Somers, NY – Last year, there were over 72,000 overdoses throughout the U.S. Of that astounding number, more than 4,000 overdoses occurred in New York, virtually in our own backyards.

As a member of the New York State Senate Opioid and Drug Task Force, Senator Terrence Murphy saw firsthand the devastating effects drug abuse can have on families and communities. To stop the flow of harmful drugs into the Hudson Valley and keep them out of the hands of addicts, Senator Murphy implemented “Shed the Meds,” an effective solution to help residents dispose of their outdated prescription drugs. On August 28, Senator Murphy partnered with Assemblyman Kevin Byrne, the Town of Somers, Somers Police Department, Drug Crisis in our Backyard, and Somers Partners in Prevention to host his “Shed the Meds” prescription drop-off program at the Somers Police Station.

“We have spent a great deal of time and effort to make sure our schools, police officers and first responders have the tools they need to combat the drug epidemic,” said Senator Murphy. “Shed the Meds is the next step; it’s an effective way for people to dispose of the dangerous drugs stored in their medicine cabinets. By bringing these drugs to our take-back event or by taking them to your local police station, you’re protecting families and the environment.”

“When talking about the heroin and opioid epidemic I often refer to the word ‘tree’ – treatment, recovery, education and enforcement,” said Assemblyman Kevin Byrne. “Shed the Meds is a perfect example of reaching out into the community to help get highly addictive drugs out of the home and keep them away from our drinking water. Disposing of these dangerous drugs can help save lives.”

Somers Town Supervisor Rick Morrissey stated, “I want to thank Sen Murphy for once again sponsoring Somers Shed the Meds with our own Partners in Prevention, and Drug Crisis in Our Backyard. Special thanks go to all those who made the effort to Shed the Meds by helping to build yet another barrier to prescription drug abuse.”

“The success of this program demonstrates the effectiveness of a grassroots effort,” commented Somers Councilman Anthony Cirieco. “By building partnerships between Senator Murphy, the Town Board, our police department, and community groups we are helping to get dangerous drugs off the street.”

Somers Police Chief Michael Driscoll said, “We are always grateful when Senator Murphy brings his program to Somers because it increases awareness of this serious problem plaguing our country. In addition to hosting Shed the Meds, the Somers Police Department maintains a prescription drug drop off container 24-7 at the Somers Police Department. We collect fifty pounds of drugs per month. That’s fifty pounds that won’t get into the wrong hands.”

“It is important to bring this type of awareness to the community,” noted Carol Christiansen, Cofounder & Director of Development for Drug Crisis in Our Backyard. “We thank the community for their continued support. We have worked together with Senator Murphy, the Town and the Somers Police Department for the past several years. Anything we can do through treatment or Shed the Meds can go a long way in decreasing the number of overdoses and deaths from prescription drugs.”

Marsha Berman, Somers Partners in Prevention, added, “Shed the Meds has been very effective in raising awareness about the dangers of keeping old prescriptions drugs around the house. Seniors and children run the risk of overdosing because they accidentally take expired medications.”

The next Shed the Meds event is Thursday, August 30 at the Pawling Town Hall, 160 Charles Colman Blvd. from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The final Shed the Meds prescription drop-off will be in Brewster at a date and time to be announced

Valley Stream, NY – The men and women of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Police Benevolent Association (MTA PBA), safeguard the facilities, passengers and tracks of the nation’s largest and busiest commuter railroad. Senator Terrence Murphy has, in turn, been an avid supporter of legislation to protect the members of the MTA PBA and their families. Based on his commitment to serving those who serve others, the MTA PBA is pleased to announce it has endorsed Senator Murphy in his bid for re-election to represent the 40th Senate State District.

“To have the support of these brave men and women is an incredible honor and only speaks to the strong partnership we established toward building a safer New York,” said Senator Murphy. “I will continue to work with the MTA PBA to ensure the safety of its members. I will always have their backs.”

Michael O’Meara, President, MTA PBA stated, “We are proud to endorse Terrence Murphy’s re-election to the New York State Senate. He demonstrated his commitment to law enforcement through his strong support of issues that affect men and women in uniform. He is truly dedicated to helping the people of Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester Counties and his vigorous advocacy on their behalf has been a benefit to all New Yorkers.”

Founded in 1998 the MTA PBA represents approximately 800 members of the MTA Police Department, many of whom work and live in the 40th Senate District. The organization aids fellow members in times of necessity or emergency, and strives to advance the welfare and efficiency of the department.

Senator Murphy has already garnered numerous endorsements including:

  • The Detective’s Endowment Association
  • Police Conference of New York
  • CSEA
  • New York State Troopers
  • Westchester County PBA
  • Yonkers PBA
  • The Affiliated Police Associations of Westchester
  • The Uniformed Fire Officers Association
  • New York State Pipe Trades
  • Utility Workers of America Local 1-2
  • Boilermakers Local 5
  • Lake Mohegan Professional Firefighters
  • IUOE Local 137
  • Teamsters Local 456

Albany, NY – Since 2017 the New York State Senate’s Committee on Government Operations and Investigations has been seeking an answer many taxpayers in Westchester County have wondered: Why New York State does not pay its fair share on state owned land. As Chairman of the committee, New York State Senator Terrence Murphy has been asking the Office of Real Property Tax the same question. Now a bill he has authored, S.5481A, that would yield current data of the situation has been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Now New York State will collect and provide an inventory of all state-owned lands in Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester Counties, as well as the fiscal impact should the state be required to provide compensation for these properties. The report is due on or before December 1, 2018.

State Senator Terrence Murphy said, “Today is a victory for local taxpayers as we move a step closer to rectifying another Albany policy that picks winners and losers with no justification. If New York State is paying taxes in one county it should pay in all. This study will provide accurate information to determine the next steps in the process to make sure New York treats all taxpayers the same regardless of what county they live in.”

A recent review by the Journal News shed more light on the gross disparity of New York’s untaxed land policy. While the Empire State pays taxes, which include school, county and town, on all 59,000 acres in Putnam and Rockland Counties, it pays the same only on 1% of the state owned land in Westchester County.

In the 40th Senate District, Donald J. Trump State Park straddles both Putnam and Westchester Counties. In typical Albany fashion, Putnam County and the town of Putnam Valley receive revenue from New York State for the Indian Hill section of the park but neither Westchester County or the Town of Yorktown collect money for the 154 acre French Hill section of the park. According to a 2016 Journal News report, there is a total of 7,000 acres in Westchester County that New York State does not pay taxes on.

Murphy added, “There are examples all across New York State of a mix and match policy that cheats taxpayers while supporting others. For the first time in years we will have an accurate understanding of how much Westchester taxpayers are being gypped which will give my fellow lawmakers the necessary information to fix it. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this important legislation and look forward to working on real tax relief for residents of the Hudson Valley.”

New Castle, NY- While the need for blood is constant during the summer months, the long school vacation period and the number of carefree holidays often make it difficult to maintain ample blood inventories. To help alleviate the shortage, Senator Terrence Murphy and the Town of New Castle sponsored a community blood drive. The donations will be used to replenish the New York Blood Center’s blood supply.

“Someone in the U.S needs blood every two seconds. If it’s not available when the need arises, the consequences can be fatal,” said Senator Murphy. “Blood shortages are more common during the summertime because there aren’t enough donations to keep up with the demand. Today’s drive was particularly important; we got a donation from a woman with a specific rare antigen that can help premature babies. We’re grateful to the Town of New Castle and its residents for coming out and answering the call to help those in need.”

Andrea H. Cefarelli, Executive Director Donor Recruitment, New York Blood Center stated, “As we approach back to school and enjoy the last few weeks of August, we’re hoping that blood donors find the time to donate. This is prime time for family vacations and with the Labor Day holiday around the corner, blood donations can decline. The need for blood never takes a holiday!”

Blood donation is a simple, four-step process involving registration, a review of the donor’s medical history, a mini-physical, and the donation itself, followed by refreshments. There are four types of products that can be derived from blood: red cells, platelets, plasma, and cryoprecipitate. Typically, two or three of these are produced from a pint of donated blood, meaning each donation can help save more than one life.

Founded in 1964, The New York Blood Center serves 20 million people in the greater New York area through partnerships with more than 200 hospitals in New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut.

Mahopac, NY – It’s been said that the Bucci brothers, Michael and Thomas, were “born to slice.” Ask their father and partner, John, and he’ll say the brothers were “bread” to run the finest authentic Italian delicatessen and buffet catering service in the Hudson Valley.

Bucci Brothers Deli in Mahopac has been satisfying discerning palates in the Hudson Valley for over 30 years, and the family legacy stretches back to the 1920’s. In recognition of Bucci Brothers Deli’s four-star food, quality customer service, and economic impact in the community, Senator Terrence Murphy recently presented John and Thomas Bucci with the New York State Senate Empire Business Award for August 2018.

“We’re here today to recognize Bucci Brothers for your their outstanding service and dedication to the Mahopac’s prosperity,” said Senator Murphy. “There have been four generations of Bucci’s that have helped make this business the prosperous entity it is today. Recognition for your accomplishments has been a long time coming and is well deserved. You’ve left an indelible – and delicious – mark on the community.”

Thomas Bucci said, “Between our father, John, mother Nancy, their aunts and uncles, Mike’s wife Laurie, Mike’s friends and my friends, this place means more than just providing the best services and foods that you can get in the market today. It stands for hard work, dreams, communication, love for each other and love for what you do.”

With John’s guidance, Michael and Thomas have designed and created a new age yet old- fashioned authentic Italian delicatessen reminiscent of the best Bronx bistros. As kids, the brothers worked with their dad after school, in the summertime, and during spring and winter breaks. As they got older, the brothers started to branch out in other directions. Michael was a financial advisor for 7 years, and Tommy found his muse in music, carving out a successful career as a guitar player. But blood and bologna are thicker than water, and the brothers eventually returned to pursue their culinary calling.

Bucci Brothers Deli may be steeped in family tradition but is also a friendly local deli where everyone is treated like family, as evidenced by the staff’s eloquent and appropriate titles, which include “Mr. Mozzarella” (John Bucci), “Chief Ham” (Michael Bucci), Il Presidente (Thomas Bucci), “Our Hero” (Sean Rizzotto), “The Tornado” (Nick Spinelli), “The Skipper” (Skip Marini), “The Destroyer” (Domenic Castiello), and “The Fuscala Bear” (Frank Fusca).

State Senators, Environmental Groups Urge Greater Transparency & Participation

Albany, NY – With the shot clock ticking down to near zero the comment period for the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) proposed offshore barriers, land-based floodwalls and the potential of a levee system to protect the metropolitan region has been extended to September 20th. Environmental activists and residents cheered the decision which gives more time for public comment and information gathering.

Last month a trio of State Senators sent a letter to Lieutenant General Todd Semonite of the USACE and Commissioner Basil Seggos of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation urging the 40-day period be extended. Today, they applauded the extension and urged residents to make their voices heard.

State Senator Terrence Murphy said, “Hudson Valley residents need to be a part of this conversation and so far they have been left out. This extension gives us more time to get a seat at the table, ask more questions to the federal government and fully understand the scope of this proposal. We already stopped oil barges from posing a hazard on the Hudson River and we’re ready to defend it again unless we are part of the discussion.”

One plan under consideration calls for a surge barrier at the mouth of the harbor from Sandy Hook, New Jersey to Breezy Point in Queens. Alternative plans include multiple shorter barriers from Staten Island to Brooklyn and at various other locations blocking tributaries. The cost for the project has been estimated at $25 billion and could take decades to complete. Concerns have been raised that it could cause worse flooding in certain areas and harm nearby beaches. Environmentalists have raised concerns for many species that call the Atlantic Ocean home, including some that are on the endangered list.

To date, there are no additional meetings scheduled for the the Lower Hudson Valley, despite the fact it has the largest population outside of New York City and is home to the heart of the Hudson River Estuary. Senator Murphy has already called for the United States Army Corps of Engineers to hold a meeting in Sleepy Hollow.

Jessica Roff, Director of Advocacy and Engagement for Riverkeeper said, “We are glad that the Army Corps of Engineers responded to requests from elected officials, Riverkeeper supporters, and others to extend the comment period. However, this process is still too rushed, not sufficiently transparent, and does not involve enough community engagement and outreach. We are still calling for more public meetings, more time to comment, and more transparency and information from the Corps, including information on the studies they are using in their evaluation process.”

Senator Sue Serino said, “When it comes to issues that could impact not only quality of life in our local area, but the overall health of a resource that plays a critical role here in the Hudson Valley, our communities absolutely deserve the chance to be heard. With extreme weather becoming the new normal, we have a duty to ensure that our communities are properly prepared and our natural resources are fully protected. Hudson Valley residents and researchers bring an incredibly unique perspective to the table that could prove invaluable to ensuring this process is ultimately effective in the face of severe weather. We are encouraged that the Army Corp of Engineers and the DEC headed our call to extend the public comment period and I urge local residents to participate in this important process.”

Nava Tabak, Director of Climate, Science and Stewardship for Scenic Hudson added, “We appreciate the Army Corps extending the public comment period in response to public concern. It is critical that residents of the Hudson Valley, who would be affected by the impacts to it resulting from the constructed storm protection alternatives, make use of this opportunity to make their voices heard.”

State Senator Elaine Phillips applauded today’s decision saying, “Long Islanders now have the opportunity to be heard and have our needs addressed. Many of our communities are still recovering from Superstorm Sandy and there are many questions regarding this latest proposal. This extension will ensure the process is not rushed under the public’s nose and we have time to understand how it will impact our communities.”

In comparison, the United States Coast Guard gather comments and feedback for six months pertaining to their proposal to establish 10 new long-term anchorage sites for oil barges along the Hudson River. In large part due to the advocacy of Senators Murphy, Serino, Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson that proposal was ultimately tabled.

Senator Helps Distribute Free Backpacks and School Supplies at Mt. Olivet’s Back to School Rally

Peekskill, NY – The clock is winding down on summer, which means it’s time for kids to start thinking about going back to school. This year, students in Peekskill might not mind going back. Thanks to Senator Terrence Murphy, the Mount Olivet Baptist Church, and local community organizations, hundreds of students were given free backpacks loaded with pencils, pens, notebooks and other classroom necessities. Mount Olivet organized its fourth annual rally, which was hosted by the church at Peekskill Middle School on August 17. When Senator Murphy, an avid supporter of the church, heard about the event, he donated 25 fully loaded backpacks and then went to the school to help distribute them.

“A solid education is an important building block for young students. Anything we can do to better prepare students for the school year can help improve their learning experience,” said Senator Murphy. “Giving young eager minds the tools they need to succeed is easy, and it’s a pleasure. The rest is up to them. I told them what I tell my children, study hard, dream big, and think big!”

Murphy sends kids packin for 2018 school year2
Reverend Robert E. Young, Senior Pastor for Mt. Olivet said, “This year we received a great deal of support from Senator Murphy, the school system, community health organizations, and the justice system. We were able to help 400 students get a head start on their education last year, and judging by the size of the crowd, I’d say we reached even more children this year. These much-appreciated donations will help a lot of students get a leg up on having a successful school year.”

Senator Murphy, Reverend Young, Reverend Tuesday Paige McDonald from Mt. Olivet, Dr. David Mauricio, Superintendent of Peekskill Schools, and the Hon. Reginald J. Johnson, a judge for Peekskill City Court, were among the guests handing out backpacks to the eager students.

Prescription Take-Back Program Protects Families and the Environment

Mt. Kisco, NY – Prescription drug abuse has ruined families and threatened communities. According to census data, more than 2.6 million people in Americas are raising their grandkids. The opioid crisis is a contributing factor, forcing grandparents to face the daunting task of caring for young, vulnerable children with little financial support while trying to cope with their adult offspring’s addiction.

Many prescription drug abusers point to their parent’s or their own medicine cabinets as the place where their addiction began. To combat the rising instances of drug abuse in our communities, Senator Terrence Murphy created “Shed the Meds,” a prescription drop-off program. The program helps residents dispose of their outdated prescription drugs and keeps children, adults, and seniors safe. On August 16, Senator Murphy partnered with the Village of Mt.Kisco, the Westchester County Police Department, and the Mt. Kisco Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Council to host a Shed the Meds program at the Fox Senior Center.

“Mount Kisco is another important stop in our summer Shed the Meds program as we continue to help people get rid of the potentially dangerous drugs they’ve been keeping on their homes,” said Senator Murphy. “Since the program began, we have taken more than 5,000 pounds of drugs off the streets, helping to protect hard-working families and our precious natural resources.”

Isidoro Albanese, Mt. Kisco Board of Trustees stated, “I want to thank Senator Murphy and the Mt. Kisco Drug and Alcohol Prevention Council for coming to the Fox Senior Center and giving people the opportunity to make their homes safer. Getting rid of unused and expired prescription medicines through Shed the Meds or by bringing them to a designated drop-off site is important because it keeps these medicines from seeping into our landfills and drinking water, or getting into the hands of our children.”

“When it comes to drug abuse, parents and guardians need to be the most educated persons in their families. They need to talk about what drugs do, the side effects of drugs, and how they are used or misused,” said Mel Berger, Chairman of the Mt. Kisco Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Council. “I would like to thank Senator Murphy for putting this issue on the front burner. I hope other elected officials and towns will be as progressive as Senator Murphy and Mt. Kisco have been in fighting prescription drug addiction.”

Dates and locations for future Shed the Meds Programs:

SOUTH SALEM, NY – This week Politico published a list showing most Democratic State Senate challengers they surveyed would refuse to accept campaign contributions from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Fairness Political Action Committee. Two challengers from the Hudson Valley did not appear on that list leaving voters wondering if Mayor de Blasio is planning another assault on the Hudson Valley like he did in 2014. In response to inquiries from voters, the Committee to Elect Terrence Murphy is calling on two of those candidates to publicly state whether they will accept campaign assistance from Mayor de Blasio.

The Politico survey revealed a majority of the fifteen surveyed wouldn’t accept the mayor’s aid even if offered. However, neither Robert Kesten nor Peter Harckham, Democratic challengers in the 40th Senate District, said they would refuse such assistance.

Martha Ruiz Jiménez, the spokesperson for Senator Terrence Murphy’s campaign said, “Both Peter Harckham and Robert Kesten need to unequivocally state where they stand. Are they with Mayor Bill de Blasio? Or are they with the people of Westchester and the Hudson Valley? That is the only question the press should be asking.”

Kesten has already employed BerlinRosen, a de Blasio connected consulting firm at the center of the investigation by federal prosecutors and the FBI investigation into how campaign funds were used in 2014 New York State Senate races, which was launched following a complaint to the State Board of Elections by Murphy’s campaign. According to Board of Elections records, Kesten has already made several payments totaling thousands of dollars to BerlinRosen. The independent enforcement counsel at the Board of Elections found the Mayor’s actions to be “willful and flagrant” violations of the election law.

While Harckham has no overt connection to Mayor de Blasio thus far, Ruiz Jiménez criticized his refusal to go on record after having pitched himself as being personally recruited into the race by the Mayor’s nemesis, Governor Andrew Cuomo. “Peter Harckham has already been trying to downplay his association with Governor Cuomo most notably by strangely omitting a $7000 campaign contribution from the Governor’s campaign in his July campaign finance filing,” she said.

The Democratic candidates who said they’ll say “no thanks” if Mayor de Blasio offers them his PAC money include John Liu, James Gaughran, Lou D’Amaro, Anna Kaplan, Aaron Gladd, Pramilla Malick and Amanda Kirchgessner¸ Politico reported. Insiders consider several of the candidates listed as those in a top tier race this November.

The Mayor has a long and sordid association with trying to buy the 40th Senate District seat. In 2014, he dispatched Mayoral aide Jonathan Viguers to work on the campaign of failed State Senate candidate Justin Wagner. During 2015-6, Viguers was subsequently named throughout emails between the Mayor and BerlinRosen that the Mayor sought to have withheld from the press under the “agents of the city” loophole, which Senator Murphy subsequently authored and passed legislation to close.

BerlinRosen not only worked for the Mayor’s campaign and the campaigns of his preferred State Senate candidates, but was also retained for government contracts by the Mayor’s two defunct non-profits. The donors to these non-profits were the same contributors who gave money to little-known local Democratic Committees, which can accept contributions far in excess of what an individual candidate is allowed to accept.

The sleepy committees promptly transferred those exact sums to such candidates, structuring and disguising the payments, nearly all of which were from individuals with business before or pending before New York City. Senate candidates like Wagner then retained BerlinRosen and other de Blasio connected firms such as Red Horse Strategies to provide campaign consulting services.

In 2016, the Democratic candidate in the 40th Senate District, Alison Boak, retained Red Horse strategies in her race. She was defeated by Murphy in a landslide that November.

Murphy, Local Officials Still Waiting for PSC to Act

North Salem, NY – Residents in North Salem slept through their alarm this morning because another power outage blanketed parts of the rural town. According to the National Weather Service, weather conditions for the early hours of August 16th were “calm” with some “Fog/Mist”. Local officials and residents are now asking why the lights were out…again.

Last month State Senator Terrence Murphy wrote to John Rhodes, Chairman of the Public Service Commission, requesting the regulating agency to take action to help local ratepayers. The Senator requested a written response to his demand that NYSEG’s franchise tag be reopened so another power company can takeover the chronically troubled region. To date no response has been sent.

“NYSEG ratepayers cannot continue to live like this,” Murphy said. “The Public Service Commission regulates NYSEG and it is time for them to take action. I have heard from dozens of frustrated residents who feel like they are being held hostage, forced to pay more for a service that they cannot depend on. It’s just not right.”

Earlier today the State Senator representing much of NYSEG’s Brewster Region sent another letter to Chairman Rhodes requesting the PSC’s intervention. Having heard from local officials that they were promised capital improvements in their communities for the past eight months yet they are still experiencing chronic power outages.

North Salem Supervisor Warren Lucas said, “We need help from the PSC. We cannot continue to have multiple power outages a month affecting thousands of Town residents. We need an investment in the infrastructure and the PSC is the only group that can require that from the electric company.”

Earlier this year Supervisors from Somers and North Salem filed a complaint against NYSEG with the PSC over chronic power outages. That was before winter storms Riley and Quinn wreaked havoc across the region leaving residents without power for more than a week.

As the Chairman of the New York State Senate’s Committee on Investigations and Government Operations Senator Murphy hosted two hearings to explore the utility companies preparedness for Riley and Quinn. Before the legislative session ended legislation he authored (S.7262A), which would reform how utility companies respond to storm and power outages, passed the Senate.