The New York State Senate passed legislation that would prosecute those who intentionally or recklessly damage the environment while committing another crime. The bill (S1016) would deter thieves or other vandals from committing crimes that could result in contamination, and hold those accountable for financial and environmental damage from their actions.
Robert Moses State Park and the Jones Beach State Park boardwalk are open for the 2013 summer park season. Among the most heavily visited parks in the state park system, Robert Moses and large sections of Jones Beach have been closed since October due to severe damage from Superstorm Sandy.Destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc at Robert Moses and Jones Beach State Park but the beaches are ready, the boardwalk is back, and the parks are open. Long Island is ready for a great start up to the summer.
The New York State Senate today passed a bill toughening the penalties for leaving the scene of a boating accident without making a report. The bill (S.339) is in response to serious boating accidents that have happened in recent years. The bill would increase the penalty to an A misdemeanor for a first offense of leaving the scene of a boating accident when a person knows or should know there has been an injury to another person. A second offense within five years of the first offense would be a felony. The bill also would stiffen the penalties for the crime of leaving the scene of a boating accident, that resulted in property damage, without reporting it. The bill has been sent to the Assembly.
The New York State Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick), to require mandatory jail sentences for repeat DWI offenders.Current law does not require repeat DWI offenders to spend any time in jail. Right now, repeat DWI offenders face class E or D felony charges punishable by up to four or seven years in jail and/or a fine between $1,000-$5,000 or $2,000-$10,000. However, judges have the discretion to sentence these offenders to only a fine or a fine and community service under the law.The legislation (S750) would require drunk drivers with multiple DWI convictions to serve a jail sentence.
The New York State Senate today passed legislation to encourage the building of more “green” homes by creating a property tax exemption. The bill (S1710), sponsored by Senator Mark Grisanti (R-I, North Buffalo), would help increase demand for environmentally friendly housing by allowing local municipalities to offer a real property tax exemption of 35 percent for a maximum of 20 years.
$20 MILLION IN GRANTS TO SANDY-IMPACTED FISHING INDUSTRYGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo today urged coastal fishing businesses harmed by Storm Sandy to apply for available funding through the State’s recently approved Coastal Fishing Industry Grant Program. Under the program, eligible businesses will be able to apply for grants of up to $50,000 to cover uncompensated losses. “The regions most devastated by Superstorm Sandy are also vital parts of our state’s fishing industry, supporting thousands of local jobs and generating billions in economic activity,” Governor Cuomo said. “With peak fishing season arriving, I am directing new federal funds to support this critical industry on Long Island and Staten Island as it works to reach full recovery.”
More than 18,000 teens will have jobs this summer through New York State’s Summer Youth Employment Program.The State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) has distributed $25 million in funding to all 57 counties and New York City to help bring youth into the workforce, acquire skills that can help them improve in school, and propel them to greater educational and career achievements.“The Summer Youth Employment Program offers a great opportunity for employment to teenagers and young adults in underserved communities across New York State,” said Governor Cuomo. “Introducing youth to their first job means they will gain valuable skills and experience that can help them achieve success in the future.”
The New York State Senate today passed legislation to crack down on auto insurance fraud which has led to injuries - even death - for innocent victims and costs hundreds of millions of dollars a year in higher premiums when New Yorkers already pay some of the highest auto insurance rates in the country.The three bills approved today would significantly cut down on auto insurance scams by increasing penalties for those who commit or assist in the fraud and by giving more flexibility to insurance companies to prevent criminals from getting policies and continuing to commit auto fraud.
National sites on LI to get federal funding for Sandy recoveryBy ZACHARY R. DOWDY email@example.comFire Island, the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site and the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex are slated to receive federal funding to help with their recovery from damages inflicted by superstorm Sandy, officials said Tuesday.Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced in a news release that officials are freeing up $475.25 million in relief funding for 234 projects that will rebuild structures and institutions damaged by the storm that ravaged the Eastern Seaboard in October.
The New York State Senate today gave final passage to a bill that provides additional resources for breast cancer research and also passed a measure to increase access to important information about changes to women’s health coverage. The bills support breast cancer mapping initiatives and facilitate public education about newly-covered preventive services and health screening for women.
The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S2149) that would create a farm-to-senior program to promote the purchase of New York State farm products by senior centers and other institutions for the aging.The program would replicate a similar effort, the farm-to-school program, which was established in 2002 to enable schools to purchase locally-grown farm produce for school children. The bill would give that same access to seniors.
Legislation Would Allow Machine Voting for NYC Elections; Also in Villages, School Districts and Special DistrictsThe New York State Senate today passed two bills that would allow for the use of lever-style voting machines in non-federal elections in New York City, and in elections held by villages, school districts and special districts.Legislation (S4088B) would allow New York City to use lever voting machines for all non-federal elections, including the upcoming primary, run-off and general elections this fall. In addition, the bill would to move the date for a potential run-off election in New York City from September 24th to October 1st to avoid a conflict with the Jewish holiday Sukkot.
The New York State Senate today passed bills that would continue to promote the construction of environmentally-friendly buildings and the cost-saving benefits of net metering for utility bills. Both bills would help reduce the consumption of limited natural resources, promote the use of renewable energy, and lower energy costs.
In an effort to keep serial drunk drivers off the road, the New York State Senate today passed “Vince’s Law”, which would establish a stronger penalty for multiple DWI convictions.
The bill (S.4267) creates a new Class C felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, if a driver is convicted of three or more DWIs in a 25-year period. Currently, the law for multiple DWIs only includes offenses committed over a 10-year period.
The bill is named for Vincent Russo, an elderly Onondaga County man who was killed in 2011 by a drunk driver who was intoxicated behind the wheel, despite the driver having five DWI-related convictions, including four in the previous 17 years before the accident that killed Mr. Russo.
The New York State Senate today passed legislation that makes it a crime for any school employee or volunteer to have sexual contact with a student, even if that student is at the age of consent. The bill (S.1358) is intended to further protect full-time students from employees who engage in inappropriate relationships. New York State’s legal age of consent is 17. By taking a child’s school status into consideration, this bill removes an elementary or secondary school student’s ability to consent and bans sexual conduct between a school employee and a student. Violations would be a class E felony and carry a sentence of up to 4 years in prison.
Measure Cuts Costs and Red Tape For Those Caring for Out-of-State Relatives
The New York State Senate today gave final passage to a bill that would help make it easier and less expensive for legal guardians caring for the elderly or other relatives living out-of-state to carry out their responsibilities.
The measure (S2534) assists New Yorkers caring for adults in other states, as well as out-of-state individuals caring for elderly New Yorkers when they seek approval to fulfill health care, financial, and other legal responsibilities across state lines. It would create a registration form that would be used uniformly by participating states and replace a costly legal process that often required guardians to hire lawyers.
The New York State Senate today gave final passage to legislation that would provide important protections for child victims who have been severely abused by their parents or guardians. The bill (S4082) improves Family Court procedures to reduce the trauma abused children can potentially experience and helps expedite the finding of a new, permanent home.
The New York State Senate today passed legislation known as Teresita’s Law, which makes it a felony if an unlicensed driver causes death to another person. The bill (S.1888) recognizes that the unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, that ends in death, should be treated as a serious crime.
Teresita’s Law was introduced following the death of Teresita 'Grace' Solano, who was killed in Middletown, New York, last year when she was hit by a negligent driver who was operating a vehicle with a suspended license. The man who hit Ms. Solano served the highest sentence that he could be charged with - a misdemeanor with a maximum of 30 days in jail and a fine.
Measure Deters Internet-Based Services from Providing Dissertations and Other Educational Papers for Sale The New York State Senate today passed a bill to prevent students from cheating by prohibiting the sale or purchase of dissertations, term papers, and similar academic documents online. The legislation (S2405) would prevent academic fraud by discouraging Internet-based services from selling educational papers to students.Most academic institutions have plagiarism policies in place whereby students who engage in such activity are punished. However, currently there is no New York State law that deters online entities from offering educational papers for sale.
The New York State Senate yesterday passed two bills that would prevent prescription drug fraud, theft and abuse. The measures address the illegal distribution of controlled substances by helping to reduce the availability of black market prescription forms and prosecuting “pill mills” that issue prescriptions and knowingly dispense controlled substances for profit.