Category Archives: Ed Ra

Ra Announces Nephrotic Syndrome Awareness Day in New York

Nephrotic Syndrome Awareness DayAssemblyman Ed Ra is pleased to announce the passage of a Resolution to declare March 27, 2018 Nephrotic Syndrome Awareness Day in New York. Nephrotic Syndrome is a kidney disorder, which affects roughly 5 out of 100,000 people, that causes one’s body to excrete an abnormally large amount of protein in the urine.

 

“I am so happy we are able to shine some light on Nephrotic Syndrome,” said Ra. “This wouldn’t have happened without all the hard work of NephCure Kidney International. Collectively, there are many Americans who suffer from all kinds of rare diseases, so it is important to raise as much awareness about as many diseases as possible in order to help find treatments, cures and teach others the signs and symptoms.”

 

The most common cause of the disease is when clusters of small blood vessels in the kidneys, which work to filter waste and surplus water from the blood, are damaged. Symptoms include weight gain from retaining excess fluid, swelling, usually around the feet, ankles and eyes, loss of appetite and fatigue. It can also increase the risk for blood clots, infections, acute kidney failure and high blood pressure and cholesterol.

 

“The most exciting thing about going to Albany is the awareness. My main goal is to be able to say, Nephrotic Syndrome, and have someone know it, like they know other diseases. They may not know it as intimately as we do, but they don’t have to say, Nephrotic what?,” said Marlene Botta, a Franklin Square NephCure volunteer whose daughter Jackie, 16, was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome as a child.

 

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Ra Pushes for Library Aid to be Brought Up to Modern Levels

New York Library Association Library Advocacy Day

Assemblyman Ed Ra spoke at the New York Library Association’s Library Advocacy Day on February 28, about bringing library aid levels into the modern era.

Assemblyman Ed Ra was pleased to participate in the New York Library Association’s Library Advocacy Day on February 28. Ra met with representatives from local libraries in the 19th Assembly District and the Nassau Library System to talk about State Library Aid, which remains significantly below the New York State Education law’s required amount.

 

“Libraries are important aspects of any community, they don’t only provide reading materials, they provide research opportunities, classes and so many other essential services,” said Ra. “Despite a growing need to support libraries services, last year our libraries received $95.5 million in funding, placing aid at 2006 levels. In order to modernize and maintain our libraries we need construction aid investments. In addition to speaking at rallies to show my support for restoring library aid to a modern level, I have also spoken out against cuts to library and construction aid, which are currently in the governor’s proposed budget. We need to bring our libraries into the modern world and provide adequate support so they can continue to help our communities flourish.”

 

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Ra Announces New York Conference of Italian-American State Legislators Scholarships

Assemblyman Ed Ra is pleased to announce the New York Conference of Italian-American State Legislators will be offering four scholarships to current and prospective college students. Each scholarship is worth $3,000 and applications are due by Monday, April 16 to Ra’s district office. Awards will be presented on June 4 in Albany at the conference’s annual Legislative Conference Day.

 

“I am so pleased that we are able to once again offer this scholarship and help aid four more students’ dreams of furthering their education,” said Ra. “With the cost of college continually climbing, it is crucial that we let our children know that going to college is still an option for them with opportunities such as this scholarship. As there are so many talented young adults on Long Island who are deserving of awards such as these, I would encourage all eligible to apply.”

 

In addition to having the financial need for the scholarship, applicants must maintain a GPA of at least 85, participate in extracurricular activities, have good conduct, be an active member of their community and exhibit a commitment to earning a higher degree of education. Two scholarships will be awarded based on a student’s academic achievements and two will be awarded based on a student’s athletic performance.

 

Applications for residents of the 19th Assembly District can be obtained by calling Assemblyman Ra’s District Office at (516) 535-4095 or by emailing rae@nyassembly.gov. Applications can be submitted in person or by mail to Assemblyman Ra’s District Office by Monday, April 16 at 825 East Gate Boulevard, Suite 207, Garden City, NY 11530.

 

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Ra: More Taxes Are Not The Solution

Assemblyman Ed Ra announced his co-sponsorship of a bill (A.9061) which decouples the state and the federal government’s tax codes. Since the new federal tax plan would result in a multitude of changes to the tax code, many states which structured their own tax codes around the federal code are taking a closer look at what that could mean for their governments and residents.

 

“With some of the highest taxes in the country, the last thing New Yorkers need is more,” said Ra. “The governor has been focused on a lawsuit against the federal government and a massive reshuffling of our tax structure. Meanwhile, decoupling our tax codes is an immediate step that can be taken to prevent an additional $1.5 billion from being imposed on our taxpayers. I would like to call on the Assembly leadership to bring this bill forward for a vote as soon as possible to save us all from this burden.”

 

State legislators are concerned about the requirement for taxpayers to take the state standard deduction if they take the federal standard deduction, which is said to be more compliant with the new plan. Although it would provide nearly $45 million in additional revenue to the state, it would be at the expense of taxpayers, leaving them with thousands of dollars in extra taxable income. Another concern is the elimination of federal personal exemptions, which some New Yorkers previously used to be eligible for the standard deduction. This issue could cause the state tax liabilities of New Yorkers to increase by over $800 million.

 

“We need to stop complaining and start taking action to avoid saddling New Yorkers with a heavier burden,” Ra concluded.

 

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Ra: We Must Create a Safe Home for All New Yorkers

Assemblyman Ed Ra joined fellow members of the Assembly Minority Conference on Tuesday, January 23, to unveil a task force report on preventing domestic violence in New York. Five regional forums were held across New York to bring together domestic abuse survivors, legislators, advocates and members of law enforcement to explore different ways to stop in-home violence from occurring and how to better assist victims.

 

“When domestic violence occurs, trust is broken, something that can be hard to repair,” said Ra. “We need to help repair domestic violence victim’s ability to trust by providing them with the proper assistance and protection. They deserve to live a happy and safe life just like any other New Yorker.”

 

Initiatives included in the report,“A Safe Haven: Helping Abuse Victims and Enhancing Protections,” are:

 

  • New legislation to make committing domestic violence in the presence of a minor a much more serious offense.
  • Provide more options to temporarily shelter pets.
  • Declare domestic violence a public health crisis statewide.
  • Provide funds to help with the cost of living while victims seek help and distance themselves from their abusers.

 

“We hope that the Assembly Majority and the governor will take our proposals and findings into consideration in the addressment of this issue,” said Ra. “Domestic violence affects more people than we realize, as not only do many cases go unreported, but the loved ones of victims are affected as well. We must work together to put a stop to domestic violence and create a safe home for all New Yorkers.”

 

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Ra: It’s Time to Buckle Down and Prioritize this Year

A Statement from Assemblyman Ed Ra on the Governor’s Budget Presentation

 

“With New York facing a budget deficit of up to $4 billion, it is important we really buckle down and prioritize this year. Gov. Cuomo has already admitted this year will be a difficult one, which is why we must concentrate on what he does and doesn’t propose to help New York’s economy. This means putting things such as economic development programs and Hollywood tax credits under a microscope to determine if they are failing or flourishing so they don’t end up costing us money that could be put to better use elsewhere. We must put money toward our public transportation systems and infrastructure, provide living wages to direct-care workers and fully fund our school systems to help New York grow as a state.”

 

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Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb Names Assemblyman Ed Ra Assistant Minority Leader Pro Tempore

Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb announced the appointment of Assemblyman Ed Ra as Assistant Minority Leader Pro Tempore. The Assistant Minority Leader Pro Tempore plays a vital role in preparation of floor debates and is also crucial to managing floor activity for the Conference.

 

“It’s a pleasure for me to announce that Assemblyman Ed Ra has been appointed as the Assistant Minority Leader Pro Tempore,” Leader Kolb said. “Ed has showcased his dedication and passion as a public servant over the years, fighting to improve the quality of life for his constituents in Nassau County. His unwavering tenacity and deep understanding of an array of legislative issues will serve our Conference well in his newly-appointed role.”

 

Ra will be replacing Assemblyman Andy Goodell who was appointed Minority Leader Pro Tempore.

 

“I’d like to thank Minority Leader Kolb for entrusting me with this new role and the opportunity to work with my fellow legislators during this critical juncture in our state,” Ra said. “There is a need more than ever to effectively provide a voice to every hardworking New Yorker on the critical topics addressed on the Assembly floor. I look forward to continuing to support and advocate on behalf of ideas that will make New York a friendlier environment for all.”

 

Ra has been a member of the Assembly, working for the 19th District since 2010. He serves on the following committees: Codes, Education, Higher Education, Health, Transportation and Ways and Means.

 

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Hearing Held Regarding Water Quality Infrastructure Act of 2017

Assemblyman Ed Ra attended a hearing on December 4 regarding water quality and the implementation of the $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017. Representatives from the Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) were in attendance to talk about progress on initiatives funded in the 2017-18 Enacted Budget. Topics discussed included funding for the replacement of residential lead service lines and the recently announced plan for a new outfall pipe at the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant.

 

“Clean drinking water is a basic necessity of life and preserving and protecting our sole source aquifer should be of the utmost importance,” said Ra. “There are many steps and routes we must take to ensure this, and I am happy to see that our historic investment in this year’s state budget is already having an impact. The feedback from our agencies and other organizations will help ensure that this funding, and future initiatives, are focused on ensuring clean, quality drinking water for generations to come.”

 

Also discussed was the issue of emerging contaminants, which was a focus of the legislation. Ra questioned representatives from the DOH regarding the progress of a pilot program launched by the NYS Center for Clean Water Technology (CCWT) at Stony Brook University to find an advanced water treatment to remove 1,4 dioxane that is found in many water districts on Long Island. The DEC is also working on a $75 million Nitrogen action plan, while the state is spending $6 million for a groundwater study on Long Island with the U.S. Geological Service. Legislators in attendance stressed the need for continued investment during the upcoming legislative session.

 

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Ra Writes To Speaker Ryan Urging For The Protection Of Middle-Class Long Islanders In Washington Tax Reforms

Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square) recently wrote to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wi.) to express his concern over the proposed Federal Tax Reform Bill. The bill in its current form would have many middle-class suburban Long Islanders facing higher taxes.

 

“I think every hardworking taxpayer would like taxes to be simplified, but the current proposal in Washington would put my constituents here on Long Island at a distinct disadvantage,” said Ra. “I encourage the speaker to consider the alternatives proposed by our local representatives. The tax plan should give special attention in developing solutions that can provide tax relief for middle-class taxpayers while they pursue a simplified tax code and reforms that may stimulate economic growth. Please do not forget the people who are the backbone of our nation’s economy.”

 

In his letter, Ra urges the speaker to keep in place the federal deductions for local and state taxes, which have been in place for more than 100 years. This is particularly important to New York taxpayers, who send more tax dollars to the Federal government than they receive back. According to Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, in 2016 the disparity between what is paid to the Federal government by New Yorkers and what it received in return was $41 billion, more than twice what it was only three years before.

 

Additionally, the proposed $10,000 cap on local property tax deduction would hurt Ra’s constituents significantly. The combined impact of removing federal deductions on local and state taxes and the reduced amount homeowners would be allowed to write off on their income taxes would prove detrimental to the well-being of Long Island and New York taxpayers. The policies would increase the tax burden on middle-class families.

 

Ra urges Speaker Ryan to reconsider a new approach to achieving a simplified tax code that would not harm New York middle-class families. A copy of Ra’s letter can be found here.

 

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