Senator Kenneth P. LaValle is hopeful that several of his initiatives, which had passed the Senate in prior legislative sessions, will soon gain the support needed to become law. Governor Paterson mentioned several of Senator LaValle's bills in his State of the State including an affordable student loan program, a cap on school property taxes, and a healthy school lunch program. In addition, Senator LaValle has supported several alternative energy research programs focused on generating new sources of clean and renewable energy. The Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center (AERTC) at Stony Brook University is one such program and is consistent with the Governor's proposal to coordinate the necessary knowledge base and expertise of our higher education institutions to achieve our energy goals.
"In December of 2008, the Senate passed an economic stimulus measure that included a low-cost student loan program I sponsored to help students afford college and keep our young people living and working in New York," said Senator LaValle. "As the cost of a college education increases, more and more people are finding it difficult to pursue their educational goals. The program I sponsored would improve and expand the accessibility and affordability of a college education for thousands of students and families, as well as bring New York in line with other states that offer this type of financial assistance."
Senator LaValle also noted that, during the last legislative session, the Senate passed property tax legislation and mandate relief bills that would reduce costs for schools, including a cap on the growth of school property taxes. "The crushing burden of skyrocketing property taxes, combined with rising energy costs, has forced families to make difficult choices," said Senator LaValle. I remain committed to providing real property tax relief while maintaining a quality education for our children."
Finally, the battle against childhood obesity is another problem where Senator LaValle's strong voice is in keeping with the Governor's goals. In 2004, the Senator sponsored a Senate Resolution that was advisory in nature and made sensible recommendations that could be easily adopted by school districts. Senator LaValle also sponsored a healthy school lunch measure that would restrict the availability of foods with no or minimal nutrition from our schools. "The removal of junk foods from schools would address certain dietary concerns and would allow children to begin making nutritional choices that promote healthy lifestyles," concluded Senator LaValle.