleagues and I in the New York Senate recently joined with Governor Cuomo and the Assembly to pass historic reforms with the approval of five pieces of critical legislation. The major elements include the passage of:
• A sweeping pension reform plan that will save state and local governments over $80 billion over the next 30 years;
• A constitutional amendment and legal statute that reforms the redistricting process in New York State;
• An “all crimes” DNA databank bill, which reforms our criminal justice system to better protect New Yorkers and makes New York the first state in the nation to require DNA samples from anyone convicted of a felony or a Penal Law misdemeanor;
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the “Buy Green, Save Green NYS High-Efficiency Appliance Rebate Program” with $3.5 million in federal funds available to New York residents for the purchase of high-efficiency ENERGY STAR® refrigerators and clothes washers. The program began Monday, March 19.The funding is being provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s State Energy Program. Rebates of $350 will be available for high-efficiency refrigerators and $250 for high-efficiency clothes washers that meet Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) super-efficiency levels (tiers 2 and 3). Super-efficient appliances use significantly less electricity than the federal standard and are at the upper end of ENERGY STAR efficiency levels. Super-efficient clothes washers also use less water than standard washing machines. Visit www.cee1.org for more detail about super-efficient refrigerators and clothes washers.
The New York State Senate today passed two bills to combat gun crimes and enhance penalties for gun crimes that endanger children. The bills, approved by the Senate, would strengthen the penalty for displaying a gun in the commission of a crime and lengthen the sentence for criminal sale or possession of a weapon at a residence of a child or in the presence of a child. “Criminals who use guns to commit crimes should be punished very severely, particularly if they illegally sell or possess a gun in the presence of children,” Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said. “These bills recognize the need for tougher charges and stronger penalties for gun crimes.”
All-Crimes DNA Law a Powerful Crimefighting Tool To Help Protect New Yorkers
Senator Johnson announced a new law that will implement the largest expansion of the State’s DNA databank since it was first created in 1994.
The databank expansion will help close thousands of unsolved cases, bring justice to crime victims, and help prevent dangerous criminals from committing additional crimes.
“This is a huge victory for all New Yorkers concerned about protecting our communities and keeping our loved ones safe. This landmark legislation will help close thousands of unsolved cases, provide justice to crime victims and help prevent future crimes from taking place,” Senator Johnson said.
GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES MORE THAN 25,000 NEW YORKERS HAVE BEEN HIRED IN THE LAST FOUR MONTHS USING THE STATE'S "JOBS EXPRESS" WEBSITEWebsite to Expand – Will Now Include Union ApprenticeshipsGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that more than 25,000 New Yorkers have been hired using the state's new "Jobs Express" website since it was launched four months ago. The site can be found at www.jobs.ny.gov. The site compiles and sorts jobs located in the NYS Job Bank by region to help the unemployed know what industries are growing in their area and what employment opportunities are available to them. Businesses can also post available jobs on the site for free.
SENATE PASSES LEGISLATION TO ESTABLISH RESULTSNY.GOV WEBSITEWebsite Would Increase Accountability of State Government Agencies The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.3657), sponsored by Senator Joseph Griffo (R-C, Rome), to create a new website, ResultsNY.gov, that would enable the public to review the performance of government programs to see how effectively agencies are spending tax dollars. People visiting the site could also submit their own suggestions and recommendations on how to stop government waste and reduce state spending.
SENATE PASSES HONESTY IN PERMIT PROCESSING ACTBill Holds Government More Accountable and Facilitates Business Growth The New York State Senate today passed legislation to help professionals and businesses by reducing delays in the issuance of permits, licenses and other approvals needed from state agencies. The Honesty in Permit Processing Act (S.2461), sponsored by Senator Tom Libous (R-C-I, Binghamton), would require state agencies to figure out and publicize the average time it takes to process permits. The bill would then give the agency a certain amount of time past the average to issue a permit or refund the application fee.
Senator Owen H. Johnson welcomed talented musicians from several high schools across Suffolk County at the Empire State Plaza in Albany on March 6, 2012. The students performed with the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association’s (SCMEA) All-County Instrumental and Vocal Ensembles. The two groups performed as part of “Music in Our Schools Month” sponsored by the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA).
Directors of the Jazz Choir were Rich Harris, Jr. and Jeff Hoffman. Directors of the Instrumental Jazz Ensemble were Ron Fox and Frank Hansen.
Senator Owen H. Johnson congratulated Suffolk County High School students who performed with the All-State Instrumental and Vocal Jazz Ensembles in Albany on March 5, 2012. The talented musicians performed at a New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) reception honoring the late Joseph R. Sugar, a tireless advocate for the advancement of music education in our schools.
SENATE REPUBLICANS ANNOUNCE 2012 NEW JOBS-NY JOB CREATION PLANPlan Would Create Jobs, Cut Taxes and Control State SpendingJobs Proposal Will Be Included in Senate Budget Proposal Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos along with Senator Owen H.
SENATE PASSES LEGISLATION PROHIBITING HARMFUL LEVELS OF TOXICS IN CHILDREN’S JEWELRY The New York State Senate passed a measure that would prohibit the sale of children’s jewelry which may contain harmful levels of cadmium and other hazardous substances. The bill (S.4055A) protects children from accidentally ingesting cadmium, often used in inexpensive charm bracelets, pendants and other jewelry.
Good Samaritan Hospital partnered with Senator Owen H. Johnson for a lifesaving blood drive collecting 221 pints of blood on February 27, 2012. The blood drive took place at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip, from 6:00 AM until 9:00 PM, with two New York Blood Center mobile units were available in the hospital’s front and rear parking lots for the convenience of donors. “I would like to thank each individual who took a few minutes out of their busy schedule to come to Good Samaritan Hospital to donate the gift of life,” Senator Johnson said. “Each person who donated blood today could potentially help save up to three lives. Thank you for supporting such an important cause.”
SENATE PASSES LEGISLATION TO PROTECT GRAVES OF CIVIL WAR VETERANS The New York State Senate passed legislation that would prohibit the unauthorized sale of veteran cemetery markers that are over 75 years old, and would create the new crime of desecration of a veteran cemetery plot, grave or burial place. These bills continue the Senate’s commitment to maintain the dignity of veterans’ cemeteries and commemorative property.The Senate passed a bill (S.1504), sponsored by Senator William Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson), that would prohibit the unauthorized sale of veteran’s commemorative cemetery markers, flag holders, monuments, statues or other physical memorabilia that are over 75 years old.
SENATE PASSES PACKAGE OF SEX CRIMES BILLSLegislation would keep children safer, increase penalties for criminals The New York State Senate passed a series of bills increasing penalties for people convicted of sex crimes against children. The Senate passed legislation (S1541A), sponsored by Senator Majority Leader Dean Skelos, that would increase criminal penalties for sexual contact between a child and a person in a position of trust, which includes any adult responsible for supervision of children when they are not with their parents.