Dear Friends, 

As we find ourselves in the middle of February, we reflect on weeks filled with historic legislative progress, a busy schedule in Albany, and activity in our district.

February is Black History Month, and I look forward to a joint celebration with Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on Wednesday February 22nd at 6 pm. Details are below. On social media this month, I’m highlighting some of the less well-known Black Westchester residents who helped shape our county. You can follow these important discussions on my social media pages at @shelleybmayer on Twitter and Instagram, and @ShelleyMayerSD37 on Facebook.

Over the past two weeks, the Senate and Assembly have conducted multiple public hearings on the Governor’s Proposed Budget. I was pleased to participate in several so far, including the Education Hearing, the Judiciary Hearing, and the Local & General Government Hearing. More are scheduled, and you can watch them HERE.

As always, if there is anything my office can assist you with, please email me at [email protected] or call (914) 934-5250.


Warm regards,

Shelley B. Mayer
State Senator
37th District

Legislative Update

Historic Victory for EMS Workers

I had the honor of joining my colleague Assemblyman Steve Otis, alongside Rye Brook Village Administrator Chris Bradbury, Westchester County Emergency Services Commissioner Richard Wishnie, and a group of EMS leaders in the community, to celebrate an important victory for EMS first responders. In a landmark policy decision from the NYS Department of Civil Service, working with the NYS Comptroller’s Office, it was decided that active members of volunteer ambulance and EMS organizations serving one or more municipal corporations will be eligible to participate in the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP), which grants them access to the quality health care many public employees receive.

This transformative policy decision that we fought for will lead to more affordable and better health coverage for EMS workers throughout New York State. I want to thank Timothy Hogues, Commissioner of the NYS Department of Civil Service and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli for listening to our arguments about the interpretation of the rules that precluded this coverage previously. A special thank you to Rye Brook Administrator Chris Bradbury for his persistent efforts on this critical issue.

At a press conference this week in Port Chester, we also pressed for more to be done in the State’s adopted budget to address the challenges facing EMS providers throughout New York State. Assemblyman Otis and I have introduced legislation (S.4020/A.3392), which will make important changes to the EMS system statewide, and will finally designate EMS services as “essential services” under the law.

Click here to watch the full Press Conference. 

The Nomination of PJ Hector LaSalle

This week I voted “no” on the nomination of Presiding Justice Hector LaSalle for Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals as the full Senate considered the nomination. While I have great respect for the Judge, I felt constrained to vote against the nomination because of his pattern of narrowly interpreting the law and my concern about making our court system work for all.

Click here to watch my statement on the Senate floor.

Mayer Legislation Passing the Senate Last Week

My bill, S.2301 established the crime of voyeurism in the first and second degree. Also known as a “Peeping Tom” law, this legislation will no longer allow peeping toms to escape punishment if they do not use an imaging device and creates an offense when they simply watch with their eyes. New York is among the minority of states that does not penalize this type of behavior. I am hopeful this bill will move through the Assembly and be signed by the Governor. 

Mayer Legislation Referred Out by Senate Committees

Last week, three important bills I sponsored moved through the relevant Senate committees. 

Long-term care insurance reform: S.2330 was referred from the Senate Committee on Insurance. This legislation would require the superintendent of financial services to make public any rate filing or application submitted by long term care insurance carriers; to give notice to policyholders of premium rate increases, and will require the superintendent to ensure the proper standard for minimum ratio losses when establishing minimum benefit standards.  It helps to address a long-time frustration with rising premiums for long term care insurance, an issue I have been fighting for several years.

Helping Emergency Responders in case of fire: S.2294 was referred from the Senate Committee on Housing. This legislation would require owners of multiple residences and multiple dwellings to provide names and contact information of residents to emergency personnel upon request, where the physical safety of residents must be accounted for.  This bill is in response to a fire in a building in Yonkers where first responders and others could not determine that all tenants of the building were evacuated and safe, because a list of tenants was not provided to them. Given the number of fires in our district, this bill is particularly significant. 

Allowing Municipalities to Consider Outdoor Dining Year-Round:  S.3334 was referred from the Senate Committee on Housing. This legislation will allow municipalities to extend the use of outdoor dining facilities beyond 180 days of the year if they elect to do so. We learned during the peak of the pandemic  that it is not only beneficial, but valuable for some dining establishments to offer year-round outdoor seating, as it allows opportunities for more people to enjoy outdoor dining while they support local businesses. This bill would require a local municipality to “opt in” for this possibility. 

Fighting Against Indefensible Con Ed Bills

With Punxsutawney Phil predicting six more weeks of winter and New Yorkers already struggling financially, I continue to make it a priority to push back against Con Ed’s bills. Last month, I authored a letter to the New York Public Service Commission urging them to require ConEd to suspend the collection of late fees or payments this winter. We are continuing to push the Public Service Commission to take up the issue of late payment charges and get this policy changed, consistent with other energy providers. I am also introducing legislation to limit the profits of all the utility companies, which would translate to lower bills for ratepayers across the district. I believe currently shareholders are prioritized above ratepayers, and that must change.  I have also opposed every rate increase proposal Con Ed submits, and will oppose the one currently under discussion. 

Sadly, none of this addresses the current crises of unaffordable bills. As your Senator, I will do everything in my power to change our regulatory framework which allows Con Ed (and other utilities) to charge unreasonable amounts for the basic services we all need - heat and electricity. 

In the meantime, there is some limited immediate assistance available to some ratepayers which is worthy of your attention:

I assure you I will continue to identify legislative and regulatory solutions to address these unacceptably large rate increases.

Budget Hearings

Over these past couple weeks, I participated in the Budget Hearings on Public Protection, Elementary & Secondary Education, Judiciary, and Local Governments. I was fortunate to be able to hear the testimony of Mayor Mike Spano, the Mayor of my hometown, as he joined other city mayors seeking additional state funding. 

During the Budget Hearing on Elementary & Secondary Education, I had the opportunity to ask the State Education Department (SED), NYC Department of Education, union leaders, superintendents, and advocates about their needs and how we can best support every student in New York. This was a lengthy hearing - 11 ½ hours - and we gleaned useful information to help shape budget negotiations. As Chair of the Senate Education Committee, this hearing allows multiple stakeholders to voice their concerns about, and their support for, elements of the Governor’s proposed budget. 

As budget hearings continue the week of the 27th, I look forward to asking questions and listening to the answers on how we can best serve New York State.

Standing Up for Constituents

Fair Pay for Homecare

Last week, I was proud to join my colleagues and the incredible advocates of the Fair Pay for Homecare campaign as we fight together for the wages they deserve. The workers – and those they care for – stand together on the issue. The solution to this homecare worker shortage crisis is fair pay. Though no increase will be enough to stop the shortage completely, an increase will improve the lives of the homecare workers and the lives of those they care for.

State School Funding for Yonkers

I was also proud to stand with and join the Yonkers Council of PTA at their Rally in Albany for State School Funding, alongside Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, Assemblyman Nader Sayegh, Yonkers City Council President Lakisha Collins-Bellamy, Councilwoman Shanae V. Williams, Councilman John Rubbo, Yonkers Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Edwin Quezada, NYSUT President Andy Pallotta, and hundreds of Yonkers students. We must do everything we can to support the children of Yonkers. From providing them with adequate resources to after school programs, it is our responsibility to ensure they can thrive. 

Affordable and Accessible Child Care

I was proud to stand with the Empire State Campaign for Child Care, alongside teachers, parents, children, providers, and my colleagues to advocate for accessible and affordable child care. We know that for every dollar we invest in child care and early childhood education, each community will benefit seven times over in the long term.

In the Community

Honored to be named Red Cross Legislator of the Year 

I was proud and honored to be recognized by the American Red Cross as a New York State Legislator of the Year. The American Red Cross’ work in our community has been indispensable and I look forward to continued partnership, and working toward building stronger and more resilient communities and responses to disasters.

Thank you to Kevin Coffey, CEO American Red Cross Eastern New York; Stephanie Dunn Ashley, CEO, Red Cross Metro NY North Chapter; Mary J. Barneby, CEO American Red Cross in Greater New York; and Nicholas Bond, CEO American Red Cross of Western New York.

Congratulations to my colleagues, State Senator James Sanders Jr., Assemblymember Michaelle Solages, Senator Michelle Hinchey, and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano who were also honored.

NYS Senate Delegation Budget Forum

We had a productive, in-person forum in Town Hall in Greenburgh, together with Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Senator Pete Harckham, and Senator Jamaal Bailey. Almost fifty witnesses presented their views on the proposed budget, what they believe is needed, and what they oppose. These budget forums provide wonderful opportunities for me to hear from my constituents, community members and advocates. Please join the next Senate Delegation budget forum on zoom, this Tuesday, February 21st from 4 to 6 pm. You can sign up to join at

Speaking at Manhattanville College on Faith and Hatred

It was a pleasure talking with Clark Scholars at Manhattanville College on Faith and Hatred at their weekly seminar. I am a strong believer that Interfaith action and dialogue can bring positive change to our world and encouraged these young people to use faith and organizing to make the world a better place.

Speaking at the Albanian-American Club of Westchester at their Education Summit

I had the honor of being a keynote speaker at the Youth Education Summit, hosted by the Albanian-American Club of Westchester. As Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, I know well that education can empower our youth and can lead to opportunities that may not have been presented otherwise.

Thank you to the my friend Valon Nikci, President of the Albanian-American Club of Westchester for having me, and thank you to everyone who attended.

Harrison Coffee and Conversation

We had a productive morning in Harrison at our Coffee and Conversation at Laughing Horse Coffee and Tea Co, alongside Assemblymember Chris Burdick, County Legislators Nancy Barr and Catherine Parker. We had a great turn out and it was a pleasure getting to meet and speak with residents. Our discussion ranged from road conditions, the digital divide to coordination among levels of government. I was glad we were also able to speak with the frustrated tenants from 3 Calvert St. We will continue to work with the Town of Harrison and the landlord to help get the residents back in their homes as quickly as possible.

Pound Ridge Coffee and Conversation

Recently, we had a productive morning with Assembymember Chris Burdick, County Legislator Erika Pierce, and Town of Pound Ridge Supervisor Kevin Hansan at our coffee and conversation event in Pound Ridge. The discussion ranged from challenges with NYSEG, to the Governor’s Budget proposal, to bikeable communities. I appreciated the opportunity to meet so many residents of a “new” community in Senate District 37.

Upcoming Community Events

New York State Budget Forum

Please join me for the second New York State Budget Forum. For the zoom session, if you do not plan to testify, you can watch by going to — you do not need a Facebook account to watch. For ASL and Spanish interpretation, you must also register for a Zoom link. Click here to register:

I look forward to hearing your concerns.

Black History Month Celebration with Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins

Join me and NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins on Wednesday, February 22 for a Black History Month Celebration. This year's theme is "Resistance."

Date: Wednesday, Feb. 22

Time: 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm

Location: Virtual

Register here:

Rye and Larchmont: Coffee and Conversation with County Executive George Latimer, Assemblymember Steve Otis and County Legislator Catherine Parker

Join us for in Rye for coffee and conversation on Saturday March 4th at 10:30 am at Ruby’s Oyster Bar & Bistro, 45 Purchase Street in Rye and at 2:30 pm in Larchmont at The Idea Kitchen, 1940 Palmer Avenue, Larchmont. 

Date: Saturday, March 4

Session 1: 10:30 at Ruby's Oyster Bar & Bistro, 45 Purchase Street, Rye

Session 2: 2:30 at The Idea Kitchen, 1940 Palmer Ave, Larchmont

Youth Leadership Award Submissions

The New York State Senate’s Youth Leadership Recognition Award program honors outstanding students who will become our future leaders. Eligible students include current sophomores, juniors, and seniors who excel not only academically, but through leadership in extracurricular and volunteer activities. All nominations must be submitted by March 24, 2023, and the nomination website will be taken down after that date. To nominate a student, please visit my website.

222 Grace Church Street, Suite 300
Port Chester, NY 10573

Phone: (914) 934-5250

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Youtube