Assemblyman Charles D. Lavine
Charles D.

reports to
the people

Summer 2006

Dear Friends,

In reviewing the past legislative session, our major accomplishment was passing an on time budget for the second consecutive year.

Besides changing the Assembly’s internal rules, specifically ending the practice of allowing members’ votes to be counted even when they were absent, we were able to pass legislation that has a direct impact on our Long Island communities.

Education – We approved a budget that added $142.6 million in aid to Long Island school districts, boosting our State assistance by 7.1 per cent to $2.1 billion. We also enacted legislation that would tighten the oversight of school finances and provide better training for voting members of school boards. Most importantly, the budget eases the school tax burden by increasing the state share of education to our districts in these amounts:

Plainview-Old Bethpage over 3.1 million
Glen Cove over 1.7 million
Jericho over 2.9 million
Westbury over 7.65 million
North Shore over 1.24 million
Locust Valley over 868 thousand
Roslyn over 1.27 million
Oyster Bay over 595 thousand
Syosset over 2.9 million

Economic Development - Legislation was also passed to extend and expand the state’s Empire Zones, tax free zones created to attract and retain businesses. This bill is important for Long Island because business will be attracted to the area and with business comes employment. The zone created on Long Island will be in parts of the 13th Assembly District, more specifically in Glen Cove and New Cassel.

Property Tax Help - New York’s homeowners can expect to receive a property tax rebate averaging $300.00.

Safety - Elimination of the criminal statute of limitations for the crimes of rape and sexual assault and extension of the civil statute of limitations; tightening penalties for drunk driving; and requiring DNA testing of all convicted felons and many of those convicted of misdemeanors.

Health - The legislature and governor have agreed to enact “Timothy’s Law,” which will provide parity in insurance coverage for most mental illness and will require broad coverage for conditions specifically related to children.

Thank you for the privilege of serving as your Assemblyman. We have made an excellent start in fixing Albany, and by continuing to work together we will accomplish so much more.

Charles Lavine

Assemblyman Agrees Project May Not Be Needed

After reviewing the pros and cons of the proposal by Broadwater Energy to build a liquefied natural gas plant in Long Island Sound, Assemblyman Lavine believes that the proposed project will not only do harm to the Long Island Sound, but is not needed to meet the natural gas needs of our area.

Broadwater, a partnership of Shell and the Trans Canada Corporation, filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build the plant, on a floating island about the size of the Queen Mary, about 9 miles from Wading River in New York and 11 miles from New Haven.

“I have studied the issue and have come to the conclusion that the building of Broadwater is certainly not good for our environment, but more importantly, it is not needed.” Assemblyman Lavine explained.

Although Broadwater is designed to bring 1 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas to our area once completed, there is already in place a number of pipelines, that are either completed or under construction, that will deliver 1.5 billion cubic feet per day by 2009, well before Broadwater is completed. This is more than enough to meet the natural gas needs of our area for the foreseeable future. Additionally, even with an expected growth of 10 per cent in natural gas usage in the near term, the new pipelines, refitting of gas fired power plants and investment in efficient combined heat and power operations should be enough to meet this growth.

In fact, according to an analysis by Synapse Energy Economics, Inc., our area may not face any shortages at all.

Additionally, LIPA is completing two 660 megawatt electric cables that will connect Long Island to New Jersey, enough to power 1,320,000 homes, which will further reduce the need for gas.

We must also consider the problems Broadwater will create in the Long Island Sound. The “Race,” which is the entrance from the Ocean to the Sound (between the tip of Long Island and Rhode Island) would have to be shut, and all other traffic halted, each time an LNG tanker passes through. The tanker would have to be escorted by the Coast Guard, at an estimated $80,000 per ship. The LNG conversion plant requires a zone of 3 miles all around, necessitating the closing of lobster beds and 24-hour Coast Guard surveillance. In addition, two to three tankers are expected to make the trip weekly, with each taking up to 15 hours to offload.

Based on these observations, Assemblyman Lavine believes the Broadwater application should be rejected by FERC.

photo Assemblyman Lavine and others join Senator Schumer as announces a bill to provide funding to fight invasive species.

Appointment Acknowledges His Legal Expertise

Assemblyman Lavine has been named to the Assembly’s prestigious Judiciary Committee. The appointment acknowledges Lavine’s thirty-five years practice in our State and Federal Courts, which will be put to good use on a committee which has jurisdiction over virtually all legislation affecting civil practice in courts.

Among the legislative proposals reviewed by the Committee are measures on domestic relations and child support, protection of domestic violence victims, trusts and estates, as well as real property and tenant law and portions of the Civil Practice Law and Rules and the Uniform Commercial Code. All proposed amendments to the New York State Constitution are reviewed by the Committee.

Assemblyman Lavine also serves on the Local Governments Committee, the Committee on Codes, Social Services and Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committees.


photo Bo Lipari and Assemblyman Lavine at a conference on voting rights at Long Island University’s Tilles Center. Mr. Lipari is an advocate of the use of the Optical Scan voting system. Assemblyman Chuck Lavine spoke on a panel at C.W. Post Campus in Brookville on the topic of voting machine reform . “I’m a strong supporter of the optical scan voting systems that have proved so successful in other parts of the country,” said Assemblyman Lavine. “New York is the last state in the union to implement the voting machine reforms that were mandated by the federal government in 2002. We must get this right, as we have too often witnessed elections that fail to give us the government that we deserve because of voting machine errors and/or human tampering.”

photo Assemblyman Chuck Lavine joins Governor Pataki, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and other elected officials as the governor signs a measure declaring the creation of three new Empire Zones – one of which is in Nassau County. Nassau County’s zone will include parts of Bethpage, New Cassel and Glen Cove.

Legislation Aimed at Curbing Illegal Guns Gains Wide Support

photo Pictured is Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice with Assemblyman Lavine. District Attorney Rice is a strong supporter of Lavine’s gun legislation (A8585).
Assemblyman Lavine sponsored legislation (Bill #A8585), aimed at arming law enforcement with the intelligence needed to track and stop the flow of illegal weapons to New York. Mayor Bloomberg agrees with what the bill will accomplish, and the bill has gained strong support from the New York City Police, New York State District Attorneys Association and other law enforcement agencies.

The Bill imposes an additional consecutive five year sentence on an offender who possesses or uses a weapon or explosive device in the commission of a violent or drug related crime. Under Lavine’s bill, the only way for the criminal to escape from serving the five extra years is by truthfully providing authorities with all information concerning the source of the weapon. The bill gives law enforcement much needed intelligence on the identities of those providing weapons. It will also give us badly needed intelligence on gangs and illegal organizations.

The bill has received wide-spread, bi-partisan support in the Assembly with over 40 co-sponsors. Lavine believes he will be able to obtain Senate sponsorship in the next legislative session.

Glenn Winuk, Hero

Jericho’s Glenn Winuk had been a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician. A lawyer with Holland and Knight in lower Manhattan, Glenn perished on September 11, 2001 while participating in the rescue effort at the World Trade Center. Assemblyman Lavine sponsored a bill that was signed into law granting Glenn active duty status as of the date of his death. These are excerpts from Chuck’s speech honoring Glenn and his family:

It is ironic that we have used the word hero so often since September 11. The irony is that on that day, Glenn and many just like him, exhibited true heroism.

Professor Joseph Campbell used to teach that just doing a great deed did not alone qualify someone for heroism. A real hero is someone who sacrifices his or her life for a greater purpose. Heroism must have a moral objective, and that objective is the saving of a person or an idea.

Glenn really was just that kind of hero. As his friend Roy Freiman wrote: “I do not know any better example of a hero than Glenn. It was not the actions he took on September 11, 2001 that made him a hero, but rather his personal character and integrity which led to his heroic acts. I doubt that anyone who knew Glenn was surprised to learn that he ran into harm’s way in an effort to help others.”

Glenn wanted to be a fireman from the time he was a kid. He was a decorated Ex-Lieutenant of Guardian Engine Company No. 2 and an EMT-Firefighter for 20 years and a former Fire Commissioner in Jericho. He had helped evacuate the victims of the 1993 WTC bombing.

He was a superb Commissioner, EMT, firefighter, lawyer, friend, son, brother and uncle. These were his passions, they were all labors of love. Let us pause to reflect on the personal sacrifice of Glenn’s family.

It was that same love for and need to protect his community that drove him to return to the Trade Center on that fateful morning of September 11. Fully recognizing the danger, Glenn gave his life for a purpose he knew to be greater than himself or any other single individual. As did that day so many firefighters, it was the love for and the instinct to protect his community that were Glenn’s moral objectives, thereby making him a true hero.

We now find ourselves engaged in a protracted war against those whose motivation is hatred of our way of life. They simply do not want our contemporary world of personal rights, responsibilities and freedoms invading their primitive and warped view of the way things should be. But we know from the lessons of history that those whose motivation is the love of community have always vanquished over the merchants of hatred and brutality.

And so to Glenn’s friends and wonderful family, I can only say how privileged and indeed honored I am as both a State Assemblyman and as a member of this community to have been able to play a role in the passage of a law that recognizes Glenn’s outstanding and heroic service. This was one of the very first bills I helped pass, and it is one that I shall never forget.

photo Assemblyman Lavine and Congressman Israel meet with Arie Mekel, Counsel General of Israel on American Israeli relations.

WCIC Westbury

photo Assemblymember Lavine along with Jean Tesoriero of KeySpan Foundation present computers to the Westbury Community Improvement Corporation’s after-school program in the New Cassel/Westbury community.

Rose Counseling Center-Jericho

photo Chuck joins the family and friends of Jong Soo Kim as he is presented with a Citation for his outstanding efforts at the Rose Counseling Center, Inc. in Jericho

POB photo contest

photo Priya Nanda, joined by her father, Anna Goidell and Assemblymember Lavine, proudly presents her sculpture to the Plainview - Old Bethpage Library at the 8th Annual Photography Contest

Glen Cove-Gribbin School

photo Assemblyman Lavine reads with Ms. Antoinette Hatzopoulos’ First Grade class at the Gribbin School in Glen Cove

Playground Renovation in Sea Cliff

photo Assemblyman Lavine and Village Trustee Bob Haim roll up their sleeves to help refurbish the playground at Sea Cliff’s Central Park.

Park Avenue School Westbury

photo Chuck presents Miracle Bennett with special award for reading more books than anyone else (800+) at the Park Avenue School in Westbury. Also pictured are her proud parents(c) and Principal Gloria Dingwall (r)

Assemblyman Charles D. Lavine
Room 325 LOB
Albany, New York 12248
(518) 455-5456
NYS 70 Glen Street, Suite 100
Glen Cove, New York 11542
(516) 676-0050