Category Archives: New York State Senate

Senator Phillips Secures $100,000 for the Family & Children’s Association

Family & Childrens' AssociationContinuing her efforts to support programs and organizations that help Long Island’s children, families and seniors in need, Senator Phillips announced she has secured a $100,000 state grant for the Family and Children’s Association.

 

Family & Children’s Association (FCA) is a not-for-profit organization, which assists under-served and disadvantaged individuals through numerous services and programs including addiction prevention, treatment and recovery services, family education & support, children’s mental health services, adult & senior services and residential care programs.

 

“We are fortunate to have organizations such as the Family & Children’s Association in our region to help those in need with critical services including addiction, prevention, treatment, and recovery services, as well as family education support programs and mental health services,” said Senator Elaine Phillips. “I was proud to secure this funding, which will allow greater access to FCA for local residents in need. Thank you to Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds and the entire FCA staff for their commitment to aiding the local community.”

 

“FCA thanks Senator Phillips for her commitment to our organization’s mission”, said Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, President/CEO, FCA. Reynolds continued, “Many Long Islanders we serve often come to us in moments of crisis and despair, so having this funding will undoubtedly improve access to and offer more comfort within our main building, providing a more rewarding experience for our growing number of clientele. Furthermore, as we continue to expand as an organization, FCA employees will also benefit from these renovations.”

 

Senator Phillips recently visited the Mineola location and met with Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds to discuss FCA’s community involvement and future growth. The funding, which was secured through the State and Municipal Facilities Grant Program, will provide much needed renovations and improvements, including handicapped access upgrades to the Mineola headquarters.

 

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Senate Majority Delegation Calls For MTA To Protect LIRR Riders From Fare Increase

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) was joined by the Senate Majority’s Long Island Delegation at a press conference at the Bethpage Train Station to announce their efforts to force the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) to provide fare relief to the region’s long-suffering commuters. The focus of the press conference was the delegation’s joint call for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to put any proposed 2019 fare hike on hold through at least 2021 until it makes measurable improvements in service, equipment failures and delays.

 

To further protect commuters from facing even more disruptions due to the LIRR’s loss of any revenue, legislation sponsored by Senator Elaine Phillips (7th Senate District) and Assemblyman Dean Murray (3rd Assembly District), would create the “Long Island Commuter Relief Fund” which would provide a dedicated state fund that would provide operating money for the agency. This fund, which would consist of no less than sixty million dollars from yet-to-be allocated extraordinary monetary settlement funds, would be dedicated to the operating budget of the LIRR to ensure that LIRR riders are not forced to endure reduced service while simultaneously protecting fares at the current rates.

 

“Not a day goes by that I don’t hear from constituents frustrated with the MTA’s lack of reliability and service. Raising fares while service continues to falter is a misguided move and will only further hurt the thousands of commuters who are already facing the worst rail service in two decades. The MTA needs to start listening to the LIRR riders – and my colleagues and I are here to make sure those voices are heard. Any and all fare hike plans need to be scrapped until measurable improvements in service are made and there is better on-time performance and customer satisfaction,” stated Senator Phillips.

 

Currently, the MTA has scheduled an authority-wide four percent fare and toll increase that would take effect in March of 2019.

 

“The reality is that the Long Island Railroad has this year delivered what is measurably their worst performance year in the last twenty years, but still preparing to increase fares in spite of this poor service. To force commuters who have been asked to deal with cancelled trains and poor on-time performance to pay more is unconscionable, and we are joining together to say our residents deserve better. I thank my colleagues for joining this effort and calling on the MTA to do the right thing for our constituents,” stated Senator Flanagan.

 

The LIRR would be able to receive their share of this funding only if they are able to achieve an average on-time performance of ninety-four percent or better and increase their overall customer satisfaction score by at least five percent commencing with their next scheduled survey.

 

“Where I come from, delays, cancelations and derailments are not justification for a fare increase. The MTA and the LIRR should be exploring every option possible to reward their current customers and attract new daily riders. Absent that, my colleagues and I will take the necessary steps to hold the line on fares and keep the pressure on the MTA to put the needs of the commuter ahead of their bottom line,” said Senator Carl L. Marcellino (5th Senate District).

 

Senator Ken LaValle (1st Senate District) said, “Long Islanders deserve reliable service with reasonable fares when they take the railroad. Instead, Long Island Rail Road customers have received historically poor service while paying a great deal to ride the trains. There should be no fare hike until the Railroad’s performance is measurably improved.”

 

“The MTA continues to make illogical attempts to drive up costs for commuters by proposing a 4% increase in the monthly LIRR commutation ticket,” said Senator Kemp Hannon (6th Senate District). “The MTA needs to ensure proper and reliable service before another dollar is taken from Long Island commuters. Despite significant unreliability, equipment failures and delays, they continue to place a tremendous burden on working Long Islanders.”

 

“Our commuting public deserves so much more that what they have been handed lately,” said Senator Phil Boyle (4th Senate District). “We can do better by Long Island commuters and it needs to start now by eliminating this rate increase and work on corrective measures to repair the multiple ills of the LIRR.”

 

The delegation, again led by Senator Phillips, has established a petition drive that enables their constituents to voice their disgust that the LIRR would increase fares while they continue to suffer from delays and cancelled trains.

 

Any residents or commuter who would like to join the call for the MTA to provide riders with better service before considering fare increases is urged to visit the websites of the Long Island Senate Majority Members to add their voice to this effort. The members can be reached by visiting nysenate.gov and clicking on the Senators and Committees link.

 

Visit Senator Marcellino’s webpage

Senator Phillips Secures $250,000 Grant For The Village Of New Hyde Park

Village Of New Hyde ParkSenator Elaine Phillips announced she has secured a $250,000 State and Municipal Facilities Program Grant for the Village of New Hyde Park. The funding will be used for renovations at the Village Hall and improvements to municipal parking.

 

“Providing our municipalities with the means to better serve local residents is important and I was pleased to work with Mayor Montreuil to identify specific needs of the village,” said Senator Phillips. “This funding will allow New Hyde Park to make necessary repairs and upgrades to the village hall, including an HVAC system overhaul, without passing the costs onto local taxpayers. Additionally, improvements to municipal parking will make it easier for residents to shop village businesses which in turn benefits the local economy.”

 

The village offices have been housed at the 1420 Jericho Turnpike location since 1932 and the planned renovations mark the first major revamp of what was once an old school building.

 

“The Village of New Hyde Park greatly appreciates this timely grant from Senator Phillips. These funds will allow us to make badly needed repairs and renovations to our aging village hall. Additionally, they will enable us to significantly improve municipal parking to help revitalize our shopping district,” said Mayor Lawrence J. Montreuil. This $250,000 grant Senator Phillips provided is on top of other funding streams for New Hyde Park where Senator Phillips played a pivotal role in our negotiations to obtain $837,000 in road work, funding for a new Department of Public Works facility and a $5 million grant to kick off the transit oriented development of our industrial zone adjacent to the LIRR. These projects, which will have profound positive impacts on our village would not have been possible without the support of Senator Elaine Phillips.”

 

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NY State Senator Carl L. Marcellino Secures $750,000 in NYS Funds to Support LIU College of Veterinary Medicine

LIU College of Veterinary MedicineNew York State Senator Carl L. Marcellino presented a $750,000 check to Long Island University on Saturday to help build the LIU College of Veterinary Medicine. The presentation took place at the 2018 Inaugural LIU Classic Polo Match and Lawn Party at the Meadowbrook Polo Club in Old Westbury.

 

“We are grateful to Senator Marcellino for his hard work to secure funding to help build this transformative project,” said LIU President Dr. Kimberly Cline. “We continue to be heartened by the strong community support for building our region’s first College of Veterinary Medicine.”

 

More than 400 people attended the event which was held to support the College of Veterinary Medicine as well as LIU’s important equestrian and veterinary programs.

 

Currently, there are only 30 schools of veterinary medicine in the United States and just three are in the Northeast. None of these are located in the New York metropolitan area.

 

“I was happy to be able to procure this grant for this a transformative project, that will be a great source of economic activity and research, right here on Long Island,” said Senator Carl L. Marcellino

 

This fall, LIU Post launched a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology program, the first one on Long Island. In May, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a $12 million grant to help build the LIU College of Veterinary Medicine as part of the state’s $72 million investment to support transformative life sciences initiatives on Long Island.

 

About Long Island University (LIU)

 

LIU is a comprehensive teaching and research university. Since 1926, LIU has provided high quality academic programs taught by world-class faculty. LIU offers hundreds of accredited programs to approximately 16,000 students, with a network of over 200,000 alumni, including leaders in industries across the globe. Visit liu.edu for more information.

 

Pictured above is State Senator Carl L. Marcellino as he presents a check to LIU President Dr. Kimberly Cline alongside North Shore Equestrian Center Owner Gerry Chasin and members of the LIU equestrian team.

 

Visit Senator Macellino’s webpage

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Visit Senator Phillips’ webpage