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Senator Suzi Oppenheimer's blog

Legislature Passes Oppenheimer Smart Growth Bill

June 28, 2010 - 21:07
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Governor Expected to Sign Legislation Which Combats Sprawl and Promotes Environmentally Sound Infrastructure Development

Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) is pleased to announce passage of her bill, the State Smart Growth and Infrastructure Policy Act (S.5560B/A.8011B), which will combat modern development practices that have contributed to urban and suburban sprawl. The legislation passed both houses of the legislature last week and will now be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

“My bill establishes state smart growth public infrastructure criteria and requires state agencies to review and consider these criteria in making decisions regarding new projects,” noted Senator Oppenheimer. “It ensures that publicly funded construction projects use, maintain or improve existing infrastructure and protect natural resources. New construction projects will also have to adhere to smart growth principles.”

The legislation requires relevant state agencies to establish smart growth advisory committees that would consult with residents, environmental groups and other stakeholders before approving state infrastructure projects.

NY Legislature Passes Landmark Bill Extending Healthcare Coverage to Autistic Patients

June 23, 2010 - 15:12

Oppenheimer Co-sponsored Bill Now Awaits Governor’s Approval

The New York State Legislature passed legislation protecting families and children affected by autism spectrum disorders from exorbitant healthcare costs. Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) was a key co-sponsor of the legislation (S7000B), which passed the Senate on June 9th, with unanimous, bipartisan support. Earlier this week, the Assembly passed the bill, which will now be sent to the Governor for his approval.

The bill would amend existing insurance and public health laws to require health insurance providers to cover the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of autism spectrum disorders. It mandates that policies provide coverage for autistic individuals throughout their lifetimes with no financial cap. The bill also provides clarity to consumers and insurers as to the extent of medical coverage. The State Commissioner of Health, in consultation with the Superintendent of Insurance and the Commissioners of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, would be responsible for identifying covered treatment and therapy options.

Senator Oppenheimer Fights for Westchester Libraries

June 23, 2010 - 13:48
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SENATOR OPPENHEIMER JOINS WITH WESTCHESTER LIBRARY SYSTEM AND LOCAL LIBRARY DIRECTORS TO CALL FOR RESTORATION OF LIBRARY FUNDING IN NYS FY 2010-11 BUDGET

Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) today joined with representatives of the Westchester Library System (WLS) and local library directors to call for the restoration of library funding in the NYS FY 2010-11 budget.

The Governor’s proposed Executive Budget would cut state library funding to $84.5 million, a reduction of approximately $2.5 million over 2009-10 budget levels. If enacted, this would result in an $18 million reduction in state funding over the past three years and mark the fifth time that library funding has been cut over the same period. At Senator Oppenheimer’s insistence, the Senate budget resolution, adopted in March 2010, rejects the Governor’s proposal and would restore library funding to existing levels. But negotiations over the final budget are ongoing and injurious cuts to public libraries remain possible.

Senator Oppenheimer Announces Cancer Mapping System for New York State

May 24, 2010 - 16:06
1 comments

Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) is pleased to announce that a new state website has been launched to map incidences and types of cancer alongside nearby environmental facilities. The website is the outgrowth of legislation championed by Senator Oppenheimer, which requires the NY State Department of Health and the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation to gather, monitor and map data for incidents of cancer throughout the state and to analyze whether there are environmental trends that should be investigated further by the medical community.

“The cancer mapping system will help to guide research in the State,” said Senator Oppenheimer, “by detecting cancer clusters that may or may not have an environmental connection. The Department of Health’s analysis of cancer anomalies should help to ease public fears, while identifying areas that are worthy of additional investigation.”

Senator Oppenheimer Announces Smart Growth Agenda for New York State

May 13, 2010 - 18:16
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Suzi Oppenheimer.jpgSenator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) held a press conference in Albany this week to announce the Smart Growth Agenda for New York State. Joining with colleagues Senators Martin Dilan (D-Brooklyn) and Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblyman Sam Hoyt (D-Buffalo), along with numerous coalition groups, the Senator outlined her vision for more sustainable environmentally sound planning.

“There is growing concern that modern development practices have led to urban and suburban sprawl that is not serving the state’s long-term interests,” said Senator Oppenheimer. “Development without regard to the environment or to a particular community’s needs and desires makes no sense.”

“As a lifelong environmentalist, I believe strongly in smart growth principles. That’s why I am the lead sponsor of the smart growth policy bill, which establishes smart growth infrastructure criteria and obligates state agencies to fund public infrastructure projects in a manner consistent with those guidelines (S. 5560). It would also require the relevant agencies to consult with residents, environmental groups and other stakeholders before approving state infrastructure projects.”

Senate to Vote on Groundbreaking Legislation to Create Independent Redistricting Commission

May 13, 2010 - 18:12

Senate Committee Approves Oppenheimer Co-sponsored Bill

Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) is pleased to announce that groundbreaking reform legislation to create an independent redistricting commission has been approved by the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee and will be brought to the floor for a vote by the full Senate. Senator Oppenheimer co-sponsors this bill, S. 1614A, as well as other pieces of reform legislation. She has long been a proponent of independent redistricting.

“At long last, we are poised to end the offensive practice of partisan gerrymandering and create Congressional and state legislative districts that are cohesive and honestly drawn,” said Senator Oppenheimer. “New Yorkers have a right to a fair and nonpartisan reapportionment process.”

The bill would establish a nonpartisan citizen apportionment commission that would draw congressional and state legislative district boundaries and submit those boundaries to the legislature for approval, in accordance with the State Constitution. Redistricting occurs every ten years following the U.S. Census and allows boundaries to be redrawn to account for changes in a state’s population and to bring districts back to equal numbers of residents.

Senator Oppenheimer Marches to the Mail Box to Ensure Complete Count in 2010 Census

April 13, 2010 - 19:21

Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) joined with community groups and 2010 Census volunteers to encourage all residents to mail back their 2010 Census forms. Marching to the mail box from the Port Chester Public Library, Senator Oppenheimer urged rally participants to fill out and mail in their 2010 Census forms promptly.

“It only takes ten minutes your time to help our communities obtain their fair share of federal funding for schools, health care, transportation and a host of other vital services,” said the Senator. “Census information is completely confidential and may not be used for other purposes or shared with other government agencies.”

The 2010 Census is a count of everyone living in the United States and is mandated by the United States Constitution. The amount of money available in federal and state aid to local communities depends, in large part, on information that comes from the Census.

Senate Passes Oppenheimer Bill to Strengthen Open Meetings Law

March 24, 2010 - 18:52
1 comments

The New York State Senate last week moved towards greater openness and public participation in government decision-making, approving Senator Oppenheimer’s bill to enhance judicial enforcement of the open meetings law, S. 7054. The Senate also passed three other Sunshine Policy bills, which further reform the state’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIA) and Open Meetings Law.

"My legislation promotes public access to government decisions by making clear that a court may invalidate an action taken in violation of the open meetings law,” said Senator Oppenheimer. “Where appropriate, a court may also require training in the requirements of the open meetings law to ensure future compliance.”

While existing law permits a court to invalidate actions taken behind closed doors in violation of the open meetings law, subsequent judicial decisions implied that a court could not rescind an action taken in a public meeting even if deliberated unlawfully behind closed doors. This legislation clarifies that a court can invalidate an action in that circumstance and remand the matter to the public body for reconsideration. In addition, a court may require public officials to participate in training sessions on the open meetings law.

The Senate also approved Sunshine measures that:

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Legislature Passes Oppenheimer Smart Growth Bill

Governor Expected to Sign Legislation Which Combats Sprawl and Promotes Environmentally Sound Infrastructure Development

Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) is pleased to announce passage of her bill, the State Smart Growth and Infrastructure Policy Act (S.5560B/A.8011B), which will combat modern development practices that have contributed to urban and suburban sprawl. The legislation passed both houses of the legislature last week and will now be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

“My bill establishes state smart growth public infrastructure criteria and requires state agencies to review and consider these criteria in making decisions regarding new projects,” noted Senator Oppenheimer. “It ensures that publicly funded construction projects use, maintain or improve existing infrastructure and protect natural resources. New construction projects will also have to adhere to smart growth principles.”

The legislation requires relevant state agencies to establish smart growth advisory committees that would consult with residents, environmental groups and other stakeholders before approving state infrastructure projects.

Read more

NY Legislature Passes Landmark Bill Extending Healthcare Coverage to Autistic Patients

Oppenheimer Co-sponsored Bill Now Awaits Governor’s Approval

The New York State Legislature passed legislation protecting families and children affected by autism spectrum disorders from exorbitant healthcare costs. Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) was a key co-sponsor of the legislation (S7000B), which passed the Senate on June 9th, with unanimous, bipartisan support. Earlier this week, the Assembly passed the bill, which will now be sent to the Governor for his approval.

The bill would amend existing insurance and public health laws to require health insurance providers to cover the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of autism spectrum disorders. It mandates that policies provide coverage for autistic individuals throughout their lifetimes with no financial cap. The bill also provides clarity to consumers and insurers as to the extent of medical coverage. The State Commissioner of Health, in consultation with the Superintendent of Insurance and the Commissioners of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, would be responsible for identifying covered treatment and therapy options.

Read more

Senator Oppenheimer Fights for Westchester Libraries

SENATOR OPPENHEIMER JOINS WITH WESTCHESTER LIBRARY SYSTEM AND LOCAL LIBRARY DIRECTORS TO CALL FOR RESTORATION OF LIBRARY FUNDING IN NYS FY 2010-11 BUDGET

Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) today joined with representatives of the Westchester Library System (WLS) and local library directors to call for the restoration of library funding in the NYS FY 2010-11 budget.

The Governor’s proposed Executive Budget would cut state library funding to $84.5 million, a reduction of approximately $2.5 million over 2009-10 budget levels. If enacted, this would result in an $18 million reduction in state funding over the past three years and mark the fifth time that library funding has been cut over the same period. At Senator Oppenheimer’s insistence, the Senate budget resolution, adopted in March 2010, rejects the Governor’s proposal and would restore library funding to existing levels. But negotiations over the final budget are ongoing and injurious cuts to public libraries remain possible.

Read more

Senator Oppenheimer Announces Cancer Mapping System for New York State

Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) is pleased to announce that a new state website has been launched to map incidences and types of cancer alongside nearby environmental facilities. The website is the outgrowth of legislation championed by Senator Oppenheimer, which requires the NY State Department of Health and the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation to gather, monitor and map data for incidents of cancer throughout the state and to analyze whether there are environmental trends that should be investigated further by the medical community.

“The cancer mapping system will help to guide research in the State,” said Senator Oppenheimer, “by detecting cancer clusters that may or may not have an environmental connection. The Department of Health’s analysis of cancer anomalies should help to ease public fears, while identifying areas that are worthy of additional investigation.”

Read more

Senator Oppenheimer Announces Smart Growth Agenda for New York State

Suzi Oppenheimer.jpgSenator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) held a press conference in Albany this week to announce the Smart Growth Agenda for New York State. Joining with colleagues Senators Martin Dilan (D-Brooklyn) and Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblyman Sam Hoyt (D-Buffalo), along with numerous coalition groups, the Senator outlined her vision for more sustainable environmentally sound planning.

“There is growing concern that modern development practices have led to urban and suburban sprawl that is not serving the state’s long-term interests,” said Senator Oppenheimer. “Development without regard to the environment or to a particular community’s needs and desires makes no sense.”

“As a lifelong environmentalist, I believe strongly in smart growth principles. That’s why I am the lead sponsor of the smart growth policy bill, which establishes smart growth infrastructure criteria and obligates state agencies to fund public infrastructure projects in a manner consistent with those guidelines (S. 5560). It would also require the relevant agencies to consult with residents, environmental groups and other stakeholders before approving state infrastructure projects.”

Read more

Senate to Vote on Groundbreaking Legislation to Create Independent Redistricting Commission

Senate Committee Approves Oppenheimer Co-sponsored Bill

Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) is pleased to announce that groundbreaking reform legislation to create an independent redistricting commission has been approved by the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee and will be brought to the floor for a vote by the full Senate. Senator Oppenheimer co-sponsors this bill, S. 1614A, as well as other pieces of reform legislation. She has long been a proponent of independent redistricting.

“At long last, we are poised to end the offensive practice of partisan gerrymandering and create Congressional and state legislative districts that are cohesive and honestly drawn,” said Senator Oppenheimer. “New Yorkers have a right to a fair and nonpartisan reapportionment process.”

The bill would establish a nonpartisan citizen apportionment commission that would draw congressional and state legislative district boundaries and submit those boundaries to the legislature for approval, in accordance with the State Constitution. Redistricting occurs every ten years following the U.S. Census and allows boundaries to be redrawn to account for changes in a state’s population and to bring districts back to equal numbers of residents.

Read more

Senator Oppenheimer Marches to the Mail Box to Ensure Complete Count in 2010 Census

Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) joined with community groups and 2010 Census volunteers to encourage all residents to mail back their 2010 Census forms. Marching to the mail box from the Port Chester Public Library, Senator Oppenheimer urged rally participants to fill out and mail in their 2010 Census forms promptly.

“It only takes ten minutes your time to help our communities obtain their fair share of federal funding for schools, health care, transportation and a host of other vital services,” said the Senator. “Census information is completely confidential and may not be used for other purposes or shared with other government agencies.”

The 2010 Census is a count of everyone living in the United States and is mandated by the United States Constitution. The amount of money available in federal and state aid to local communities depends, in large part, on information that comes from the Census.

Read more

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