Westchester County Legislator Jim Maisano's blog

New York State’s Recent Legislation to Address Bullying in our Schools

September 20, 2012 - 16:46

I was asked by a blog reader to mention New York State’s Anti-Bullying laws. Two important laws went into effect this past summer with the goal of reducing bullying in our schools. I think we can all remember how badly some of our classmates were treated back in high school, and as I look back on those days as an adult and father, it is troubling to remember the abuse some kids had to deal with. I dealt with it from both sides of the vicious cycle many kids experience – at some points I was bullied, and at other points I behaved badly towards classmates. Let’s take a brief look at New York State’s efforts to address these issues.

1) Dignity for All Students Act (“DASA”), passed in 2010, but effective July 1, 2012 (the following from Child Abuse Prevention Services website):

Busy Summer at the Maisano Law Office in New Rochelle

September 07, 2012 - 16:12

Outside of a few vacation days for family trips and events, it was a very busy summer at my law firm, but Labor Day has come and gone, and it is time for a new legal blog post.

Before starting this firm, I worked at two large law firms in Manhattan for about eight years, and while I did have my own clients, I also worked for clients of the firm. Being a solo practitioner is different in that you must not only provide quality and affordable legal services to your clients, you must also attract clients through advertising and promotion of the firm. I have utilized social media, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Tumblr - along with this blog and my website (, as integral parts of promoting the firm, and I am pleased to report it has been successful to the point that the firm is doing well in its second year, which is why it has been so busy.

So what kinds of legal work have clients brought to my firm recently - here is a brief summary:

Republican Legislators Urge Democrats to Stop Irresponsible Lawsuits, Follow the Law

August 16, 2012 - 22:21

The Republican members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) were frustrated, but not surprised, to learn that Chairman Ken Jenkins and his staff lawyer have once again sued County Executive Rob Astorino. The commencement of this latest litigation is wrong as policy, procedurally flawed and continues a troubling pattern by the Democrats of practicing “government by litigation.”

Republican Legislators Call on Democrats to Stop Misleading the Public Through Partisan Attacks

July 25, 2012 - 15:50


The Republican members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BoL) are expressing serious concerns over the continued inaccurate and inflammatory statements from the Democrats on the BoL. A press release that was distributed by the Democrats on Thursday, July 19 was full of misrepresentations and unfounded accusations. The Republicans would like to correct the public record.

How Do You Get on The Ballot in New York State?

July 10, 2012 - 08:32


As both an attorney and elected official, people often ask me about the process to get on the ballot to run for public office in New York State. Most people seem to think that a candidate gets endorsed at a political convention, but that is only partly true. While candidates do seek the endorsement of political parties at local or county conventions, that endorsement only means that the district leaders for that political party will support you and help you get on the ballot (which is very important).

However, unless you are running for state-wide office (senator, governor, attorney general or comptroller, who are nominated at state conventions), you must obtain signatures on "designating petitions." This is the requirement for congress, state legislature, county legislature or local city and town elections (but not villages or supreme court). We are in the final week to collect signatures on designating petitions for New York's six established parties -- Democrat, Republican, Conservative, Working Families, Independence and Green. As a matter of fact, I walked my neighborhood this past Sunday night and collected signatures.

Republican County Legislators Call for Compromise on Child Care Litigation and Funding

July 03, 2012 - 19:38


The Republican members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators are calling on both sides of the pending litigation between four Democrat County Legislators, as plaintiffs, and the Westchester County Executive and Social Service Commissioner, along with the New York State Commissioner for Office of Children and Families, as defendants, to immediately begin meeting to work out a compromise to settle this lawsuit. The Republican Legislators have asked Chairman Ken Jenkins to schedule a Committee of the Whole Meeting and to invite the County Executive and Social Services Commissioner to conduct a discussion on ways to compromise and settle the litigation. The case is currently before Judge Robert Neary, who is expected to make a decision in July. The Republican Legislators also request that the Committee of the Whole discuss how the county will close an anticipated $2.5 million shortfall for child care funding through the end of the year.

Westchester County link where you can sign up for useful county email update lists

June 29, 2012 - 14:36

I recommend you visit this page on Westchester County's website:

On this page you can subscribe to a bunch of email updates from the county government on various subject areas - covering seniors, veterans, disabled, fitness, environment, transportation, tourism and several others. I just signed up for a few!

I hope you find this link useful.

Jim Maisano 75pxJim Maisano is the Minority Leader of the Westchester County Board of Legislators. He represents District 11 covering New Rochelle and Pelham. You can follow Jim on Facebook, Twitter or on his Blog. You can contact Jim at 914-995-2826 or [email protected]

Quick Review of Key Supreme Court Decisions from Past Week

June 26, 2012 - 18:58

On my legal blog ( and my firm’s Facebook page (, I have been focusing on a few important U.S. Supreme Court decisions that were being closely watched by the legal and political worlds. Over the past week, the Supreme Court has released three of these decisions:

Arizona v. U.S.

The Court confirmed that “the Government of the United States has broad, undoubted power over the subject of immigration and the regulation of aliens . . . the federal power to determine immigration policy is well settled.” However, the Court did open the door for states to assist the federal government in the enforcement of immigration laws.

A unanimous Court (8-0 with Justice Kagan not taking part) upheld Section 2(B) of the Arizona law requiring police officers to check the immigration status of anyone arrested or detained and allowing them to stop and arrest a person if the officers have “reasonable suspicion” that the person is an illegal immigrant (known as “show me your papers”). The Court stated there was no showing that this section conflicted with federal immigration law.


Latest posts from Westchester Cou...

Happy Thanksgiving from County Legislator Jim Maisano

Here is a link to my Happy Thanksgiving email that went out this morning:

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Resolution Passed By Westchester Legislators Regarding Storm & Power Outages on November 13, 2012

Below is a resolution passed on Tuesday night by the Westchester County Board of Legislators (16-1 Bipartisan Vote). I was proud to be a sponsor of this resolution.

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Do People Really Need to Shop on Thanksgiving Night?

Also posted at:

I know this may not be the most important issue in the world, but I don't think it's right that Walmart and other stores are opening for Black Friday sales at 8pm on Thanksgiving night. Can't Thanksgiving just be a day where family and friends hang out, eat a great meal, watch some football and spend quality time together?

It is also very unfair to force employees at these stores to leave their families on Thanksgiving.

We live in such a fast-paced society. Many people are working long hours and cannot spend as much time as they would like with families, especially those with kids. I'm sure that American families need more time sitting around the dinner table and less time at shopping malls.

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Why the Race for 37th State Senate District Is So Vital to New Rochelle's Future

Dear Friends & Neighbors:

I hope you and everyone you know and love is safe after the devastating effects of Sandy. While the storm was tough on New Rochelle, it is very sad to see how many others in NYC and NJ were hit much harder than us. Let’s hope everyone in our community is restored to power as quickly as possible, and our thoughts and prayers are with all those in our region devastated by this terrible storm.

Despite the storm, Election Day is still this Tuesday, and I want you to know why the race for the 37th State Senate District is so vital to New Rochelle’s future.

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Storm Preparations Update from Westchester County Government

Please be safe from the upcoming storm and take steps to ensure you are prepared. Here is an update from the Westchester County Government to help you prepare for the so-called "Frankenstorm" and its expected flooding, high winds and potential power outages.

- Have a plan – A family emergency plan should include deciding where to go in the event you have to leave your home.

- Check in with family members that have special needs. Don't forget to make plans as well as your pets.

-Make a kit – specifically, a go-bag for use in an evacuation and a household disaster kit to enable a family to survive at home for several days without electricity. Suggestions for items to include in each can also be found on the county's web site (

- Stay informed – Keep up-to-date on the progress of any storm and the protective actions being recommended by government agencies in response.

- Check on supplies – Make sure you have flashlights and batteries on hand as well as at least a three-day supply of water and non-perishable foods.

- Check medications – Make sure to have an ample supply of any medications you may be taking.

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Should you be asked about attending concerts as a teenager at a court hearing?

This link from one of my favorite legal blogs, The Volokh Conspiracy, bothers me:

This "court attorney referee" would probably benefit from an immediate CLE course on the rules of evidence, while concentrating on relevance and materiality. Of course, the mother shouldn't have been forced to testify about attending concerts long ago and other extraneous events. If I was her attorney, I would have caused a scene with my objections.

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Leg. Maisano's Contentious Thursday at Westchester County Office Building

Friends often say that politics seems to defy common sense. On Thursday, I spent the day at the Westchester Board of Legislators (BOL) involved in debates that most people would view as easily solvable, but unfortunately, the injection of politics, inflexibility and partisan maneuvering threatened important decision-making.

Debate One - Press Conference on 2013 County Budget:

The Westchester County government has outstanding employees. I have always been impressed with their hard work and dedication. Unfortunately, during the past two budget cycles, the slow economy, decreasing revenues and increasing costs have caused the County Executive (CE) and BOL to consider layoffs to balance the budget. Through hard work on those budgets, we cut costs and avoided layoffs by reducing the size of our workforce by not filling vacancies.

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