David J. Valesky's Blog

Affordable NY, STAR Registration, Next Electronics Recycling Event

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Last week, I and the other members of the Independent Democratic Conference introduced the Affordable NY plan, a commitment to help working families address challenges in paying for child care, affording college, and living on a fixed income after retirement. These are critically important issues that I hear about from constituents every day.  The proposals include:

  • Guaranteeing working parents six weeks of family leave insurance
  • Fully funding critical daycare subsidies and tax credits
  • Expanding EPIC eligibility and providing $300 utility relief checks for seniors
  • Encouraging college graduates to “study and stay”
  • Making college more affordable for students and parents
  • Creating an education investment tax credit for public and private schools

More information about the Affordable NY plan is available on my website.

CNY Regional Economic Development Council Awards

Congratulations to the CNY Regional Economic Development Council for its continued outstanding work to bring state investment to our region. An additional $67 million will be infused into Central New York for a wide variety of projects that provide strong building blocks for our improving economy.

School Tax Relief (STAR) Registration

A reminder to homeowners who receive the Basic STAR exemption for school property taxes, if you haven’t already, please be sure to re-register with the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance to keep getting the exemption in 2014 and beyond. This is a one-time process that takes just a few minutes. Registration can be done online at www.tax.ny.gov or by calling 1-518-457-2036 and following the prompts. The deadline is December 31, 2013.

Senior citizens receiving the Enhanced STAR exemption do not need to register.

CNY Food Bank Donation from September Recycling Event, New Event Scheduled

On November 27, I presented Lynn Hy and Liz Occhino from the Central New York Food Bank with a check for $2,486.65. Included in the donation was a portion of the proceeds from the electronics recycling event I held in September in partnership with Sunnking Electronics Recycling and Time Warner Cable. Along with me were Alice Kim, northeast government relations director for Time Warner Cable, and Steve Porubek from Time Warner Cable.

Sunnking collected about 48,000 lbs. of old and unused electronics at the event, then donated a percentage of its profits from the event to the Food Bank. Time Warner Cable collected donations of food from its employees and also made a cash donation. Information about the Food Bank is available at www.foodbankcny.org for anyone who wishes to donate or volunteer.

Save the date: My next electronics recycling event will be Saturday, January 18 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the DPW, 1200 Canal Street Extension, Syracuse.

Senate Education Committee Report on Common Core

The Senate Education Committee released its recommendations for adjustments in state education policies based on a series of hearings held around the state. The report, called The Regents Reform Agenda: “Assessing” Our Progress, calls for policy changes in three general areas: the implementation of the Common Core, excessive and unnecessary testing, and student data and privacy. The full report is available on my website.