This week Senator Bill Larkin reports to residents that the New York State Senate has passed a resolution he authored to honor the 761st Tank Battalion, the "Black Panthers," for their heroic efforts during World War II.
"During the joyful celebration of Black History Month, it is especially fitting that we pay tribute to the first black armor unit to see combat," said Senator Larkin, a retired Lt Col in the U.S. Army. "These esteemed members of the United States Armed Forces served the country so faithfully when our Nation's freedom was at stake.
Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) is cosponsoring legislation (S.6566) in the New York State Senate that would give small businesses a break on their electric bills.
The bill would create a new electric energy tax credit plan for small businesses in New York State.
"Small businesses are the backbone of the state’s economy," said Senator Larkin. "But energy costs have risen faster than many small businesses could have predicted and have become a serious problem for their financial success.
Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today announced the Senate has passed a bill (S.428) that would ensure that every scholarship for academic excellence is distributed to students attending New York State schools.
Current law authorizes 8,000 scholarships for academic excellence annually. The top scholar of each public or private high school in the state is eligible for scholarships for academic excellence and the remaining balance of the awards are distributed to students using a weighted average of scores from certain Regents examinations.
This week, Senator Bill Larkin reports to residents that the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has withdrawn its new policy regarding the expiration of inspection stickers.
The confusing new policy, which went into effect in January, would have made inspection stickers expire in the first, second or third portion of the month in the year following inspection, depending on the date of issuance.
"Unfortunately, all this new plan did was make the inspection process more inconvenient for the driving public," said Senator Larkin.
Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today announced the Senate has passed legislation (S.5342) that would hold violent criminals accountable for their actions by closing a loophole that allows them to escape prosecution and punishment for their crimes after five years.
"There should never have been a statute of limitations on these horrible crimes," said Senator Larkin. "The anguish that the victims live with afterwards certainly doesn’t end after five years.
Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today introduced a bill (S.6673) in the New York State Senate to establish the New York State Catastrophe Fund Authority.
"This is a study bill that would ultimately create a Catastrophe Fund for New York State as a safety net if a mega natural catastrophe ever struck," explained Senator Larkin. "If the ice storms in New York, the earthquakes in California, and Hurricanes Andrew, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma, have taught us anything, it is that we should have an established reimbursement plan in place before the disaster hits.
This week, Senator Bill Larkin reports to residents on several state resources available to residents for help with home heating and utility costs.
"Given the difficult increases in prices for natural gas, heating oil, and electricity, many individuals and families are in need of some form of energy assistance during these cold winter months," said Senator Larkin.
Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) has introduced a bill in the New York State Senate to authorize the approval of certain transportation contracts for the Monroe-Woodbury Central School District.
The legislation would allow the Monroe-Woodbury Central School District to be eligible to receive transportation aid for five of its contracts from the 2004-2005 school year that the district inadvertently omitted in its filing to the State Education Department.
Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today announced that St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital is the recipient of a state grant in the amount of $1 million for the construction of a new helipad.
Senator Larkin lobbied for the funding which came from the Health Care Initiatives Pool under the terms of the 2004-05 Health Care Reform Act.
"It gives me great pleasure to have been in a position to advocate for this important funding on behalf of St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital," said Senator Larkin. "The helipad will save critical time in the most urgent cases.
Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) along with the New York State Thruway Authority, announces that construction will soon begin on the I-84/I87 Interchange 17 Reconstruction Project.
Based on a bid of $48,214,229.73, the project has been awarded to the Pike Company from Rochester, New York.
"I am very pleased that we can now proceed with the second phase of this most important Thruway project," said Senator Larkin. "The I-84/I-87 interchange is a key piece to future economic development projects that will greatly impact Orange County.
This week, Senator Bill Larkin urges residents to be patient while waiting for their tax refund and not to fall prey to the high interest rates of "Tax Refund Loans."
Tax Refund Loans are short-term cash advances against a customer's anticipated income tax refund. But the interest rates can range from about 40% to over 700% APR. More than 12 million American taxpayers opted for these loans in 2003.
"Believe it or not, thousands of New Yorkers look forward to tax season," said Senator Larkin.
Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today announced he is cosponsoring legislation in the New York State Senate to protect the health of firefighters and to solicit their help in child abuse cases.
"Our local firefighters protect our neighborhoods in more than one way," said Senator Larkin. "Not only are they are out there in our communities putting out fires and administering emergency care, but they are often the astute observers of domestic problems that may be occurring. Both of these bills recognize that fact.
Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) is cosponsoring legislation (S.6530) in the New York State Senate that would create additional penalties for anyone who purchases alcohol for young people under the age of twenty-one.
"This legislation sends a strong message to people who would buy alcohol for minors," said Senator Larkin. "Not only would they suffer a heavy fine, but they would risk losing their own license as well.
Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today announced the Senate has passed a comprehensive energy plan that would provide $350 million in relief from high energy costs to small businesses. The Senate also passed legislation that would provide heating assistance to more senior citizens, cap the state tax on gasoline and encourage energy conservation and alternative energy sources to lessen our dependency on foreign oil.
"Most of the new jobs in New York State are being created by small businesses," said Senator Larkin.
Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today announced the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) has approved a $500,000 grant for the City Of Kingston for improvements to the City’s sewer treatment plant on the Rondout waterfront.
The grant will be used for a portion of the cost of engineering, machinery, equipment, installation, chemicals, and other costs related to sewer plant odor abatement.
"The Rondout waterfront has been undergoing revitalization for several years now," said Senator Larkin.
This week, Senator Bill Larkin informs area residents that a Civil Service exam for the position of Correction Officer Trainee will be given statewide on April 8, 2006. The application deadline for this exam is February 20, 2006.
The starting annual salary for an Officer Trainee is $28,444. After six months, the salary increases to $30,043. Upon successful completion of the eight-week training program and the one-year probationary period, the annual salary increases again to $34,742.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our area residents, local newspapers, radio stations, and others who joined in the appeal to the United States Postal Service (USPS) to continue to keep the Purple Heart stamp in circulation. I cannot express how much this stamp means to Purple Heart recipients and to all veterans. The reissuance of the Purple Heart stamp as a thirty-nine cent stamp was truly a team effort both locally and nationally by those who again flooded the U.S. Postal Service with their letters of support.