Category Archives: Elaine Phillips

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.

 

Visit Senator Phillips’ webpage

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: www.nassaumuseum.org.

 

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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Senator Phillips Honors Two Floral Park Eagle Scouts

Floral Park Eagle ScoutsSenator Elaine Phillips recently congratulated Michael Hyde and Matthew Killeen of Boy Scout Troop 482 in Floral Park for earning scouting’s highest honor; the rank of Eagle Scout.

 

At a ceremony held at the Floral Park American Legion, Senator Phillips presented Michael and Matthew with formal New York State Proclamations honoring their achievement.

 

“Eagle Scout is an honor aspired by many but achieved only by a select few. Successfully completing the years of hard work, training and community service needed to earn scouting’s highest rank, as Michael and Matthew have done, is a true testament of their commitment and dedication. Congratulations to Michael and Matthew, Scoutmaster Glen Zuccalmaglio, their families and entire Troop 482 on this outstanding achievement,” said Senator Phillips.

 

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Three Senate Bills to Combat Human Trafficking Signed into Law

Measures Help Stop the Sexual Exploitation of Children and Increase Access to Crucial Services for All Victims of Human Trafficking

 

Senator Phillips announced three bills helping to end the sexual exploitation of children and provide victims of human trafficking with potentially life-saving services have become law.

 

“Astonishingly, sex trafficking continues to plague communities across the state and Long Island. The safety and security of our children is paramount and I am committed to doing all possible to the protect victims while seeking justice,” said Senator Phillips. “While in recent years New York has strengthened its criminal justice response to trafficking by increasing the accountability of traffickers, patronizers, and other exploiters – the law did not go far enough in helping to prevent the prevalence of the sexual exploitation of minors by holding traffickers more accountable for the devastating impact they have on the lives of children they abuse. I was proud to support several measures aimed to stop the sexual exploitation of children, increasing access to help and providing safe housing for victims.”

 

Helping to Stop the Sexual Exploitation of Children:

A new law (S5988A) closes this dangerous loophole by creating the necessary criminal charge of sex trafficking of a child – eliminating the need to prove force, fraud, or coercion where a child under 18 engages in commercial sex. Unlike federal law, New York statutes prior to the signing of this bill put the onus on prosecutors to prove force, fraud, or coercion was used in order to find a person guilty of sex trafficking, even if the victim is a minor.

 

Increasing Access to Help for Victims of Human Trafficking:

Despite the fact that human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry, many New Yorkers never see its effects, and namely, the victims among us. Reports indicate that trafficking networks often rely on legitimate businesses, such as hotels, to sustain their illegal operations. Because hotels are a known location for exploitation of victims, hotels are an ideal location for presentation of information about services for victims.

 

A new law (S8874), requires facilities such as hotels, inns, and motels to provide informational cards on the services available to victims of human trafficking. Information about services, such as the national trafficking hotline, will be made readily available to trafficking victims and other hotel guests and displayed in public spaces such as public restrooms, individual guest rooms, and near the entrance. This will ensure that victims have access to a discreet informational card so they are able to call the hotline for help at a later time.

 

Additionally, (S7836) will help expand the availability of the Human Trafficking Intervention Court (HTIC) Initiative to reach more victims. The Courts were created to provide alternatives to incarceration for people arrested on prostitution charges, since many of the defendants were also victims of human trafficking. Previous law stated that four of the six HTIC courts outside of New York City lack jurisdiction to see cases that originate outside of the local criminal courts where they are physically situated. This new law expands that jurisdiction so that more victims would be eligible to receive the crucial services that are appropriate for their individual situations, including counseling, job training, education, housing, and medical treatment, among others.

 

Providing Safe And Supportive Housing To Victims:

For many victims of human trafficking, one of the most immediate needs is a safe, supportive place to stay, especially for survivors who are fleeing an exploitative work or living situation.

 

Another measure, bill (S8305) has also been delivered to the Governor for review and helps establish short-term and long-term safe house residential facilities to be operated by not-for-profit agencies for victims of human trafficking. The residential facilities will be crucial in providing vulnerable victims services that include emergency shelter, food, clothing, medical care, and counseling and crisis intervention.

 

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Senator Phillips Honors Local 9th Battalion At First Responders Appreciation Night

 9th Battalion Westbury Carle Place Fire DepartmentSenator Elaine Phillips recently hosted the last First Responders Appreciation Night in her summer series of events honoring the brave men and women who risk their lives to protect residents in the 7th Senate District. Honorees included 9th Battalion members of the Westbury and Carle Place Fire Department.

 

“Our local volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel are the backbone of Long Island communities and we cannot thank them enough for their courageous service keeping our families safe,” Senator Phillips said. “While no amount of thanks can express the appreciation we have for our first responders, or underscore the important role they play in our communities, events such as this provide an opportunity to recognize those that go above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you to all the fellow first responders, family and friends who came out to support our local heroes during the events over the last few weeks.”

 

Westbury

Lt. Dominic Buffolino was honored for his recent actions at a working fire. Lt. Buffolino, along with local police officers pulled a victim out of a burning building.

 

Carle Place

Ex Chief Patrick Fitzgerald was honored for 50 years of service to the Carle Place Fire Department. Ex Chief Fitzgerald remains active in response to alarms and is dedicated in serving his department and community.

 

Firefighter George Mutari was honored for his 48 years as a member of the Carle Place Fire Department. FF Mutari is know be extremely active in response to alarms and serves his department and the Carle Place community.

 

This event concluded the 2018 series of Senator Phillips’ “First Responder Appreciation Nights.”

 

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Senator Phillips Helps Floral Park Fire Department Celebrate 125 Years

Floral Park Fire DepartmentSenator Elaine Phillips recently had the opportunity to march alongside some of Floral Park’s bravest in a parade that celebrated 125 years of outstanding service of the Floral Park Fire Department.

 

“For 125 years, the members of the Floral Park Fire Department committed their lives and have repeatedly gone above and beyond the call of duty to keep the Floral Park community safe,” said Senator Phillips. “I want to thank Floral Park Chief David Maickel for allowing me to participate in the celebration and I especially want to relay my gratitude and deep respect to all the men and women who serve or have served this department.”

 

Floral Park Mayor Dominic Longobardi declared August 4th as “Floral Park Fire Department Day” in the Village which included the parade followed by food, music and a commendation ceremony. Members of the Elmont, New Hyde Park, Garden City Park, South Floral Park, Stewart Manor, Bellerose Terrace & Village and New York City fire departments also joined in the commemoration ceremonies.

 

A three part series on the 125-year history of the Floral Park Fire Department, produced by Four Village Studios, can be seen by visiting the Floral Park Fire Department’s web site at: https://fpvillage.org/departments/fire-department/.

 

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Senator Phillips Hosts Back-To-School Backpacks & Supplies Drive

Senator Elaine Phillips has announced she is partnering with United Way of Long Island and the Long Island Nets again this year for a “Stuff-A-Bus” school supply collection drive to benefit needy students throughout the region.

 

“As Senator, one of my top priorities is to ensure that our children have the basic tools necessary to acquire the knowledge and skills to not only succeed, but to excel, within and beyond the classroom,” said Senator Phillips.  “Thanks to the generosity of the residents in our region, last year’s supply drive was a great success and helped hundreds of students.  With the new school year quickly approaching, I am pleased to be coordinating this backpack and supplies drive once again and thank the United Way, Long Island Nets and our local libraries for their assistance.”

 

Supplies needed include backpacks, pens, pencils, rulers, protractors, lined paper, notebooks, composition paper, folders, binders, basic calculator, glue sticks and highlighters.

 

The drive is already underway and will run through August 17.  Donations can be dropped off at any of the following locations:

  • Senator Elaine Phillips District Office – 252 Mineola Boulevard, Mineola (516-746-5924)
  • East Williston Library – 2 Prospect Street, East Williston  (516-746-0782)
  • Elmont Library – 700 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont, (516-354-5280 ext. x218)
  • Floral Park Library – 17 Caroline Place, Floral Park, (516-326-6330)
  • Franklin Square Library – 19 Lincoln Road, Franklin Square (516-488-3444)
  • Great Neck Library – 159 Bayview Avenue, Great Neck (516-466-8055 ext.254)
  • Manhasset Library – 30 Onderdonk Avenue, Manhasset (516-627-2300 ext. 7)
  • Mineola Library – 195 Marcellus Road, Mineola (516-746-8488)
  • Port Washington Library -  1 Library Drive, Port Washington (516-767-3263)
  • Shelter Rock Library – 165 Searingtown Road, Albertson (516-248-7363)
  • The Bryant Library – 2 Paper Mill Road, Roslyn (516-621-2240 ext.210)
  • Westbury Library – 445 Jefferson Street, Westbury (516-333-0176)
  • Williston Park Public Library – 495 Willis Avenue, Williston Park (516-742-1820)

 

For more information, please call Senator Phillips’ office at 516-746-5924.

 

Visit Senator Phillips’ webpage

Senator Phillips Introduces Property Tax Legislation Helping Nassau County Seniors, Disabled

Senator Elaine Phillips announced today that she has introduced legislation, S.9146, which would provide property tax parity for Nassau County senior citizens and individuals with disabilities.

 

“Long Island has one of the highest cost of living indexes in both the state and the entire country. A huge part of that equation is the high cost of housing which severely impacts seniors and those with disabilities living on a fixed income,” Senator Phillips said. “By boosting income eligibility levels for the Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption (SCHE), and the Disabled Home owners’ Exemption (DHE) we are providing an avenue to allow more individuals to remain in their homes and not be faced with exorbitant property taxes. I am proud to sponsor this legislation and will work to see it is enacted into state law.”

 

Last month, Senator Phillips joined with Floral Park senior citizens, Hempstead Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin and Nassau County Legislature Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello to demand that Nassau homeowners be granted the same income eligibility levels for senior citizen property tax exemptions homeowners in New York City, which were recently increased under a new law.

 

“Owning a home on Long Island is expensive, especially for senior citizens and people with disabilities, many of whom are living on a fixed income,” Town of Hempstead Receiver of Taxes Donald Clavin said. “It’s only right that our Nassau homeowners get the same level of property tax relief as our neighbors in New York City are enjoying. Accordingly, I want to thank Senator Elaine Phillips for sponsoring legislation that would ‘level the playing field’ for our mature residents by increasing the income eligibility levels for the Senior Citizens Property Tax Exemption in Nassau County.”

 

The newly approved law boosts income eligibility levels for New York City seniors and persons with disabilities who seek an exemption by as much as 72.4 percent. For example, the pre-existing income ceiling of $29,000 for a full 50 percent exemption (the highest exemption level) is raised to $50,000 under the law. In addition, the maximum income level that a New York City senior may achieve and still be eligible for an exemption has been increased to $58,399 from $37,399.

 

Prior to the newly minted legislation that boosted income limits for NYC’s seniors, the City’s income eligibility limits were identical to those that are applicable to Long Island property owners. The law (Chapter 131 of the RPTL), which was signed into effect by the Governor on July 25, 2017, provides for the City of New York to “opt in.” Before the passage of the new law, the Senior Citizen Property Tax Exemption income eligibility limits for New York City included a maximum adjusted gross income of $37,399, which provided a 5 percent exemption. Those with an adjusted gross income of $29,000 or less qualified for a 50 percent exemption. And, the law provided for eight incremental income levels between the base and the maximum eligibility amounts, each carrying a graduated exemption percentage based on income.

 

The following table details the previous income/exemption amounts for New York City homeowners (these amounts remain in force for Long Island and the rest of New York State):

Income

Exemption

$29,000 or LESS 50 percent
$29,001 to $29,999 45 percent
$30,000 to $30,999 40 percent
$31,000 to $31,999 35 percent
$32,000 to $32,899 30 percent
$32,900 to $33,799 25 percent
$33,800 to $34,699 20 percent
$34,700 to $35,599 15 percent
$35,600 to $36,499 10 percent
$36,500 to $37,399   5 percent

 

New York City’s income/exemption amounts under the newly adopted state legislation have risen to the following levels:

Income

Exemption

$50,000 or LESS 50 percent
$50,001 to $50,999 45 percent
$51,000 to $51,999 40 percent
$52,000 to $52,999 35 percent
$53,000 to $53,899 30 percent
$53,900 to $54,799 25 percent
$54,800 to $55,699 20 percent
$55,700 to $56,599 15 percent
$56,600 to $57,499 10 percent
$57,500 to $58,399   5 percent

 

 

The measure is now pending in the Senate Committee on Rules.

 

Visit Senator Phillips’ webpage.

 

Senator Phillips Honors Local 8th Battalion First Responders

8th Battalion First RespondersSenator Elaine Phillips recently hosted a First Responders Appreciation Night in Port Washington as part of her series of events honoring the brave men and women who risk their lives to protect residents in the 7th Senate District.

 

“Our local volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel are the foundation of our communities and we cannot thank them enough for their courageous service keeping our families safe,” Senator Phillips said. “While no amount of thanks can express the appreciation we have for our first responders, or underscore the important role they play in our communities, events such as this provide an opportunity to recognize those that go above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you to Chief Brian Vogeley and the Port Washington Fire Department for hosting – and to all first responders for your dedicated service.”

 

Honorees included 8th Battalion members of the Port Washington Fire Department, Albertson Fire Department, East Williston Fire Department, Great Neck Alert Hook & Ladder Fire Department, Great Neck Vigilant Fire Department, Williston Park Fire Department and Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department

 

Port Washington Fire Department

Port Washington Chief Brian Vogeley: “It is comforting to have a senator and more importantly a friend who truly cares about the volunteer fire and ems service within the district that she represents. We thank Senator Phillips for her continued support and look forward to working with her on future projects to help solidify the best fire and ems protection in Port Washington.”

 

John Olszweski is a 37-year member of the Port Washington Fire Department and an ex-captain and ex-President. Unfortunately, John lost his battle with cancer last week. The award was given posthumously to his family at the event.

 

Beverly Reese is an ex-President and Charter member of Fire Medic Co #1 and Department Steward.

 

Albertson Fire Department

Albertson Fire Chief Joel Melamed: “With all the attacks on our institutions, it’s refreshing to be recognized by our political leadership for the contributions that the volunteer firefighters bring to our community. Thank you Senator Phillips for everything you do to help us in our mission to keep the community safe.”

 

Ex-Chief John Clarke has served the Williston Park FD for over 44 yrs. During that time he also served our country as a United States Marine. He served the department as Lieutenant, Captain, and Warden of Hook and Ladder C0 #2.

 

Ex-Emergency Rescue Squad Capt. William Batterson has served in the department for over 20 years and currently serves as Secretary to the Rescue Squad and is the PCR quality improvement officer. His countless hours of dedication and service to the department is an example for all our members to aspire to.

 

Great Neck Alert

Great Neck Alert Fire Chief Carlos Galla: “As Chairman, Mike Green has helped his company for over twenty years. His unparalleled dedication to our company and community is truly notable. I’d also like to recognize Former-Chief James Neubert’s commitment which goes back to his childhood as he followed in the footsteps of his father, Robert Neubert”

 

Michael Green is a 40-year member of the department who has been devoted to helping people his entire life. He currently a Bay Constable for the Town of North Hempstead and was a Correctional Officer for 26 years. Mike is a trustee and the Chairman of the board for the Great Neck Alert Fire Department.

 

Ex-Chief James Neubert, who followed in the footsteps of his father by becoming a fire chief, has over 30 years over active service to the department. He has been to thousands of incidents over these years. James has held offices with the Nassau County Fire Commission, along with having held the position as Chairman of the 8th Battalion.

 

Great Neck Vigilant

Great Neck Vigilant Fire Chief: “We’re honored to recognize David Bloomgarden and Kenneth Sperber for their many years of service to the residents of Great Neck. Both David and Kenneth served in numerous roles throughout our department and played a vital role in support of our mission to keeping our community safe. I’d also like to thank Senator Phillips for acknowledging the efforts of our department and the greater volunteer firefighting community.”

 

Ken Sperber has served the Great Neck community for nearly 18 years and currently serves as the Sergeant of the Fire Police since 2010 and Vice President since 2016 of the Vigilant Fire Company and a Trustee of the Vigilant Exempt Association, to which he recently was elected after service as the financial secretary since 2015.

 

David Bloomgarden joined the Vigilant Fire Company nearly 50 years ago after moving into a home around the corner from the firehouse. David was one of the first Emergency Medical Technicians and Advanced Medical Technicians in the Fire Company and has been recognized a number of times for outstanding medical care during EMS calls and recently received a county recognition for his commitment to the Great Neck Community.

 

Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department

Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Chief Brian Stone: “On behalf of the Chief’s office, we want to thank Senator Phillips for her continued support of the volunteer fire service and for giving us the opportunity to honor those within our department that go above and beyond what is expected.”

 

Captain Sean Dolan joined the department in 2007 and has served as the Company Secretary, as a Lieutenant and was elected to Company Captain in March 2017. Sean has been an active member and can always be found training newer members.

 

Taylor L. Ferreira joined the department’s Ambulance Unit in October 2016 and quickly became one of the unit’s most active members. By March 2017 Taylor had become a New York State Emergency Medical Technician.

 

East Williston Fire Department

Robert Batterson joined the East Williston Fire Department in 2013 and spends countless hours as a volunteer Engineer working to insure that apparatus and equipment is working order.

 

Thomas Delaporte joined the department in 1992 and served as Chief and as a Commissioner. He has been an active member of the department for 26 years and has served as Chairman of the 8th Battalion for the Nassau County Fire Commission.

 

Williston Park Fire Department

Williston Park Fire Chief John Perro Jr: “It was an honor to be here to give these awards to our members John Clarke and William Batterson. They both served many years in the department and set a standard all our members can aspire to.”

 

Ex Chief John Clarke has served the Williston Park FD for over 44 years and has also served our country in the U.S. Marine Corps.

 

William Batterson has been a member of the Williston Park Fire Department for 20 years and rose to the rank of Assistant Chief.

 

Visit Senator Phillips’ webpage

Free Basketball Camp in Port Washington is a Success

Free Basketball CampSenator Elaine Phillips, in partnership with the Long Island Nets, recently hosted a free basketball camp at the Chabad of Port Washington for children in grades 3 to 7.

 

“Team sports like basketball are critically important for childhood development as it teaches teamwork, camaraderie and hard work,” Senator Phillips said. “. Thank you to the Long Island Nets for co-sponsoring this event and to the Chabad of Port Washington for hosting.”

 

The children cycled through skill stations run by members of the Nets to practice ball handling, shooting, strength, conditioning, and skill development.

 

Senator Phillips spoke to the children about the importance of athletics and how they build character, confidence and humility.

 

Senator Phillips will be hosting another free basketball camp on August 14 at Sewanhaka High School. To download a registration form, and for more information, please visit www.phillips.nysenate.gov.Senator Elaine Phillips, in partnership with the Long Island Nets, recently hosted a free basketball camp at the Chabad of Port Washington for children in grades 3 to 7.

 

“Team sports like basketball are critically important for childhood development as it teaches teamwork, camaraderie and hard work,” Senator Phillips said. “. Thank you to the Long Island Nets for co-sponsoring this event and to the Chabad of Port Washington for hosting.”

 

The children cycled through skill stations run by members of the Nets to practice ball handling, shooting, strength, conditioning, and skill development.

 

Senator Phillips spoke to the children about the importance of athletics and how they build character, confidence and humility.

 

Senator Phillips will be hosting another free basketball camp on August 14 at Sewanhaka High School. To download a registration form, and for more information, please visit www.phillips.nysenate.gov.

 

Visit Senator Phillips’ webpage