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Miscellaneous

Governor Cuomo and Assemblyman Buchwald Help New York Families Save for College

With the financing of higher education becoming an even bigger challenge for Americans, Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law legislation that provides an innovative solution to help families save for college. The bill, A.9118, sponsored and introduced by Assemblyman David Buchwald (D-Westchester County), unanimously passed both the State Assembly and Senate earlier this year.  The new law allows New Yorkers to directly deposit their state tax refunds into a 529 College Savings Plan.

New York State residents have long been encouraged to save for higher education through the New York 529 College Savings Program. Savings in a 529 account can grow tax-free when used to pay for higher education expenses, including room and board, books and other supplies. And while New Yorkers could always deposit their state income tax refunds into their bank accounts, now they can directly send all or part of their refunds to their 529 college savings accounts. So, Buchwald’s bill provides a more convenient way to save for higher education especially at tax refund time, when it is easier for many families to put money away for the future.

“Government should empower citizens, and that is all the more important when it comes to families saving for their children’s college education,” said Assemblyman Buchwald. “I want to thank Governor Cuomo for signing my bill into law and thank all of my legislative colleagues who voted for this bill.  New Yorkers now have a direct route every April to provide their loved ones improved access to higher education.”

“Every parent of a college-bound student in New York State should take advantage of our 529 college savings plan,” State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said.  “Saving early is the best way to combat the rising costs of a college education and Assemblyman Buchwald’s bill will make it even easier to do so.”

“We applaud Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature for passing important legislation that will make the possibility of saving for college a reality for ALL children and their families” said Jennifer March, Executive Director of Citizens’ Committee for Children. ‘This new law will enable every New York family that files taxes to split their tax refund and deposit a portion into a 529 college savings account. Research clearly demonstrates how just a small amount of college savings can give a child a college-oriented identity and dramatically increase his or her chances of attending and completing college. In this competitive labor market, we know that we can never start too soon in providing our children with a clear path toward college and career. This law is a win-win for children, youth, families and all New Yorkers.”

“On behalf of New York’s working poor families, The Financial Clinic, wants to it extend sincere gratitude and congratulations to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, especially Assembly Member David Buchwald and State Senator Thomas Croci, for recognizing that New York’s families, and especially its low-income families, need every opportunity to help save for their children to go to college” said Mae Warson Grote, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Clinic. “Now 9 million New Yorkers will have an annual chance to build savings at tax time and thousands will use that opportunity to make college easier for themselves and their children. With the rising cost of education and a greater than ever emphasis placed on educational success in the labor market, Governor Cuomo has demonstrated his commitment to New York’s families and the success of their children as well as building the financial security of working poor New Yorkers. Looking forward, The Financial Clinic is eager to support the New York Department of Taxation and Finance as it acts to implement and extend this critical opportunity to New York tax filers.”

New York’s 529 college savings program has been recognized as one of the best in the nation according to SavingForCollege.com in its 2015 and 2016 analyses of individual states’ 529 investment plans.

Buchwald’s bill, A.9118 had 48 co-sponsors in the State Assembly, both Democrats and Republicans. Senator Thomas Croci (R-Suffolk County) carried the bill in the State Senate and was instrumental in getting this bill passed in both houses.

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Governor Cuomo Signs Railroad Safety Legislation into Law

Governor Andrew Cuomo has put his signature on legislation he put forward with Assemblyman David Buchwald (D-Westchester County) and Senator Joseph Robach (R-Monroe County) to implement more stringent safety measures at grade-level railroad crossings. This law comes after the deadly Valhalla train crash in 2015 in which six individuals were killed after an SUV pulled onto the tracks at a Metro-North Railroad grade crossing.  The new law implements more joint inspections of signals at railroad crossings, aligns state requirements with federal regulations on railroad bridge inspections, and increases penalties on railroad companies that do not comply with the regulations and on drivers that commit railroad crossing violations.

 

“Too often, New Yorkers have experienced tragedies at grade-level railroad crossings. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for signing this legislation into law to provide greater safety, efficiency, and modernization at our railroad crossings,” said Assemblyman David Buchwald. “This law and new safety measures are a result of cooperation between the State Legislature, the Governor, our municipal governments, and the New York State Department of Transportation.”

 

“The safety of our riders and motorists depends upon drivers obeying effective and well maintained traffic signals and grade crossing warning systems” said Randolph Glucksman, Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council Chair.  “We thank Assemblyman David Buchwald for his efforts to ensure that traffic signals coordinated with grade crossing signals are in good working order and that laws requiring compliance with grade crossing signals are effectively enforced.”

 

“I want to thank Governor Cuomo and Assemblyman Buchwald for implementing new railroad safety measures for Westchester and all of New York State” said Srinivasan Selvaraj, a resident of Chappaqua, New York. “My family had a scary incident involving the malfunction of the boom barrier on Metro North’s Harlem line near the intersection of the Saw Mill River Parkway and Roaring Brook Road in Chappaqua. It is comforting to know that steps are being taken to put in place better monitoring of railroad crossings.”

 

In 2014, over 250 deaths were related to railroad crossing collisions across the country.  Many New Yorkers use railroad crossings or rely on trains on a daily basis.  This law is a necessary part of ensuring the safety of commuter trains and drivers.

 

The new law goes fully into effect on December 1.

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AMERICAN AIRLINES TO LAUNCH NEW ROUTE FROM WESTCHESTER COUNTY AIRPORT

 

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — American Airlines will launch twice-daily non-stop service from Westchester County (HPN) to Miami (MIA) beginning Dec. 15, 2016. This new American Eagle service to Miami is in addition to daily flights from Westchester to Charlotte, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

American serves 129 destinations in 40 countries from its Miami hub, providing customers ideal connections to Central and South America, the Caribbean and Mexico.

Customers can begin booking travel on this new route at aa.com.

 

Departure City

Arrival City

Departure Time

Arrival Time

Aircraft Type

Frequency

HPN

MIA

7:00 a.m.

10:10 a.m.

E-175

Daily

HPN

MIA

1:59 p.m.

5:09 p.m.

E-175

Daily

MIA

HPN

9:55 a.m.

1:05 p.m.

E-175

Daily

MIA

HPN

8:20 p.m.

11:30 p.m.

E-175

Daily

 

The 76-seat Embraer E-175, operated by Republic Airlines, features a two-class configuration with 12 First Class seats and 64 Main Cabin seats.

 

About American Airlines Group

American Airlines and American Eagle offer an average of nearly 6,700 flights per day to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. American has hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. American is a founding member of the oneworld alliance, whose members serve more than 1,000 destinations with about 14,250 daily flights to over 150 countries. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AAL. In 2015, its stock joined the S&P 500 index. Connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and at Facebook.com/AmericanAirlines.

 

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HISPANIC SMALL BUSINESS FORUM DRAWS EAGER ENTREPRENEURS

The event hosted by Westchester County and Latin Business Today focused on key areas of small business development – customers, capital and contracts

            County Executive Robert P. Astorino in partnership with Latin Business Today, a national online publication dedicated to enabling the success and growth of Latino small businesses, hosted a Hispanic small business forum today titled “Crossroads to Customers, Capital and Contracts” at Westchester Community College’s Gateway Center.

The county executive kicked off the event by discussing how important small business is to our economy – both nationally and locally.

The forum focused on Hispanic small business entrepreneurs since nearly 10 percent of all Westchester businesses are Hispanic-owned, and that number continues to grow each year.

At the forum, which was free and open to the public, local business owners had the opportunity to listen and learn from a panel of experts that discussed topics based on three essentials for businesses:

  • Customers: How to reach your customers and increase your business through targeted marketing and innovative solutions.
  • Capital: How to gain access to capital through loans and financing programs.
  • Contracts: How to secure government and private sector contracts and grow your business.

In addition, guests had the opportunity to ask questions and network with both public and private sector professionals that could help start or grow their business.

Barry Mittelman, publisher of Latin Business Today, chose to partner with the county on this forum because it was an opportunity to personally engage Latino small business owners with its mentor contributors in its home county.

The panel discussion was moderated by Garcia, an attorney, SCORE mentor, entrepreneur and Latin Business Today advisory board member. Panelists included: Franco Cabral, senior vice president, AdCorp Media Group; Shaun Asbury, vice president, commercial lending with TD Bank in Purchase; Kim Jacobs, executive director, Community Capital New York; Elias Mendoza, vice president, Siris Capital; Jim Coleman, Minority and Women Business Enterprise liaison officer, Westchester County; and Stella Vida, CPA, principal Hart Vida Raffo.

Event sponsors included: TD Bank, platinum sponsor; PepsiCo, gold sponsor; Hart Vida Raffo, silver sponsor; Score, SBDC and Westchester Community College, contributing sponsors.