Senator Skoufis: My 2022 Year In Review
As 2022 comes to a close, I want to take a moment to share my Year in Review – the legislative wins, the local funding we secured, the constituents we've assisted, and more. I hope this rundown illustrates what efforts by my team and me have meant for families like yours throughout our Senate District.
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2023!
Investigations & Government Operations Committee
As chair of investigations, I’ve worked to shine a light on a variety of issues impacting everyday New Yorkers. The Committee proactively investigates and exposes waste, fraud, and abuse; working to exercise effective oversight over our state government.
This year, we completed a months-long investigation into the pricing practices and failures of utilities and power producers across the state. As New Yorkers head into another year of exorbitant energy supply costs, the report lays out numerous recommendations for improving the utility landscape, which you can explore here.
Recent investigations into housing discrimination and live event ticketing also led to sweeping legislative solutions this year, including a package of bills aimed at rooting out discriminatory behavior within the real estate industry, and a complete overhaul of New York's antiquated ticketing laws.
In the News
January 2022 Read More
February 2022 Read More
March 2022 Read More
April 2022 Read More
Hudson Valley Press: "Senator James Skoufis Honors Cadets on West Point Day"
Mid-Hudson News: "Skoufis announces first-ever UPK slots for Cornwall"
May 2022 Read More
June 2022 Read More
July 2022 Read More
August 2022 Read More
Times Herald Record: "Skoufis rips $32M tax breaks from Orange County board for planned winery in Goshen"
SPIN Magazine: "Baby, Those Tickets Were Born To Run"
September 2022 Read More
October 2022 Read More
November 2022 Read More
Newburgh News: "Skoufis Announces Initiatives to Support Local Veterans"
Rockland News: "Skoufis Distributes Thanksgiving Meals to 100 Families"
December 2022 Read More
When not in Albany, my team and I worked around-the-clock in our local community. Together, we engaged with constituents at our “Skoufis on Your Street” town halls, hosted roundtables with first responders, organized mobile document shredding events, visited classrooms and senior centers, hosted fifteen blood drives, connected with neighbors at festivals throughout the district, distributed Thanksgiving meals and stuffed animals to local families for the holidays, and much more.
Our team fielded a total of 1,289 constituent cases, ranging from unemployment issues to utility bill disputes to licensure requests. We connected with neighbors in person at our offices, over the phone, by email, via social media, and out in our local communities. Some highlights include:
Aida from Chester - Lack of Broadband Connectivity Read More
Aida is the single mom of two daughters who reached out to our office for assistance in getting broadband connectivity to her household for work and educational needs.
After reaching out to Spectrum and reviewing what's known as their 'franchise agreement' with the local municipality, we discovered that the territory where Aida's family lives wasn't yet serviceable, and the company didn't have plans to build out needed infrastructure in this area.
Our team further identified that, in addition to Aida's lack of coverage, over a dozen other homes in the neighborhood were lacking broadband connectivity. Working with our liaison at Spectrum, we pushed the company to expand service to these homes.
Shortly thereafter, Spectrum agreed to build out their network to service Aida's residence and over a dozen others in the area. The company expects the work to take about 9 months to complete. Once finished, Aida will be able to order internet access through standard installation, helping her daughters stay on top of their assignments and improving connectivity for the whole family.
Traci from Highland Mills - Time-Sensitive Professional License Read More
Traci first applied for her Respiratory Technician License in September 2021. Whenever she attempted to contact the NYSED Office of Professions, the agency tasked with managing the licensure process, she was redirected to various departments and her timeline for approval was frequently extended.
Traci had a job lined up that would allow her to perform pulmonary function tests on patients with COVID, but requires this Respiratory Technician License. With her start date set for December 3, 2022 and virtually no updates on the status of her license, Traci reached out to our office for help.
Our constituent services team contacted the Office of Professions, tracked down the status of Traci's pending application, and once again provided them with her documentation. Within days of our team's call to the Office of Professions, the license was issued to Traci. She's now able to pursue her existing job offer, as well as other opportunities in the future requiring this respiratory license that may come her way.
Matthew from Deerpark - Unlawful Utility Shutoff Read More
Matthew's mom sent us a message on Facebook to share that her son was struggling with a utility shutoff at his Deerpark apartment. Matthew's former partner had been in charge of the utility account but, unbeknownst to him, had stopped paying the bills.
With three young children, pets, and an elderly relative who relies on oxygen living with Matthew, he was desperate to have electric service returned to the home. Our office also determined that service termination was a major violation of the constituent's utility rights: it's against the law for a utility to shut off service when a household includes very young children, elderly relatives, and/or a medical necessity, such as oxygen usage.
But, Matthew was having difficulty getting the utility company to open a new account in his name, since his former partner had outstanding bills at the service address. This is yet another violation of his utility rights: new utility customers cannot be denied service due to the outstanding balances of past customers' accounts.
Our constituent services team immediately reached out to the relevant utility provider, explained the intricacies of the case, and the situation was remedied within 24 hours. A new account was opened in Matthew's name and electric service was restored to the home.
Finally, the meat and potatoes of my work as a legislator: this year, I passed the most bills of any of my colleagues (70 in all -- up from 58 last year). Below, you can click through the selection of my bills that also passed the Assembly and were signed into law by the Governor (35 in total).
My team and I are grateful for so much this year, and we hope we’ve done our Hudson Valley constituents proud. Here’s to a spectacular 2023 in our new Orange County district!