Category Archives: New York State Senate

Senator Phillips Honors Local First Responders During Series of Annual Appreciation Events

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


“Volunteer fire and EMS personnel are the backbone of our local Long Island communities and I truly believe we cannot thank them enough for all they do every day by risking their lives to keep our communities safe and to protect our loved ones,” 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 the Floral Park Fire Department and Chief David Maickel for hosting the event and to all our first responders for your commitment and dedicated service.”


Honorees were members from the 1st Battalion fire district which include: the Bellerose Fire Department, Floral Park Fire Department, Floral Park Centre Fire Department, Mineola Fire Department, New Hyde Park Fire Department, and the Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corp.


Bellerose Fire Department

In his 4 years of service, Joe Conley has become an indispensable asset to the department. His willingness to help with projects and his day-to-day assistance in all areas of the department has been invaluable.


Wayne Weber has served in the Bellerose Fire Department for 23 years. He is an Ex-Chief and the current Vice President of the department. Wayne recently completed his term as Chairman of the First Battalion Delegates and served on the Nassau County Fire Commission Board.


Mineola Fire Department

Michael Freitas has been a member of Engine 3 since 1997. For over 20 years, he has held numerous company and line officer positions and has been instrumental in helping to train hundreds of members. Mike also supervises the department’s annual SCBA qualification and requalification training for all members.


Thomas Capruso has been a member of Truck 2 since 2011. Tom quickly became the local electrician for the firehouse and began assisting with all functions in and around the firehouse that required attention. Tom also became the lead training instructor for the departments bail out ropes.


Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corp.

Chief Gregory M. Kozlowski joined the Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corps in 2003 and was certified as an EMT in 2005. After leaving to serve in the US Army, Gregory returned to the Corps in 2013 and was elected to the position of 2nd Assistant Chief. Gregory was later elected as the 1st Assistant Chief and is currently serving his second year in that role.


Jonathon Berardi began his service with the Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corps as a member of the Explorer Post 703 when he was 16 years old. In 2004, he joined the department as an active member and became EMT certified when he was 18. Jonathan remained an active member of the department until 2010 when he left to pursue nursing school, but he returned to active duty in 2016 and was named 2nd Assistant Chief. Jonathan also provides guidance and mentorship through his active roles on the Training and QA/QI committees and prehospital care as an EMT-CC.


Floral Park Centre Fire Department

Joe Raio began his service in 1980 and has served for 36 years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Commissioners.


Tom Garland began his service in 1982 and has served for 38 years. He is now Ex-Chief and Ex Commissioner.


Floral Park Fire Department

Former Chief Ray Neufeld joined the Rescue Company in 1982 and quickly rose through the ranks, first becoming EMT CC, then becoming 2nd Lt, 1st Lt, Captain, then Chief of the Department. Ray is currently a warden for the Rescue Co. on the fire council and continues to maintain his EMT CC, with one of the highest averages in this department.


New Hyde Park Fire Department

Kyra Casey has been a member of the New Hyde Park Fire Department and the Rescue Company since 2016. She has taken and passed the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) class and recently got a position as an Emergency Room Technician.


Shaheer Ilyas has been with the department and served as a member of the rescue company since 2015. He attained his EMT status in 2016 and carries one of the highest percentages in the department. Shaheer is currently attending school, working part time on an ambulance, attending EMT-CC classes and other courses at the Fire Service Academy. He is also the Chief Driver of the Rescue Company and on the committee planning a new ambulance for the department.


Upcoming First Responder Appreciation nights include: July 24 – Roslyn Highlands Fire Dept., July 26 -Port Washington Fire Dept., August 8 – Westbury Fire Dept.


“If you have a personal story or experience about a first responder or fire company that you would like to share at one of the upcoming events, please contact my office at 516-746-5924. We welcome your support and hope members of the community can join our efforts to thank the men and women who put their lives on the line every day,” said Senator Phillips.


Visit Senator Phillips’ webpage

Senator Elaine Phillips to Host Free Basketball Camps

Senator Phillips announced she is partnering with the Long Island Nets to host summer basketball camps for local children.


“I am excited to partner with the Long Island Nets to host free basketball camps this summer for children in grades 3-7. The one-day camps will help young basketball players develop athletically and participants will learn about shooting, passing, dribbling, defense and more from a Long Island Nets clinician. Space is limited, so be sure to sign up soon,” said Senator Phillips.


There are currently two camps scheduled, with a third date in the works. Details are as follows:


Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Chabad of Port Washington
80 Shore Road, Port Washington
9:00am Registration
10:00 – 1:00pm Camp
Go here to download registration form


Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Sewanhaka High School
500 Tulip Avenue, Floral Park
9:00am Registration
10:00 – 1:00pm Camp
Go here to download registration form


All participants will receive a Long Island Nets T-shirt. Registration forms can also be downloaded from For questions, or to reserve space, please call 516-746-5924.


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Senator Phillips Honored for Water Drive Effort to Aid Citizens of Puerto Rico

H20 For Puerto RicoSenator Elaine Phillips was presented with a plaque from Long Island Cares in recognition of her efforts to organize “H20 For Puerto Rico,” a collaborative water collection drive to aid the victims of Hurricane Maria.


“Due to the generosity of residents across the 7th Senate District, my office collected over 100,000 pounds of water to aid those recovering from the devastation and destruction caused by Hurricane Maria,” Senator Phillips said. “It was an honor to be recognized by Long Island Cares – however, the true recognition goes to all those who donated, collected and helped transport water. Thank you again to those who helped with the water drive and to Paule Pachter and the Long Island Cares staff for continuing to provide humanitarian assistance and food supplies to residents on Long Island and beyond.”


“Senator Phillips was able to coordinate donations of water, food and needed supplies to send to the people of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy,” said Paule Pachter, CEO of Long Island Cares. “Working with Long Island Cares, she collected nearly 130,000 pounds of supplies that were flown to a dozen local agencies involved in relief efforts.”


Long Island Cares is one of the region’s most comprehensive hunger assistance organizations, serving thousands of individuals and families in need. Founded in 1980, Long Island Cares distributes more than 6 million pounds of nutritious food annually – and offers programs such as hunger prevention, job training, child nutrition and more.


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Senator Phillips Announces ‘Drug Take Back Act’ Signed Into State Law

Senator Elaine Phillips announced that the “Drug Take Back Act,” which she co-sponsored, was signed into state law. The measure establishes a unified statewide drug take-back program that will reduce medication misuse, and save government and taxpayer money. The bill will also protect the state’s water supplies by preventing drugs from being improperly disposed of by flushing or other means that result in contamination of water bodies and negatively impact aquatic life.


“Families on Long Island, and across New York State, are struggling with the devastation and heartbreak caused by our heroin and opioid crisis,” Senator Phillips said. “This measure not only helps prevent dangerous prescription medications from being abused, but provides another tool in the collaborative fight to end this epidemic. Increasing proper disposal methods will also protect our environment by curbing the amount of medication flushed into our sole-source of drinking water. I am proud to be a co-sponsor and am pleased the measure is now state law.”


Senator Phillips has hosted numerous “Shed the Meds” programs throughout the 7th Senate District and has collected and properly disposed of over 800 pounds of unwanted drugs.


Last year, Governor Cuomo vetoed a bill S.6750 that would have helped expand existing drug take-back efforts, stop more opioids from getting into the hands of abusers, and prevent the contamination of the environment. In response, the Senate Majority successfully led the effort this year to create a unified, statewide drug take-back program that saves taxpayers the money spent on programs currently operated by law enforcement agencies and public officials, and helps reduce medication misuse and improper disposal.


The Drug Take Back Act will help give manufacturers of pharmaceutical products responsibility for costs of the take-back program, with focal points being public education and awareness, as well as drug collection, transport, and destruction. Under this new law, chain and mail-order pharmacies will be required to provide consumers with collection options, including drop boxes and prepaid mail-back envelopes. The measure will also ensure rural, urban, and other underserved communities have access to ongoing collection services so that all persons have reasonable access to locations to dispose of their drugs and prevent over-saturation in higher populated areas.


The new law is critical to the state’s ongoing efforts to reduce drug abuse because one of the most common ways for opioid addictions to start is when individuals have access to leftover prescriptions, whether it be theirs, a friend’s, a relative’s, or someone else’s. By increasing New Yorkers’ opportunities to properly dispose of unused drugs, the potential for abuse and addiction is decreased. In addition, proper disposal helps protect the state’s water supplies because fewer people would improperly dispose of drugs by flushing them down a toilet or using other means that result in water contamination. Last year, the Senate led the way in securing a historic $2.5 billion investment to improve and protect water resources, and keeping drugs out of water supplies is another important and necessary step.


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Miller To Help Seniors Avoid Identity Theft and Scams with Free Seminar

Assemblywoman Melissa Miller is pleased to announce she will be hosting a free seminar, cosponsored by Nassau County Consumer Affairs, to help seniors protect themselves from scams and identity theft. A representative from Nassau County Consumer Affairs will be giving the presentation.


Thursday, July 12
2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Free Senior Scam/Identity Theft Seminar
Island Park Public Library, Community Room
176 Long Beach Road, Island Park


Visit Assemblywoman Miller’s webpage


Senate Passes Senator Phillips’ Bill To Create Commission To Study Cryptocurrencies

Senator Elaine Phillips announced that the New York State Senate recently passed her legislation to establish a commission to study how to regulate cryptocurrencies in New York State.


“New York is the world financial leader and it is important we keep adapting to new technologies in order to compete in our ever-changing economy,” Senator Phillips said. “In the past few years, we’ve seen cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, make their way into the New York digital economy and this commission will help us fully understand the implications of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.”


The bill, S.9013/A.8783B, sponsored by Assemblyman Clyde Vanel in the Assembly, would establish a commission to study how to regulate cryptocurrencies in New York State


“Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology has evolved much over the past decade.” Assemblyman Vanel said. “Since New York is the financial capital of the world, we must lead in financial technology innovation, attract and retain financial technology companies and jobs. While, at the same time, we must protect New York consumers and investors. In seeking the proper balance for the State cryptocurrency regulatory regime, it is important that we engage the experts, technologists, consumers and investors.”


A cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions and to control the creation of additional units of the currency. Bitcoin, created in 2009, was the first decentralized cryptocurrency. The virtue and danger of cryptocurrency is its anonymity and decentralized model.


A growing number of merchants accept cryptocurrency as payment including Microsoft,, Dell,, Reddit, Subway and Companies and investors are raising capital and funding through Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). Additionally, there are cryptocurrency ATMs across the state where New Yorkers are purchasing denominations of cryptocurrencies at conveniences stores and public places.


The measure has passed both the Senate and Assembly and is awaiting delivery to the Governor for approval.


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Senator Phillips Secures $50,000 for the Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition

Great Neck Breast Cancer CoalitionContinuing her efforts to support women’s health, Senator Elaine Phillips announced today that she has secured $50,000 for the Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition for women’s health cancer services that will help improve the lives of Long Island women. The funding is part of a resolution passed 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.


Senator Phillips recently met with Laura Weinberg, President of the Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition, and members to discuss some of the organization’s programs and initiatives.


“The Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition is an invaluable resource in our local communities and it was a pleasure to help secure this important funding for their efforts and initiatives,” Senator Phillips said. “Roughly 1 in 8 women in our country will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime and here on Long Island, cancer rates are unfortunately higher than average. Early detection is paramount and when found early enough, breast cancer can be highly treatable. This vital funding will assist with educational outreach, support services to those with breast cancer and related diseases and advocacy of breast cancer research.”


“The Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition is so appreciative of Senator Phillips’ ongoing support and for securing a $50,000 New York State grant for our organization,” said Laura Weinberg, Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition. “We are thrilled that we have been selected as a recipient of this generous funding for our organization’s programs.”


The Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition, which began in 1992, is dedicated to the battle against breast cancer through education, advocacy and research.


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Assemblyman Curran Advocates for Transfer of Freeport Armory to Village

This week, Assemblyman Brian Curran vehemently opposed legislation (A.7711-B) to transfer the Freeport Armory to the Cedarmore Corporation, a private entity. The sponsor of the bill is Assemblywoman Earlene Hooper.


Instead, Curran voiced his support for his own bill (A.4609) to transfer the property to the Village of Freeport to be used as the site of the new Department of Public Works complex. Curran’s legislation is not only supported by Mayor Michael Kennedy and 3,000 village residents, but it serves the good of the community as well.


“This property must be returned to the Village of Freeport,” said Curran. “It was originally donated to the state by the village nearly 70 years ago. Our Department of Public Works facility sits in the midst of a flood zone and was severely damaged during Hurricane Sandy. To stormproof the current facility would cost our taxpayers $25 million. It makes more sense to build a new facility on the grounds of the armory, which should be transferred back to the village – its original owner. I stand with our local government and our residents on this issue.”


Gov. Cuomo has previously vetoed Hooper’s legislation to transfer the Freeport Armory to a private entity on two separate occasions and has stated that he will not sign this measure into law unless there is a consensus on the issue. The past two years, Curran and the Assembly Minority has been able to prevent Hooper’s bill from passing by denying a 2/3 vote of the Assembly.


The Assembly Majority has blocked Curran’s bill which is supported by the Village of Freeport and its residents.


Visit Assemblyman Curran’s webpage

Senate Passes Senator Phillips’ Bill Establishing Local Advisory Board for Belmont Park Redevelopment Project

Senator Elaine Phillips announced that the New York State Senate passed her legislation that establishes a local advisory board for the Belmont Park redevelopment project.


“With the redevelopment of Belmont Park approved, it is critically important that we continue to provide residents with direct input and a voice in the process,” Senator Phillips said. “Providing an open dialogue between the developers and the community is vital, as this project will bring about change to the community, create new jobs and promote economic growth.”


The bill, S.8986, would establish a local advisory board to ensure local residents and community members have direct input in the recently approved redevelopment of Belmont Park. The board would be comprised of 15 individuals who live, work or own a business within five miles of Belmont Park.


“On behalf of the residents of the Village of Floral Park, I want to thank Senator Phillips for proposing this bill to create the Belmont Community Advisory Committee in the fashion of those already at Aqueduct and Saratoga Racetracks,” Floral Park Mayor Dominick A. Longobardi said. “Floral Park shares the largest neighboring border with Belmont Park. Once established, this Committee, will enable our residents and our neighbors around us to work together with NYRA, NY State and others to ensure that what occurs at Belmont Park will be beneficial to all involved. Belmont Park is state property, which means it is owned by all of us. Maintaining and improving our quality of life is of utmost importance to all surrounding beautiful Belmont Park. Senator Phillips recognized the need for this collective forum and the Committee is a great step towards ensuring everyone’s issues and concerns are met.”


Since the Empire State Development Corporation has already convened a separate Community Advisory Committee to provide local input on the proposed new sports arena by the New York Arena Partners, this new local advisory board will advise only on NYRA’s operations and capital improvements to avoid duplication and overlap.


Last year, the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) selected the New York Islanders as the winning bidder to redevelop Belmont Park. The Islanders’ plan includes an 18,000-seat arena, a full-service hotel and a retail and community space.


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NY Senate Approves $1 Million Investment to Combat Lyme Disease Statewide

Historic Levels of Funding Build Upon the Senate’s Commitment to Increasing Public Awareness, Treatment, and Prevention of Lyme and Other Tick-Borne Illnesses


Senator Elaine Phillips announced recently that the New York State Senate has approved a resolution to provide a record $1 million to help fight the scourge of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases (TBDs) throughout the state. The new funding will help support a wide variety of local investments identified by the Senate’s Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases to increase education, research, prevention, and treatment options, and combat the ongoing increase in TBDs throughout New York.


“With an increased tick population across Long Island and the state, this funding is critical to support local investments that will help combat rising cases of Lyme and tick-borne diseases,” said Senator Phillips, a member of the Senate’s Task Force on Lyme and Tick-borne Diseases. “To properly fight these diseases, we must continue supporting organizations that perform improved research, while also promoting awareness and working to prevent future cases.”


The Senate Majority – and specifically the Task Force – led the charge in securing this historic level of funding in the 2018-19 state budget. Based on the Task Force’s recommendations, the final budget restores $400,000 in Executive Budget cuts and includes $600,000 in new funding for a total of $1 million.


Highlights of the resolution passed today include:

  • Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Inc. – $192,000 to research community-based prevention methods by continuing and expanding “The Tick Project,” a five-year research project. The funding will help determine whether neighborhood-based prevention can reduce human cases of Lyme and other TBDs.
  • Stony Brook University – $175,000 to open a state-of-the art infectious disease laboratory, which will have an insectary dedicated solely for work on ticks. The laboratory will be open to Stony Brook scientists and others as a regional facility with unique research capabilities. The funds will be used to support activities in the laboratory and new research on TBDs.
  • Cornell University – $130,000 to study the distribution of ticks and the diseases they carry in various parts of the state through the Tick Outreach and Surveillance Project for New York. Run through the New York State Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program at Cornell University, the research will primarily focus on the spread of ticks by species within certain counties. Other areas of study include ways to reduce human exposure to TBDs, tick management workshops, and best practices in schools, camps, parks, and places where people gather outdoors.
  • New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO) – $112,000 to increase public awareness throughout New York through eight to 10 regional educational lectures. The informational seminars will focus on community awareness, best practices for TBD investigation, tick surveillance, and disease prevention to local parts of the state heavily impacted by the effects of Lyme and TBDs.
  • New York State Department of Health – $25,000 to continue database mining, which would include various projects associated with Lyme carditis, as well as deaths associated with Lyme and other TBDs.
  • New York State Department of Health – $60,000 to increase the number of tick collection sites in New York, and the number of ticks tested for pathogens statewide. The funding will also be used to hire temporary staff to assist with sampling and testing, as well as targeting of educational messages in a more efficient manner.
  • Southampton Hospital – $75,000 to fund the Tick-Borne Disease Resource Center, which helps doctors in multiple disciplines collaborate with researchers and community outreach experts to inform and treat individuals from across the region.
  • SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry – $50,000 to monitor seasonal variations of ticks in Western and Central New York to help provide a better understanding of how disease transmission risks are changing. The study will also provide public information to better explain the risks of tick exposure.
  • Paul Smith’s College – $30,000 to study the emergence of TBDs in the North Country by continuing and expanding academic studies that monitor ticks and TBDs.
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension – $26,000 for a series of regional Lyme and TBD forums to be hosted throughout the state. The forums will help provide the public with information on tick identification, tick bite prevention, Lyme disease and co-infection awareness, impact on pets and livestock, and health resources that are available for individuals who have been bitten by a tick.
  • SUNY Adirondack – $100,000 for laboratory research on lesser-known TBDs, including infectious diseases known to be comorbid with Lyme disease, such as Babesia, Bartonella, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, and Powassen virus. The work would help provide much needed information about the rates of these coinfections in people with Lyme disease in New York.
  • Town of Shelter Island – $25,000 to help combat the spread of ticks on Shelter Island, which is one of the worst hit areas of the public health crisis. The town has developed a four-poster program to stem the spread of ticks associated with the deer population. The town has built and installed four-poster stations, to remove ticks from deer across the Island, and this funding would maintain and expand the efforts of this critical initiative.


In addition to the $1 million announced today, the Senate was instrumental earlier this year in passing a package of bills aimed at combating Lyme and TBDs, based on the recommendations of the Senate’s Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases.


Visit Senator Phillips’ webpage