Lancman sponsors state laws on national security
State Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) has just completed his second year in office after winning landslide victories in a primary and general election in 2006. He presently serves on the state Assembly Judicial, Labor and Banking committees. He also serves on the Assembly Government Operations committee, which oversees homeland security.
During this past legislative session, he sponsored the Libel Terrorism Protection Act, which protects New York citizens from overseas libel judgments being initiated in the state courts. Lancman pointed out that a number of countries in Europe and the Middle East do not have the same freedom of speech rights in the United States and our citizens need to be protected regarding what they publicly say and write while in foreign countries.
This bill was also passed by the state Senate. It was co-sponsored by present state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre).
In last year's legislative session, Lancman was also instrumental in sponsoring and passing the Freedom to Report Terrorism Act, which protects the people of New York state who report possible criminal activity. In essence, that law safeguards citizens from being sued by the same individuals they report.
This legislation was put forth because, in the recent past, a small group of airline passengers tried to sue other airline passengers traveling on the same commercial aircraft for reporting them for engaging in suspicious activities while the aircraft was in flight. Again, this bill, which also became law, was co-sponsored by Skelos.
The activities of potential terrorists and their allies take many forms, and these state Legislature acts are good examples of our two major political parties working together to protecting our state's citizens.
In another legislative area, Lancman mentioned the passage of expanding medical health insurance to all New York children up to age 18. Our Legislature is getting more involved in dealing with matters, considering the large number of New York citizens who do not have medical insurance, which includes people who have lost their jobs.
There was another law passed during the recently concluded 2008 legislative session. Referred to as the Public Servant Soldier Salary Act, it allows New York government employees who temporarily leave government service to serve in the armed forces overseas to get paid the difference between their military salary and the salary they were paid as government employees.
These workers, during the time they are serving in the armed forces, are also entitled to keep their various benefit plans, including medical insurance. Again, this legislation was a bipartisan effort by the Assembly and state Senate.
As Lancman looks toward the forthcoming 2009 legislative session, he indicated that the state budget will probably be the biggest budget ever and during these economic hard times, present funding should be maintained for homeland security, education, hospitals and nursing homes. He intends to work toward these objectives.
In Albany, since Gov. David Paterson has come into office, succeeding Eliot Spitzer, there seems to be more of a spirit of cooperation between the state Legislature's two houses and two major political parties.
Here in Queens, there are two intense campaigns going on for the state Senate, with City Councilman Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) challenging incumbent state Sen. Serphin Maltese (R-Glendale) and City Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) challenging incumbent state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose).
Hopefully, next year cooperation will continue once the present political races have been decided. Considering that next year no political contests will be held at the state level except for special elections, there will be more time to concentrate on legislative initiatives.
©2008 Community News Group
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