Category Archives: Elaine Phillips

Senator Phillips, Colleagues Hear from Local Stakeholders on Flaws in New York’s MWBE Program

MWBEState Senator Elaine Phillips recently hosted a hearing in Mineola to gather feedback from business owners, industry leaders and other stakeholders on ways to improve New York’s Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) program.


The discussion followed similar hearings held this summer in Albany, Watertown and Binghamton, where over a dozen individuals provided testimony detailing many of problems they have encountered with the MWBE certification program, including participation thresholds, the lengthy certification process, project delays, as well as forcing businesses to hire contractors outside the area.


“While the MWBE program is a very well-intentioned program that I believe has the potential to help our businesses and entrepreneurs thrive here on Long Island, we are learning of recurring themes how the program is causing significant hurdles for those local business interested in participating”, said Senator Phillips.


Representatives from the General Contractors Association of NY, the Long Island Contractor’s Association, the Association of General Contractors of NYS, the Women’s Builder’s Council, the NYS Sustainable Corporation as well as a number of local businesses and interest groups participated in the hearing.


“We heard from numerous individuals and businesses on how requirements of the program have caused project costs to rise, be delayed, and, in many cases, forced local businesses to hire contractors and workers from areas outside of Long Island. Our local businesses are already overregulated and we need to find ways to better reduce the amount of unfunded mandates so we can find more efficient and effective ways of producing local jobs,” said Senator Phillips.


Senator Phillips said another hearing hosted by the Senate will be held in October in New York City.


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Senator Phillips Secures $100,000 for the Manhasset Women’s Coalition Against Breast Cancer’s Outreach Program

Manhasset Women’s Coalition Against Breast CancerContinuing her efforts to support women’s healthcare services on Long Island, Senator Elaine Phillips announced that she has secured $100,000 for the Manhasset Women’s Coalition Against Breast Cancer (MWCABC). The funding will be used by its Outreach Program for educational programming on breast cancer awareness, prevention and women’s wellness, as well as targeted support services to help women and their families as they fight and recover from cancer.


Senator Phillips recently met with members of the coalition to discuss some of the organization’s programs and initiatives for cancer services that will help improve the lives of Long Island women.


“Roughly 1 in 8 women in our country will develop breast cancer during their lifetime and here on Long Island, cancer rates are unfortunately higher than average. Our region is fortunate to have the Manhasset Women’s Coalition Against Breast Cancer and its unique Outreach Program serving those in need in our local community,” said Senator Phillips. “Early detection is paramount and when found early enough, breast cancer is highly treatable. Next month is National Breast Cancer month and this vital funding will jumpstart MWCABC’s annual efforts to raise funding for research advocacy, educational outreach and services to those with breast cancer and related diseases.”


“There are not enough words to convey our sincere appreciation for this grant awarded to the MWCABC Outreach Program through the efforts of Senator Phillips,” said Lori Kearns, VP Outreach. “It will allow us to continue with our mission to empower our community by providing assistance and inspiring hope to those affected by breast cancer and their families through outreach, education and support services. Thank you again, Senator Phillips, on behalf of all connected to Outreach, especially myself and my co-chairs, Sabine Hairabedian, Lynn Minutillo and Dorothy Forte, for standing up for women’s health initiatives!”


The funding is part of a resolution passed earlier this year by the New York State Senate to support a range of community-based investments in cancer prevention and treatment, maternal health initiatives, help for new mothers with substance abuse problems, and other programs to improve mental, emotional, and physical well-being.


The Manhasset Women’s Coalition Against Breast Cancer is an all-volunteer, charitable organization founded to unite the women of Manhasset in the fight against breast cancer. For further information visit:


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Senate Bill Preserving Crucial Benefits For 9/11 Responders Becomes Law

Senator Elaine Phillips announced that a measure to preserve benefits for heroes who sacrificed their health and well-being during the September 11 terrorist attack response was signed into law. The legislation, which Senator Phillips supported, extends the ability for participants injured in World Trade Center rescue, recovery, or clean-up operations to claim workers’ compensation benefits.


“The first responders of 9/11 deserve any assistance they need in obtaining the benefits which they deserve and are entitled to receive,” said Senator Phillips. “This legislation extends the claim period, allows denied applications to be reconsidered by the Workers Compensation Board and extends the period for those still needing to file a notice of participation.”


Initially, individuals who participated in the World Trade Center rescue, recovery, or clean-up operations had until September 11, 2010, to file the required Notice of Participation and become eligible for workers’ compensation. This is the third extension of the deadline to enable fair treatment of those who are still getting diagnosed and coping with WTC-related illnesses. The new law also gives individuals who applied and were denied benefits between September 11, 2015 and September 11, 2017, the opportunity to have their claims reconsidered.


In addition to several bills which were passed to enhance benefits and acknowledge the contributions made by 9/11 rescue and recovery workers, police officers, firefighters, and other first responders, legislation was signed into law to create a new special license plate commemorating the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The surcharge collected for the plate will be deposited into the World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship, which provides access to a college education for children, spouses, and financial dependents of innocent victims who died or were severely and permanently disabled as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.\


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Senator Phillips To Hold ‘Shed The Meds’ Program in Manhasset

Residents Invited to Safely Dispose of Expired or Unwanted Medications on September 15


Senator Elaine Phillips in partnership with the Manhasset Community Coalition Against Substance Abuse (CASA) and the Nassau County Police Department, will once again be sponsoring a “Shed the Meds” program to help residents safely dispose of unused or expired medications.


“Families on Long Island and across New York State, are struggling with the devastation and heartbreak caused by our heroin and opioid crisis. Events such as this not only help prevent dangerous prescription medications from being abused, but provide another tool in the collaborative fight to end this epidemic. Additionally, increasing proper disposal methods will also protect our environment by curbing the amount of medication flushed into our sole-source of drinking water,” said Senator Phillips.


The “Shed the Meds” program will be held on Saturday, September 15 from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm at Shelter Rock Elementary School located at 27A Shelter Rock Road in Manhasset.


Participating in the program is easy; residents will be able to drive up, drop off their old or unused medications, and drive away. Residents can bring any type of medication for disposal, however needles cannot be accepted. All collected medication will be safely disposed of by officers from the Nassau County Police Department who will be supervising the program.


Senator Phillip’s previous Shed the Meds events have collected and properly disposed of over 800 pounds of unwanted drugs.


Residents who need more information about the “Shed the Meds” program on September 15 can call Senator Phillips’ office at 516-746-5924.


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Nurse-Family Partnership Honors Senator Phillips With ‘Force For Good Public Policy’ Award

The Force For Good Award Recognizes Policymakers For Making A Difference For Families In Poverty


The Nurse-Family Partnership, a national program serving first-time moms and their children living in poverty, has awarded State Senator Elaine Phillips the Force for Good Public Policy Award.


Senator Phillips worked to increase funding for the program in this year’s State Budget and was successful in increasing the appropriation from $3 million last year to $3.8 million. The added funding will provide an additional 175 first-time mothers statewide with evidence-based nurse home visiting services. Senator Phillips has also attended local graduation ceremonies for first-time mothers taking part in the program.


“The Nurse Family Partnership plays an integral role in many communities here on Long Island and provides vital services to low-income teens and first-time pregnant women,” said Senator Phillips. “The education and knowledge provided by the nurses is immeasurable and has helped thousands of women give their children the best possible start to life. I am proud to support NFP’s many efforts and am truly humbled to receive this award from such a wonderful organization. ”


“The efforts of Senator Phillips will change the lives of vulnerable families across New York State and create the foundations for successful families for generations to come,” said Kelly Headrick, National Director of Advocacy & State Government Relations at Nurse-Family Partnership. “Her leadership and foresight truly make them a powerful Force for Good in their communities.”


Nurse-Family Partnership was established in New York in 2003 and has served more than 17,500 families in twelve counties. The Nurse-Family Partnership Force for Good Public Policy Award recognizes elected officials for making a difference for families in poverty.


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Senator Phillips Introduces Bill Allowing School District Opt Out as Election Day Polling Place

Citing concerns over the need to further strengthen school security measures and help keep New York students safe, Senator Elaine Phillips has introduced legislation that lets school districts opt out as Election Day polling places.


“Every parent wants to know that their children are safe at school every single day- and state and school leaders have been working hard to enhance security, including locking doors and requiring identification to limit entry during class hours,” said Senator Phillips. “Yet once a year or more, schools are required to throw open their doors and let everyone in, even if experts feel that they are not equipped to handle the extra security needs that go along with being designated as a polling site.”


“We need to let schools decide if opening their doors puts children at additional risk, and if more suitable sites should be found for Election Day voting.”


As schools seek to strengthen security in the wake of violent incidents across the country, a growing number have asked to be removed from lists of designated polling places, but there is no provision under existing law that lets schools opt out, even though certain other facilities, like fire houses, have that right.


The issue recently became more urgent as a result of the Governor’s decision to “pardon” potentially thousands of convicted sex offenders and other violent felons, allowing them to vote during this year’s elections. School leaders have told Senator Phillips that they have received no guidance from the state on how to prevent or even determine if sex offenders attempt to enter schools on Election Day.


“I appreciate Senator Phillips’ understanding this important school security issue and I am in favor of this legislation. While not every school needs to opt out, this would allow districts like Mineola to work with the local community to find a more suitable location outside of school buildings which may lack the proper measures to accommodate students and voters,” said Dr. Michael P. Nagler, Superintendent of Mineola Union Free School District.


“School officials are responsible for building operations, security and safety every day of the year. The proposed legislation would allow the school officials charged with this responsibility to determine whether school security and safety needs can be met when polling is proposed to be held in our school buildings and, where district safety and security needs cannot be met with polling in a school building, as is the case in our District buildings, the legislation would provide school officials with a much needed procedure to have the polling removed and re-located elsewhere,” said Dr. Jennifer Morrison, New Hyde Park-Garden City Park Superintendent.


“I support this legislation which would allow school administrators to take a look at individual schools within the district to determine on a case-by-case basis, which buildings, if any, should opt out as a polling location due to safety concerns,” said Dr. Ralph Ferrie, Superintendent, Sewanhaka Central High School District.


“The New York State School Boards Association thanks Senator Phillips for her leadership on this important issue. School districts should have the authority to take the steps necessary to keep our students and staff safe, and this bill represents an important tool to ensure that safety. We look forward to working with the Senator to enact this bill,” said Julie M. Marlette, Director, Governmental Relations, NYS School Boards Association.


Earlier this year, Senator Phillips exposed a dozen “high risk” sex offenders in Nassau County who are among thousands of convicted felons who were given extraordinary pardons by the Governor so that they could vote this year. The list included child rapists, offenders with long rap sheets and victims as young as two years old. Senator Phillips notified school officials and law enforcement so they could be on watch.


Half of the polling sites in Senator Phillips’ Senate District are located in schools. Polling inspectors generally cannot ask voters for identification, so it is unlikely they would know a voter is listed on the registry. Being listed on the registry as a sex offender also is not among six approved reasons—such as being absent from the county or a resident of a nursing home—a voter can cite for the need to vote by mail using an absentee ballot.


Senator Phillips’ bill, S.9155, would give schools districts the authority to decline designation as a polling site by filing a written request of cancellation if they can identify structural or security issues that would put students at risk.


In addition to highlighting the issue of sex offenders voting in schools, Senator Phillips has championed a number of other efforts to improve security in local schools. She has provided tens of thousands of dollars to local schools for security upgrades and helped break a bureaucratic logjam that was delaying funding for districts to install technology and make other facility safety improvements.


She also supported a sweeping package of legislation to help keep children safe at school, including bills that would increase the ability of schools to hire qualified security personnel, provide additional grants for structural safety improvements, expand school-based mental health services and enhance law enforcement’s ability to identify and prevent threats of violence.


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Senator Phillips Tours Nassau County Corrections Center, Announces Funding for Jail Based Services

Funds Secured in Budget To Provide Substance Use Disorder Treatment Programs


Senator Phillips toured the Nassau County Correctional Center recently with Sheriff Vera Fludd, President of Nassau County COBA Brian Sullivan, and Commissioner of Corrections Alphonzo Albright.  Together they observed the facility’s substance use disorder treatment programs.


Earlier this year Senator Phillips, a member of the Senate Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, announced $200,000 in state funding to help implement, support, and expand vital jail-based services at the Nassau County facility. This funding was part of $3.75 million the Task Force fought to include in the budget for substance use disorder treatment programs at 17 correctional facilities statewide.


“The heroin and opioid epidemic continues to ravage communities throughout New York, and especially on Long Island. As our local jails continue to fill with those struggling from addiction, it is evident that a punitive approach will not work and that jail-based services provide a better path to recovery and reduced recidivism rates,” said Senator Phillips. “This important funding will help provide essential treatment programs and services to individuals in the Nassau County correctional system and will undoubtedly assist with their recovery as they reenter our local communities. Thank you to Sheriff Fludd and Brian Sullivan for their continued efforts to tackle the heroin and opioid epidemic in our region.”


County jails that currently offer treatment services have seen significant benefits, including decreased recidivism rates and cost savings.


“In addition to greatly reducing the recidivism rate and improving overall public safety, these programs help rebuild lives and stop the endless cycle of incarceration, ultimately saving thousands of dollars in taxpayer money,” said Phillips.


“We thank the members of the New York State Senate for securing funding to provide additional jail-based addiction services. Treatment and programmatic activities within the jail setting are critical in fighting the opioid epidemic and Nassau County’s agencies will work with Sheriff Vera Fludd to maximize the benefits of this additional funding,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.


Brian Sullivan, President of Nassau County COBA said, “COBA is proud to stand with Senator Phillips in her efforts to combat the opioid crisis on Long Island. Senator Phillips has always been a friend to law enforcement and her commitment to her community is unmatched.


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Senator Phillips Announces New Law Protecting Children In Daycare From Smoking Hazards

Measure Closes a Loophole to Prohibit Smoking at All Times and All Areas Where Child Care is Provided


Senator Phillips announced that a bill she supported preventing second and third-hand smoke from harming children in child care was signed into law recently. The bill, S.7522, prohibits smoking at all times in areas of private homes that are used to provide child care services.


“Studies have repeatedly shown that both second and third-hand smoke can cause numerous health problems in infants and children, including respiratory and ear infections, asthma attacks and even sudden infant death syndrome,” said Senator Phillips. “I am pleased to have supported this legislation in an effort to create a healthier environment for kids in New York family daycare.”


The health impacts of third-hand smoke have been the subject of research in recent years. Most notably, a study by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory demonstrated that third-hand smoke can lead to gene mutation, which, according to the Berkeley Lab News Center, is “associated with the development of diseases and is a critical mechanism responsible for many types of cancer caused by smoking and second-hand smoke exposure.” These findings also suggest that airing out indoor areas will not eliminate third-hand smoke.


Under current law, operators and residents of home-based daycare centers are permitted to smoke in these centers outside their hours of operation. Studies on the effects of third-hand smoke – defined as residual contamination from cigarette smoke toxicants that can linger on surfaces – have shown evidence of the same harmful effects associated with first and second-hand smoking. This new law will help protect infants and toddlers against carcinogens and other health risks by closing this dangerous loophole and prohibit home-based daycare centers from smoking in the rooms daycare is provided.


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Senator Phillips Says Scrap LIRR Fare Hike Until Service Improves

Phillips Calls on MTA to Scrap Plans for ’19 Hike Following Record Service Failures; Cites $8 Million ‘Summer of Hell’ Ticket Discount as Precedent for Linking Fares and Service


State Senator Elaine Phillips is calling on the MTA to link any future LIRR fare hikes to service improvements on the beleaguered line and said that without measurable gains, next year’s planned increase should be scrapped.


In a letter to MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota and the 22 members of its governing board, Phillips cited the railroad’s worst on-time performance in 20 years, and said the $8 million ticket savings that commuters received during the “summer of hell” Penn Station reconstruction was precedent for linking service levels with commuting costs. Phillips was first to call on the MTA to provide discounts to riders who faced delays and changes to their commuting routines.


“Raising fares while service continues to falter on a daily basis is a misguided move and will only further hurt the thousands of commuters who are already facing the worst rail service in two decades,” said Senator Phillips. “The MTA needs to scrap its fare hike plans until it can achieve measurable improvements in service, on-time performance and customer satisfaction, as well as a reduction in equipment breakdowns and avoidable delays.”


According to an audit by the State Comptroller, over 2,000 LIRR trains were delayed 15 minutes or more, impacting tens of thousands of commuters, in just the months of December and January. In just the past few weeks, the LIRR has had three derailments and three straight days of interrupted rush hour service causing over packed trains.


Meanwhile, the MTA is proposing up to a 4 percent fare increase—its seventh increase in the last decade—to take effect in 2019.


“LIRR commuters are not getting what they are paying for,” Phillips said. “And adding to their burden only brings insult to that injury.”


Phillips called on the MTA to set service improvement benchmarks that the LIRR must reach before any fare increases can go through.


She also called on the Board to reject any plan that would result in Nassau County commuters paying a disproportionate, larger share of any future fare hikes, as was recently proposed by one prominent MTA Board member.


“Additionally, the notion that the MTA would also propose to adopt an uneven fare hike plan weighted more heavily on Nassau County residents is unconscionable – and I will do all possible to ensure my constituents are not subjected to higher fares than other commuters,” Senator Phillips said.


Click here for a copy of Senator Phillips’ letter to the Lhota and the MTA Board.


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Senator Elaine Phillips Secures Funding for Nassau County Museum of Art

NC Museum of ArtContinuing her support of local arts and educational institutions, Senator Elaine Phillips announced that she has secured $75,000 in state funding for the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor.


“We are fortunate to have one of the nation’s largest, most important suburban art museums, the Nassau County Museum of Art, right here on Long Island,” said Senator Phillips. “The museum is accredited by the New York State Board of Regents as a museum and educational institution providing programs for all ages, including nearly 20,000 Long Island school children each year who take part in tours and art education activities. The nationally recognized museum is also a tourist draw for our region and provides numerous community outreach programs throughout the year. It was a pleasure to secure this funding to assist with needed renovations at the Museum.”


Formerly the Frick Estate, the 145-acre property in Roslyn Harbor boasts one of the largest publicly accessible sculpture parks on the East Coast. The sculpture park was founded in 1989 and houses more than 40 works of art entwined in the natural landscape. In addition to the sculpture park, the main structure — the Arnold & Joan Saltzman Fine Art Building, houses permanent and rotating collections and there are also numerous walking trails throughout the Gold Coast property.


“The Museum Board, staff, and volunteers greatly thanks Senator Phillips for her support to the museum. Her dedication to the local arts allows us to make necessary renovations to our facilities, while opening the door to more educational programs. We are very grateful for our relationship with the Senator and look forward to her visiting again,” said Board President, Angela Anton.


“We love it when Senator Phillips visits the museum. She gets what we are doing not just with art but education, she arrives with advice and ideas and then we find even more ways to help us fulfill our mission. Her support puts us on the road to turning our galleries and classrooms into world-class spaces for art. I wish she could come more often, it is like a transfusion of enthusiasm and smart strategies,” said Executive Director, Charles Riley.


“The Museum of Art has much to offer through its many exhibits and programs and I encourage Long Island residents to visit the museum as often as possible to view the rotating exhibitions, permanent collection, sculpture park and walking trails,” Senator Phillips said.


For more information about upcoming events, exhibitions and special programs, visit:


Pictured at the Museum of Art (left to right) are Charles Riley, Executive Director; Senator Philips; Angela Anton, Board of Trustees President; Monica Reischmann, Director of Development; Laura Lynch, Director of Education.


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