Senator Kennedy Calls for Comprehensive State Investigation into Death of Eain Clayton Brooks and CPS Response, Operations

Five-year-old Eain Clayton Brooks was murdered this week on Buffalo’s West Side. Family members say they reported abuse on several occasions, but CPS reportedly found those complaints unfounded. 

Kennedy wants the state Office of Children and Family Services to investigate the child’s death and to conduct a comprehensive study into state and county systems for Child Protective Services.

September 20, 2013

After U.S. Attorney’s Call for Revoking Corrupt Politicians’ Pensions, Senator Kennedy Urges Albany to Support Urgently Needed Pension Forfeiture Legislation

Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, called it a “galling injustice” that “even the most corrupt elected official” is able to “draw a publicly-funded pension until his dying day.”

Senator Kennedy has introduced legislation that will force corrupt politicians to forfeit their pension if convicted of a crime in violation of the public trust.

Kennedy: Each year, the state doles out at least $600,000 in pension payments just to those corrupt and convicted state officials who’ve been removed from office since 1999. This needs to stop.

September 19, 2013

Senator Kennedy Pushes Low-Cost, Common-Sense Solution to Increase Voter Participation – Expanding Vote-by-Mail Option Adds Convenience and Accessibility

After low turnout in primary elections across region and state, Kennedy presses legislation to expand state’s existing vote-by-mail systems to boost voter participation.

Legislation will open up new access to mail-in ballots for all voters by extending absentee voting rights to all individuals who for any reason are unable to vote in person, or simply choose to vote-by-mail.

Kennedy: New York State has an unfortunate record of low rates of voter participation, and it’s time our state takes action to reverse those trends.

September 18, 2013

Senator Kennedy, University at Buffalo Present School Supplies to Highgate Heights Elementary

UB held university-wide school supply drive to benefit schools throughout Western New York.  

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Senator Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, joined officials from the University at Buffalo and Councilmember Bonnie Russell’s office to present new school supplies – which were gathered during a university-wide school supply drive – to students and teachers at Highgate Heights Elementary School in Buffalo.

As part of Highgate Heights’ Back to School event last week, Senator Kennedy and UB officials helped students, teachers and their families celebrate the start of the new school year by dropping off a large volume and wide assortment of needed supplies.

September 16, 2013

Kennedy Announces State Gearing Up to Re-launch Operation SNUG

Operation SNUG – which is guns spelled backwards – aims to reverse local trends in violent crime and gang activity. 

Senator Kennedy led fight to get funding for Operation SNUG reinstated in state budget. Kennedy says state will make $2 million available for Operation SNUG projects. 

Kennedy: Operation SNUG will target neighborhoods hardest hit by street violence and apply a tried-and-tested model of outreach and intervention to cut down on gang activity and reduce violent crime.

September 11, 2013

Kennedy, Ryan Announce Upcoming ‘Summit for Smarter Schools’ as First Step in Pursuit of Smarter School Reform

WNY lawmakers want reform of high-stakes testing of young children, look to community for input. 

Kennedy, Ryan, Maziarz to host summit October 2 at Kleinhans, bringing together diverse stakeholders to hold substantive discussion of potential reforms for smarter schools across region and state. 

September 5, 2013

Smarter Schools Reform: Make Your Voice Heard

Senator Tim Kennedy is encouraging you to make your voice heard on the future of our schools. If you're concerned about the impact of high-stakes testing, you should share your thoughts in space below. If you have ideas for smarter schools reform, please share your input.

All concerns and input will be thoroughly reviewed and taken into consideration as Senator Kennedy works with his colleagues in state government to push for smart school reform. 

Senator Kennedy will be joined by Assemblyman Sean Ryan, Senator George Maziarz and the Partnership for Smarter Schools to host the Summit for Smarter Schools on Wednesday, October 2 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Kleinhans Music Hall. 

September 5, 2013

Senator Kennedy Commends Collective Efforts to Keep Pinnacle Students in their School

Students will return to their school this year after Buffalo Public Schools agree to accept proposal to annex Pinnacle to an existing school in district. 

After hearing reports of closure, Senator Kennedy joined parents in urging NYSED to find ways to keep the school open.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Senator Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, is commending the collective efforts that ensured Pinnacle Charter School students are allowed to return to their school for the start of the academic year. NYSED had informed students’ parents that they ordered the school to close Sunday, barely a week before the start of classes. Since then, parents and students have been fighting NYSED’s decision and working to keep the school open.

August 29, 2013

Kennedy and Ryan Mark One-Year Anniversary Of New York’s Landmark I-STOP Law

State Lawmakers Announce New Tools, Established with Comprehensive I-STOP law, to Combat Prescription Drug Abuse. 

New Online Database Will Help Prevent “Doctor-Shopping”, Stop Drug Abuse Problems Before They Start – Law Was Enacted One Year Ago, Passed Unanimously by NY State Legislature.

BUFFALO – Today, August 26, 2013, New York State Senator Tim Kennedy and New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan announced the implementation of key provisions of the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP) legislation that was passed last year, and signed into law on August 27, 2012.

August 26, 2013

Mount Aaron Baptist Church, a Beacon of Hope and Safe Haven for the Community to Gather, Looks to Expand

After months of hard work, Mount Aaron Baptist Church is nearing their fundraising goals as they plan to expand services for youth and seniors.

Pastor Dwayne Jones has turned the once-struggling church into a thriving beacon of hope for the entire community. 

Senator Kennedy and other community leaders express staunch support for Mount Aaron Baptist Church and its plans to expand its space and program offerings.

August 20, 2013

Senator Kennedy, Assemblywoman Peoples-Stokes Announce Much-Needed Housing Grant for Broadway-Fillmore Neighborhood

This $200,000 grant from New York State Affordable Housing Corporation will be disbursed to homeowners within a targeted revitalization area to help support necessary home repairs.

Broadway-Fillmore NHS and HomeFront highlight neighborhood progress, announce new staffing and program changes. 

M&T Foundation awards $20,000 grant to streamline delivery of Broadway-Fillmore NHS and HomeFront housing grant programs.

August 16, 2013

After Push from Kennedy and Peoples-Stokes, State Finally Releases Long-Awaited Historic Preservation Funds for Corpus Christi Church

State expected to deliver funds just in time for this weekend’s Dożynki Polish Harvest Festival.

Founded in 1898, Corpus Christi Church is located in the heart of East Buffalo’s Historic Polonia. 

Kennedy: In Polish, Dożynki means a celebration of harvest, but this year’s Dożynki Festival will be a celebration of the state’s long-awaited release of historic preservation funds for Corpus Christi.

August 15, 2013

WNY Community Comes to Aid of Depew Family to Help their Twin Daughters with Cerebral Palsy

After years of work, the Geary family of Depew finally celebrates the completion of renovation work that makes their home more accessible to serve the needs of their twin daughters with cerebral palsy.

Senator Kennedy partnered with the family to generate widespread community support, and pushed state bureaucracy to be more responsive to their call for help. 

Kennedy: This is a uniquely Western New York story. Our community came together to help a neighbor in need.

August 9, 2013

City, State Leaders Outline Initiatives to Eliminate ‘Zombie Houses’, Hold Banks Accountable for Foreclosure Delay

Kennedy, Brown, Kearns, Scanlon gather at 124 McKinley Parkway to bring attention to impact of ‘zombie houses’ on city neighborhoods. 

Coordinated efforts from city and state lawmakers aim to combat the growing problem of blighted, vacant homes stuck in foreclosure limbo. 

Kennedy: ‘Zombie houses’ are eating up our neighborhoods and leaving eyesores and diminished property values in their wake. These out-of-town banks must be held accountable for the harm they’ve caused.

August 9, 2013

Governor Cuomo Signs Jay-J's Law, which Senator Kennedy Authored to Toughen Penalties for Child Abusers

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation Monday enacting Jay-J’s Law, which allows for tougher penalties against offenders who have been convicted of repeatedly abusing a child. Senator Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, first authored the bill in late 2011, and since then, he has worked closely with Jay-J's family, the Retzer's, to push for final passage of the bill. 

“Assaulting a child is a heinous crime that must be met with the strictest of punishments,” Governor Cuomo said. “By enacting Jay-J’s Law we are taking a step forward in safeguarding children across New York State, and immediately ensuring that repeat offenders are met with heightened penalties that match the seriousness of their actions.”

August 1, 2013

Kennedy, Higgins Address Damaging Impact of Climate Change on Buffalo Waterfront and Great Lakes Ecosystem

Canalside event highlights importance of President Obama’s call for climate action

BUFFALO, NY – Today, New York State Senator Timothy M. Kennedy, U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, BFLO Harbor Kayak Founder and Owner Jason Schwinger, and several other waterfront enthusiasts gathered for a press event on the Central Wharf at Canalside to highlight the severe impacts of extreme weather and climate change on the Great Lakes and New York’s many inland waterways. Today’s press event comes on the heels of President Barack Obama’s historic action on climate change.

July 30, 2013

Kennedy Urges Governor to Sign Jay-J’s Law

With Governor’s signature, Jay-J’s bill will officially become Jay-J’s Law.

The bill has been delivered to the Governor; under state law he now has until the end of the month to sign it.

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. – Senator Tim Kennedy is urging Governor Cuomo to sign Jay-J’s Law – which the State Legislature approved last month. The bill has been delivered to the Governor, and it is now waiting for his signature to become law. The Governor has 10 days – not counting Sundays – from July 19, the day the bill was delivered, to sign it into law, giving him until the end of the month.

July 27, 2013

60 Years After Armistice Ended Korean War, Senator Kennedy Helps Korean War Veteran Finally Secure State Honors

After contacting Kennedy for help, Buffalo resident Bob Lucia finally gains access to state medals he earned while serving in Korea.

Veterans who may have earned but not yet received medals of recognition from New York State are encouraged to contact Senator Kennedy’s office. 

Kennedy: The Korean War came to an end 60 years ago today, and it’s fitting that on this day – after 60 years of waiting – Corporal Lucia is finally granted the honors he earned for his valiant service in Korea.

July 27, 2013

Senator Kennedy Urges State Education Department to Reform Regulations for Student-Athletes with Disabilities

State Ed guideline may block local student-athlete David Gorczynski from running cross country for his fourth and final year on his Orchard Park High School team.

Kennedy writes to State Education Commissioner urging a change to their policy to allow students with disabilities to participate in high school athletics all four years.

Kennedy: State Education Department Should Reform their Guidelines and Allow David Gorczynski to Cross the Finish Line

July 25, 2013

Senator Kennedy Urges Fair Wages for WNY Paramedics and EMTs; Stands with Teamsters Local 375 in Fight For Fairness

Kennedy calls on private equity firm Warburg Pincus, which owns Rural/Metro, to provide WNY’s emergency first-responders with the dignity of a living wage to avoid a strike.

Senator Kennedy joins Teamsters Local 375 in fight for a fair wage and benefits package, as possible strike looms.

Kennedy: “Those in the business of saving lives deserve a living wage.”

July 12, 2013