Category Archives: Michael Venditto

Senator Venditto Urges Hempstead Zoning Board of Appeals to Reject Billy Dean Application for Club in Wantagh

Senator Michael Venditto (R-Massapequa) is once again standing with community members and speaking on their behalf in opposition to the opening of an adult entertainment club in Wantagh. Owner, Billy Dean, and his partner Rori Gordon, have refiled an application with the Town of Hempstead to open an adult establishment at the corner of Sunrise Highway and Oakland Avenue. The property is located in the heart of a family-oriented neighborhood and approximately two-fifths of a mile away from Wantagh Elementary school.

 

Billy Dean and his business partner attempted to open the facility in 2009, but due to community outrage they were denied. Thanks in part to Senator Venditto and other local representatives the project was rejected by the Hempstead Zoning Board of Appeals. The board’s decision was upheld by the New York State Appellate Division in 2014 and affirmed by the highest court in New York State, the New York State Court of Appeals.

 

Senator Venditto said, “One of the major roles of an elected official is to be a representative of the community at large and protect its interests. It is for that reason why I stood with the residents of Wantagh at the Hempstead Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting to voice our opposition to the potential establishment of a Billy Dean adult entertainment facility located on Sunrise Highway in Wantagh.”

 

“This type of business brings nothing positive to the community and it would only hurt the residents of the community by potentially bringing down their property values. I urge any and all residents in the surrounding areas to make sure your voices are heard on October 13th at Hempstead Town Hall when the Board will meet again to discuss the issue. I also strongly urge the Board to reject the application and keep Wantagh a safe community,” said Senator Venditto.

 

For more information about the October 13th hearing please contact Senator Venditto’s office at (516) 882-0630. To sign the petition expressing your opposition to the Billy Dean establishment please visit nysenate.gov/senators/michael-venditto.

 

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Senator Venditto Announces Consumer Hotline for Residents to Report “Zombie Homes” in Their Communities

Senator Michael Venditto (R-C-I, Massapequa) announced today that New Yorkers can report vacant and abandoned properties in their communities through a hotline at the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS). As part of groundbreaking legislation signed by Governor Cuomo last week to prevent foreclosures and curb the threat posed to communities by “zombie homes” across the state, DFS will maintain an electronic registry of vacant and abandoned properties. New Yorkers are encouraged to call for information about unoccupied and ill-maintained properties in their neighborhoods. If a property is not already in the statewide registry, DFS will identify the mortgage servicer to facilitate appropriate remedial actions as outlined in the legislation.

 

“The creation of this hotline to address the growing problem of abandoned properties will help restore neighborhoods, keep property values from going down, and ensure the safety of our communities throughout Long Island and New York State,” Senator Venditto said. “Residents are now being given a valuable resource to make sure that the neighborhood they work hard to live in remains beautiful and occupied.”

 

Previously, hotline reporting of “zombie homes” was purely voluntary and was estimated to be over 6,000. Under the new law, reporting is now mandatory, and the number of abandoned homes is anticipated to be even higher. New Yorkers can contact the Department of Financial Services (DFS) at (800) 342-3736 or online at www.dfs.ny.gov.

 

“Past voluntary reporting of the 8th Senate District revealed that over 1,083 homes out of 151,291 to be ‘zombie properties’ which boils down to 7 abandoned or foreclosed homes for every 1,000. These statistics are way too high and as Chairman of the Consumer Protection Committee, I am pleased to have voted for legislation that will help protect our property values from being dragged down due to vacant homes; while aiding in the restoration and renovation of these abandoned properties throughout my district,” Senator Venditto concluded.

 

In addition to the new hotline, this comprehensive legislation also addresses measures to assist homeowners facing mortgage foreclosure, improves the efficiency and integrity of the mandatory settlement conferences, and establishes a pre-foreclosure duty to maintain on mortgagees, create an expedited foreclosure process for vacant and abandoned properties, create an electronic vacant property registry, and establish a Consumer Bill of Rights.

 

As part of the Governor’s ongoing efforts to assist future homebuyers and existing homeowners, this investment includes more than $100 million in available funds to help new homebuyers purchase and renovate “Zombie” properties and support existing low- and middle-income homeowners with major repairs and renovations. Funding is available through the New York State Homes and Community Renewal to establish the new Neighborhood Revitalization Program and provide grants for not-for-profit organizations and municipalities throughout the state to rehabilitate, repair and improve homes.

 

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Senate Approves Senator Venditto’s Bills to Protect Children from Sex Offenders

Senator Michael Venditto (R-C-I, Massapequa) announced recently that two bills he sponsored, S3925 and S6066A, passed the Senate on Wednesday. S3925 enables local municipalities to enact laws that impose residency restrictions on sex offenders. S6066A, which also allows local municipalities to impose residency restrictions, extends the period for level one sex offenders register as a sex offender from twenty to thirty years.

 

 

Venditto said that the legislation for residency restrictions became necessary after the New York State Court of Appeals overturned all local laws relating to where a registered sex offender can live for the reason that such laws were too restrictive. These bills will allow local governments to place reasonable restrictions on where a sex offender is permitted to live and require them to register as a sex offender for thirty years.

 

“These bills are paramount to the protection of our children. As a new father, I understand how important it is that we protect our children from those that would prey on them. These bills give our local governments additional tools that they need to protect our families and keep our communities safe. More importantly, these bills help to give parents peace of mind because they increased registration requirements for sex offenders. By working together we can make a real difference in our quality of life and public safety,” said Senator Venditto.

 

Bill S3925 passed the New York State Senate last year, however, it was held up in the New York State Assembly, while S6066A was introduced this year. I, along with my Senate colleagues, urge the members of the Assembly to pass this bill.

 

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Senator Venditto’s Bill Requiring DWI Test Approved by Senate

Senator Michael Venditto’s (R-C-I, Massapequa) bill, (S6745), which would require a Blood-Alcohol Concentration (BAC) test to be administered if it’s reasonably believed that the driver was under the influence of alcohol when involved in a collision that results in death or serious injury was approved by The New York State Senate this week.

 

Senator Venditto said, “Driving a car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one of the leading causes of fatal accidents in our state. Unfortunately, all too often, drivers involved in accidents where people are either killed or seriously injured are not tested to determine whether they were driving under the influence. This bill, unanimously passed by the Senate, addresses a key component in the fight against intoxicated driving. By requiring officers to obtain a court order for BAC testing when there is reasonable cause to believe that an inebriated driver caused a deadly collision, we are giving law enforcement an important tool to combat this public crisis.”

 

Venditto said that “Current law gives people an option to refuse BAC testing, allowing intoxicated drivers who are involved in motor vehicle crashes to escape prosecution. This legislation would disallow this option. If a driver does refuse BAC testing, or is unable to give consent for the BAC testing, the bill allows a chemical test to be given if a police officer or district attorney obtains a court order finding reasonable cause that the operator of the vehicle did cause serious injury or death to someone else.”

 

In August of 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Final Report on State Laws and Practices for BAC Testing and Reporting Drivers Involved in Fatal Crashes found that New York reported testing only six percent of surviving drivers who were involved in fatal crashes for their BAC. Only four states in the nation reported testing a smaller percentage of surviving drivers involved in fatal crashes.

 

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.

 

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Senate, Venditto Honor South Shore Resident Wendy Tepfer

Wendy TepferWendy Tepfer has been Executive Director of the Community Parent Center since 2002. During her tenure, she has developed educational programs for students, staff , parents and community members in the Bellmore-Merrick CHSD, the Bellmore and Merrick elementary districts, and other public and parochial schools in Nassau County.

 

Some of Ms. Tepfer’s programs have addressed teen driving, substance abuse, bullying/cyber-bullying, Internet safety, adolescent suicide awareness prevention, school violence prevention, youth health, nutrition and fi tness. Ms. Tepfer developed the Driving in the Safe Lane program, which was designed to help reduce teen crashes and save lives through parent/teen awareness and education. Her dedication to the youth of our community is unmatched and should be revered and honored in every way.

 

Ms. Tepfer has more than 28 years of experience, both working and volunteering as an executive member of various non-profit organizations, coalitions and community groups. She is a member of the Long Island Youth Safety Coalition, the Nassau County Heroin Prevention Task Force, the Nassau County Traffic Safety Board and the New York State Partnership for Teen Driver Safety.

 

Ms. Tepfer works with various partner groups, including the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, New York State legislators, Nassau County DA’s Office, police department and youth board, PTA and civic organizations. She travels to schools throughout the county, sharing her resources and knowledge to better assist the young minds of our country.

 

Recognized for her many years of community involvement, Ms. Tepfer has received BMUST’s “Friend of Education Award” and was honored with NYSUT’s “Special Friend of Education Award” in 2008. She received the NYS Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Chairman’s Award in 2011 and the Bellmore Herald’s Person of the Year Award in 2013.

 

Ms. Tepfer and her husband, Karl, moved to the Bellmore-Merrick community in 1979. When her sons, Brian and Scott, were old enough to attend school, she began volunteering, becoming an active PTA member. Ms. Tepfer’s devotion is a direct reflection of her dedication and commitment to children, family, friends, schools and communities throughout Nassau County.

 

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Senator Venditto Supports Senate Majority Tax Cut Plan to Provide Billions of Dollars in Tax Relief

New York State Senator Michael Venditto (R, C, I- Massapequa) and members of the Senate Republican Conference recently unveiled a key component of their state budget plan that would enact tax cuts for families, seniors, and businesses in order to help make New York more affordable. Highlights of the plan include the elimination of the 18-a utility tax, a personal income tax (PIT) exclusion for small businesses, estate tax relief for family farmers, a phased-in income tax reduction, and tax relief for seniors and retirees.

 

“I am proud to stand with our Senate Majority and support our Tax cut package. Cutting taxes helps families grow, small business create jobs and provides economic opportunity for our future generations. One of the most onerous taxes paid by businesses and consumers alike is the 18-a energy tax surcharge. In last year’s enacted budget, we made real progress in doing away with the energy tax and this year we want to finish the job. Eliminating what’s left of this tax this year will save taxpayers $125 million and reduce energy costs for businesses and consumers,” said Senator Venditto.

 

Highlights of the plan, which will be passed on Monday as part of the Senate’s budget resolution, include:

 

Complete Elimination of the 18-1 Utility Tax

Senator Venditto has made the elimination of the 18-a utility tax a top priority. The tax was first enacted in 2009-10 and adds a two percent assessment charge, costing ratepayers nearly $600 million annually. In 2013, Senate Republicans fought to phase-out the surcharge by the end of 2017. This plan eliminates the 18-a utility tax completely this year, reducing energy bills for residents and businesses.

 

Middle Class Income Tax Reduction

Current middle class tax cuts are set to expire in 2018, reverting to a 6.85 percent tax rate that would cost middle class taxpayers more than $700 million. The Senate’s plan preserves the rate and establishes the lowest middle class tax rate in more than 70 years. Starting in 2018, a total of 5 million eligible taxpayers – including more than 770,000 small businesses who file under the Personal Income Tax – will see savings. By 2025, middle class New Yorkers will pay a 25 percent lower tax rate and save $3.5 billion in taxes each year.

Taxpayers eligible for the savings include: single filers with taxable income between $20,000 and $150,000; heads of households with taxable income between $30,000 and $225,000; and married joint filers with taxable income between $40,000 and $300,000. The proposal prevents the existing middle class tax cuts from expiring in 2018 and then begins a rate reduction in 2019 that will be phased down each year over seven years. It would also continue the current indexing of income bracket on a permanent basis.

 

Savings For Small Businesses and Family Farmers

The Senate’s budget proposal would expand small business tax cuts that were enacted in 2013 to provide even more tax relief to help businesses grow and create jobs. When fully enacted, small businesses and small farms would save $494 million annually.

The proposal expands the eligibility of a small business to include any business that files under PIT regardless of how the business is structured; raises the income eligibility threshold from $250,000 to $500,000 when the business entity income is less than $1.5 million; eliminates the employee requirement; increases the exemption from 5 percent to 15 percent for small business income and from 5 percent to 20 percent for farm income; increases the Corporate tax threshold from $390,000 to $500,000; and reduces the Corporate business income rate for small businesses from 6.5 percent to 2.5 percent over two years.

To encourage small businesses and farms to pass down their business from one generation to the next, the Senate has proposed to speed up the full phase-in of estate tax reform first enacted in 2014. This will allow estates to have a tax exclusion amount equal to the federal exclusion amount when the estate has farm operations or small business property and where the value of the farm operations or small business are a majority of the estate. Starting April 1, 2016, the exclusion would be increased to $5.45 million, resulting in an annual savings of $70 million and a $210 million total savings by 2020.

 

Relief for Seniors

The Senate Majority’s budget proposal includes new income tax relief to help more seniors save money and choose to stay in New York during retirement. The tax cut would provide the first increase to the exempt amount of private pensions and retirement income since 1981, saving approximately $275 million annually when fully phased in.

For 35 years, seniors have been able to claim the first $20,000 of pension or retirement income as exempt income. The Senate Majority’s proposal increases that exempt amount to $27,000 in 2017, $34,000 in 2018, and $40,000 in 2019. This would provide tax relief to more than 377,000 seniors and, in the first year alone, would save each an average of $361.

 

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Senator Venditto Votes to Protect Police Officers

New York State Senator Michael Venditto (R, C, I- Massapequa) voted this week on legislation (S.5598) that would establish the new crime of inciting violence against a police officer.

 

“Our communities have recently seen an unfortunate increase of crimes being committed against our brave men and women who put their life on the line every day, by protecting us,” said Senator Venditto.

 

In recent years, there has been an increase in violent crimes committed against police officers and this measure, if passed by the Assembly and signed into law, would help prevent individuals from deliberately inciting violence targeting law enforcement by creating a new class D felony.

 

“By creating a new class D felony, we can provide protections for our officers that they deserve,” continued Venditto.

 

This legislation is a result of the input received during a series of public hearings held by the Senate Majority last year which examined police safety and public protection in New York City and throughout the state.

 

The bill will be sent to the Assembly.

 

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Senator Venditto Votes on Legislation to Assist Disabled Veterans

disabled veteransNew York State Senator Michael Venditto (R, C, I- Massapequa) voted this week on legislation (S.3969) to give disabled veterans with a VA disability rating of 40% or higher a preference to get into an affordable home ownership program.

 

The bill, if passed by the Assembly and signed into law, will make the Affordable Home Ownership Development Program available to home buyers who are service-related disabled veterans.

 

This is one of many pieces of legislation to help veterans that Senator Venditto has voted on. Last year Senator Venditto voted for legislation to assist veterans with access to educational programs, tax credits and establish a “Home for Heroes” Program that would provide grants to eligible not for profits and municipalities to help make homes safer for disabled veterans.

 

“Homeownership is one of the foundations of our American Dream. Every American veteran deserves our respect, gratitude, and appreciation for their service.”

 

“Disabled veterans have fought for our freedoms and when these honorable men and women return home, carrying physical and mental wounds of war, it is only fitting that they have an affordable place to live,” said Senator Venditto.

 

The bill passed the State Senate 59-0 and was sent to the Assembly for consideration.

 

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Senator Venditto Participates in Old Mill Road Elementary School’s Reading Day

Old Mill RdNorth Merrick, NY- New York State Senator Michael Venditto, (R, C, I- Massapequa) recently had the opportunity to participate in the North Merrick Union Free School District’s reading day at Old Mill Road Elementary School as a guest reader to Mrs. Ward’s Kindergarten Class.

 

Senator Venditto read “Planet Kindergarten” by Sue Ganz-Schmitt a book that teaches and prepares children for the new adventure that is kindergarten. Senator Venditto also talked with the Kindergarteners about his job as a New York State Senator and the importance of public service.

 

Senator Venditto is pictured above with Mrs. Ward’s Kindergarten Class.

 

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Senator Venditto Honors Eagle Scout from Troop 239 of Seaford

Troop 239 Eagle Scout

Senator Michael Venditto (R, C, I- Massapequa) had the pleasure of congratulating Randy Stephen Licata from Troop 239 of Seaford for attaining the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout. The rank of Eagle Scout is the Boy Scouts of America’s highest honor and is achieved by less than 3% of Boy Scouts nationwide. Congratulations Randy!

 

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