Category Archives: Carl Marcellino

Senate Majority Delegation Calls For MTA To Protect LIRR Riders From Fare Increase

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) was joined by the Senate Majority’s Long Island Delegation at a press conference at the Bethpage Train Station to announce their efforts to force the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) to provide fare relief to the region’s long-suffering commuters. The focus of the press conference was the delegation’s joint call for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to put any proposed 2019 fare hike on hold through at least 2021 until it makes measurable improvements in service, equipment failures and delays.

 

To further protect commuters from facing even more disruptions due to the LIRR’s loss of any revenue, legislation sponsored by Senator Elaine Phillips (7th Senate District) and Assemblyman Dean Murray (3rd Assembly District), would create the “Long Island Commuter Relief Fund” which would provide a dedicated state fund that would provide operating money for the agency. This fund, which would consist of no less than sixty million dollars from yet-to-be allocated extraordinary monetary settlement funds, would be dedicated to the operating budget of the LIRR to ensure that LIRR riders are not forced to endure reduced service while simultaneously protecting fares at the current rates.

 

“Not a day goes by that I don’t hear from constituents frustrated with the MTA’s lack of reliability and service. Raising fares while service continues to falter is a misguided move and will only further hurt the thousands of commuters who are already facing the worst rail service in two decades. The MTA needs to start listening to the LIRR riders – and my colleagues and I are here to make sure those voices are heard. Any and all fare hike plans need to be scrapped until measurable improvements in service are made and there is better on-time performance and customer satisfaction,” stated Senator Phillips.

 

Currently, the MTA has scheduled an authority-wide four percent fare and toll increase that would take effect in March of 2019.

 

“The reality is that the Long Island Railroad has this year delivered what is measurably their worst performance year in the last twenty years, but still preparing to increase fares in spite of this poor service. To force commuters who have been asked to deal with cancelled trains and poor on-time performance to pay more is unconscionable, and we are joining together to say our residents deserve better. I thank my colleagues for joining this effort and calling on the MTA to do the right thing for our constituents,” stated Senator Flanagan.

 

The LIRR would be able to receive their share of this funding only if they are able to achieve an average on-time performance of ninety-four percent or better and increase their overall customer satisfaction score by at least five percent commencing with their next scheduled survey.

 

“Where I come from, delays, cancelations and derailments are not justification for a fare increase. The MTA and the LIRR should be exploring every option possible to reward their current customers and attract new daily riders. Absent that, my colleagues and I will take the necessary steps to hold the line on fares and keep the pressure on the MTA to put the needs of the commuter ahead of their bottom line,” said Senator Carl L. Marcellino (5th Senate District).

 

Senator Ken LaValle (1st Senate District) said, “Long Islanders deserve reliable service with reasonable fares when they take the railroad. Instead, Long Island Rail Road customers have received historically poor service while paying a great deal to ride the trains. There should be no fare hike until the Railroad’s performance is measurably improved.”

 

“The MTA continues to make illogical attempts to drive up costs for commuters by proposing a 4% increase in the monthly LIRR commutation ticket,” said Senator Kemp Hannon (6th Senate District). “The MTA needs to ensure proper and reliable service before another dollar is taken from Long Island commuters. Despite significant unreliability, equipment failures and delays, they continue to place a tremendous burden on working Long Islanders.”

 

“Our commuting public deserves so much more that what they have been handed lately,” said Senator Phil Boyle (4th Senate District). “We can do better by Long Island commuters and it needs to start now by eliminating this rate increase and work on corrective measures to repair the multiple ills of the LIRR.”

 

The delegation, again led by Senator Phillips, has established a petition drive that enables their constituents to voice their disgust that the LIRR would increase fares while they continue to suffer from delays and cancelled trains.

 

Any residents or commuter who would like to join the call for the MTA to provide riders with better service before considering fare increases is urged to visit the websites of the Long Island Senate Majority Members to add their voice to this effort. The members can be reached by visiting nysenate.gov and clicking on the Senators and Committees link.

 

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NY State Senator Carl L. Marcellino Secures $750,000 in NYS Funds to Support LIU College of Veterinary Medicine

LIU College of Veterinary MedicineNew York State Senator Carl L. Marcellino presented a $750,000 check to Long Island University on Saturday to help build the LIU College of Veterinary Medicine. The presentation took place at the 2018 Inaugural LIU Classic Polo Match and Lawn Party at the Meadowbrook Polo Club in Old Westbury.

 

“We are grateful to Senator Marcellino for his hard work to secure funding to help build this transformative project,” said LIU President Dr. Kimberly Cline. “We continue to be heartened by the strong community support for building our region’s first College of Veterinary Medicine.”

 

More than 400 people attended the event which was held to support the College of Veterinary Medicine as well as LIU’s important equestrian and veterinary programs.

 

Currently, there are only 30 schools of veterinary medicine in the United States and just three are in the Northeast. None of these are located in the New York metropolitan area.

 

“I was happy to be able to procure this grant for this a transformative project, that will be a great source of economic activity and research, right here on Long Island,” said Senator Carl L. Marcellino

 

This fall, LIU Post launched a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology program, the first one on Long Island. In May, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a $12 million grant to help build the LIU College of Veterinary Medicine as part of the state’s $72 million investment to support transformative life sciences initiatives on Long Island.

 

About Long Island University (LIU)

 

LIU is a comprehensive teaching and research university. Since 1926, LIU has provided high quality academic programs taught by world-class faculty. LIU offers hundreds of accredited programs to approximately 16,000 students, with a network of over 200,000 alumni, including leaders in industries across the globe. Visit liu.edu for more information.

 

Pictured above is State Senator Carl L. Marcellino as he presents a check to LIU President Dr. Kimberly Cline alongside North Shore Equestrian Center Owner Gerry Chasin and members of the LIU equestrian team.

 

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New Laws Regulating School Bus Drivers

Measures Prevent Illegal Impairment of School Bus Drivers and Require Notification of Schools When School Employees are Charged With Sexual Offenses

 

The New York State Senate announced that Senate bills improving school bus safety and raising awareness of alleged sexual offenses by school employees have both been signed into law.

 

A measure (S2587E, Chapter 207), sponsored by Senator Carl Marcellino, requires random drug and alcohol testing for all school bus drivers. The measure also increases the amount of time a bus driver can consume alcohol before going on duty and operating a school bus from six hours to eight hours. In recent years there have been a number of incidents of school bus drivers driving while intoxicated with children onboard. Current legislation requires only 10 percent of bus drivers to submit to random drug and alcohol testing. This new law will expand that requirement for all drivers, and requires the Department of Motor Vehicles be notified if a driver fails a test and permanently disqualify a driver from operating a school bus in the future.

 

Senator Marcellino, Chair of the Senate Education Committee, said, “When a child leaves home and gets on the school bus, no parent should have to worry if their child is safe. It is our responsibility to do everything that we can to put their well-being first. This bill will do just that.”

 

Another measure signed into law (S6597B, Chapter 233), sponsored by Senator Sue Serino, requires that the district attorney immediately notify the superintendent of schools or school administrator if a sexual offense allegation has been filed against one of their employees. Given the proximity of school district employees — including custodial, contracted workers, and others — it is imperative that school districts receive prompt notice to protect children when there are serious allegations involving sex offenses.

 

Senator Serino said, “No one who has ever harmed a child should ever have the opportunity to work in our schools. While the situation that occurred in Ossining is abhorrent, it spurred the school district, the community, and the state into action to successfully close a potentially dangerous loophole in our law. When Assemblymember Galef and I introduced this bill, it was about making sure that our schools and law enforcement have the tools they need to keep sex offenders out of our schools. I am glad that the Executive recognized the importance of this legislation and I am incredibly proud to see it signed into law today.”

 

Recently, reports surfaced that a custodian working in the Ossining School District was convicted on May 1, 2017 of two misdemeanors and two felonies, including the third-degree rape of a victim under 17. Although the employee was arrested for the crime over a year ago, he continued to work in the school throughout the course of the legal process where he had regular contact with minors. The school in which the perpetrator was employed was not made aware of the issue until it received an anonymous tip.

 

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Sen. Marcellino’s Letter to MTA Chairman and CEO

Dear Chairman Lhota:

 

On August 1, 2018 a Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) train from Penn Station to Port Washington derailed on the Queens side of the East River tunnels. This is the second train that has derailed in that area in the past two weeks. Thankfully, no one was injured in either incident, but riders had to endure yet another round of service cancellations and delays.

 

Any derailment is dangerous and life threatening. It puts the ridership, employees and the greater public’s well-being in jeopardy. Two derailments in the same spot, in a two-week period, are unacceptable and calls into question the overall safety of the system.

 

Every individual who uses the trains or puts a loved one on a train on a daily basis deserves to know what is being done to prevent the next accident; an accident that may cause loss of life, injuries and substantial property damage. What is the plan, both long term and short term, to address these types of derailments? Is maintenance on the tracks and trains being neglected? What changes were made at the location of the most recent derailments between the July 21st incident and today?

 

The welfare of the ridership should always be the number one goal of the system. Recent events have called that commitment into question. I look forward to a timely response so I can share with my constituents what the MTA and LIRR are doing to give every rider the confidence that they will arrive at their destination safely.

 

Thank you in advance for your immediate action on this most serious safety issue.

 

Sincerely,
Carl L. Marcellino

 

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Senator Marcellino’s Bill to Ban the Practice of ‘Pet Leasing’ Passes Senate

Senator Carl L. Marcellino announced that his legislation which would prohibit the leasing of dogs and cats for ownership has passed the Senate . Pet sellers in New York State have been leasing pets for years; however the sponsors of this legislation doubt if this practice is ethical and humane.

 

According to a report by the ASPCA, pet sellers allow a consumer to make monthly payments and require consumers to buy out their leases at the end in order to keep their pets. Almost all puppies sold in pet shops were born in deplorable, inhumane puppy mills, but with price tags between $1,000 and $5,000, each pup represents a big payday to the retailers who traffic in this cruelty.

 

But it’s not only the dogs who are victimized. Pet sellers are teaming up with private lenders to offer love-struck shoppers, who might balk at the high cost of their dream puppy, the option to make low monthly payments over a fixed period. In the small print, however, these agreements pad the initial price with fees and a big balloon payment at the end of the term, costing the unwitting buyer double or sometimes triple the original cost of the pup.

 

Even worse: the purchaser almost never realizes that they do not actually own the pet until the final payments are made years down the line. This practice not only deceives the consumer, it uproots the pet from their family and places him or her in danger of being relinquished to an already overburdened and overcrowded shelter in the event of a missed payment.

 

“Pets are a vital part of the family for many people across our state. Bringing a dog or cat home is both memorable and exciting. At that moment of purchase, the focus is on the animal, not the fine print in the contract. Imagine the bewilderment of some customers when they find out months later they do not actually own their new pet, but instead, are locked into a rent-to-own scheme. This bill will protect both consumers and pets from this kind of shady operation,” said Senator Marcellino.

 

“Our pets are our family. We wouldn’t lease our children or grandparents—why would we lease our pets,” said Libby Post, Executive Director of the New York State Animal Protection Federation. “Plain and simple, this comes down to greed and the ability to prey on vulnerable people who are looking for a dog or a cat at a pet store. We would ask folks to come to shelters—we don’t have any predatory lending, just reasonable adoption fees for dogs and cats that are looking for their forever homes.”

 

The bill is carried in the Assembly by Assemblyman Titone.

 

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Senate Passes Bill Ensuring Safety of Millions Student School Bus Riders

Measure Puts School Buses on Same Footing as School Buildings to Better Protect Children and School Personnel

 

The New York State Senate passed legislation (S8234), sponsored by Senator Carl L. Marcellino to help improve the development of school bus safety and security and better protect millions of students and personnel who ride the bus to school in New York every day. The bill would help enhance safety standards on school buses by improving the coordination of policies and procedures within the school district, and put those policies and procedures on par with similar measures already in place for school buildings.

 

Senator Marcellino, Chair of the Senate Education Committee, said, “When a child leaves home and gets on the school bus, no parent should have to worry if their child is safe. It is our responsibility to do everything that we can to put their well-being first. This bill will do just that.”

 

The legislation expands the duties of district chief emergency officers so that they could assist in the coordinated development of policies and procedures, including:

  • Response to implied or direct threats of violence by or against students, school bus personnel, or other persons that involve a school bus or school transportation facility;
  • Protocols for responding to other emergency situations that involve a school bus or school transportation facility;
  • Policies for annual school bus safety training for staff and students; and
  • School bus drivers and other school transportation personnel would participate as members of district-wide school safety and building-level emergency response teams.

 

In addition to this legislation, the Senate earlier this year passed a package of critical school safety measures that would strengthen security and help keep students safe. Those bills would:

  • Increase the ability of schools to hire qualified security personnel;
  • Create new state funding mechanisms for infrastructure investments that improve school safety;
  • Increase access to school-based mental health services;
  • Expand state actions and intelligence coordination to protect schools against attack; and
  • Strengthen penalties for crimes on school grounds.

 

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.

 

Visit Senator Marcellino’s webpage

 

Tessie Shirley Pierce Garber Inducted into NY Senate’s Military Veterans Hall of Fame

Tessie Shirley Pierce GarberWhen the United States entered World War II, Tessie “Tess” Shirley Pierce Garber’s brothers entered the U.S. Army, and Garber felt strongly that women should be able to serve in the Armed Forces as well. She was unwilling to wait until she was 21 to join the Army WACs, so she decided to join the Navy WAVES or Coast Guard SPARS, which accepted 20-year-old women. As luck would have it, she met a woman Marine recruiter and ended up in the Marine Corps.

 

Ms. Garber’s military adventure began on November 2, 1943 when she and seven women recruits met at a Cleveland, Ohio railroad station to proceed to Marine Boot Camp at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Her field training with the other women recruits was the same that the men received…cleaning rifles, manual of arms, target practice, obstacle course, guard duty, marching, running with pack and rifle, scaling cargo nets and calisthenics.

 

After training, Ms. Garber was assigned to a Signal Corps unit in Washington, D.C. that used Teletype machines and required secret clearance. She handled daily reports listing names of wounded, missing in action (MIA), and killed in action (KIA). On occasion, she and other women were taken to Walter Reed Army Hospital to help rehabilitate those who lost hands, arms, legs and eyesight. One day at a service club, she was hit by a ping-pong ball. That was how she met Morris Garber, and six months later, they were married.

 

Ms. Garber has been an active member of the Jewish War Veterans Post 655 for many years.

 

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Marcellino Passes Legislation to Protect American Water Customers

Senator Carl L. Marcellino announced he has passed Senate Bill 6862-A which will require the Public Service Commission (PSC) to conduct an independent audit of private water utility companies prior to and after rate changes are approved by the PSC. This is the first of a package of bills he sponsors to address the dramatically high water bill spikes that have affected customers of New York American Water on Long Island.

 

“More than 100,000 Long Island customers have been shocked when they opened their water bills from American Water. Some residents have seen their rates more than double. The public outcry has been loud and justified. Yet, American Water and the PSC are unwilling to take any steps to reduce this burden on consumers,” said Senator Marcellino.

 

The legislation requires the public service commission to retain an independent auditor to conduct audits of private water utility companies prior to and after rate changes are approved by the public service commission.

 

In May 2017, the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) granted New York American Water a rate increase for the next four consecutive years. These increases range from 1 percent to as high as 9.6 percent.

 

“The combination of a draconian rate increase and the practice of passing the companies taxes on to the backs of their ratepayers has created a dramatic financial burden in water bills. Add to that the lack of accountability by American water and you have a situation where people feel betrayed and helpless,” added Senator Marcellino.

 

New York American Water is a private company that services 120,000 households and businesses in Nassau County. Unlike public water utilities in New York State, American Water pays property taxes and passes that expense to their customers in their water bills.

 

“The PSC played a major role in creating the American Water crisis and this bill will force them to be part of the solution. This is an important first step in protecting ratepayers and fixing a problem that has gotten out of control,” concluded Senator Marcellino.

 

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Marcellino Honors Woman of Distinction Coleen Cole Spinello

Coleen Cole SpinelloColeen Cole Spinello has leveraged her experience as a business executive in the retail and hospitality industries to cater to the needs of children and the Glen Cove community. For over 15 years, Ms. Spinello has been a Nassau County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), helping countless children ensure that their voices are heard and that they are placed in a safe, caring and secure environment.

 

In addition to her commitment to CASA, Ms. Spinello is one of the co-founders of Glen Cove’s Bully Proof Project and is a volunteer for many Glen Cove programs, including Kids Play Day and the July 4th Children’s Bike parade. She also helped start Glen Cove’s community garden at Big Ralph Park and is a vested member of the city’s Beautification Commission and The Interagency Council.

 

Ms. Spinello’s generosity can be seen in the bright eyes of a young nine-year-old girl named Mia who was suffering from renal failure. In October 2016, Ms. Spinello donated her kidney to Mia so that this young child could have a bright future filled with hope, dreams and the love of life. A resident of Glen Cove for over 18 years, she is an active member of St. Rocco’s parish, where she manages both the church’s food pantry and outreach program. She is a proud aunt, stepmother and dog mom.

 

Continually dedicating her time and energy to those in need, Ms. Spinello is an exceptional woman whose life and selflessness is a testimony to her devotion to others. She is truly an inspiration to the people and families she touches and the community in which she lives.

 

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