Legislation sponsored by Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) to allow small farm wineries across New York State to hold up to five wine tasting events a year in conjunction with local charities will become law on April 24, 2005.
"The wine industry is one of our state's most premier businesses," said Senator Larkin. "This new law will help to increase the visibility and sale of New York wines. Local producers across the state will now be able to reach out to the public and better promote their products to a larger and more diverse group of consumers.
The State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) has recently increased house purchase price limits to help more low- and moderate-income New Yorkers buy homes and still qualify for a low interest rate SONYMA mortgage.
"The SONYMA mortgage program has helped over 46,000 New Yorkers buy their first home," said Senator Larkin. "Raising the purchase price cut-off on SONYMA loans will help even more prospective homebuyers, those who may not otherwise be able to consider buying a house in the current market.
Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) and Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow (D-Mt.Vernon/Yonkers), Chairmen of the Senate and Assembly Standing Committees on Racing, Gaming & Wagering today held a Joint Legislative Hearing in Albany on the future of horse racing in New York State.
"We had the opportunity today to hear from a cross section of specialists within the horse racing industry," said Senator Larkin. "One thing that is abundantly clear is that the racing industry in New York State is struggling.
The New York State Senate has passed legislation sponsored by Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) designed to assist local farmers.
Senate bill 447 extends the eligibility of the farmer's school tax credit program to include agricultural lands that are leased for at least a five-year period. Under current law, farmers must either own or possess real property under a land contract before they are eligible to obtain the Farmer's Income Tax Credit on moneys paid for school property taxes.
Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today invited all Hudson Valley fruit growers to a gathering at the historic TUTHILLTOWN GRISTMILL on Thursday, April 14th, to preview the new TUTHILLTOWN SPIRITS distillery.
Distillery owners Brian Lee and Ralph Erenzo will be on hand to conduct a brief tour of the facility, which is expected to begin operations in July 2005. Discussion following the tour will focus on the use of distillation of fruit as a means of increasing the value of Hudson Valley and New York State fruit by conversion to fruit brandy.
Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) is sponsoring a bill in the Senate designed to help reduce teen auto deaths by triggering a signal when a car is being driven unsafely. The bill (S.3375) would also give parents a reduction in their automobile insurance rates if they equip their vehicles with these approved safety monitoring devices.
Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson), today hosted the fifty-fifth annual "West Point Day" at the New York State Capitol in Albany.
"Today, the State Senate recognized and honored the special relationship New York State has had with the United States Military Academy at West Point since 1802," said Senator Larkin,a retired Lieutenant Colonel who served 23 years of active duty in the United States Army. "As Orange County's representative in the Senate and as an Army veteran, I am honored to have been able to present the West Point delegation to the full Senate.
Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today was named by Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno to chair the Senate Conference Committee on Taxes and Economic Development.
As the Legislature enters the next phase of budget negotiations before the April 1 deadline, Larkin will head the committee that scrutinizes the Governor’s Executive Budget as it pertains to taxes, fees, and other proposals designed to spur the economy.
Budget conference committee meetings are open to the public. Meeting schedules are expected to be announced next week.
Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today announced the release of the New York State Senate Standing Committee’s 2004 Annual Report on Racing, Gaming, and Wagering. Among its contents, the report includes a comprehensive study that analyzes the problems within the horse racing industry. Further, it lays out a plan of action to address those problems.
"This past year, racing and gaming issues were very much in the forefront of discussions centered on state revenue and the economy," said Senator Larkin.
Upon passage of the first on-time state budget in twenty years, Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today announced that area schools in the 39th Senate District will receive an additional $324,753,290 in state aid.
"The increases in education funding enacted in the state budget represent an average increase of 8% to our local schools in the 39th Senate District," said Senator Larkin. "The state average is 5.5%. This is great news for students who will benefit from the best resources and technologies available.
"For the first time in 21 years, we have an on-time budget," said Senator Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson). "I am extremely pleased that we can provide a sense of relief to the state’s taxpayers and I commend my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their hard work in accomplishing this goal. We worked in the true spirit of compromise and hopefully restored the public’s faith in the system.
Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today announced that the bidding process for construction of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor has been completed.
"It’s been a long time coming, but construction on the national Purple Heart Hall of Honor is soon to begin," said Senator Larkin. "The bidding process has just been completed and contract documents are now being prepared. We expect to have shovels in the ground within about eight weeks.
Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today announced that the Cities of Newburgh and Kingston will receive state funding to develop strategies for the cleanup and reuse of area brownfields.
"This latest round of brownfield clean-up grants is great news for our local cities and their surrounding areas," said Senator Larkin. "Our localities will use this funding to develop plans for the remediation of these contaminated sites.
The New York State Senate today passed two bills, sponsored by Senator William Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-On-Hudson), that would help get video lottery terminals (VLTs) up and running at Yonkers and Aqueduct Raceways. Both bills (S.2594 & S.3276) address concerns cited by the courts related to the distribution of VLT revenues and would make an investment in the race tracks to generate additional revenue for education in New York State.
Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today awarded all public elementary schools and middle schools housing elementary grades in the 39th Senate district with a special grant through Larkin's "KidsCount" program.
"It's a fact that elementary school teachers are constantly using money out of their own pockets to purchase materials, supplies, and those extra little things for their students and their classrooms," said Senator Larkin. "They work with children every day and know best what children need in the classroom.
Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today announced highlights of the Senate’s proposals for the 2005-06 state budget.
As Chair of the Budget Conference Committee on Taxes & Economic Development, Senator Larkin said the Senate is proposing almost $1 billion in business tax reductions over the next four years to create jobs and strengthen the economy.
This week, Senator Bill Larkin warns residents about the latest telemarketing scam.
"Don’t be fooled by anyone offering ‘free government grants,’ said Senator Larkin. "This latest scam has a new twist--someone calls you making a phony claim that the government is giving people money to pay their taxes. I know that this time of year, it’s tempting to want to believe there is something that can help during tax season, but under no circumstances should you engage these people in conversation and give out any personal information over the phone.
Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) announced the New York State Senate today passed a bill (S.4632) that would amend the state’s death penalty law to fix a provision that was ruled invalid by the state Court of Appeals.
"To our dismay, the New York State Court of Appeals decided that portions of our capital punishment statute need even more protections for defendants," said Senator Larkin. "We in the State Senate disagree. And so do the majority of New Yorkers.