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From the Desk of Senator Charles Fuschillo - February 18, 2011

LIPA Oversight Bill Approved by Senate Energy Committee

Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. announced that the Senate Energy Committee approved legislation he cosponsored requiring LIPA to get approval from the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) before raising its rates.

“LIPA customers pay some of the highest utility bills in the country. Increasing oversight of LIPA and requiring potential rate increases to be thoroughly reviewed and approved by the PSC will go a long way towards protecting LIPA customers. Now that this measure has been approved by the Senate Energy Committee, I am hopeful it will soon be passed by the full Senate,” said Fuschillo, a member of the Senate’s Energy Committee.

Under the legislation (S2581), LIPA would need to obtain approval from the PSC before raising rates more than 2.5 percent in a 12-month period. A full evidentiary hearing would have to be conducted by the PSC before it could rule on any rate increase request.

Fuschillo has long been advocating for greater oversight of LIPA’s rate increase practices.


Statement on Governor Cuomo’s Budget Proposal

 “The budget proposal put forth by Governor Cuomo reflects the severity of our state’s fiscal condition. New York State simply cannot solve its budget problems without changing the way it spends money.

“I’m pleased that the Governor’s budget relies on reducing spending, rather than raising taxes, to help address the state’s fiscal situation. New York’s families and businesses are already overtaxed and overburdened; they can’t afford to pay higher taxes. Government needs to tighten its belt, cut spending, and do more with less, as all our families have been forced to do.

“I look forward to reviewing the details of the Governor’s budget and working together with the Governor and my colleagues in the Legislature during the budget process.”


Senate Passes Fuschillo Bill to Save Municipalities Money Through Electronic Tax Statements

Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. announced that the Senate has passed legislation he sponsored to save taxpayer dollars by allowing municipalities to send out tax statements electronically.

“Many residents already pay their bills, do their banking, and manage their finances through the Internet; they should be able to get their tax statements this way as well. Allowing municipalities to send tax statements through email would save money, reduce costs, and improve services. The Assembly should join the Senate in passing this cost-saving measure,” said Fuschillo.

Under legislation (S598), municipalities could give taxpayers the option of receiving their tax statements by email instead of through postal mail. The measure would reduce postage, printing, and paper costs for municipalities while improving convenience for taxpayers.

Town of Hempstead Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin, who worked closely with Fuschillo on the legislation, said, “Giving taxpayers the option to receive electronic tax statements will make paying bills more convenient, it will reduce the amount of paper used by local townships and it will slash government costs for postage and processing.”

“Senator Fuschillo has been enormously proactive in sponsoring electronic tax statement legislation for our local homeowners,” stated Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray.

The legislation has been sent to the Assembly.