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.
Cuomo Administration Demands Credit Bureaus Take Immediate Action To Ensure Sandy Victims Don't Get Hit With Unfair Black Marks On Their Credit Scores
For Sandy Victims, Blemishes on Credit Score Can Mean Higher Costs for Home, Auto, and Business Loans, Greater Difficulty Finding EmploymentGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that his Administration has asked the credit scoring and reporting bureaus to take immediate action to stop the lowering of credit scores for Superstorm Sandy victims who may be enduring storm-related financial difficulties beyond their control. Unless the credit reporting agencies act, thousands of Sandy victims could face higher costs for home, auto, and business loans.
West Islip, NY - Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center was recently the recipient of a $250,000 grant secured with the assistance of New York State Senator Owen Johnson. The Senator has been a long-time supporter of Good Samaritan Hospital services and programs. The grant funding went towards a Central Monitoring System for the hospital’s Pediatric Unit.
“Having a state-of-the-art monitoring system for children in Good Samaritan’s Pediatric Unit offers a significant advantage in caring for patients,” said Good Samaritan Hospital’s Chair of Pediatric Services Catherine Caronia, MD.
New York State Senator Phil Boyle, members of the Hospital Foundation Board and physicians shared in the celebration on the Good Samaritan pediatric roof top garden, a beautiful and soothing outdoor space, available for patients and their families to help speed the recovery and minimize the stress associated with a hospital stay.
Governor Cuomo Announces Community Reconstruction Zones funded By Federal Supplemental Disaster Aid To Guide Local Rebuilding ProcessProgram to Fund Hard Hit Localities to Develop Comprehensive Rebuilding Plans from the Bottom Up
‘Child Safe Products Act’ Legislative Sponsors Champion Fight for Passage in 2013Mineola—Thousands of toxic chemicals, most untested for safety purposes, are being used to make everyday children’s products, such as car seats, toys, and bedding. Senator Philip Boyle (R-Babylon) and Assemblyman Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst), the lead sponsors of the Child Safe Products Act (A.6328/S.4614), announced that the bill has passed the Assembly and are calling on their colleagues in the Senate to pass this important legislation. The bill identifies the most dangerous chemicals, begins a phase-out of these chemicals in 2018, and has broad support in the health, environmental and business communities.
Bills Come On The Heels of Boston Bombings & Foiled Terrorist Train Attack With renewed calls for vigilance and increased public safety following the tragic bombings in Boston and the foiling of a terrorist plot to attack a train traveling across the state between New York and Toronto, the New York State Senate today passed a package of anti-crime legislation including a bill that would require convicted terrorists to serve their full prison sentence.
Measures Encourage Renewable Energy Development, Reduce Mercury from Light Bulbs, and Protect Sharks and Other Species
The New York State Senate today passed a package of six bills that celebrate Earth Day by promoting the use of renewable energy, reducing harmful pollutants, and protecting sharks and other vulnerable species.
The New York State Senate today passed a package of legislation that would crack down on anyone participating in Organized Retail Crime.
Senate bill 2926-A would allow any county in the state to prosecute someone who participates in a pattern of organized retail crimes when at least one of the offenses occurred within their jurisdiction. These highly intelligent criminals are well aware of the jurisdictional limitations under current law and avoid committing multiple offenses in the same county to avoid harsher penalties. This bill would give law enforcement officials another tool in curbing organized retail crime.
The Village of Babylon in Suffolk County is receiving $832,604 in Federal Funds for the reimbursement of clean-up costs from Superstorm Sandy. During Sandy, flooding, heavy winds, strong tidal waves and rain caused widespread damage, and sidewalks and curbs were uplifted by trees uprooted by hurricane force winds. The Village had to rent equipment to help with the collection and removal of debris, which consisted of about 2,500 tons of construction and demolition debris as well as nearly 1,600 tons of vegetative debris. The clean-up effort was completed by the Village’s workforce for both types of debris.
The New York State Senate passed legislation to help protect jurors whose safety may be threatened, while also ensuring the integrity of judicial outcomes. The bill (S1513) allows the court to withhold names of jurors when a serious threat to juror safety exists.“The fear of retribution should not be a factor when decisions are being made in our courts,” Senate Republican Leader Dean G. Skelos said. “With so much personal information available online, this bill is common-sense legislation that can help protect the anonymity of jurors who may face threats to their well-being.”
The New York State Senate passed legislation (S.2233) 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.
The New York State Senate today passed a bill that would require children under 8 years old not be left alone in a car without supervision of someone twelve or older when the conditions present a significant risk to the health and safety of a child. The legislation, (S.306) is intended to keep young children safe when conditions, such as hot and cold weather, present a risk to safety of the child.Between 1998 and 2004, more than 200 children died after being left in hot cars. Studies show that when outdoor temperatures reach between 70 and 96 degrees, the temperature inside a car can quickly rise more than 40 degrees in an hour. Cracking the windows has been shown to have little effect on the temperature inside a car.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today invited New Yorkers to volunteer at their favorite state park or historic site as part of the second annual “I Love My Park Day” on May 4, 2013. Online registration is now open for volunteers who want to support clean-up and beautification efforts at sites across the state, including areas that sustained much damage from Superstorm Sandy. To register, go to http://www.ptny.org/ilovemypark/.