Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed the Upstate NY Gaming Economic Development Act, a comprehensive new law that, pending approval of a referendum this fall, will establish four destination gaming resorts in Upstate New York and boost tourism and economic development in communities across the region. Under the casino gaming plan outlined in the new law, all localities in the state will share in increased education aid, or lower property taxes, no matter where the casinos are located.
Privatized Utility System Will Focus on High Performance under Strengthened State OversightGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation that dramatically revamps the electric utility on Long Island. The legislation privatizes utility operations on Long Island, improves customer service, including stabilizing rates and enhancing emergency response and preparation; reduces the cost of Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) debt; and implements tough state oversight for the new utility company. It also achieves savings to allow the new utility to seek a rate freeze for 2013, 2014 and 2015.
“Kerry Rose Fire Sprinkler Notification Act” Will Help Educate College Students About Fire Prevention and Safety after Tragic Fire at Off-Campus Housing Unit at Marist CollegeGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation that would require public and private colleges in New York State to provide written information on fire safety and sprinkler systems to students residing in college-owned or operated housing.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed a bill that strengthens Leandra’s Law and provides new safeguards to keep drunken drivers off New York’s roads.Leandra’s Law, originally passed in 2009, imposed tough new penalties on persons who operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol with children in the vehicle. One of the law’s most notable provisions is the required installation of an ignition interlock device on vehicles owned, or operated, by a person convicted of alcohol-related offenses.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that new and increased fines for distracted driving violations, which includes texting-while-driving or using an electronic handheld device while driving, are effective today. These new fines were passed as part of the 2013-14 State Budget. They are part of the Governor’s continuing efforts to prevent distracted driving and make the state’s roads and highways safer for New Yorkers.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation that will make it illegal to possess, sell, or distribute a shark fin in New York State. “Every year, an estimated 73 million sharks are killed to supply the growing global demand for their fins,” Governor Cuomo said. “Not only is the process inhumane, but it also affects the natural balance of the oceanic ecosystem. With this new law, New York will be doing its part to help preserve this important species and maintain a stable environment for them.”
New State Agency Will Implement the Toughest Standards and Practices in the Nation to Protect Over 1 Million New Yorkers with Special Needs and DisabilitiesGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, a new state agency that will implement the toughest standards and practices in the nation to protect the special needs community from abuse and neglect. The Justice Center was created through legislation the Governor spearheaded last year to reform how the state cares for people with special needs. The agency will begin operations tomorrow, Sunday, June 30th.
Uniondale, NY - With June marking the official start 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.
The New York State Senate today approved the “Public Assistance Integrity Act,” that would help cut down on the flagrant abuse of EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards by prohibiting welfare recipients from using cash assistance to purchase tobacco, alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets or to gamble.
EBT cards work like a debit card for welfare recipients. This card contains both Food Stamps and Cash Assistance. Food Stamps have strict regulations on what can be purchased, Cash Assistance does not. Cash Assistance is intended for items that can’t be purchased using food stamps, like soap, toothpaste, school supplies and toiletries.
The New York State Senate recently gave final passage to legislation (S4777D) that would protect providers of services for the developmentally disabled from state funding cuts.The legislation would appropriate up to $90 million, or as much as is needed, to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to protect providers from funding reductions if recommended savings measures falls short of projections.
Bills Offer Relief to Businesses, Homeowners, Local Governments, and School Districts; Increase Disaster Preparedness; and Remove Obstacles to Recovery The New York State Senate today passed a comprehensive legislative package that provides relief to people and communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy, aids rebuilding efforts, and increases disaster preparedness. The 22 bills will be integral to providing needed financial assistance to homeowners, businesses, local governments, school districts, and others still recovering from the storm, and give those responsible for disaster response the tools they need to be more effective and efficient.
The New York State Senate today gave final legislative passage to legislation to ensure individuals with autism are able to receive insurance coverage for applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapy as intended under New York State’s autism insurance reform law.The legislation is in response to regulations implemented by the New York State Department of Financial Services which have dramatically limited the number of ABA practitioners where individuals with autism can receive therapy which is covered by insurance.
Bills Provide Veterans With Business, Employment & Education AssistanceThe New York State Senate passed a package of legislation today to help New York’s military veterans achieve success in business, employment and education.
“Brittany’s Law” Provides More Information About Potentially Dangerous FelonsThe New York State Senate yesterday approved “Brittany’s Law” to increase the safety and awareness of communities by creating a registry of convicted violent felons. The bill (S1850A) establishes a statewide violent felony offender registry by requiring certain convicted felons to register with the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) upon release from prison.
The New York State Senate passed legislation today to prevent drunk and drugged drivers from evading prosecution. The legislation would allow law enforcement to seek court orders to compel whenever suspected drunk or drugged drivers refuse to submit to a chemical intoxication test.Chemical tests, such as breath, blood and urine tests, determine a suspected drunk or drugged driver’s level of intoxication. Chemical tests are a critical piece of evidence used in a trial to prosecute a drunk or drugged driver for their crimes.
The New York State Senate today passed legislation to address the threat posed to the public by “legal” but dangerous drugs. The bill (S1686) criminalizes the sale and possession of synthetic marijuana and “bath salts.”Synthetic marijuana or “fake pot” are herbs sprayed with chemicals called “synthetic cannabinoids.” These products -- including Spice, K2, Cloud 9 and Black 9 -- have dangerous side effects, including rapid heart rate, tremors, loss of consciousness and hallucinations. “Bath salts,” or “substituted cathinones,” are chemically related to methamphetamines or ecstasy and cause harmful physical and psychological reactions.
The New York State Senate today passed a bill that would allow consumers more protections when purchasing a pet. The bill (S.3723B) would provide consumers with more information about the origins of their pet, and more protections should their pet become ill, under what is known as the “pet lemon law.”The pet lemon law gives rights to consumers on their newly purchased pets. If a pet is diagnosed with a congenital malformation, is ill, or has a contagious infection or disease, the law covers consumers within fourteen business days. However, many times these congenital defects or illnesses do not show up in very young animals. This legislation would protect consumers for up to six months if the animal is diagnosed with a congenital defect or illness.
The New York State Senate today passed a measure to deter terrorist recruitment and punish those who seek to employ others for their criminal plans. The bill (S1520) would complement law enforcement’s efforts to expose groups who actively seek to engage in terrorist activity by creating a new crime to prosecute those who recruit others to assist them.Active recruitment for terrorism is a growing trend which requires an immediate response. As law enforcement actively seeks to unearth these groups and defeat their heinous schemes, we have a responsibility to hold accountable those who solicit individuals for terrorism.
Repeated Misdemeanor Offenses Would Add Up To A Felony ChargeThe New York State Senate today passed a bill to stop perpetual repeat offenders who continue to commit misdemeanor crimes. The bill (S1521) establishes a new felony-level crime of aggravated criminal conduct to bring stronger penalties against those who commit a misdemeanor after having been already convicted for multiple misdemeanors within the past five years.