Category Archives: New York State Senate

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 www.phillips.nysenate.gov. For questions, or to reserve space, please call 516-746-5924.

 

Visit Senator Phillips’ webpage

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.

 

Visit Senator Phillips’ webpage

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, Expedia.com, Dell, Overstock.com, Reddit, Subway and Bloomberg.com. 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.

 

Visit Senator Phillips’ webpage

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.

 

Visit Senator Phillips’ webpage

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.

 

Visit Senator Phillips’ webpage

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

‘Voting’ Pardons Could Let Hundreds of Sex Offenders in Schools on Election Day

Phillips Demands Answers on How Child Rapists Were Included on Gov’s Pardon List Calls on Governor to Stop Granting Pardons and Safeguard Schools

 

Hundreds of child rapists and sex offenders, including high risk offenders who are deemed a “threat to public safety,” those with long rap sheets and some with victims as young as two years old, were included among those pardoned by the Governor last month and could be headed to school polling places to vote this fall.

 

While it’s impossible to know the exact number, since the Governor has not released names of the 24,086 felons issued pardons, a painstaking comparison of the state’s “Megan’s Law” registry with a public database of parolees in just two Senate Districts on Long Island and in Western New York exposed dozens of sex offenders receiving the extraordinary pardons. The research found at least four sex offenders, including a child rapist who has been classified “high risk of repeat offense and a threat to public safety,” in the 7th Senate District represented by Senator Elaine Phillips.

 

“Giving pardons to sex offenders so they can show up at school polling places on Election Day is like handing out hall passes to some of society’s most dangerous individuals,” said Senator Phillips. “Sex offenders are listed in the Megan’s Law registry because they are judged to pose a risk to children and society in general, so it makes no sense to give them the temptation to enter and remain in a school, ostensibly to cast a vote on Election Day. We need the Governor to act immediately to reverse this decision, and to immediately tells us his plan to keep our children safe.”

 

Half of the polling sites in Senator Phillips’ Senate District are located in schools. Polling inspectors generally can’t ask voters for identification, so it’s 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 has called on state officials to:

 

STOP ISSUING VOTING PARDONS TO SEX OFFENDERS AND VIOLENT FELONS

More than half of current parolees are under sentence for committing violent felonies, including sex offenses, and the Megan’s Law registry includes 25,000 sex offenders who are required to register for life. The Governor has announced that he will issue pardons monthly through the elections in November.

 

RELEASE THE NAMES OF FELONS ALREADY PARDONED

State law requires the Governor to release the names of offenders who receive pardons. While he has released the total number in the initial round of pardons—24,086—the Governor has not released their names or any information about crimes for which they were convicted and sentenced.

 

PROVIDE NOTICE AND FUNDING TO SCHOOLS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT

Individuals on the sex offender registry are required by law to notify local police if they change their residence and certain other information. This information is typically shared with impacted communities through the state’s NY-Alert emergency alert system. The Governor should provide information to schools and community members about pardons he has issued to sex offenders and other violent felons, as well as funding for increased security to keep offenders away from schools on Election Day.

 

DISCLOSE PARDON AND SCREENING CRITERIA

After announcing his intention to issue pardons to convicted felons on April 12, the Governor concluded just 26 work days later, on May 22, that 24,086 were eligible. Assuming that no felon’s pardon was rejected, that equates to an astonishingly efficient 926.4 offender reviews per day. The Governor needs to disclose the criteria that the administration is using to evaluate and make pardon determinations.

 

REVEAL PROACTIVE STEPS TAKEN TO KEEP SEX OFFENDERS FROM SCHOOLS

The Governor must disclose steps his administration is preparing to take to prevent sex offenders from attempting to enter and remain in open school buildings on Election Day.

Senator Phillips has shared information about local sex offenders who received pardons with local law enforcement authorities.

 

Links to sex offenders and parolees:

 

Sex offenders:

http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/SomsSUBDirectory/search_index.jsp

 

Parolee lookup:

http://www.doccs.ny.gov/ParoleeLookup/Lookup.aspx

 

Visit Senator Phillips’ webpage