Virtual Question & Answer Session with

 

Senator
Charles J Fuschillo
The Virtual Q&A Session:
07:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Tuesday, October 8

Session Transcript:

Moderator (Massapequa): Good evening and welcome to Senator Fuschillo's online Q & A session. If you'd like to submit a question, you can do so any time during the session by filling out the box above. Please keep clicking ''refresh'' on your browser to see the most up to date questions and responses. Senator Fuschillo, are you ready to begin?
Senator Fuschillo (7:00:00 PM): Yes I am. Thank you to everyone for participating in this program. I am looking forward to reading your questions and hearing what you have to say!


THOMAS (WANTAGH): WE ARE PAYING STORM SEWAGE TAX I HAVE ASKED FOR STORM DRAINS TO BE CLEAN OUT ON BEECH ST SOUTH OF MERRICK AND THE TOWN NEEDS TO GET OUT AND CLEAN OUT OWER STORM DRAIN THIS WATER WILL WORK ITS WAY INTO OUR DRINKING WATER T/Y TOM GALLAGHER
Senator Fuschillo (7:01:15 PM): Tom: We will be happy to contact the Town of Hempstead to follow up on your request. We deal with them regularly on matters like this and have always found them to be responsive. Just call my office at 516-882-0630 and provide us with the specific locations of the drains you would like cleaned.


Beth (Massapequa ): Please explain the outreach that will be done for NY Rising? Many people still do not know about it and some think it is just for elevating homes. Thank you
Senator Fuschillo (7:02:56 PM): The State has a website with information about the NY rising program, along with other programs to help families and businesses recover from Superstorm Sandy. The website is http://stormrecovery.ny.gov/ . Additionally, the State's Mobile Sandy Help Team and the Department of Financial Services conducted numerous mobile registration events across Long Island to help residents sign up for the program. My office deals with this every single day, helping individuals learn more about the program and telling them how they can file applications. I am in regular contact with the Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services as well as Jon Kaiman, who has been appointed by the Governor to coordinate the state's Sandy relief efforts on Long Island, to make sure they understand the needs facing families and businesses who are still trying to recover from this devastating storm.


Thomas (Seaford): Can you please explain what is going with the new STAR registration requirement? Who exactly has to register?
Senator Fuschillo (7:04:47 PM): Anyone who currently has the Basic STAR exemption must register with New York State in order to continue receiving the exemption in the future. The state adopted the requirement to prevent taxpayer dollars from being lost to inappropraite or fraudulent STAR exemptions. Letters were mailed to these homeowners with registration instructions and a STAR code for their property which they will need to register. If you are required to register, you must do so by December 31, 2013. Registration can be done over the phone or through the Internet. You can get more information and lookup your STAR code online here: http://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star13/default.htm . Seniors who receive Enhanced STAR do not have to register and should continue to do what they have been doing.


Debra (Amityville, NY): My step-father recently passed and he was taking a lot on medications. Where can I shed his meds. I asked a few people in the village government and they suggested bringing them do your local pharmacy, which for me is CVS. I was told by them that they do not collect medications and I would have to wait for a advertised collection. It seems that they are very infrequent during the year. Can you please help out in giving me a viable location for dropping off medications? Thank you very much for your help in advance
Senator Fuschillo (7:06:13 PM): I'm so sorry for your loss Debra. The Amityville Police Department collects expired/unwanted medications for safe disposal. You can bring it to police headquarters at 21 Ireland Place, Amityville. Both the Nassau and Suffolk County Police Departments also accept expired/unwanted medications at their police precincts. My office also works with Nassau & Suffolk law enforcement agencies to sponsor "Shed the Meds" programs throughout my Senate district. Additionally, we passed a law which paves the way to allow pharmacies to voluntarily accept old medications for safe disposal, once the federal government issues the necessary guidelines.


SANTO (Bellmore,NY): Why is there a surcharge on red light tickets?
Senator Fuschillo (7:07:34 PM): Fines and surcharges for Nassau County's red light camera program are set by Nassau County. You can contact the Nassau County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency at 516-572-2700 for more information. If you'd prefer, call my office at 516-882-0630 and we will contact them on your behalf and ask that someone reach out to you to explain the surcharges.


Gerry (Merrick): How do I apply to nys to be reimbursed for sandy related earth Movement damage to my garage floor. FEMA/nfip said they will deny my claim
Senator Fuschillo (7:08:35 PM): For those who aren't familiar with what Gerry is talking about, many Superstorm Sandy victims are being denied flood insurance claims because damage caused by movement of soil or earth (even if the movement was caused by flooding) is not covered under FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulations. This ridiculous clause is leaving many victims with huge, uncovered losses with no resources to rebuild. New York State is stepping up to ensure affected homeowners are fully covered under the Housing Recovery Program. For more information, call 855-NYS-SANDY.


linda (copiague): WHY ARE MY HUSBAND'S TAXES SOOO HIGH? ALSO, HOW COME THE TOWN OF BABYLON DOESN'T FILL IN THE POT HOLES IN THIS TOWN?? THANK YOU
Senator Fuschillo (7:10:14 PM): If you are referring to your property taxes, they are determined by your school district, local governments (Suffolk County & Town of Babylon), and other special districts (library, Fire Department, etc.). Each of these has their own independently elected officials (school board members, County & Town representatives, library board of trustees, Fire Commissioners) who develop the budgets and set the tax levies which determine your property taxes. New York State does not set your property tax rates. However, the state enacted a 2% property tax cap which caps school district and local government tax levy increases (a tax levy is the total amount of taxes that the school district/municipality collects). Without this cap, these tax levies could be increased with no restriction whatsoever. With regard to the potholes, if you call my office at 516-882-0630 and give us the locations, we will contact the Town on your behalf.


Bill (Massapequa Park): Why is the MTA still using 1950's technology to collect tolls at MTA controlled bridges and tunnels, Toll Booths with gates are no longer required to collect tolls with EZ-Pass. The NY State Thruway, NJ Turnpike and every other state has gone to high speed fast pass, over head toll collection. The MTA is wasting taxpayer dollars, creating unneeded traffic delays, pollution and security issues. Why is the MTA so far behind the technology curve?
Senator Fuschillo (7:12:09 PM): Some have "express lanes" which allow E-Z Pass users to drive through at higher speeds to ease congestion (exit 16 on the New York State Thruway is an example of this). None of the transportation authorities in New York State have gone to completely electronic tolls yet, though they are exploring that possibility. The MTA and other transportation authorities inform us that the stopping gates are designed to prevent toll evasion, a problem which already costs transportation authorities millions of dollars each year. I am sponsoring legislation to strengthen the penalties for toll evasion and give law enforcement greater tools to catch and prosecute toll evaders who are stealing from the rest of us. Authorities are losing millions of dollars each year to toll thieves. It has to stop, because we are the ones who ultimately get stuck paying for it. Nevertheless, the MTA should continue to explore ways to utilize technology to speed up the toll collection process and ease congestion.


Howard (North Bellmore): My concern is the condition of the local roads in North Bellmore. The deterioration of the roads, Bellmore Ave, Jerusalem, North Jerusalem, Newbridge (on and on) as well as local roads is horrendous. Patch jobs have been performed on portions of the road where potholes developed. The problem with the patch jobs is that in most cases, too much blacktop filler has been applied causing an uneven, bumpy road surface. Is there no quality control on the repairs? Who supervises the jobs while they are being performed? There are 2 roads that are abysmal! Waltoffer Avenue between Newbridge Road and Bellmore Ave, as well as Wilson Ave / Larkspur Avenue between Bellmore Avenue and Merrick Avenue. Besides the hundreds of ridiculous fill in jobs that create more road hazards than not, there are large sections of the road, 8' X 8' square dips in the road that should be deemed severe road hazards. The roads conditons I have outlined cause major suspension repairs on my car, and, I am sure all residents in the area. These are major thoroughfares in our town. Especially the Waltoffer Avenue link which as you know has Dinkelmeyer Elementary School. Something has to be done to make the roads safe and driveable,in this area soon! Take a ride on these two roads and you will experience the horrendous road conditions we in the neighborhood face daily.
Senator Fuschillo (7:13:32 PM): Howard: we will contact the Town of Hempstead about Waltoffer Avenue and Wilson/Larkspur Avenues. We will also speak with the State DOT about Newbridge Road and Jerusalem Avenue. One of the things I fought for as part of this year's state budget was to increase funding for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS). CHIPS provides state aid to local governments for road and bridge projects. Long Island received over $40 million through this program. I will fight for an additional increase next year so that local governments can undertake additional improvement projects.


Paul (Freeport): The system we use of funding public education in ny by property taxes is broken. The taxes are beyond what any middle class can pay without having multiple jobs. We need to rework the system into an income tax and control the Educators unions and their golden paved pension and benefit plans and do away with supervisors and superintendants without a definite job function. Also consolidation of district resources among nearby districts and a possible state takeover of the payroll oversight and disimbursement. The taxes are too high here senator, and need to be fixed. What do you think?
Senator Fuschillo (7:15:04 PM): I completely agree that school taxes are too high. Salaries and benefits for school district employees, including superintendents and teachers, are all negotiated by your locally elected school board, and I encourage you to voice your concerns to them. As I stated earlier, New York State plays no role in determining your property taxes but did implement the 2% property tax cap to control spending and restrict tax levy increases. Additionally, some school districts have entered to shared services program through BOCES to help reduce costs. The concern that many have expressed about an income tax is that it is a less stable and less predictable way to fund services. Incomes can fluctuate greatly year to year, especially in an economy where many people are losing their jobs.


Moderator (Massapequa): Just want to remind everyone to keep refreshing their browser to see the latest questions and answers. Also, questions can be submitted by using the form above.
Senator Fuschillo (7:15:52 PM): Thanks for the reminder. Let's get to some more questions!


Charles (Farmingdale): How will New York State help facilitate enrollment in Affordable Care Act for seniors and those under 65?
Senator Fuschillo (7:16:55 PM): The State has created a health exchange in order to comply with the requirements of the federal Affordable Care Act. The exchange allows residents to compare, shop, and enroll in different health insurance plans if they so choose. For more information, visit https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov/


Jack (Wantagh): I would like to know when the Wantagh Railroad will be getting an overhaul and facelift.
Senator Fuschillo (7:18:41 PM): The MTA is planning to completely overhaul the Wantagh Train Station. Improvements will include a new platform, platform waiting rooms and canopies, escalator, lighting, and signage. A new elevator will also be installed. My office worked to with the MTA to get the project accelerated by one year. According to the MTA, the project is currently in the design phase, with construction expected to begin in the spring of 2015. We are continuing to push the MTA for a further acceleration so that Wantagh residents can realize these much needed improvements sooner.


Donna (Amityville): I know in the big scheme of things this may not seem like a big deal, but it bothers me alot. When we have a recycling day during a Holiday week, we are told to put out recycling on the same day as our garbage pickup. Well I have watched the sanitation workers on MANY occasions throw the recycling in with the garbage. When I call the TOB to question this, they tell me that they seperate it at the plant. Are you kidding me?? Not only is this a waste of time, manpower and money and tell me how long does it take a worker to stand there and pick through the garbage and take out the recycling. If I take the time and effort to recycle everything in my house, why should I bother when everything is being thrown together on days like this? No matter what the TOB says, I don't believe it. But I will believe you. Thanks!!
Senator Fuschillo (7:19:45 PM): Donna: I will contact Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer and let him know about this. My office will follow up with you afterwards.


Henry (Massapequa Park): Since Long Island's & West Chester & Putnam counties taxes (property, school & sales) go to Albany & a large chunk goes back down to NYC, I believe we should have a say in the elections in NYC since they are spending our tax dollars. What is your position on this idea?
Senator Fuschillo (7:21:16 PM): Henry, thank you for your questions. I appreciate your frustration, but your property taxes do not go to Albany or New York City; they go only to the school district/county/town/village you live in. Only a portion of sales tax goes to Albany, the rest goes to local governments. The Mayor should be elected by New York City residents, much like the Nassau County Executive should be elected by Nassau residents.


Natale (North Bellmore ): If you can get to the people on the Nassau STAR program, it took me an hour to get to the right person. Thank you
Senator Fuschillo (7:22:48 PM): Natale: If you are trying to get information about applying for any of the property tax exemptions offered in Nassau County, I will happy to contact the Department of Assessment on your behalf. If however you are talking about registering for Basic STAR (as all homeowners who have Basic STAR are required to do this year), that is being handled by the New York State Departmet of Taxation & Finance. Please call my office at 516-882-0630 and provide us with some additional information so that we can get you the proper assistance.


Joanne (Merrick): What can you do to get some funding to have the streets repaired south of Merrick Road in Merrick, particularly those that were affected by Sandy like Wynsum Avenue and Hewlett Avenue?
Senator Fuschillo (7:24:01 PM): We will speak to the Town of Hempstead about the conditions of the roads, since they are the ones who are responsible for maintaining and repairing them. In many cases, the costs of repairing storm related damage can be covered through federal funding.


Bob (Massapequa): When was the last time you rode the Long Island Railroad??
Senator Fuschillo (7:25:19 PM): I ride the LIRR often, and in fact will be riding it again later this week. I also often ride on Amtrak when I go to Albany. Additionally, I am in constant communication with the LIRR leadership about quality of life issues. Long Islanders pay more than enough to ride the railroad; they deserve the very best service.


Lorraine (Copiague): why is it we can hold back military pay and not congress for not doing there job, we need our military and they just about make ends meet paycheck to paycheck! just some more of giving our country away, congress should be penalized for not doing their job
Senator Fuschillo (7:26:51 PM): Lorraine: completely agree that the federal government shutdown is appalling and harmful to taxpayers. Washington's dysfunction has gone on for far to long, and all sides deserve part of the blame. We are fortunate that some of our local Congressional representatives like Congressman Peter King are fighting to end the shutdown and get all sides to reach a compromise. In Albany, both sides of the aisle have worked together to deliver results and tackle challenging issues. If we don't pass a state budget, we don't get a paycheck. That's what the public expects us to do because it's our job. They have every right to expect the same from Washington. Congress needs to get their act together.


Moderator (Massapequa): We are about halfway through the program. As a reminder, keep hitting ''refresh'' on your browser to see the latest questions and answers. Before we get to the next question, is there anything you would you like to update the viewers on Senator?
Senator Fuschillo (7:28:49 PM): Yes. Just want to let everyone know about our upcoming community programs. This Saturday is our cell phones for soldiers program, where you can drop off your old, unwanted cell phones to help our servicemen and women stay in touch with their loved ones back home. For those in Nassau County, we have 2 upcoming property tax exemptions workshops in Bellmore (Oct. 11th, 1-3 pm, Bellmore Library) and Merrick (Oct. 25th, 1-3 pm, Merrick Library) where you can learn about and apply for property tax exemptions such as STAR & Enhanced STAR. We have a child ID program for Suffolk residents on October 22nd in Copiague (4-7 pm, Copiague Library). Finally, our annual Golden Gathering is Thursday, October 17th (9:30 am to 12:30 pm, Freeport Recreation Center), where over 100 exhibitors will be providing information and services. For more information about any of these programs, click here: http://www.nysenate.gov/senator/charles-j-fuschillo-jr/events


Annette (Massapequa Park): What are the upcoming dates for Shed-the-Meds collections and where will they be located? Also the same questions for electronic and hazardous waste collections?
Senator Fuschillo (7:31:21 PM): Annette: As I stated earlier, you can drop off your old medications at any Nassau or Suffolk County Police Precinct, or at the Amityville Police Department headquarters. The Town of Oyster Bay also collets of old medications, electronic, & hazardous waste at different collection sites. Click here for the schedule: http://www.oysterbaytown.com/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={94CC0B5B-FA9B-45B4-B9D6-9B036174C83E}&DE={B921A627-62BE-4829-B09E-DCBACF9CAFE5}


BOB (FARMINGDALE): ON A RECENT TRIP TO PRINCETON N J I SAW SOLAR PANELS ON LIGHTING POLES SERVICED BY PSEG.WHY CAN'T THAT BE DONE HERE TO REDUCE OUR ELECTRIC COST ?
Senator Fuschillo (7:32:58 PM): Bob: we will pass that suggestion along to LIPA/PSEG. Anything that can help lower LIPA bills should be considered! We have seen this technology used at a number of municipal buildings and parking lots to generate clean, renewable solar energy and save ratepayer dollars. I have also been able to secure state funding to install solar panels at local schools to reduce costs and give children a first-hand lesson on how renewable energy works.


Elizabeth (Lindenhurst): What is New York State doing to stop all these drivers who are texting and talking on cell phones from behind the wheel? You can't drive anywhere without seeing someone on the phone. It's ridiculous!
Senator Fuschillo (7:35:10 PM): Could not agree with you more! Over 245,000 distracted driving tickets were issued last year in New York State. This obsession and addiction people have with texting and talking on the phone while driving has to end. New York State took some major steps this year to further combat distracted driving. We raised the maximum fines for texting, emailing, or talking on a cell phone while driving, as well as the number of penalty points for distracted driving; drivers now receive 5 penalty points on their license for each offense. Additionally, newly licensed drivers and teens with a junior's license now face automatic license suspensions for committing a distracted driving offense. Each of these creates a deterrent and reinforces the message that a driver's eyes belong on the road, not their cell phone, when they are behind the wheel.


Nicholas (Wantagh): Why can't we have school taxes lowered in Wantagh, I am paying over $8,400.00 a year & I have no children!!!, I like to help children with education, but also feel I should NOT pick up the whole tab!!, my household income is only $68,000.00 a year. Can you help us, all that struggle so hard with school taxes here. Sincerely, Nicholas Caianiello
Senator Fuschillo (7:36:57 PM): Again, your school taxes are set by your locally elected School Board members, which in your case is the Wantagh Board of Education. New York State does not set your property taxes. I encourage you to share your thoughts with your elected school board members and attend a local board of education meeting. Another step you can take is to challenge your property assessment. The amount of property taxes you pay is based in part by your home's assessed valuation by Nassau County. You have the legal right to challenge your assessment if you believe Nassau County has over-assessed your property value. You can learn more about challenging your assessment here: http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/ARC/index.html


frank (massapequa park): 1. where can individuals find more information on enhanced star program? 2. where can a veteran go individually to discuss the potential for veterans exemption on property and school taxes?
Senator Fuschillo (7:38:48 PM): You can find out more information about enhanced STAR, as well as the other exemptions available to Nassau County residents, by clicking here: http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Assessor/Online%20Forms/exempt.html . As I stated earlier, I am sponsoring two upcoming workshops (10/11 Bellmore Library, 1-3 pm, 10/25 Merrick Library, 1-3 pm) where you can speak with exemptions specialists from the Department of Assessment about any of these exemptions, including the veterans exemption. You can also view other places where the Departmet of Assessment will be offering this service here: http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Assessor/documents/2013PropertyTaxExemptionsWorkshopCalendar.pdf


Ron (Copiague): First off I would like to thank the senator for doing his part to help his constittutents at this time.My question is what is being done to help the homeowners south of Montauk Highway ,who are on a fixed income.and want to sell their homes.We have lived at our present address for 31 years,and raised 3 children there.We are ready to downsize and we had our home on the market for 6 mos. and only 2 couples came to various open houses.We are being told that in order to prevent our flood insurance from increasing to close to $7500/year within 3years our house would have to be raised at a cost of more than $100,000. Most homeowners who are retired and on a fixed income may not have any choice but to walk away from their property.We have submitted an application with N.Y.Rising Recovery and are hoping that the State program will help.Are their any other programs that the homeowners can pursue? Lord knows that flood insurance was useless especially if you owned a split-level home.You were lucky to recoup 50cents on the dollar.
Senator Fuschillo (7:41:05 PM): Ron, thanks for the kind words. Applying for NY Rising is a good start, since the Governor indicated that some of those program funds could be used for home buyouts. The federal government, as part of its Fire Island to Montauk Point (FIMP) plan, is also considering raising homes, as well as roads, in areas along the south shore of Suffolk County. While the federal government is not including Nassau County as part of that plan, my office has called on Washington to extend these same proposed protections to Nassau homeowners.


HOWARD (BALDWIN): We have the enhanced star property reduction done automatically every year with access to our filed tax return by the Government. Do we have to renew the paperwork this year for future benefit?
Senator Fuschillo (7:43:43 PM): Howard, if you currently receive the enhanced STAR exemption and participate in the automatic income verification program (in which you allow the State to automatically check your tax returns to ensure you meet the income guidelines), then you do not have to do anything different this year. The "new" registration requirements are for homeowners receiving the Basic STAR exemption. If you have any other questions about this, call my office at 516-882-0630 or click here: http://tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star13/default.htm


Moderator (Massapequa): Our time is winding down, but we still have time for a few more questions. Remember to keep refreshing your browser screen to see the latest questions and answers.
Senator Fuschillo (7:45:00 PM): Thanks for the update. We will try to get to as many questions we can in the reamining time.


James (Seaford): What more can be done about the drunk driving problem here on Long Island? Almost every day we read or hear about someone getting injured or killed by some idiot who was driving drunk or on drugs. What is the state doing about it?
Senator Fuschillo (7:46:51 PM): James: I fully share your frustration and anger. With all the education, awareness, and enforcement campaigns about the dangers of drunk driving, it amazes me how many people still choose to get behind the wheel after drinking. Over the years, I have worked with law enforcement to create some of the strongest drunk driving laws in the country. Just a few months ago, the Governor signed legislation I sponsored to strengthen Leandra's Law. The new law will ensure more convicted drunk drivers use ignition interlocks as required by law and enhance penalties for individuals who try to escape the law's ignition interlock requirement through fraud. I will continue to do everything I can to give law enforcement stronger tools to catch drunk drivers and take them off the roads.


Karen (Massapequa): When will NY Rising start giving funding to applicants? Has the program provided funding to anyone?
Senator Fuschillo (7:49:07 PM): Karen: We are in constant communication with NY Rising representatives and have met with Jon Kaiman, who was recently appointed by the Governor to coordinate the state's Sandy recovery efforts on Long Island. NY Rising informs us that, to date, approximately 5,000 residents have completed applications, worked with case managers to move the process along, and should be receiving award letters in the near future. We are continuing to press NY Rising to get money to eligible families as quickly as possible so that they can get back in their homes and move on with their lives.


Richard (Merrick): 1. I've noticed, in the last year, that there seem to be more very large airplanes, flying very low, directly over Merrick - closer than I ever remember. Could you tell us why? 2. Motorcycle races on Meadowbrook Parkway accompanied by loud music all hours of the night kind of feels like an ''in your face'' kind of law-breaking activity. Where is enforcement?
Senator Fuschillo (7:52:00 PM): Richard, the federal government's FAA determines airplane flightpaths. You should contact your federal represenatives (Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, and Congresswoman McCarthy) about that issue. Regarding the motorcycles, we will contact the State Police (who patrol the Meadowbrook Parkway) and ask them to investigate. We will need some more information from you before we call, so please call my office tomorrow at 516-882-0630.


Eric (N. Merrick): A few weeks ago, a tree went on fire behind our house. The fire was caused by wires rubbing on the tree. The tree is located on the exit ramp of the Southern State eastbound off Exit 23(Meadwobrook Road). Recently, the remainder of the tree was removed, I think by the Hempstead Town Dept. of Highways. There is now a huge gap in those ''woods'' which substantially adds to the noise and pollution we get from the cars not only exiting, but idling as they wait on line at the stop sign. Who can I contact to see if I can get some trees or tall shrubs planted to replace those removed? The further back into the woods behind our fences would be more ideal. Thank you!
Senator Fuschillo (7:53:59 PM): Eric: We will speak with the New York State Department of Transportation and ask them if the tree can be replaced.


Michael (Amityville): I have a multiple part question related to raising houses. How does someone determine if their house needs to be raised and how high it needs to be raised? If it needs to be raised, how can we apply for FEMA assistance and approximately what percentage of the cost of raising the house will FEMA cover?
Senator Fuschillo (7:55:16 PM): You should check with your flood insurance company to see if your home needs to be raised, and if so, contact the Town of Babylon to see what height the home would have to be raised. With regard to financial assistance for home raising, you may qualify for funding under the NY Rising program. You can get more information and apply at http://stormrecovery.ny.gov/


Edward (Wantagh): As Chairman of the Senate's Transportation Committee, is there anything you can do about the MTA/LIRR? It costs us a fortune.
Senator Fuschillo (7:57:31 PM): As I stated earlier, we are in constant contact with the MTA/LIRR and push them to improve service and make riding the LIRR more affordable. I have and will continue to oppose any fare increases for LIRR riders; they already pay way more than enough. The state invested over $4 billion into the MTA's operating budget alone this year, an increase of nearly 10%. In addition, the Committee is holding a public hearing this Thursday to examine the MTA's finances and spending, and will be asking questions of the MTA Chairman and the heads of each MTA agency, including the LIRR. We want to hear their plans on how they will use your fare money, what steps they are taking to reduce costs and improve efficiencies, and how they plan on controlling fares to make the MTA/LIRR more afforable for you and all other commuters. They need to do more to root out waste, fraud, and abuse to save money, because commuters cannot afford to keep paying more. The MTA needs to understand that "enough is enough" and that riders cannot afford to keep paying more.


Jessica (North Bellmore ): I have recently had an experience with a scammer who called my home to try to ''fix'' my computer. Luckily I figured out it was a scam. I called my local precinct to report it but they would not do a report as nothing was stolen. Don't you think they should be more proactive and at least document the situation? There is an increase in these kinds of scams, we need to address it
Senator Fuschillo (7:58:39 PM): Jessica: Thanks for sharing this. You should also report this to the New York State Division of Consumer Protection so they can investigate. You can do so by calling 800-697-1220 or using their online consumer complaint form: https://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/form/complaintform.asp


Moderator (Massapequa): Unfortunately, our time is almost up. Senator Fuschillo, would you like to say anything else before we conclude?
Senator Fuschillo (7:59:15 PM): Thank you to everyone who participated in this session. I am sorry that we were not able to answer every quesiton, but I will be going over all the ones we were unable to get to. Thank you again and have a great evening.


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