Smith Votes To Override Governor's Veto
State Senator Malcolm Smith recently voted to override Governor Pataki's veto of funding approved by the Legislature for the development and improvement of disaster preparedness plans and equipment for New York City and Long Island, saying "we cannot take the security of New Yorkers for granted."
"As one who represents the Rockaways which is surrounded by water on three sides, I know that adequate plans and funding are critical to assuring their safety, as well as the safety of the entire state," said Senator Smith. "After the horrifying scenes we saw in the Gulf Coast last summer, it is imperative that we make proper plans to ensure our citizens will be safe.
Simply put, this veto could not be allowed to stand."
Senator Smith noted that the State Office of Homeland Security will be receiving $10 million in additional funding to support emergency preparedness and combat terrorism and weapons of mass destruction at ports throughout New York State.
"Ports across New York State are among the busiest in the world, and without the proper security, unfortunately, can be an invitation to terrorists. It is critical that we protect them," Senator Smith said.
In addition to the ports in New York City, which will receive $7.5 million, an additional $2.5 million will be allocated to the Buffalo-Niagara (Lake Erie), Albany (Hudson River), Ogdensburg (St. Lawrence Seaway) and Oswego (Lake Ontario) ports.
"Each of these ports are important entry points on New York's waterways. The State and federal governments need to continue working with local officials at each of these ports, as well as with New York City officials, to help ensure our continued safety," Senator Smith concluded.