Category Archives: Michael Montesano

Montesano Proposes Changes to DWI Laws to Include Boaters

Assemblyman Michael Montesano announced his co-sponsorship of a bill (A.9867) which will amend the navigation, vehicle and traffic, criminal procedure and penal laws for a more comprehensive response to boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.


“It shouldn’t matter if you are driving a car or a boat, driving any vehicle while intoxicated is dangerous and should be taken seriously,” said Montesano. “Two years ago, a boater who killed a young girl in a boating accident while under the influence was found not guilty because law enforcement officers did not have the right tools to test the individual on scene. So while that man gets to walk free without any repercussions, a family will never be whole again due to his actions.”


Currently, law enforcement officials lack the necessary resources to test boaters for drug use while on the water. This can make it difficult to efficiently bring to justice those who are boating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.


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Montesano Supports Closing the LLC Loophole

Assemblyman Michael Montesano recently announced his support for an act (A.9758-b) to amend the election law in terms of political contributions. Currently, a single individual is allowed to make numerous contributions to the same candidate, or committee, via separate Limited Liability Companies (LLC’s). The proposed legislation would close this much-abused loophole that has allowed some politicians to get around contribution limits and create a uniform law.


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Schools Aren’t Winning the Lottery, They Need More Funds

An Opinion Piece by Assemblyman Michael Montesano


For as long as many of us can remember, it has been said children are the future. In my opinion, if children are the future, we must help and prepare them in any way we can for them to not only have successful lives, but for all of us to have a successful future. Providing every child with a strong and well-rounded education is the start of this endeavor. In order to accomplish this, schools must have the funds readily available to help each child achieve this goal.


When the state Lottery was created, it was determined the net funds would supplement education funding. This means that in addition to the funding our education system would get from the state General Fund, the system would get the revenue generated by the Lottery. However, this has not been the case in years past. Instead, the money from the Lottery is used to replace part of the money which is taken from the state General Fund.


I propose we use the funds for what they were originally intended for: strengthening our education system. Education is the most important program New York State can fund, as it helps prepare our children for their future. Additionally, by giving the education system the money intended for it in the first place, less money will be taken from taxpayers later on in the form of property tax increases when the education system ultimately needs more money. The revenue from the state Lottery is supposed to be supplementing education funding, not replacing part of the General Fund.


Many complain that by using both the Lottery revenue and funds from the General Fund to support education, little money would be left for the plethora of programs New York State has in existence. To this, I say we need to spend less, as education should be a top priority in New York. These programs can’t function without well-educated people to run them, and we should be offering our children the best education possible. Not everyone goes to college, so we need to prepare our children, our future, for the best possible chance at life.


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Montesano Issues Public Advisory: LIRR Construction from Ronkonkoma to Hicksville

Assemblyman Michael Montesano would like to inform Long Islanders that track work will be performed on the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and construction will take place between Hicksville and Ronkonkoma as part of the Double Track Project. The main line will be out of service between Hicksville and Ronkonkoma from Saturday, March 3 at 12:50 a.m. to Monday, March 5, at 12:46 a.m., as well as Saturday, March 10 from 12:50 a.m. to Monday, March 12 at 12:46 a.m. During this time, a new crossover east of the Farmingdale platform will be installed, along with track work along the stretch from Farmingdale to Ronkonkoma and the continuation of platform renovation from Wyandanch and Pinelawn stations.


“While this will be an inconvenience to some riders, we must look at this as the LIRR making progress to improving the quality of their service,” said Montesano. “I hope that the LIRR and the MTA will stick to this schedule and finish the construction and track work in a timely manner so that it doesn’t affect Long Island resident’s commutes any more than it should have to.”


Alternative travel options will be provided through buses to shuttle passengers at stations from Ronkonkoma through Hicksville, with train service resuming afterward with Ronkonkoma going eastbound and Hicksville westbound. Eastbound passengers should plan for an additional 44 minutes of travel time and westbound passengers should anticipate to board buses up to 44 minutes earlier than normal.


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Montesano Pushes for Increased Funding in New York State Libraries

Assemblyman Michael Montesano recently announced his support to increase funding for New York State’s libraries. Despite an increase in library construction grants in 2017, libraries are still behind in being able to provide sufficient services to New Yorkers.


“Libraries are more than just homes for books, they provide so much more to their communities,” said Montesano. “They offer access to things such as financial, technology, job, consumer health, start-up businesses and education training to residents. Based off of recent census data, this year Library Aid should be at $102.6 million. Instead it is at $91.6 million, a number more appropriate for 2000. I am proud to be supporting the request for increased funding for libraries in New York, as there is a lack of balance between funding for education institutions and libraries, both of which are important to communities. These facilities are used by New Yorkers of all ages and should receive adequate funds for the people they serve.”


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Montesano: LIRR Construction in Westbury at the End of February

Assemblyman Michael Montesano announced that the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) will be closing down the Urban Avenue grade crossing in Westbury from Friday, February 23 at 10 p.m. to Saturday, February 24 at 11:30 p.m. During this time, a new concrete grade crossing will be installed with temporary paving until permanent repaving can be done at a later date. The MTA Police Department will be present to help direct traffic and the MTA apologizes for any construction related noise that might disturb residents


“With the enormous amount of frustration the LIRR has caused for Long Islanders in the past few months, it is good to see that improvements are being made,” said Montesano. “I hope the MTA will continue to update its systems to make riding the LIRR more pleasurable and less hectic for commuters.”


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Montesano: Change Takes Time

A Legislative Column by Assemblyman Michael Montesano


During the opening of the 2018 Legislative Session, a quote from the popular Broadway show “Hamilton” was read, “Legacy. What is legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.” It was pointed out that there is a strong possibility we in the Legislature will not be able to see all the work we put into improving New York State, and I agree, as it takes time for change to really take root and make a difference.


Despite reports that the New York state government has made little to no effort to eliminate corruption, progress has been made. Last legislative session we passed a bill which stripped corrupt public officials of their pensions and benefits (A.1749). My fellow Minority Assembly Members and I have been continually pushing for a variety of laws that call for more transparency in our government. This includes proposing term limits on leadership positions in both the Assembly and Senate.


I also support legislation that would close the loophole allowing large campaign contributions to be made by reserved limited liability companies, banning public officials from using campaign money to pay for legal defense, and having our election districts more independently drawn to have voter composition more accurately represented. Additionally, I believe that the government shouldn’t be paying for sexual harassment lawsuits or settlements on the behalf of the accused. If they are convicted or they come to a settlement, the accused should be responsible for payment of any fines, damages to the victims or any other costs. We have also enacted a law which requires all elected officials in the state Legislature to submit documentation regarding their outside employment to ensure that nothing conflicts with the Public Officers Law.


It has been said that New York state’s election laws are some of the worst in the nation. I disagree with this, and what I believe to be the real issue is voter turnout and the apathy of the electorate. More people need to come out and vote to truly make a difference. It doesn’t help if barely a quarter of the population doesn’t turn out to exercise their right to choose their elected officials.


While same-day voter registration has been suggested as an idea to improve voter turnout, it could also lead to voter fraud, as it’s difficult to determine on the spot a person’s qualifications to vote in a particular district. Early voting has also been suggested as a way to get people out to vote, but if they aren’t coming out to vote on Election Day, why would they come out to vote on another day? It would also substantially increase costs to have same day registration and early voting. A person’s need to vote is a civic obligation.


It is now easier than ever to register to vote in New York. It can be done when you get or renew your license, when you change your address or even simply online. It’s also been made easier to vote by absentee ballot by our revised voter laws, and as such, there should be little excuse to not “turn out the vote.”


What it comes down to is that change doesn’t happen all at once, it happens over time gradually. Ethics reform will continue to remain a top priority for me and my colleagues this session as we continue to push for more transparency and less corruption to help improve New York as a whole.


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Nassau County Bar Association Hosts Free Legal Consultation Clinics

Assemblyman Michael Montesano announced that the Nassau County Bar Association will be hosting free legal consultation clinics for Nassau County residents on February 5 and February 26. Bankruptcy attorneys and certified housing counselors will also be present, the later to assist with loan modifications. Residents still suffering from the effects of Superstorm Sandy will also be able to receive consultations.


“For those not familiar with the legal world, it can be a difficult and confusing place to navigate without guidance,” said Montesano. “The clinics will provide the opportunity for Long Islanders to receive one-on-one consultations with an attorney for things such as mortgage foreclosure, stipulations to adjourn motions, reverse mortgages and scam complaints. Having a well-versed attorney to provide counsel and direction with any of these situations can make the world of difference. The Nassau County Bar Association works hard to provide this so Long Island residents have a quick and smooth experience with their legal proceedings.”


Attorneys fluent in other languages can be made available upon request. The clinics will take place at the office at 15th West Street, Mineola from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information or to make an appointment, please call 516-747-4070.


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Montesano Invites Local Business Owners to Attend Business Roundtable Discussion

Assemblyman Michael Montesano is excited to announce he will participate in a business roundtable discussion facilitated by Assemblyman Dean Murray on December 15. Topics will include how legislation regarding minimum wage will affect small businesses and tip workers (A.6203), wage compensation for schedule changes, paid family leave and other regulatory issues. The discussion will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Rose Caracappa Auditorium at the Suffolk County Legislature, William H. Rogers Building, 725 Veterans Memorial Highway, Smithtown.


“As businesses are the backbone of any community, discussions on how to improve them should occur frequently,” said Montesano. “I look forward to learning more about what my colleagues and business owners have to say about these topics and sharing my own thoughts about passed and pending legislation which affects the business community. I would like to invite business owners from my Assembly District to attend and participate in this discussion and give testimony on topics such as wage compensation for schedule changes, paid family leave and minimum wage. Coming together to share ideas and thoughts is important when it comes to the growth of the business community.”


Business owners in the 15th Assembly District who would like to attend or learn more about this event may contact Montesano’s district office at (516) 937-3571.


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Montesano Supports Legislation for Autism Spectrum Disorder Training for First Responders

Assemblyman Michael Montesano has announced co-sponsorship of a bill (A.223) which would allow the commissioner of developmental disabilities, along with other agency representatives, to create an autism training program for first responders statewide. This would teach first responders how to handle emergency situations in which individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may be involved. Included in the program would be law enforcement officers and firefighters, both paid and volunteer, among other first responders across the state of New York.


“Every day first responders come in contact with a variety of individuals who are as unique as the emergency situations themselves,” said Montesano. “While first responders are trained to deal with a variety of crisis situations, the protocols they are taught to follow may not be the best way to interact with a person with an ASD. This is why it is crucial for our first responders to understand ASDs and the behaviors individuals with an ASD could exhibit should the first responders need to assist them as best they can.”


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