Weekly Update from the Desk of Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins: Week of 2/4/11 to 2/11/11

Andrea Stewart-Cousins

February 11, 2011

In the District

PARTNERS IN QUALITY AWARD AT KENDAL ON HUDSON: On Friday February 4, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins was honored with the Partners in Quality Award at Kendal on Hudson in Sleepy Hollow for her advocacy on behalf of senior citizens. The Senator took questions after the award presentation regarding State issues such as health care, mandate relief and the budget.

SEEKING PUBLIC INPUT ON BUDGET AND MANDATE RELIEF: Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (35th District- D/WF/I) launched two sections on her website this week, inviting public comments on two vital issues. One section seeks input on mandate relief, which the Senator will bring back to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Mandate Relief Redesign Team, and the other asks for feedback on the 2011-2012 Executive Budget Proposal. To submit your ideas about Mandate Relief, click here, and to submit your comments about the 2011-2012 Executive Budget click here.

COMMENTS TO PSC ABOUT TREE TRIMMING POLICIES: Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins submitted her comments to the Public Service Commission Staff regarding their policies toward the tree trimming practices of utility companies along high voltage power lines. Her comments were part of an ongoing review of State policy that began after Con Edison removed large swaths of trees and shrubbery in Yonkers, Greenburgh and Mt. Pleasant. To read the Senator’s comments, click here.

SPEAKING AT CEDAR PLACE SCHOOL CAREER DAY: Senator Stewart-Cousins spoke to 5th and 6th graders at the Cedar Place School in Yonkers for their Annual Career Day on Friday February 11th. The Senator spoke about her career in public service and the importance of doing well in school.

In Albany

NON PROFIT BILL ADVANCES THROUGH SENATE: Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins’ legislation, S. 2012, was approved with bipartisan support by the Senate Local Government Committee. The measure allows non-profit organizations that provide services to county residents, such as Meals on Wheels, to make purchases for goods and services using county contracts. This will save money for the non-profits and the county taxpayers.

ARTS WESTCHESTER VISITS ALBANY: Arts Westchester met with Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins and members of the Westchester State Delegation this week to highlight successful programs and to request financial support for the arts.

JOINT BUDGET HEARINGS UNDERWAY: In a joint hearing, members of the Senate Finance Committee and the Assembly Ways and Means Committee heard testimony from stakeholders around New York State about Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2011-2012 Executive Budget Proposal.

SENATE APPROVES MEASURE TO STRENGTHEN PENALTIES FOR SEXUAL ABUSE: Senator Stewart-Cousins joined the New York State Senate to pass legislation this week strengthening penalties for adults who are convicted of the sexual abuse of a child. The legislation amends current criminal provisions to allow for a person to be found guilty of sexual abuse in the 1st degree when the abuser is at least twenty-one years old and the victim is less than thirteen years old. The bill also recognizes that an adult subjecting a child to sexual contact should be considered a violent act and not just a minor felony offense.