Sen. Gallivan

Friday, September 22, 2017 at 3:19 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, Sen. Gallivan, announcements.

Press release:

On Sept. 12 a bill was signed into law that closes crucial gaps in the communication between and among agencies responsible for the safety of children in foster care.

The bill (S4172), sponsored by Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma), requires the notification of agencies placing foster children when there are reports of suspected abuse or maltreatment at homes where children have been placed. Officials say this would prevent the unwitting placement of additional children in situations that risk subjecting them to abuse or maltreatment.

“The state has a responsibility to ensure the safety and welfare of all of New York’s children, especially those in foster care,” Gallivan said. “By sharing critical information about suspected abuse or maltreatment, we can better protect these vulnerable children and avoid putting additional youth at risk.”

The measure requires that suspected abuse or maltreatment reports be provided to the responsible agency or social services entity in cases where children are placed in homes outside the jurisdiction of origin. For example, if a child is the responsibility of authorities in Warsaw, and the child is placed with a foster family in Java, then any suspected abuse or maltreatment reports would need to be filed with the responsible agency in Java, too, and vice versa. The intention is to eliminate bureaucratic loopholes and strengthen oversight. 

The State Senate and Assembly passed the legislation earlier this year. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law on Sept. 12.

Monday, September 18, 2017 at 2:01 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, government, taxes, Sen. Gallivan, announcements.

Press release

Legislation to provide for the continuation of the real property tax exemption for Cold War Veterans has been signed into law Sept. 12. The bill (S5659A), sponsored by Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma), was approved by the Senate and Assembly in June. 

The law gives local governments and school districts the option to continue to provide a real tax exemption beyond the original 10-year limitation.

“This legislation recognizes the commitment and sacrifice made by the men and women who served in the United States military during the Cold War,” Gallivan said. “By continuing this program, we express our deep appreciation for their brave service to our country.” 

Cold War Veterans served in the Armed Forces from Sept. 2, 1945, to Dec. 26, 1991. Many of them served during times of peace.

The legislation amends the state’s real property tax law.

Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 4:52 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, Perry, Sen. Gallivan.

Press release:

Mike and Peter Dueppengiesser were recognized Wednesday at the New York Ag Leadership Luncheon at Empire Farm Days in Seneca Falls for the steps they’ve taken to protect the environment on their farm. New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball presented the award.

The 2017 Agricultural Environmental Management Award is sponsored by the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, American Agriculturalist Magazine and the Empire State Potato Growers.

The brothers operate Dueppengiesser Dairy Company in Perry. The third generation family farm made up of 2,100 acres and a herd of 1,100 milk cows. They have worked closely with the Wyoming County Soil and Water Conservation District to implement best management practices, including zone tillage, drainage systems, grass waterways and manure management.

“Mike and Peter have demonstrated that farms can grow and succeed while also working to protect our environment and preserve the land for future generations,” said Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma). “Dueppengiesser Dairy is a leader in New York’s agriculture industry and I congratulate them on earning this award.”

The Dueppengiessers will also be presented with a Legislative Proclamation signed by Gallivan and Sen. Pamela Helming, of Canandaigua.

Friday, July 28, 2017 at 6:44 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, government, Sen. Gallivan, announcements.

Press release

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has recently signed two bills related to health care services for county jail inmates and the housing of out of state inmates. 

The first bill (S.5409A) allows county jails to contract with medical professional corporations to provide inmate health care services. It amends the existing correction law, which dates back to 1929, and gives counties flexibility when it comes to medical care for inmates of a county jail.       

“Currently, counties must appoint a reputable physician to provide health care services to inmates, but many rural counties have found it difficult to identify and recruit a single person to serve as a jail doctor,” said Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma).  “By updating this law, we reduce the burden on counties and allow them to contract with authorized medical partnerships and corporations.”  

The new law recognizes that the health care delivery system has evolved over the years and allows individual counties to contract with a professional partnership, a professional service corporation, a professional service limited liability company or a registered limited liability company to provide health services to county inmates.   

The second bill (S.5894) extends a current law, which is set to expire Sept. 1 and allows local correctional facilities to board inmates from neighboring states. The new law will extend until Sept. 1, 2020. 

Many county jail facilities are partially vacant because of an overall decrease in inmate population.  In an effort to offset the cost of operating these facilities, some counties house state or federal inmates or inmates from other counties. This new law gives counties the added option of entering into contracts to house certain inmates from other states’ local correctional facilities.

“As the former Sheriff of Erie County, I understand the enormous cost of operating a jail,” Gallivan said.  “Local counties should have the opportunity to bring inmates from other states to fill their vacant cells and generate additional revenue to help maintain their facilities.” 

The new law could benefit every county in New York that has the capacity to accept out of state inmates and allow them to offset a portion of their overhead costs for operating their jail facilities.

Gallivan sponsored both pieces of legislation, which were passed by the Senate and Assembly in June.

Friday, June 9, 2017 at 12:35 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, Sen. Gallivan.

Press release:

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) joined colleagues from the Senate and the Assembly, and representatives of various charitable organizations to push for passage of legislation (S.4329/A6095) that would amend state law in relation to the sale of raffle tickets for bona fide charitable organizations. The changes will allow nonprofit groups to sell raffle tickets via the Internet and provide for additional payment options for raffles and other fundraising activities.

"Volunteer fire departments, veterans groups and other charitable organizations long relied on raffles as a way to support the services and programs they provide in the community,” Gallivan said. “These changes will allow groups to promote and sell raffle tickets online in order to reach their fundraising goals and enhance their services.” 

Gallivan sponsored the bill in the Senate after learning that outdated regulations limited organizations when it came to raffles, 50/50 prizes and other games of chance. Under existing rules, online sales and debit and credit card payments are prohibited. 

The bill passed the Senate and Assembly in 2016 but was vetoed by the governor. In response, additional amendments are being prepared.

Friday, June 9, 2017 at 11:37 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, animals, Sen. Gallivan.

animal_advocacy_story.jpeg

Press release:

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) joined his Senate colleagues in participating in the Legislature’s annual Animal Advocacy Day on Tuesday by passing measures that bolster protections for animals and their owners from harm and abuse. The bills strengthen Buster’s Law, crack down on animal fighting, and improve oversight for animal shelters, among other measures.

Article 26 of the Agriculture and Markets Law relating to cruelty to animals (S353-a), commonly referred to as Buster’s Law, states in part: A person is guilty of aggravated cruelty to animals when, with no justifiable purpose, he or she intentionally kills or intentionally causes serious physical injury to a companion animal with aggravated cruelty. For purposes of this section, "aggravated cruelty" shall mean conduct which: (i) is intended to cause extreme physical pain; or (ii) is done or carried out in an especially depraved or sadistic manner.

“For many of us, our pets are part of our family,” Gallivan said. “They provide unconditional love and we have a responsibility to keep them safe. These bills will help protect our pets and hold those people who abuse animals accountable for their actions. Animal Advocacy Day is a great way to raise awareness of these important issues and the critical role pets play in our lives.” 

 The bills passed include:

     • Preventing animal abusers from working at animal shelters: Bill S2937, sponsored by Gallivan, prohibits persons convicted of animal cruelty from being a dog or animal control officer, or working at an animal shelter, pound, humane society, animal protective association, or Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
    • Improving shelter care for dogs: Bill S5515, sponsored by Gallivan, would require impounding organizations to examine the animal and provide care and treatment to relieve pain and suffering, including necessary emergency veterinary care and treatment, parasite control and appropriate vaccinations. The impounding organization must also provide proper shelter, food and potable water.
    • Prohibiting violators of Buster’s Law from having a companion animal: Bill S2501 would prohibit a person convicted of Buster's Law from owning or possessing a companion animal unless authorized by court order, after appropriate psychiatric or psychological testing. Requiring a psychiatric evaluation will help identify behavior problems and ensure more animals are not abused.
    • Increasing the penalty for multiple convictions of animal cruelty: Bill S299 would increase the penalty for multiple convictions of torturing, killing or failing to provide sustenance to an animal to a felony, if convicted within five years from the date of a prior conviction. This will also help protect people as well because animal cruelty is often linked to violence against humans.
    • Requiring more inspections for pet dealers: Bill S302 provides for more frequent inspections of pet dealers which have been charged with or convicted of violations relating to cats and dogs. It requires the Department of Agriculture and Markets, upon the filing of a charge against a pet dealer, to immediately inspect the premises and continue to inspect the premises every two weeks thereafter until a final disposition of the charges. Should the pet dealer be convicted, inspections would be required quarterly.
    • Designating animal fighting as an enterprise-crime-eligible offense: Bill S594 would define animal fighting as a criminal act when referring to enterprise corruption. By making animal fighting an enterprise-crime-eligible offense, law enforcement and prosecutors will have more tools available to combat this serious problem.
    • Expanding tools available to stop animal fighting: Bill S611 places animal fighting on a list of crimes eligible to seek a warrant to conduct electronic eavesdropping or video surveillance.
    • Reducing holding time for the adoption of stray cats: Bill S177B would allow a duly incorporated Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, humane society, or any municipal pound to put unidentified, stray cats who have been examined by a veterinarian up for adoption after three days. Cutting the holding time will help reduce the spread of diseases.
    • Increasing the fine for abandoning an animal: Bill S1137 would increase the fine for animal abandonment from $1,000 to $2,000. This would help prevent abandoned animals from starving or freezing to death, breeding, spreading disease, or being killed by other animals.
    • Clarifying regulations for dogs engaged in hunting or training: Bill S2900 provides that dogs engaged in hunting and training as authorized by the Environmental Conservation Law shall not be deemed to be running at large. This would help prevent dogs from unnecessarily entering the municipal animal shelter system if an officer finds a hunting dog and can locate the owner before taking the dog to the shelter.
    • Establishing an income tax credit for owners of service dogs: Bill S5938A would establish an income tax credit of up to $1,000 for the owners of service dogs. Service dog is defined as a dog that is a service, guide, hearing, or seeing, or is under the control of the person using or training the to do work or perform tasks to benefit an individual with a disability.

The Animal Advocacy Day bills build upon the Senate’s commitment to protecting pets and other wildlife. The 2017-2018 state budget includes $5 million for the creation of a Companion Animal Capital Fund. This first of its kind fund would provide humane societies, nonprofits, and municipal shelters with grants for capital projects through a competitive application process.

Also approved was S1712. This bill increases certain penalties for violating the prohibition of animal fighting and for aggravated cruelty to animals.
Bills the Senate has already passed this year include:
    • Establishing March 13 as K9 Veterans Day: Bill S216, co-sponsored by Senator Gallivan, designates March 13 of each year as K9 Veterans Day in New York.
    • Kirby & Quigley’s Law: Bill S1680 would expand the definition of aggravated cruelty to animals to include harm to companion animals during the commission of a felony. Violating this measure would be punishable with two years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
    • Extending orders of protection to pets of victims of domestic abuse: Bill S2167 would give the court discretion to forbid contact between the abuser and any pet that is cared for by a victim.
    • Exempting dog license fees for deployed active military members’ dogs: Bill S839 would allow municipalities the option to waive a licensing fee for an active military member's dog when they are deployed.
    • Enacting the Elephant Protection Act: Bill S2098A would prohibit the use of elephants in entertainment acts. The measure is meant to safeguard all elephants from the physical and psychological harm potentially inflicted upon them by living conditions, treatment, and cruel methods that are necessary to train elephants to perform.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at 8:02 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, veterans, Sen. Gallivan.

Press release:

The state Senate has passed a variety of bills aimed at caring for and memorializing the men and women who have served in our military, as well as those still serving today. The legislative package will safeguard the welfare of those who protect our lives, ease their fiscal burdens, show them the path to crucial benefits, and venerate their service to this country.

“The brave men and women of our military sacrifice so much to keep our country and our citizens safe,” said Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma). “These measures recognize their commitment and dedication, provide protection and ease the financial burden they and their families may face. They are also an expression of the community’s gratitude for the service commitment and dedication our military personnel and veterans provide.”

Proposed legislation will it more affordable for service members to live in New York by:

    • Providing Tax Relief to Reservists Called to Active Duty: Bill S2520A, sponsored by Gallivan, allows the governing body of a city, village, town or county to exempt reservists called to active duty from property taxes. The exemption, which would span the time of active duty, would ease the financial burden that reservists and their families often face when they are called upon to serve;
    • Establishing a Task Force on Veteran Employment Opportunities. Bill S936 , cosponsored by Gallivan, creates a task force to study and improve the job market for veterans. The task force, to be made up of stakeholders within state government, the private sector, and institutions of higher education, will be charged with holding annual public hearings and making recommendations to the legislature regarding ways the state can assist those who served our country in finding and maintaining meaningful employment opportunities;
    • Helping Veterans Afford a Home: Bill S5158 assists service-related disabled veterans in affording a home by giving those with a VA disability rating of 40 percent or higher a preference in applications to the state’s Affordable Home Ownership Development Program;
    • Assisting More Veterans in Applying for Public Housing: Bill S1482 expands eligibility for veterans in public housing to include those of recent conflicts, and requires granting of a preference for public housing to veterans or families of veterans who have a military service connected disability;
    • Providing Tax Relief to Reservists Called to Active Duty. Bill S959 allows municipalities to offer the alternative veterans’ property tax exemption to members of the military who are currently serving on active duty. Under current law, individuals who are in active military service need to wait until their service in uniform is finished in order to receive the tax benefits extended by participating municipalities; and
    • Extending Property Tax Exemptions to Certain Reservist Veterans: Bill S5411 permits towns to offer reserve military veterans who participated in Operation Graphic Hand the alternative veteran property tax exemption.

Proposed legislation will help protect service members in New York by:

    • Increasing Penalties for Violence against Active Duty and Reserve Military Members: Bill S927 establishes a Class D felony for the crime of inciting violence against both active duty and reserve military service members in an effort to curb the destructive trend of targeting those who have made a career out of protecting the citizens of this country. The bill, cosponsored by Gallivan, makes it a Class C felony to commit assault against an active-duty soldier if the accused’s intent was to prevent that soldier from performing their lawful duty.

Proposed legislation will help connect service members and veterans in New York with important services for them and their families by:

    • Ensuring Continuity of Care for Service Members’ Families: Bill S5807 ensures that service members who have dependent family members with developmental disabilities continue to receive services from the state without interruption to guarantee better continuity of care and better outcomes for the individual;
    • Giving All Active Duty Members of the Military Greater Access to State Parks: Bill S3571 streamlines the process for active duty service members to receive their free Empire Passport for state park usage. Current law requires the Empire Passport to be filled out annually and to be received in the mail, making the entire process lengthy and cumbersome. Active duty service members and their immediate family would instead be eligible for the free pass by providing their military ID upon entry;
    • Simplifying the Process for Military Personnel to be Married: Bill S1013 authorizes military personnel scheduled for deployment in less than 30 days to get married within 24 hours of receiving their marriage license. Currently the mandatory waiting period of 24 hours for couples to get married is a hindrance to those expected to serve our country overseas and on short notice;
    • Expand Opportunities and Services Available to Service-Disabled Veterans: Bill S2424B directs the State Division of Veterans’ Affairs to develop a plan for a comprehensive statewide program of coordinated services for service-disabled veterans. The plan would include: health, medical, and rehabilitation services; and educational training and retraining services and facilities, employment and re-employment services, housing options, transportation options, long-term care options, personal care, day program service options, family outreach, and other essential services that maximize existing resources.

Proposed legislation will show respect for and recognition of military personnel and veterans and their families in New York by:

    • Increasing Availability to Financial Relief for Blind Veterans: Bill S200, cosponsored by Gallivan, provides an increase in the base rates of annuities payable to blind veterans and surviving spouses of blind veterans from $1,000 to $1,500. It also clarifies the formula for annual increases to take into account the latest federal increase for veterans’ annuities; and
    • Commemorating the Service of Veterans with Personalized License Plates: Bill S4464 authorizes the issuance of distinctive license plates for veterans while also exempting them from the one-time service and annual registration fees to keep their license plates updated.

The bills have been sent to the Assembly.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 3:48 pm

Press release:

The New York Senate has approved a bill that strengthens Kendra’s Law and makes its provisions permanent. The bill (S516) enhances public safety, improves the quality and effectiveness of care provided to the mentally ill, and prevents Kendra’s Law from expiring on June 30.

“By strengthening and improving Kendra’s Law, we can help prevent people suffering from profound mental illness from doing harm to themselves or others,” said Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma), cosponsor of the bill. “The legislation has been successful in preventing violence and ensuring that patients receive the treatment they need. Now it’s time to make the law permanent.”

Kendra’s Law was first enacted in 1999 after 32-year-old Kendra Webdale was pushed in front of a subway train by a man with untreated schizophrenia. At that time, the man was roaming New York City streets. The law allows for court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) for individuals who will not voluntarily seek help but are a safety threat.

Since the law was enacted, studies have found that patients given mandatory outpatient treatment were four times less likely to perpetrate serious violence after undergoing AOT. The study included those who were more violent to begin with than other members of a control group. The studies also found less frequent psychiatric hospitalizations, shorter hospital stays, reductions in the likelihood of arrest, higher social functioning, less stigma, and no increase in perceived coercion.

The law is designed to prevent serious harm to the mentally ill person or others, but gaps exist in the current system that must be fixed to make it more effective. The measure would not only make Kendra’s Law permanent, but includes several provisions to enhance the current system of AOT.

Provisions include:

    • requiring follow-up on those who move during the AOT period to ensure that they receive their treatment;
    • requiring an evaluation for AOT when mental health patients are released from inpatient treatment or incarceration so that people needing services do not fall through the cracks;
    • requiring counties to notify the Office of Mental Health (OMH) when an assisted outpatient is missing and thereby unavailable for an evaluation as to whether he or she continues to meet AOT criteria; and
    • requiring the commissioner of OMH to develop an educational pamphlet on the AOT process of petitioning so that family members have information on how to file a report.

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 5:34 pm

Press release:

The Empire State Apprenticeship Program (ESAP) aims to help lower youth unemployment, close the middle-skills gap, provide trained workers for expanding and emerging workforces and generally develop a more competitive New York State workforce.  

On Tuesday, Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) joined Assemblyman Harry B. Bronson (D-Rochester/Chili/Henrietta) and Kevin Stump, Northeast regional director of Young Invincibles, in support of the program. Both Bronson and Gallivan championed the ESAP in the 2017-18 state budget.

“One of the challenges facing today’s employers is finding skilled workers, especially in advanced manufacturing and information technology fields,” Gallivan said. “By incentivizing manufacturers and other businesses to establish apprenticeship programs, we can create opportunities, close the skills gap, train workers for successful careers, reduce unemployment and help businesses grow. This program wisely invests in the future of New York’s economy and workforce.”

The Empire State Apprenticeship Program will help employers tap into more than 300,000 young people ages 16 to 24 years old across the state who are not in school or employed. It connects businesses with apprentices who can become skilled workers in fields including but not limited to nursing, agriculture, advanced manufacturing, photonics, health care, and information technology.

The cost of training these new employees will be offset through tax credits, which increase in value for each year of training an apprentice completes. Additional tax credits are available for employers who also mentor their apprentices in ways to overcome barriers to gainful employment.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 12:13 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, Sen. Gallivan, government, crime.

Press release:

The New York State Senate has approved eight bills aimed at tackling the heroin, opioid and synthetic drug crisis. The measures address the evolving challenges presented by fentanyl, synthetic and designer drugs, and help increase coordination among health care personnel to prevent future opioid overdoses and abuse.

“One of our priorities this legislative session is to tackle the state’s heroin crisis,” said Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma). “No community and no family is immune from the devastating impact caused by heroin and opioid abuse.

"These bills, combined with the $214 million secured in this year’s budget, will support law enforcement efforts to combat the spread of these drugs and enhance programs designed to keep New Yorkers healthy and safe.”

Six bills target the increased use of synthetic and designer drug combinations that escape criminality through loopholes in existing laws. Gallivan cosponsored the first five of the six bills, which include: 

    • Bill S933 adds new derivatives of fentanyl to the controlled substance schedule and increases criminal penalties for the sale of an opiate containing a fentanyl derivative. Fentanyl is a strong pain medication that is often combined with anesthesia to prevent surgery-related pain. However, it is increasingly being mixed with heroin and other drugs to produce a cheaper and more lethal product.

    • Bill S816 designates Alpha-PVP, also known as “Flakka” or “Gravel” as a controlled substance. Similar to bath salts and methamphetamine, use of this designer drug has been known to cause violent behavior, with side effects including nausea, vomiting, paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, suicidal thoughts, seizures, chest pains, and increased blood pressure and heart rate.

    • Bill S3518 classifies synthetic marijuana like "K2," "Spike 99," "Spice," "Yucatan Fire," "Genie," "Zohai" and many others, as Schedule I controlled substances. These legal herb-like products are laced with a synthetic cannabinoid to produce a high similar to existing controlled substances, but with more dangerous side effects. Not only does the bill provide for the imposition of criminal sanctions on synthetic pot, but also makes it a felony to sell such products to a minor or on school grounds.

    • Bill S2722 bans the analog substances of scheduled controlled substances. By expanding the state’s ability to ban analog substances, state drug and law enforcement agencies are given another tool to combat the quickly moving world of designer drugs that simply “tweak” an existing scheduled substance in order to avoid criminal prohibitions.

    • Bill S658 adds a new synthetic opiate, U-47700 and commonly referred to as "Pink" to the schedule I opiate list. This inexpensive drug has spread in popularity across the United States and is reportedly eight times more powerful than heroin.

    • Bill S300 would designate Xylazine as a controlled substance due to recent instances of this veterinary drug being used to lace heroin. It has emerged as a new threat in the state's battle against the heroin epidemic because the heroin-Xylazine combination is so potent that it can take multiple doses of naloxone to revive an overdose victim, and even this regime is not guaranteed to be effective. Dealers are using this dangerous drug to enhance their products, but risks include a dangerous depression of the central nervous system, causing individuals to drift in and out of consciousness, as well as negatively affecting heart function.

Two other measures passed by the Senate will help promote information sharing to prevent the abuse of prescription and other drugs, among other benefits of health care coordination. 

They include:

    • Bill S2639 requires hospital and emergency room physicians to notify a patient's prescriber when a patient is being treated for a controlled substance overdose. The measure enhances the effectiveness of the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) Registry when prescribing controlled substances by ensuring that vital medical information is shared among health care practitioners. The bill requires an emergency room or hospital practitioner treating a patient with an opioid overdose to consult the PMP registry and notify the patient's prescriber of the overdose. Without such notification of the overdose, it is very possible that the prescriber/practitioner would not know that the patient had suffered an overdose of the opioid.
    • Bill S2248 helps facilitate the exchange of health care information with hospitals, office-based surgery practices, and health care providers who accept walk-in patients not regularly seen by the provider. These practitioners would use and maintain an electronic health records system that connects to the local regional health information organization, aiding in the prevention of drug abuse by giving these clinics and urgent care centers the ability to see patient records and whether there is a history of drug use or prescriptions. Additionally, these clinics would add details of the visit to the patient’s records for any future medical treatment, thereby ensuring the patient receives appropriate care.

Monday, March 27, 2017 at 5:07 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, government, announcements, Sen. Gallivan.

Press release:

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) says the Senate has once again approved a bill that would require New York State to notify a local municipality when a sex offender is transferred from a state facility to a community program or residence. The Senate also passed the legislation (S.2132) in 2015 and 2016, but it failed in the Assembly.

The bill sponsored by Gallivan would amend the mental hygiene law to require the Commissioner of the Office of People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to notify the chief executive officer of any municipality where a sex offender is transferred. The superintendent of schools in which the facility is located would also have to be notified.

"The state has an obligation to notify local leaders whenever the transfer of a potentially dangerous sex offender into a residential or community program occurs,” Gallivan said.  “Too often, community leaders learn of the transfer after the fact and don’t have adequate time to properly address public concerns and potential security issues.”

The legislation would require the commissioner of OPWDD to notify local officials no later than 10 calendar days prior to the transfer taking place.    

In the past, the state has placed developmentally disabled sex offenders at state-owned group homes in Western New York and across the state, catching many communities off guard and raising concerns about public safety.

The bill has been sent to the Assembly. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 7:03 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, announcements, government, Sen. Gallivan.

Press release:

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C- I, Elma) says the New York State Senate has passed a 2017-18 budget plan that creates more economic opportunity through targeted investments in infrastructure, tax reductions, and continued fiscal discipline. The Senate proposal continues a record of restrained state spending without new taxes. Additionally, it makes sensible and important changes to a number of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposals that should serve as a blueprint to a final, on-time budget.

“The Senate’s budget controls the size and cost of government while at the same time helping hardworking, middle class families and businesses,” Gallivan said. “The spending plan supports economic development, provides much needed tax relief, invests in education, promotes agriculture and provides more funding for roads and bridges. It also keeps the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center in West Seneca.”

Reducing property taxes

The Senate’s budget proposal advances several measures to protect the significant savings provided by the School Tax Relief (STAR) program and would help small businesses save on their property taxes. 

The measures include:

    • Making small businesses with less than $350,000 in net business income and less than 20 employees eligible to receive the STAR benefit on their primary business property, saving $370 million when fully phased in;

    • Rejecting the executive budget proposal to cap the growth of the STAR benefit, saving taxpayers an estimated $272 million over the next three years alone;

    • Reversing changes made last year to the STAR Personal Income Tax Credit Program from reimbursements back to an up-front exemption effective for the 2018 – 2019 school year;

    • Addressing the significant delays of STAR payments by the state to taxpayers that occurred this year by requiring the state to postmark all advance payment STAR checks by Sept. 15, requiring the state to pay interest if they are mailed late, and reimbursing taxpayers for penalties or interest due to late school tax bill payments; and

    • Making permanent the state’s property tax cap.

Promoting economic development

The Senate budget rejects a number of onerous tax and fee increases proposed by Cuomo, including new DMV fees, new taxes on Internet purchases and a new surcharge on prepaid cell phones. In addition, to help avoid future tax increases, the Senate’s resolution imposes a statutory cap on state spending.

The Senate requires more transparency in the operations of Regional Economic Development Councils to further ensure accountability and prevent conflicts of interest in the awarding of billions of dollars in statewide economic development funds. The resolution rejects the rebranding of START-Up NY and closes the door to new applicants as of April 1, 2018, followed by an assessment to measure the program’s effectiveness.

Tax relief for businesses

In addition to creating the STAR benefit for small businesses, the Senate proposal would:

    • Expand the existing Personal Income Tax exemption for small businesses and small farms and reduce the Corporate Franchise Tax business income tax rate from 6.5 percent to 2.5 percent over a two-year period, saving a total of $466 million;

    • Increase the Manufacturer’s Real Property Tax Credit from 20 percent to 50 percent of any annual property taxes paid during the year for property owned or leased by the manufacturer and used during for manufacturing, saving businesses $150 million; and

    • Increase the MTA Payroll Tax exemption for sole proprietors from $50,000 to $250,000. 

Reforms to workers’ compensation 

The Senate has advanced a number of sensible workers’ compensation reforms, such as updates to duration caps and schedule loss of use awards. To improve the overall system, changes would be put into place to reduce frictional costs, streamline forms, improve independent medical examinations and require implementation of a prescription drug formulary by Dec. 31.

Expanding ride-sharing

The resolution provides ride-sharing companies with the ability to expand operations outside of New York City and enable new jobs to be created by offering more safe, reliable transportation options to communities and visitors Upstate and on Long Island.

Promoting workforce development

The Senate’s Task Force on Workforce Development is continuing to improve employee readiness; better meet the workforce needs of private sector employers; connect job seekers with potential employers; retrain those who have lost jobs; and help make New York State’s overall economy more robust, dynamic and resilient. 

This budget helps implement those goals by including:

    • $4 million for the Workforce Development Institute (WDI);

    • $3 million for the WDI Manufacturing Initiative;

    • $980,000 for the Chamber On-the-Job Training Program;

    • $600,000 for Statewide Youth Build programs; and

    • Increasing the current salary cap for BOCES to attract and retain qualified and skilled teachers for career and tech programs.

Keeps Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center (WNYCPC) in West Seneca

The Senate plan includes language advanced by Gallivan requiring WNYCPC be maintained in Erie County as a separate and distinct entity, both organizationally and physically. It also requires that $14 million be used to rehabilitate the existing West Seneca facility.

Supporting local infrastructure

Historic state investment of nearly $8 billion in clean water

The Senate makes an investment of nearly $8 billion to ensure all New Yorkers have access to clean, safe drinking water by addressing extensive water quality issues and infrastructure needs. 

The measures include:

    • Creation of a new $5 billion Clean Water Bond Act;

    • Support for the proposed $2 billion for clean water infrastructure;

    • Establishment of a new Drinking Water Quality Institute;

    • Creation of the Emerging Contamination Monitoring Act;

    • $300 million for the Environmental Protection Fund;

    • $175 million in continued funding for the Water Quality Infrastructure Investment Program; and

    • $275 million in continued funding for Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds.

Increased support for local roads and bridges

The budget proposal continues the Senate’s commitment to parity with the Department of Transportation and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) capital plans, and ensures long-term regional balance in how transportation projects are funded. It helps local governments make necessary infrastructure improvements and create jobs by adding:

    • $91 million in non MTA capital, for a total $175.5 million;

    • $75 million for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Program (CHIPS), for a total $513 million;

    • $50 million for the Local BRIDGE NY program, for a total $150 million;

    • $11.5 million to increase the reimbursement rate to cities for maintaining State highways;

    • $11.3 million in non-MTA downstate and upstate transit systems, and $5 million – including a $4 million executive budget restoration – for rural transportation systems; and

    • $27.5 million for the Aviation Capital Grant Program, for a total $40 million, and $2 million to provide the full state match to federal funds for aviation, totaling $6 million.

Improving higher education access and affordability

Enhanced Tuition Assistance Program (E-TAP):

The Senate improves upon the higher education proposals in the executive budget by making more middle-class families eligible for more financial aid, and giving students greater flexibility in school choice to promotes success.

The Senate invests $109 million in a new E-TAP initiative that helps students in public and independent schools by increasing the minimum TAP award from $500 to $3,000 and the maximum to $5,500. Income thresholds would also be increased to $100,000 in 2017-18; $110,000 in 2018-19; and $125,000 in 2019- 20. To be eligible for E-TAP, students would need a 3.0 grade-point average by the start of their junior year and take 30 credits over each academic year – which is a more flexible option for students unable to take a 15-credit semester as required in the executive budget proposal. 

The Senate budget proposal also includes:

    • $10 million to expand TAP to include part-time community college students; and

    • $2 million in new funding for Graduate TAP, to help students who are in combined undergraduate/graduate degree programs.

College affordability:

The Senate budget establishes a new Task Force on College Affordability; requires private colleges to develop college affordability plans with the goal of lowering costs; and creates the New York State Tax Advantage Student Loan Repayment Program. This innovative measure acts like a 401K for student debt – enabling employees to put up to $2,500 pre-tax each year into an account specifically set up by an employer to help pay student loan debt. The employer would then match the employee’s contribution and receive a tax deduction. 

The Senate also:

    • expands the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) scholarship to include private institutions;

    • increases the tuition tax credit to a maximum of $2,500 and the deduction to a maximum of $50,000 of allowable college tuition expenses, over 10 years;

    • provides $2 million in funding to support child care on SUNY and CUNY campuses to give access to students in need of care while pursuing a degree; and

    • provides a maintenance of effort provision that requires the state to fund SUNY and CUNY (State University of and City University of) at no less than the prior year’s funding level.

Making New York more affordable

Supporting fair wages for direct care professionals

The Senate provides $45 million annually to compensate direct care professionals for the important work they do to support individuals with disabilities. It addresses a lack of funding in the executive budget to help appropriately adjust salaries at nonprofits that employ workers who provide state services for individuals with autism, serious brain injury, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and other developmental disabilities.

Expanding the Child Care Tax Credit:

The Senate provides an additional $95 million on top of the executive budget’s child care proposals to help more low- and middle-income families qualify for the state’s child care tax credits. Families making less than $50,000 would have their credits increase by 50 percent over existing amounts. In addition, the current cap on child care expenses would rise from $6,000 to a maximum of $9,000 (depending on the number of children) for families with up to five children.

Increasing the safety and availability of child care

To help working parents find affordable child care, and give them peace of mind about their child’s safety, the Senate included several budget provisions to:

    •  Increase child care subsidy funding from traditional sources to maintain the current level of $806 million;

    • Add $5.3 million to restore child care facilitated enrollment programs that help increase access to child care financial assistance, especially for moderate income families, in Monroe, Erie, Onondaga and Oneida counties, the Capital District, and New York City;

    • Require the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to conduct a comprehensive study of the availability of child care for low-income working parents in the State; and

    •  Enhance the safety of child day care programs by giving OCFS greater ability to suspend or limit a license or registration to operate when public health or safety is at risk and to assess fines for violations.

This legislation also creates a comprehensive online registry of child care providers in the State that will include inspection and violation history for each.

Savings on Retirement Income:

To help more seniors save money and choose to stay in New York during retirement, the Senate increases the private pension and retirement income exclusion from $20,000 to $40,000 for single taxpayers and to $80,000 for married taxpayers, over three years. This would be the first increase to the exempt amount of private pensions and retirement since 1981 and save retirees approximately $315 million.

Supporting learning opportunities for all children

Significant education funding increases

The Senate’s education budget includes a five percent increase in school aid funding over last year, for a total of $1.2 billion, bringing the total investment in schools to a record level of $25.4 billion. 

Other highlights include:

    • Doubling the governor’s Foundation Aid proposal with $478 million in additional funding, for a total increase of more than $906 million since 2016-17;

    •  Rejecting the executive budget’s changes to the Foundation Aid formula and instead provides flexible operating aid to districts for operating expenses, which may include creation or expansion of dual language programs, after school programs, mental health services, and personnel within schools;

    • Removing a cap on charter schools and placing surrendered charters back into the pool of eligible charters;

    • Increasing facilities funding for New York City charter schools;

    • Providing statewide building aid for charters;

    • Including significant funding increases over the executive budget for non-public schools: an additional $34 million for reimbursable security costs; $15 million for non-public school safety grants;

    • increasing by $7 million above the executive budget proposal for mandated services aid; $25 million for non-public school STEM programs; $3 million to expand eligibility for STEM college scholarships to students at non-public schools; and $7.7 million for non-public school immunization compliance.

Protecting public health

Investments in battling substance abuse

The Senate’s budget proposal includes $206 million for the state’s heroin and opioid-related initiatives. This is an increase of $32 million over last year’s enacted budget, and above the approximately $200 million announced in the executive budget.

The Senate would also expand upon an initiative first proposed as a recommendation by the Senate’s Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction to help teens battling substance abuse. The measure increases the proposed number of Recovery High Schools from two to three – enabling more youth to find a secure learning environment to help them on their way to overcoming addiction.

Transforming health care delivery statewide

The Senate includes $300 million above the executive budget’s proposal for a total of $800 million for the Health Care Facility Transformation Program. The funding is included subject to additional details to be further outlined in the budget process to ensure appropriate regional disbursement, and appropriate disbursement among community based providers and all facilities. Further, before making the allocation, the remaining capital from last year’s budget of $195 million should be awarded.

Promoting agriculture

Restoring $12 million in agriculture support

The Senate commits significant resources to promoting and supporting agriculture in the state, including $12 million in restorations to more than 30 programs throughout the state that were cut in the executive budget. 

In addition, the budget resolution:

    • Makes the Investment Tax Credit refundable for farmers.

    • Enacts the Farm-to-Food Bank proposal that allows farmers to claim a tax credit to for produce and other farm product donations to food banks or other emergency food programs.

    • Modifies the executive proposal for state fair funding to include $10 million for local fair capital costs;

    • Adds $5 million for a competitive grant program for animal shelters; and

    • Doubles the Farm Workforce Retention Credit Upstate and further increase the credit for farms that are located in Nassau, Suffolk, or Westchester counties due to the accelerated minimum wage schedule in those counties.

Supporting veterans

The Senate budget includes a number of measures to provide valuable assistance and support to New York’s veterans, including:

    • $3.2 million for the Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Peer to Peer Program;

    • $1 million to implement a veterans treatment court peer-to-peer service grant program;

    • $700,000 for the New York State Defenders’ Association Veterans’ Defense Program;

    • $400,000 for the NLP Research and Recognition Project for PTSD research treatments;

    • $350,000 for Legal Services of the Hudson Valley’s Veterans and Military Families Advocacy project;

    • $100,000 to expand Legal Services of the Hudson Valley’s Veterans and Military Families Advocacy project into Westchester County;

    • $250,000 for Nassau Suffolk Law Services Committee’s Veterans’ Rights Project;

    • $250,000 in additional funding for the Veterans Outreach Center in Monroe County; and

    • $300,000 for Warrior Salute.

Protecting seniors

The Senate restores cuts and adds additional resources to help seniors continue to receive long-term services and supports, such as home care, transportation and meals, and initiatives to prevent elder abuse.

Measures include:

    • Adding $5 million for the Community Services for the Elderly Program (CSE) for transportation, case management and other supports;

    • Restoring $3.35 million in the executive budget for the New York Connects program that provides free comprehensive services and supports for seniors and caregivers;

    • Providing $10 million to establish a statewide central register of elder abuse and maltreatment;

    • Restoring $700,000 for the establishment of multidisciplinary investigative teams for reports of suspected elder abuse or maltreatment, as well as including legislation that creates those teams; and

    • Adding $49,000 for a total of $951,000 for the Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs) and/or Neighborhood NORCs.

Friday, February 3, 2017 at 3:40 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, drugs, children, health, Sen. Gallivan, news.

Press release:

The Senate has recently passed two bills to help save the lives of abused children who may otherwise slip through the cracks of Child Protective Services (CPS). The bills require testing young children for drugs if their guardian is arrested on drug charges, and they restrict high caseloads from jeopardizing the investigation of child abuse or maltreatment.

Bill S137 would require hair follicle testing of an infant or toddler under the age of 3 who is in the vicinity of parent or guardian who is arrested on a drug charge. 

The legislation, known as Kayleigh Mae's Law, is named after a 13-month-old child in Washington County who died in 2015 after being given heroin and cocaine for 10 months after birth. 

For children who are not yet old enough to speak, the hair follicle test would give a new tool for child protective investigations to help determine if a child’s health is at risk from illegal drug exposure.

“The goal of this legislation is to protect the lives of our most vulnerable citizens, our children,” said Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma). “We must also ensure that the caseworkers charged with the responsibility of keeping children and families safe are not overburdened and unable to perform their jobs effectively.” 

Bill S3146 establishes a statewide standard of no more than 15 cases per month per full-time child protective caseworker. The state Office of Children and Family Services recommends a CPS caseload size of 12 active reports per month. However, average caseloads are higher in many counties throughout the state. 

The bills have been sent to the Assembly.

Friday, February 3, 2017 at 12:42 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, news, Sen. Gallivan, government.

Press release

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan, (R-C-I, Elma) issued the 2016 report of the New York State Senate Standing Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction.  

Gallivan serves as chairman of the committee, which has legislative oversight of proposals pertaining to Correction, Penal and Executive Laws. In 2016, the committee reviewed a total of 57 bills and approved the nomination of Lt. Col. George P. Beach II as superintendent of the New York State Police. 

“One of the most important responsibilities of government is to help ensure the safety of our citizens and our communities,” said Gallivan, a former State Trooper and Sheriff of Erie County.  “I want to thank the members of the committee for their work in reviewing legislation dealing with various aspects of our criminal justice system.” 

Of the 57 bills reported to the committee, 13 passed both the Senate and Assembly, and eight were signed into law.  

These include:

    • Legislation requiring the Division of Criminal Justice Services to notify local law enforcement within 48 hours of learning that a convicted sex offender has had a change of address;

    • Legislation allowing prior statements made by crime victims to be provided to the Board of Parole for consideration at each board appearance.  The law protects victims from reliving such a traumatic experience every time a parole hearing is held; and

    • Legislation ensuring due process of inmates who require a translator at parole board hearings. 

Also during the 2016 session, the committee approved the nomination of Beach as the 15th superintendent of the New York State Police. He now commands more than 5,000 troopers, investigators and civilian support staff who provide policing and public safety services to New Yorkers and other police agencies across the state. 

 A full copy of the committee report is available here

Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at 4:00 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, announcements, taxes, Sen. Gallivan, government.

Press release:

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) recently joined colleagues in the New York State Senate in passing legislation to make the property tax cap permanent. This would ensure the continuation of a measure that has already saved taxpayers more than $15.5 billion.  

The bill (S1207), sponsored by Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan (R-C-I, East Northport), would make the property tax cap permanent statewide, except in New York City where no cap is currently in place.

“The property tax cap has been very successful in putting an end to skyrocketing taxes in communities across the state,” Gallivan said. “New York property owners pay some of the highest taxes in the country and the only way to limit spending and get property taxes under control is to make the tax cap permanent.”

Growth in property taxes soared by more than 73 percent for New York school districts between 2001 and 2011, and 53 percent in counties. The property tax cap was first enacted in 2011 due to Senate Republican efforts to reduce New Yorkers’ tax burden. When the cap was created, it included a commitment to increase support to school districts and has resulted in a total of $4.9 billion – 26 percent – in school aid increases over the last five years.

The cap limits the annual growth of property taxes levied by local governments and school districts to 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. By keeping within the cap, taxpayers statewide – except in New York City – have saved $15.5 billion over the last five years, and will save more than $66.4 billion cumulatively over the first 10 years of its implementation.

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.

Friday, January 20, 2017 at 1:43 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, news, Sen. Gallivan, government, crime.

09-15-16_gallivan-hs-001.jpg

Press release:

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan, (R-C-I, Elma) has been reappointed to serve as chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections. Not only has he held the position since 2013, his is also a former New York State Trooper, Sheriff of Erie County, and member of the State Board of Parole.

Additionally, he will serve as a member of twelve additional Senate committees this Legislative session including vice chair of the Senate Committee on Education.

“I am honored to serve in leadership roles on two very important Senate committees,” Gallivan said. “Beyond the public safety of our citizens, there is perhaps no more important issue for the state than to ensure a quality education for our children. I look forward to working with my colleagues in reviewing legislation and budgets pertaining to criminal justice and education matters.” 

As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which plays a critical role in the state’s budget process, his goal is to help ensure adoption of a state budget that controls the size and cost of government, as well as provides a fair distribution of resources.

Other committees which Gallivan is a member include: Agriculture, Transportation, Infrastructure and Capital Investment, Codes, Elections, Higher Education, Housing, Labor, and Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business. 

He also serves as a member of State Native American Relations Select Committee and the Science, Technology, Incubation and Entrepreneurship Select Committee.

Senate committee assignments for 2017 were announced at the start of the new Legislative session.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016 at 10:48 am

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C- I, Elma) says measures to help New Yorkers battling heroin and opioid addiction, ensure access to benefits that help veterans and infants, protect consumers, and increase government transparency are among the new laws that take effect in January. 

Other changes being enacted in the New Year include several road safety measures, new and extended tax cuts, and measures to increase breast cancer screenings and organ donation registration.

“This important legislation will benefit consumers, assist our veterans, support New York’s farmers and better protect public health and safety,” Gallivan said. “Changes in New York tax law will also benefit small business and make it easier for families to save for college.”

Protecting public health

Tackling heroin and opioid addiction: Most of the provisions of the legislation passed to address the state’s ongoing heroin and opioid abuse crisis took effect when signed into law in June. However, several important provisions of the laws will become effective with health insurance policies and contracts issued, renewed, modified, altered or amended on or after Jan. 1, including:

    • S8139 – Ending prior insurance authorization for immediate access to inpatient treatment services; co-sponsored by Gallivan;

    • S8137  – Using consistent criteria to determine the medical necessity of treatments; co-sponsored by Gallivan;

    • S8137 – Authorizing emergency substance use disorder medication coverage by requiring insurance coverage, without prior authorization, for an emergency five-day supply of medications for treating a substance use disorder when emergency conditions exist;

    • S8137 – Expanding access to naloxone/opioid reversal medication coverage by requiring insurance coverage for the overdose reversal medication, whether it is prescribed to a person who is addicted to opioids or their family member covered under the same insurance plan;

  • Improving infant coverage under Child Health Plus (CHP): S6421A – A new law updates the state’s Public Health Law to ensure that newborns are covered retroactively under the CHP program. Newborns were not eligible under the previous requirements of CHP for periods lasting up to 30 days after enrollment. Starting in January, newborns will be covered going back to the first day of their birth month;
  • Encouraging New Yorkers to Become Organ Donors: S6952A – Starting Jan. 1, New Yorkers will be offered an additional opportunity to document their decision to enroll as an organ and tissue donor. All applicants for health insurance offered through the state health benefit exchange will be provided space during the application process to register for the Donate Life Registry for organ, eye, and tissue donations;
  • Promoting Breast Cancer Screening: S8093 – To further encourage and ensure access to regular screening and early detection, a new law allows New York City public employees to take up to four hours of excused leave per year for breast cancer screening. This will give them the same opportunity to get screened as public employees in the rest of the state. 

Support for veterans

    • Hire-A-Vet tax credit: The 2016-17 budget extended the tax credit from Jan. 1 to Jan. 1, 2019. The period of eligible employment for qualified veterans is also extended from Jan. 1, 2016 to Jan. 1, 2018. 

The credit is provided to any business that hires a veteran, on a full-time basis for at least one year, returning home from military service. It is equal to 10 percent of wages paid, with a maximum of $5,000 per veteran. The credit increases to 15 percent of wages if the veteran is also disabled, with a maximum of $15,000 per disabled veteran.

    • S7983B – Ensuring veterans receive the benefits to which they’re entitled: Legislation was enacted to require local Social Services districts and not-for-profit agencies that receive state funding to ask as to whether a person, or any member of his or her family, has served in the U.S. military, when applying for Social Services. If so, they would be provided with contract information for the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs in order to ensure that the individual is receiving all of the benefits to which he or she is entitled. 

Support for farmers

Farm Workforce Retention tax credit: The 2016-17 budget included provisions to allow eligible farm employers to claim a refundable tax credit for each farm employee that is employed for 500 or more hours each year for tax years beginning on Jan. 1. The credit is equal to $250 per employee in 2017.

Increasing government transparency

Board of Regents meetings: S6503 – A new law that took effect Dec. 8, requires the Board of Regents to give notice of the time, place, and agenda of all public meetings of the Board and any committee, subcommittee, task force or other subgroup seven days before a scheduled meeting. This will allow the stakeholders on several educational issues the appropriate time to respond and discuss the issues. Additionally, it would encourage more involvement from the public and would foster an improved dialogue between both the Board of Regents and other stakeholders in education. 

Reforming the regulatory process: Two new laws taking effect Jan. 1 help make the state’s regulation process more transparent:

    • S7097 requires a proposed or revised rule or another regulatory document’s full text to be posted on the applicable state agency’s website. No web posting is currently required for a revised rule – even if the text has been extensively revised – or for regulatory impact statements, job impact statements, or flexibility analyses for small businesses, local governments, or rural areas; and

    • S7098 requires the full text of every emergency rule to be readily available to the public, either through publication in the State Register or posting on the applicable state agency’s website. It is particularly important for regulated parties and the public to obtain timely access to rules that require immediate adoption through an emergency rulemaking process.

Consumer protections and assistance

New insurance rate reductions for homeowners: A new law enacted as part of the 2016-17 budget allows homeowners to receive a rate reduction for fire insurance, homeowners’ insurance, or property/casual premiums for residential property. The law applies if the owner completes a homeowner course in natural disaster preparedness, home safety, and loss prevention.

Fish labeling accuracy: S6842B – A new law requires that any fish sold as “white tuna” must be from an albacore tuna, long fin tuna, or from a tuna species. Beginning on Jan. 7, oilfish or escolar will no longer be permitted to be labeled as “white tuna.” 

Consumer notification about auto repairs paid by insurance companies: S5639A – A new law that takes effect Jan. 17 requires insurance companies to include a disclosure in repair estimates that informs insured motorists of the right to have their vehicle repaired in a shop of their choice. 

Consumer notification about real estate transactions: S7248 – A new law promotes consumer protection by requiring real estate licensees to, upon the licensee’s initial renewal, have two hours of instruction particularly relating to the law of agency. Thereafter, such license renewal would require at least one hour of instruction in the law of agency, providing real estate professionals with continuing education to help ensure a full understanding by the consumer of the roles agency relationships play in real estate transactions. 

Preventing “zombie” homes: S8159 – Part Q of this law takes effect Dec. 20 and requires certain banks that originate or own mortgages to secure and maintain one- to four-family residential properties which are deemed to be vacant and abandoned. This part requires the Department of Financial Services to maintain a statewide vacant and abandoned property registry for the tracking of such properties. This part also requires banks to provide to homeowners a clear notice of a homeowners’ rights during the foreclosure process. 

Improving road safety:

Move-Over Law expansion: S7938 – Starting Jan. 17, the Move-Over Law includes more types of emergency vehicles. The law requires motorists to slow down and move over when passing authorized emergency vehicles pulled over on the side of the road. To increase safety, the law now includes any vehicle displaying a blue or green light, such as volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance workers involved in roadside emergency operations. 

Window tint compliance: S6034A – Starting Jan. 1, the state will require vehicles’ window tint to be examined during a yearly New York State safety inspection. If the glass on a vehicle is tinted beyond 30 percent of light transmittance, then that vehicle would not pass the inspection. The window tint would have to be removed or altered for the vehicle to pass. The new law is a more proactive approach intended to protect law enforcement and other drivers, as darkly tinted windows hinder their ability to see inside the vehicle. 

Tax changes

Business tax cut: In 2014, the Senate succeeded in overhauling and simplifying the State Corporate Franchise Tax, which incorporated banks into the new combined code. As part of that reform, the capital base calculation rate for manufacturers will be reduced to 0.085 percent, and other corporate franchise tax payers will be reduced to 0.1 percent starting Jan. 1.

Clean heating fuel tax credit: The 2016-17 budget extended the Clean Heating Fuel Tax Credit from Jan. 1 until Jan. 1, 2020. It also requires that beginning in 2017, to qualify for the credit, each gallon of clean heating fuel must be at least 6 percent biodiesel. The credit is equal to $0.01 per percent of biodiesel mixed into home heating oil, not to exceed $0.20 per gallon.

Making It Easier to Save For College: S6942 – Taxpayers can elect to contribute all or a portion of a personal income tax refund to a 529 college savings account starting Jan. 1. Under existing law, individuals wishing to invest funds into a New York State 529 College Savings Program can deposit funds via electronic bank transfer, check, payroll deduction if available, or by a rollover from another college savings account. Allowing taxpayers to directly deposit a minimum of $25 from their income tax refunds into such accounts will increase opportunities for taxpayers to invest in existing savings plans and help defray the ever increasing costs associated with higher education. 

Permanent Extension of the Non-Custodial Parent Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): The Non- Custodial Parent EITC was set to expire Dec. 31 but this year’s budget extended it permanently. In order to qualify for this refundable credit, the non-custodial parent must: be over the age of 18, have a court order to make child support payments, and be current on those child support payments. In addition, the enhanced EITC is only authorized for noncustodial parents who meet the income threshold for a single taxpayer with no children.

Extension of the Tax Credit for Companies Who Provide Transportation to Individuals with Disabilities: This year’s budget extended the credit for companies who provide transportation to individuals with disabilities from Jan. 1 until Jan. 1, 2022. The credit is equal to the incremental cost to upgrade or purchase a taxicab or livery vehicle that is handicap accessible, up to $10,000 per vehicle.

Tax Return Due Date Changes: The state budget conformed New York State tax filing dates for corporations and partnerships to federal tax law, which was recently amended. The corporate tax return deadline will be moved from Mar. 15 to Apr. 15 and the partnership information statement deadline will be moved from Apr. 15 to Mar. 15. These provisions take effect for taxable years beginning on or after Jan. 1.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at 12:44 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, government, Sen. Gallivan, police.

Press release:

New York State is investing approximately $322,000 in equipment required for reality-based training for police officers. The equipment is designed to improve the safety of interactions between police and civilians. 

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C- I, Elma) is applauding the state’s decision to provide police academies and agencies across the state with equipment for enhanced training of officers and recruits. 

“We have an obligation to ensure our brave police officers have the equipment, training and resources to perform their duties, enhance their safety and protect the public,” Gallivan said. “As a former State Trooper and Sheriff of Erie County, I know officers often have to make split-second decisions. This type of training will better prepare them for the challenging situations they will face on the job.”

Thirty-three police academies and agencies across the state will receive equipment and training, including the Erie County Law Enforcement Training Academy, Finger Lakes Law Enforcement Academy, Monroe County Public Safety Training Center, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Police Academy, and NYS Parks and Recreation.

Reality-based training requires officers to participate in scenarios they are likely to experience on patrol, from routine encounters with people on the street to high-risk situations with the potential for deadly violence. As part of the training, instructors work with officers to review and evaluate their performance with a goal of improving decision-making skills and responses.

The state Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) purchased special training equipment, which includes non-lethal firearms, helmets, face masks, neck guards, chest protectors, and gloves.

The DCJS is responsible for coordinating police training and provides staff to the state’s Municipal Police Training Council, which sets minimum training standards for police recruits and first-line police supervisors. The Council has endorsed reality-based training as the standard for police training. Additionally, within the next year, it will be part of the state’s Basic Course for Police Officers, which all police recruits must successfully complete.

Monday, November 28, 2016 at 2:46 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, government, mental health, Sen. Gallivan.

west_seneca_childrens_psych_center_1.jpg

west_seneca_childrens_psych_center_2.jpg

Press release, photos submitted.

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) and Assemblyman Michael Kearns (D, West Seneca) joined members of the Western New York (WNY) State Legislature Delegation in calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Office of Mental Health (OMH) to keep the WNY Children’s Psychiatric Center at its current location in West Seneca. Despite bipartisan objections from members of the WNY delegation and families served by the center, the OMH is moving ahead with its plans to close the facility and transfer adolescent patients to the Buffalo Psychiatric Center.   

Gallivan and Kearns have learned the state is prepared to issue a request for proposals (RFP) to move forward with its relocation plans. The legislators are urging residents to call the OMH and the governor’s office to voice opposition to the project.

"Efforts by the Office of Mental Health to close this center and move these patients to an adult oriented facility like the Buffalo Psychiatric Center make no sense,” Gallivan said. “I have worked with families of patients, mental health experts and others who believe such a move will jeopardize the mental health and well being of children who receive care at the West Seneca location. These adolescent patients deserve and require special treatment in an environment that allows them and their families to feel safe and comfortable.”

The Buffalo Psychiatric Center stopped treating children more than 40 years ago when doctors determined that adolescents have specific and special needs when it comes to mental health treatment. That is why the WNY Children’s Psychiatric Center was built. The West Seneca facility opened in 1970 and serves patients from at least 17 New York counties, including Wyoming County. 

“It is not a difficult decision to permanently keep this facility in West Seneca,” Kearns said. “On virtually every metric this institution excels and exceeds other similar institutions in New York State. WNYCPC has the lowest 30 and 90 day readmission rates in all of New York State. This is important from a long-term cost perspective because readmissions for mental health case over the course of a lifetime can result in many thousands of dollars for the treatment of a single person. The savings to New York State are long term and real. Not keeping the facility in this setting is pennywise and pound foolish, because it overlooks the long-term savings and the input and voices of those treated by the state and surroundings.”  

During a 2015 public hearing on the proposed move, parents, former patients, family members of patients, workers, community activists and academics spoke out against plans presented by the OMH. Many said the tranquil surrounding provided at the West Seneca campus is important for the children who are undergoing significant mental trauma and the families desperately trying to protect these children from danger.

Support for keeping the West Seneca facility open is strong among members of the WNY delegation and other local officials.

“Western New York Children’s campus is a tranquil environment where children receive the individualized, wrap-around services required to treat complicated adolescent challenges,” said Sen. Rob Ortt, chairman of the Senate Committee on Mental Health. “Buffalo Psychiatric Center is an entirely separate institution – in its layout and its mission – so we are alarmed over the prospect of comingling children with an adult population. Our foremost concern is, and must remain, children facing severe emotional, psychological, and physical trauma. I will continue to fight alongside my state colleagues in support of keeping these vulnerable children where they belong – in a safe environment surrounded by their peers and out of an adult psychiatric facility.”   

“To say we are disappointed, frustrated and extremely concerned with the unfortunate planning that is underway would be an understatement,” said West Seneca Supervisor Sheila Meegan. “Time and time again Albany officials continue to make decisions that impact Western New York without truly understanding the impact it will have on so many families. The timing of this RFP couldn’t have been more insensitive.”

Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 5:11 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, government, Sen. Gallivan.

Press release

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) is once again being recognized by Unshackle Upstate for his record of supporting efforts to cut taxes and create jobs. The pro-taxpayer, pro-business advocacy organization reviews how Senators and Assemblymen vote on legislation, the budget and issues of concern to upstate residents. Through its political action committee, UPAC, Unshackle Upstate is endorsing Gallivan for re-election in November.

“When I talk with constituents and business owners throughout the district, the issues I hear the most about are taxes and jobs,” Gallivan said. “While we have made some progress in reducing taxes for residents and businesses and helping companies maintain and create jobs, there is more work to be done. I am grateful for the support of Unshackle Upstate and their strong advocacy on these issues.” 

Gallivan is among 11 senators and 22 assemblymen to receive the support of Unshackle Upstate this year. 

“Voters across Upstate are concerned about sluggish job growth and the overall health of the economy. The 33 candidates that we’ve endorsed will fight for a pro-growth agenda that includes tax relief, sensible regulatory reforms, a better business climate and a brighter future for Upstate New York,” said Unshackle Upstate Executive Director Greg Biryla. “We’re proud to support these candidates and encourage Upstate voters to support them with us on election day.”

Since taking office in 2011, Gallivan has supported a cap on state spending, a 2-percent property tax cap and dozens of tax cuts. As a result, New York’s middle class tax rate is the lowest since 1948 while the manufacturing tax rate is the lowest since 1917. According to the Department of Labor, more than 800,000 jobs have been created in New York over the past six years. 

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