News from Senator Sue Serino


Bill To Create MTA Half-Fare Rate Program for Vets Passes Senate

ALBANY, NY—Senator Sue Serino (R, C, I—Hyde Park) today announced that her bill to create a half-fare program for veterans utilizing services provided by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) passed in the Senate.

“Our veterans have dedicated their lives to protecting our freedoms and for that, they deserve not only our respect, but also our gratitude,” said Senator Serino.

“While words will never be enough to express the full weight of our thanks, empowering our veterans to live full lives after their service is one way that we can show them just how much they are valued. Increasing access to transportation services by creating a half-fare program has the potential to significantly improve quality of life for our vets.”

In her justification for the bill, Senator Serino notes that New York has one of highest veteran populations in the country with a strong concentration of residents in the MTA region. However, as she goes on to note, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, New York has lost between 30 and 35% of our veteran population between 2000-2015.

In an effort to keep our veterans in New York, Senator Serino’s bill, S. 5545A, aims to make the MTA region more affordable to live and travel in by providing a half-fare rate program for New York State residents who have served as a member of our armed forces.

“My goal is to make New York a place where people want to live, not one they want to leave and that is especially true when it comes to our veterans who play an invaluable role in our communities,” Senator Serino continued. “I find it hard to believe that the MTA couldn’t find room in their bloated budget for this important initiative—especially considering the exorbitant taxes they collect from my district alone.”

It should be noted that the MTA has already established a half-fare program for those with a serious mental illnesses and this measure would expand the half-fare program to those who deserve be recognized for their service to our country.

The bill has been sent to the Assembly where is sponsored by Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D—Bronx).



Bill Increasing Penalties for Public Lewdness Passes in Senate

ALBANY—Senator Sue Serino (R, C, I—Hyde Park) announced today that her bill to increase penalties for public lewdness offenders passed in the Senate on Wednesday.

“When it comes to public safety, I believe in being proactive—especially when it comes to protecting our children,” said Senator Serino. “Public lewdness is more than offensive, too often it indicates the potential for recidivism and signals a desire to commit more sinister crimes.”

A person is guilty of public lewdness when an individual intentionally exposes the private parts of their body in a lewd manner or commits any other lewd act in a public or private place under circumstances in which they may easily be, or intend to be, seen. While it has long been considered nothing more than a nuisance crime, this bill was written as a direct response to law enforcement officials who reported that many perpetrators of public lewdness have a long history of committing such acts and other sex crimes.

Currently, New York law contains a single crime of public lewdness and designates it as a class-B misdemeanor. Therefore, the current law does not require these perpetrators to register as a sex offender. Further, it fails to enhance the punishment if the act is committed against a child.

Senator Serino’s bill (S. 3693-A) aims to fill these dangerous gaps and deter these offenses by raising the penalty for repeat public lewdness offenses and provides a much needed felony offense for perpetrators that prey upon children. Specifically, the bill designates public lewdness in the fourth degree and establishes a class E felony of public lewdness in the second degree for multiple offenses. Further, it designates public lewdness in the first degree as an offense which results in permanent disqualification for employment as a school bus driver and designates public lewdness in the first degree as a sex offense requiring the perpetrator to register as a sex offender.

“ By increasing penalties for repeat offenders and by providing a felony for perpetrators that prey on children, we are sending the message that we have no tolerance for this kind dangerous behavior. Passing this bill is an issue of public safety and will go a long way in keeping these offenders away from our children,” concluded Senator Serino.


Author: Harlem Valley News