Category Archives: Ed Ra

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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Ra Partners With Girl Scouts And Rock Out Cures Inc. For Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Drive

Girl Scouts And Rock Out Cures IncAssemblyman Ed Ra is proud to announce the success of the disaster relief drive for Hurricane Harvey he hosted with Girl Scout Troop 1888 and Rock Out Cures Inc which collected over 35 boxes of personal hygiene products, baby items and cleaning supplies for victims of Hurricane Harvey, which included family members of one of the Girls Scouts.


“My heart goes out to the victims of Hurricane Harvey and I am sure so many of my fellow Long Islanders can relate to what they must be feeling after Hurricane Sandy five years ago,” said Ra. “When events such as Hurricane Harvey cause such devastating destruction, it is important for us to reach out to help those in need. When Hurricane Sandy hit Long Island in 2012, we received so much support from across the country that it is important to give back when others are put in similar situations.”


Collection boxes were placed at different locations in Franklin Square, including: Red Mango, the Franklin Square Public Library, King Kullen and The Plattduetsche Park Restaurant. Troop 1888 was on-site to collect at Trotters Bar & Grill on September 9 as well.


“We are very proud of the members of Girl Scout Troop 1888. Their efforts to bring relief to the victims of Hurricane Harvey are outstanding,” said Donna Rivera-Downey, chief marketing and communications officer of the Nassau County Girl Scouts. “These G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers and Leaders) are living up to the Girl Scout Promise they made “to help people at all times.”


“Rock Out Cures is happy to help Girl Scout Troop 1888 and Assemblyman Ed Ra with providing donations to the communities affected by Hurricane Harvey. We are so proud to be a part of this community that always answers the call for help,” said Bryan Mayer, president and founder of Rock Out Cures Inc.


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Ra Hosts Successful End Of Summer Food Drive

End Of Summer Food Drive

Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square) with Casey Munro, Franklin Square resident, Hope Vitale, King Kullen store manager, and Long Island Cares volunteers, Charlie Benjamin, Sophia Benjamin and Roxana Benjamin at Saturday’s food drive.

Assemblyman Ed Ra recently announced the success of his annual Summer Food Drive to End Hunger, which collected 1,021 pounds of food on Saturday, September 9 at the King Kullen in Franklin Square. The food will be distributed to the nearly 600 member agencies of Long Island Cares to feed more than 316,000 hungry Long Islanders in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties.


“During a time when food drive donations are historically low, the Summer Food Drive to End Hunger serves as a significant tool in meeting our vision of a hunger-free Long Island. This series of food drives helps us to put more food on the tables of our friends and neighbors facing food insecurity. The food drive sponsored by Assemblyman Ed Ra on Saturday, September 9, 2017 resulted in 1,021 pounds of food for the needy. We are very grateful to Assemblyman Ra for his participation and recognizing the truth of hunger on Long Island, and for his decision to stand and act on behalf of those in need,” said William Gonyou, Community Events and Food Drive Manager of Long Island Cares.


“It is important for us to give back and help those who struggle to feed themselves or their families,” said Ra. “I am thrilled with the success of this year’s food drive and look forward to exceeding this year’s goal at next year’s event. I want to thank King Kullen and my Franklin Square neighbors for their generosity.” With the recent devastation in our country, it is crucial to do all we can to support each other, and simply giving a can of beans or a box of instant potatoes helps tremendously.”


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Ra Honors Local Vets At Heroes Night Out

Heroes Night Out

Assemblyman Ed Ra is proud to spend time with and help give back to local veterans at his annual Heroes Night Out BBQ.

Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square) spent time with local veterans last weekend at his annual Heroes Night Out BBQ at the Franklin Square VFW. Over 100 veterans attended the event, enjoying burgers and hot dogs with all the fixings as they learned from Ra more about opportunities available to them. Representatives from Nassau County Town Clerk Maureen O’Connell’s office, the Northport VA and the Nassau County Veterans Service Agency were present.


“Getting to spend the day with those who have risked their lives for our country was truly an honor,” said Ra. “I am so happy I had the opportunity to give back to veterans by providing them with information which can help improve their quality of life. These people have given so much to our country in so many ways that anything I can do to help them is an honor in itself. I want to especially thank VFW Post 2718 for hosting this event again, Franklin Square Boy Scout Troop 93 for providing our color guard and The Coral House for partnering with us in providing a classic summer BBQ for the veterans and their guests. I look forward to hosting this event for many years to come as a way to support local veterans and help them gain access to the benefits they are entitled to.”


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Ra Honored With Prestigious Merit Award From 4201 Schools Association

Ra 4201 Schools AssociationSince he was elected to the state Legislature Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square) has worked to provide equitable funding for schools that serve all types of student needs. Monday, his dedication was awarded by the 4201 Schools of New York State with the 2017 Award of Merit. The mission of 4201 schools is to enhance and advocate for the education of students with low-incidence disabilities, which include blind and deaf students. There are currently nine private state supported 4201 schools in New York State.


“It is a great honor to receive an award from such a dedicated and important organization who commits themselves to the education and mentoring of disabled, blind and deaf students,” Ra said. “Over the last several years we have seen education funding increased throughout New York, but many of the facilities that educate disabled deaf and blind students are too often forgotten. I am determined to make sure that these institutions and students are not only recognized, but also funded equitably.”


“I would like to thank the 4201 Schools of New York State for honoring me and recognizing my efforts to champion such an important cause,” said Ra. “This organization along with the dedicated teachers, faculty and staff provide an environment that makes our most vulnerable students thrive and I am deeply humbled and honored to be recognized by such a hardworking and dedicated organization.”


Ra held a press conference in February with lawmakers from across the aisle calling for equitable funding for 853, 4201 and 4410 schools. Ra was joined by a host of other advocates.


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Ra Skeptical But Hopeful On 3rd Rail Project

A Statement from Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square) on moving forward with the 3rd rail project


“With funding now in place for the Governor’s third track project I remain skeptical but hopeful that the improvements promised to our communities will help both commuters and non-commuters alike. In particular, the elimination of several grade crossings will improve motorist safety and traffic flow in our communities while enhanced and renovated local stations will hopefully make traveling on the LIRR more efficient and a better experience for both daily commuters and those utilizing the system for leisure.


“As this project moves forward it is essential that the MTA fulfill the promises that they have made to the communities neighboring the LIRR main line. This includes keeping traffic and neighborhood disruption to a minimum during construction and ensuring displaced businesses are given the proper support that they will need to relocate. Further, given the state of the LIRR system as a whole I hope the MTA will continue to prioritize modernizing their infrastructure to bring Long Island commuters the quality of service they deserve.”


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