ALBANY, NY – (July 29, 2008) – "The Senate Democrats, under my leadership, are united with Governor Paterson in his efforts to bring the state budget under control and to erase the looming $6.4 billion deficit.

Elected leaders need to recognize the time-value of money and the need to implement efficiency measures quickly. We need to respond to this fiscal crisis with speed and thoughtfulness.

State Senator Malcolm Smith (D-Queens) today announced the New York State’s College Aid Awareness Network (CAAN) project, a year long series of special projects and events aimed at helping students and families pay for college. CAAN is a cooperative project of the New York State Financial Aid Administrators Association (NYSFAAA) and the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC).

The State Senate has passed legislation (S.1397) sponsored by Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) that would give the state’s farm wineries assistance in marketing their products and allow them to sell wine by the bottle for off-premise consumption at farm roadside stands.

The bill would license farm stands to sell wine from up to two wineries that are located within 20 miles of the stand. All sales will be in sealed bottles for off-premise consumption and no wine tastings would be allowed at the farm stand.

Reforms would provide immediate assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure

Legislation sponsored by Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) to allow Triborough bridge and tunnel officers to retire with half-pay after twenty years of service, regardless of age, has passed the New York State Senate.

Current law allows TBTA bridge and tunnel officers, sergeants and lieutenants to retire with 20 years of service at age 50. This legislation would eliminate the age requirement.

"Bridge and tunnel officers must staff TBTA facilities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week," said Senator Larkin.

Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today announced the State Senate has passed legislation (S.5997) he sponsored that would prohibit the transmission of certain unauthorized and misleading e-mails.

(New York, NY)- On Wednesday, November 19th, Senate Democratic Leader Malcolm A. Smith will travel to Washington D.C. to meet with members of Congress to discuss the new economic stimulus package. Accompanying Smith will be State Senator Jose Serrano, Federal Liaison to the Senate Democratic Conference. Smith and Serrano also plan to join Governor Paterson and Assembly Speaker Silver for select meetings throughout the day.

Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) and members of the Senate Majority Conference today proposed a sweeping package of bills to honor the courage, sacrifice and achievements of servicemen and women from across the state. Also proposed was the creation of a New York State Veterans Hall of Fame.

The initiative is the centerpiece of the New York Armed Services Recognition and Support Plan and includes combat life insurance for all New Yorkers serving in war zones, expanding opportunities for higher education, and lower property taxes.

Senator Larkin, a retired U.S.

Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today announced the enacting of a new law that will promote safety in New York's highway and bridge work zones and increase penalties for those convicted of speeding within them.

"The driving public must fully understand just how dangerous a job it is for our highway and bridge workers," said Senator Larkin. "When reckless motorists speed through work zones, that danger increases ten-fold.

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.