Senator Fred Akshar released two new questions this week as part of a series of online surveys polling questions constituents of the 52nd Senate District on issues that may come before the New York State Senate this year.
Akshar is asking his constituents to weigh in on two of his own proposed pieces of legislation, which he plans to move through a Senate motion for committee consideration in the coming weeks:
S.338 - Increasing the volunteer firefighters' and ambulance workers' credit.
Currently, volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers receive a personal income tax credit of $200. This bill would increase the base tax credit to $500, going up to $1,000 after five years of service in good standing. It would also increase the tax credit for married volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers to $2,000 who each have five or more years and are in good standing.
“In addition to giving volunteers a well-earned tax credit, this tax credit can serve as another incentive for volunteer fire departments to increase their recruitment,” said Senator Fred Akshar. “Fire department membership has declined in recent years and these incentives are a tool to bolster recruitment and continue the invaluable services volunteer first responders provide.”
S.335 - Community Heroes Protection Act, which designates targeted offenses against first responders, firefighters, EMS personnel and police officers as hate crimes. In the past two years alone, firefighters from across the country have come under attack while answering the call, and their health and safety put in jeopardy by some of the very people they're trying to help. From Washington DC to San Diego to Hell's Kitchen in New York City, firefighters and EMS workers continue to be attacked while on duty.
“We are living in a time where our nation is divided and crimes against first responders and police officers continue to be pervasive,” said Akshar. “This legislation aims to protect the thousands of men and women who voluntarily put their uniforms on every day to protect and serve our communities. The Community Heroes Protection Act sends a clear message – we will not tolerate targeted attacks on those who protect us and keep us safe. We will not be silent while you are being selfless. We stand with you.”
Constituents are urged to visit Akshar.NYSenate.Gov and let Sen. Akshar know how they feel about the proposals.
Direct links to legislation: