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A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENTS WITH THREE MOBILE HEALTH APPLICATION DEVELOPERS

By LILY WILSON

On Thursday, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced settlements with three popular health-related applications sold in Apple’s App Store and Google Play regarding misleading claims and irresponsible privacy practices. The settlement follows a year-long investigation of mobile health applications and requires the implicated companies and developers to amend deceptive statements about their apps and modify their privacy policies to better protect consumers. The applications also make it clear that they are not medical devices and are not approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration.

“Mobile health apps can benefit consumers if they function as advertised, do not make misleading claims, and protect sensitive user information,” said Attorney General Schneiderman.”However, my office will not hesitate to take action against developers that disseminate unfounded information that is both deceptive and potentially harmful to everyday consumers.”

Under the Attorney General’s settlements, the developers agreed to provide additional information about testing of the apps, to change their ads to make them non-misleading, and to pay $30K in combined penalties to the Office of the Attorney General. Additionally, the developers now post clear and prominent disclaimers informing consumers that the apps are not medical devices and are not approved by the FDA.

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SENATOR BROOKS ANNOUNCES LEGISLATION REQUIRING INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR THE SCREENING OF COLORECTAL CANCER

By LILY WILSON

On March 23, Senator John E. Brooks announced legislation requiring insurance companies to provide coverage for the diagnostic screening of colorectal cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death. The American Cancer Society has also recently reported that although the majority of colorectal cancers are found in people over 50 years of age, there has been a sharp rise of diagnoses in younger adults. In fact, the American Cancer Society predicts that in 2017 colorectal cancer is expected to cause about 50,260 deaths.
“Colorectal cancer is on the rise, but is in large part preventable with regular screening and prevention techniques,” said Senator Brooks. “This legislation will facilitate early detection of colorectal cancer, and ultimately save lives. By requiring coverage for screenings, we can help reduce the number of people who develop colorectal cancer and the number of deaths due to the disease.”
This legislation requires all medical insurance policies issued in New York State to cover diagnostic screening for colorectal cancer including digital rectal examinations at any age for people with a family history of colorectal cancer, or a personal history or polyps or inflammatory bowel disease. It is also requires coverage for an annual standard diagnostic examination for people age 50, and for people age 40 and over who have a family history of colorectal cancer.

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LONG ISLAND MAN FOUND GUILTY OF DEFRAUDING SOUTH KOREAN SCHOOL

By JORDAN WILIAMS

On Tuesday, Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that William Cosme, was found guilty in Manhattan federal court in connection with a scheme to defraud a Christian missionary school in South Korea of $5.5 million dollars. Cosme was convicted on both counts with which he was charged following a one-week trial before U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska.

“As a unanimous jury swiftly concluded after trial, William Cosme duped and defrauded a South Korean international school out of $5.5 million, money the school needed to carry out its mission of educating children. Cosme then took this stolen money and spent it lavishly on himself, including on a Lamborghini, a Ferrari, and a Cadillac Escalade, not to mention a 110-day gambling spree in Las Vegas. Cosme now faces time in a federal prison for his brazen crimes,” said Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim.

Cosme faces a minimum sentence of two years in prison for his conviction for aggravated identity theft, and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for his wire fraud conviction. He also faces a maximum term of three years of supervised release and a fine of the greatest of $250,000, or twice the gross pecuniary gain derived from the offense or twice the gross pecuniary loss to the victim.

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NY GEARS UP ELECTRIC VEHICLE REBATE PROGRAM

By JORDAN WILIAMS

On Tuesday, the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced the launch of a zero-emissions vehicle purchase rebate program for consumers. The program, New York’s first, was approved in the SFY2016-17 Budget and provides a $2,000 rebate per vehicle.

Conor Bambrick, air & energy director of Environmental Advocates of New York said, “Thanks to forward thinking of the Legislature and the Governor, New York is in a position to drive consumers to cleaner vehicles in the face of the Trump Administration’s attacks on vehicle emission standards. With the auto industry’s push to roll back regulations, the U.S. is entering crisis-mode for people’s lungs and pocketbooks. But Governor Cuomo has made two game-changing promises: 800,000 electric vehicles on New York roads by 2025, and an end to fossil fuel uses entirely in just 33 years. This rebate program is the first of many steps the State must take, and it demonstrates that New York has the ability and willingness to break from the status quo despite President Trump’s fossil-fuel agenda. Let’s keep this kind of progress going in 2017 with passage of the Climate and Community Protection Act in the next State Budget!”

 

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SENATE TO ACT ON A COMPREHENSIVE PACKAGE OF BILLS TO “GROW NEW YORK’S AGRICULTURE FROM THE GROUND UP”

By LILY WILSON

On March 21, The New York State Senate took up a comprehensive package of bills that would strengthen and preserve agriculture as the state’s leading industry. The bipartisan measures help support farm workforce retention and expansion through creating new tax credits for preserving farmland, transitioning to organic certification, and offering healthy options in communities.

“The Senate Majority Conference has been leading the charge in reversing damaging funding cuts and investing in innovative efforts – like our New Farmers program – that are helping to protect the future of agriculture. This plan will help support the hardworking farmers responsible for the continued success of New York’s leading industry, as well as provide the agriculture professionals of tomorrow with the resources they need to be successful,” said  Senator Patty Ritchie (R-C, Heuvelton), Chair of the Senate’s Agriculture Committee.

These measures build upon the Senate’s ongoing commitment to agriculture, including its role as the undisputed leader in restoring more than $55 million in proposed state funding cuts since 2011. This funding has helped support investments in cutting-edge agricultural research, education for the next generation of family farmers, environmental stewardship, and protections for plant, animal, and public health.

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SENATOR BROOKS ANNOUNCES PASSAGE OF NASSAU COUNTY’S PROPERTY TAX ABATEMENT PROGRAM FOR SENIORS

By JORDAN WILIAMS

On Tuesday, Senator John E. Brooks announced legislation that passed the Senate to retroactively restore and continue Nassau County’s property tax abatement program for seniors. This program provides eligible seniors with relief on their property taxes and was originally enacted in 2002, however expired at the end of 2016.

“People in Nassau County are already paying some of the highest property taxes in the nation.  This tremendous tax burden is especially hard on seniors, many of whom are living on fixed incomes,” said Senator Brooks. “Restoring this program is essential to keeping seniors in their homes. We need to provide relief to taxpayers, not drive them away due to the high cost of taxes.”

The program’s expiration resulted in a significant property tax increase for seniors without any advance notice. This legislation extends the senior tax exemption through 2028. To further assist seniors, Senator Brooks is sponsoring a Senior Scam Prevention Seminar at the Wantagh Public Library on Tuesday, April 18th from 3:00pm to 5:00pm.

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NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICE ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF POSTER CONTEST

By LILY WILSON

On Friday, The New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) today announced the 12 winners of the New York State “Kids Safe Online” Poster Contest. The 12 winners were selected from more than 2,000 entries, submitted by 233 schools from across New York State.

“We are pleased to partner with the MS-ISAC on this important initiative to raise awareness among our youth of the risks associated with using the Internet. The Kids Safe Online Poster Contest is a wonderful opportunity for teachers to address cyber security and online safety issues in the classroom and raise awareness of these issues in homes. We are continually amazed by the creativity, originality and compelling messages submitted by the students on the importance of cyber security. Kudos to all of the winners!” said Margaret Miller, New York State Chief Information Officer.

The goal of the contest, is to educate students about cyber security by encouraging them to creatively depict what cyber security means to them and to reinforce safe online practices through their artwork. The contest also serves as a tool to encourage teachers across New York State to address cyber security and online safety issues like cyber bullying, the appropriate use of text messages, and social networking in the classroom.

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CFI LAUNCHES NEW ADVANCED EXCEL TRAINING COURSE

By LILY WILSON

On Monday, CFI, a leading global provider of online financial modeling training, announced the launch of its new Advanced Excel Formulas Course. This new course is designed to replicate the training experience of a new financial analyst hired at a global investment bank.

“CFI’s mission is to help anyone in the world learn how to perform world class financial analysis, and this advanced Excel course is a major step towards that end,” said Tim Vipond, CEO of the Corporate Finance Institute. “For anyone who wants to take their Excel skill to the next level, this course provides a powerful combination of formulas and functions, which taken in conjunction with each other produce extremely advanced financial analysis.”

This Excel course is designed for anyone who is seeking to develop advanced financial modeling skills. It’s aimed at professionals in investment banking, equity research, commercial banking, financial planning and analysis, and anyone interested in mastering the art of building models from scratch.

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STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT PROPOSES PUBLIC LIBRARY CONSTRUCTION AID REGULATION CHANGES

By LILY WILSON

On March 13th, the State Education Department proposed  amendments to the State Aid for Library Construction regulations expand and further define the types of public library construction projects that are eligible to receive State aid.

“We must continue to invest in public libraries that are vital educational centers and central gathering places for so many communities,” State Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. “With these regulation changes, libraries can receive aid for necessary technology projects, like broadband installation, and receive more funding for projects that serve economically disadvantaged communities.”

The proposed amendments include significant changes such as clarified eligible costs, installation and infrastructure of broadband services an approved project cost, and enabling approved projects serving economically disadvantaged communities to be funded up to 75 percent of eligible project costs.

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SENATE REPUBLICAN & IDC BUDGET PROPOSALS SHAFT HIGH NEED SCHOOLS, PERPETUATE RACIAL AND ECONOMIC INEQUITIES IN SCHOOL FUNDING

By JORDAN WILIAMS

This morning, the Senate Republican and Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) budget proposals include a dramatic overhaul of the Foundation Aid formula that is designed to shortchange high need public schools. These budget bills would perpetuate racial and economic inequity in school funding.

“The Independent Democrats have joined with the Senate Republicans to shaft high need students across the state,” said Billy Easton, Executive Director, Alliance for Quality Education. “If you are a student in poverty or a student with disabilities, this budget plan says you do not matter. If you live in one of the state’s largest cities this proposal says you barely count. And if you are an English Language learner, this budget tries to trick you into believing you count while severely shortchanging your educational opportunities. It is dastardly for Senators who have introduced these budget bills to mislead these students by saying they are helping them. These budget resolutions expose the sheer hypocrisy of the entire IDC coalition with the Senate Republicans.”

While not totally repealing the Foundation Aid formula as proposed by the Governor, the Senate Republican and IDC budget bills would eliminate the core purpose of the Foundation Aid formula and replace it with six different formulas. Five of these formulas specifically exclude additional funding for Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse and Yonkers and four of them exclude New York City.

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