This week, the State Senate tackled New York’s budget deficit without tax-hiking mid-year school cuts, enacted much-needed reforms to its pension system, and brought much-needed accountability and transparency to this state’s public authorities.
On Dec.9, in another effort to save the world from itself, international leaders will be meeting in Copenhagen to discuss imposing carbon restrictions to reduce greenhouse gases being released into the environment.
The following are trustee reports from the Nov. 17 Floral Park village board meeting.
Trustee Tweedy thanked residents for picking up leaves on their property, bagging them and putting them out for sanitation to pick up on yard waste days. “It has been a great help,” Trustee Tweedy said. “Please do not rake leaves into the street as it can cause catch basins to back up and flood in the event of heavy rains.”
As the most successful multicultural society in history, America allows us to directly experience the strengths and possibilities of a pluralistic culture. But there also exists, in the milieu of diversity, the element of division and fragmentation that create differences difficult to bridge.
This is especially true when, socio-economically, trends suggest that instead of moving away from what divides us we are moving into the maw of a more sustained and divisive disunity. Class politics, based on hard economic realities, is the fault line of American democracy.
Legislation that would help reduce costs for local governments passed the state Senate last week, announced Senator Craig M. Johnson (D-Nassau). The measure would allow municipalities to save money on health insurance, highway maintenance, staffing, procurement and financing.
“This is good legislation that will help contain costs and ease tax-hiking unfunded mandates on municipalities,” Johnson said. “It is my hope that this will be the first of several significant steps we take to help local governments reign in spending and reduce the burden to property taxpayers.”
The single, most astonishing public event of my lifetime was the fall of the Berlin Wall and, in the next dizzying months, the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the collapse of the Soviet Union on Christmas Day.
It is hard to believe that earth-shaking, wall-shattering event was 20 years ago. It’s an anniversary to remember, to celebrate and reflect on. It marks not only what the United States as leader of the free world had overcome, but it also puts a spotlight on the qualities we will need to face the immense challenges ahead. History moves inexorably forward, there is no respite for the weary - for there is always a daunting mountain to climb, an unruly ocean to cross and a burning desert to endure. Yesterday it was Soviet Communism; today its Islamic terrorism and tomorrow it will surely be something else.
For the 2009-2010 school year, the Sewanhaka Central High School District eliminated late bus service for all of its students. Even after the school district announced that there was a surplus from the 2008-2009 school year of several million dollars, the $150,000 needed to fund the late bus service was not to be restored by the school board.
Parents and taxpayers attended board meetings to plead their case to no avail. These same parents and taxpayers reached out to local state officials searching for assistance. Assistance came in the form of a $150,000 grant specifically for late bus service from the office of Senator Craig Johnson. I would like to thank Senator Johnson for responding to the needs and concerns of his constituents. Senator Johnson and his staff listened to taxpayers and found a solution.
I extend a heartfelt thank you to the voters of the 9th Legislative District for re-electing me to the county legislature. It is an honor and privilege to serve as your legislator.
The election results were especially gratifying in view of the negative campaign waged against me this year. I am especially grateful for my friends and colleagues in government from across the political spectrum who spoke out against the personal attacks. Your support and words of encouragement helped me to remain focused on the major issues confronting our residents and communities in these difficult economic times.
New York State Senator Craig M. Johnson, (D-Nassau), and representatives from Austim Speaks addressed the Senate Standing Committee on Insurance during an Oct. 23 hearing in Albany on the insurance industry’s role in the treatment of Autism. A video of his statement can be found at www.craigjohnson.nysenate.gov. Johnson’s prepared remarks are below:
“Hello and thank you for this opportunity to discuss this very important subject. In particular, I really want to thank the representatives from Autism Speaks for allowing me to join them this morning.
Now that the election is nearly over, it seemed the only thing that the candidates of both parties agree on is that everyone should vote. This is the usual reflex in a democratic society and to say otherwise, I suppose, would be considered by both polite and impolite society narrow-minded and indecent. But is this, really, a wise attitude?
Panhandling for votes has become quite a sport and one wonders if making voting too easy for the general populace (Motor Voter Law) has not weakened the democratic franchise? Voters and non-voters who are uninterested in voting should be left in peace and not made to feel they are committing a mortal sin by not going to the polls.
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