Issues: Elections

Gov. Cuomo: No Ethics Reform, No Budget

By Bill Carey

Monday, February 9, 2015 at 03:01 PM EST

The downfall of State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has led to a call for new reforms in state government, a campaign that could lead to a budget impasse. As Bill Carey reports, lawmakers believe they can avoid a budget stalemate by reaching a deal with the governor before the April 1 deadline.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has been on the road to warn that timely budgets are less important than a trustworthy government in Albany.

March 2, 2015
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SENATOR GEORGE AMEDORE INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO ESTABLISH TERM LIMITS FOR STATE LEGISLATORS

Senator George Amedore has introduced legislation (S.3808) that would impose term limits for members of the New York State Senate and Assembly. Under the bill, members of the Legislature would be ineligible to serve more than six two-year terms in either the Assembly or Senate. The legislation would go into effect in January 2017.

 

“Holding office is a civic duty, and a way of giving back to the community in the form of public service,” said Senator Amedore. “New voices and ideas will help to keep our government innovative and responsive to the people, while bringing fresh perspective to the issues that plague our state, including the high cost of living and the need for good-paying jobs to revitalize our economy.”

 

February 19, 2015
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Skelos: The IDC-GOP Coalition Remains In Place

JAN 13TH - 12:43 PM

Posted by Nick Reisman

Even though Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein was largely stripped of the power and title he held for the last two years, Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos insisted in an interview there would be little change in how the chamber functions.

“As we go through the legislative session, you’re going to see it’s going to be very similar to the way it was for the last four years,” Skelos said.

The Senate last week adopted rules that made Skelos, a Long Island Republican, the majority leader once again as well as temporary president of the chamber.

January 23, 2015
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FUNKE EARNS FIRST COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS

 

Senator to serve as Chair of the Elections Committee, Vice-Chair of the Select Committee on Science, Technology, Incubation & Entrepreneurship

 

Senator Rich Funke today announced he has earned a seat on five separate New York State Senate committees that reflect the diverse strengths and priorities of the 55th Senate District.

January 23, 2015
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Valesky on IDC, Republican NY Senate coalition: 'Continuing to do what works'

By Teri Weaver on January 08, 2015 at 5:17 PM, updated January 08, 2015 at 5:18 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Without last year's power-sharing arrangement between the New York State Senate and breakaway Democrats, it's hard to imagine that allowing marijuana for medical use would now be state law, according to Sen. David Valesky.

"You can't say if there wasn't a coalition, it wouldn't have happened," Valesky, D-Oneida, said. "But I think you can say, absent the coalition as it existed last year, I feel comfortable saying that it is highly unlikely that that statute would be on the books now."

January 12, 2015
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GOP takes full control of NY Senate, but retains 'coalition' with Valesky, IDC

By Teri Weaver on January 07, 2015 at 2:52 PM, updated January 07, 2015 at 2:55 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Republicans officially took full control of the New York State Senate today, but they committed to continuing a special, if not equal, relationship with a small group of breakaway Democrats including Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida.

Sen. Dean Skekos, R-Rockville Centre, was re-elected as the Republican's majority leader, an expected move that puts him in charge of the Albany chamber.

But the Independent Democratic Conference still has advantages over a larger group of mainstream Democrats.

January 12, 2015
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Griffo & Brindisi Take the Oath of Office with Middle School Students Observing

For The Second Time, Two Mohawk Valley State Legislators Hold a Ceremony to Give Children a Real-Life Civics Lesson

WHITESBORO -  State Senator Joseph Griffo, a Rome Republican and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, a Utica Democrat may belong to different political parties, but for the second time, the two state legislators were sworn in at a public school in the Mohawk Valley, to give students and members of the public a chance to ask questions about the political process.

January 8, 2015
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Libous: IDC To Be ‘Respected’ In New Rules

JAN 6TH - 6:05 PM

Posted by Nick Reisman in State Senate

The state Senate’s new rules will grant some power to the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference, but also acknowledge that Republicans control the chamber, Deputy Senate Republican Leader Tom Libous on Tuesday said.

“I think it will be a good working relationship,” Libous said. “It will be a positive one. I think once the rules are finally adopted, it will show Republicans control the chamber, but the IDC will be respected and have a lot to say.”

January 8, 2015
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Senator Catharine Young Takes Oath Of Office

Begins Her Fifth Full Term Representing The Southern Tier

 

OLEAN – On January 2, Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I- Olean) took her oath of office to begin her fifth full term serving the residents of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, and Livingston Counties.

 

January 7, 2015
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Senator Gianaris Introduces Legislation Preventing Public Reimbursement to Campaign Committees for Legal Defense

(Albany, NY) Outraged that New York State must use public monies to reimburse a campaign committee for more than $1.5 million in legal defense fees and upwards of $560,000 more to a legal defense fund, Senator Michael Gianaris announced that he will introduce legislation to prevent any such payouts in the future. Senator Gianaris’ legislation will amend Section 19 of the Public Officers Law to prevent state reimbursement to legal defense funds and campaign committees for legal defense in criminal proceedings. Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh will sponsor the bill in the New York State Assembly. 

“It is sadly typical in the upside-down world of Albany that public financing for campaign committees only exists for those accused of crimes,” said Senator Gianaris. “This multi-million dollar payout is a glaring example of the desperate need to reform New York State election law, and we need to close this loophole immediately.”

December 30, 2014
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Senator Gianaris Introduces Legislation Preventing Public Reimbursement to Campaign Committees for Legal Defense

(Albany, NY) Outraged that New York State must use public monies to reimburse a campaign committee for more than $1.5 million in legal defense fees and upwards of $560,000 more to a legal defense fund, Senator Michael Gianaris announced that he will introduce legislation to prevent any such payouts in the future. Senator Gianaris’ legislation will amend Section 19 of the Public Officers Law to prevent state reimbursement to legal defense funds and campaign committees for legal defense in criminal proceedings. Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh will sponsor the bill in the New York State Assembly. 

“It is sadly typical in the upside-down world of Albany that public financing for campaign committees only exists for those accused of crimes,” said Senator Gianaris. “This multi-million dollar payout is a glaring example of the desperate need to reform New York State election law, and we need to close this loophole immediately.”

December 30, 2014
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Chanukah is the celebration of Miracles!

"Chanukah is the celebration of miracles, a reminder that all things are possible," Senator Parker said.  "As you celebrate the spirit of Chanukah with friends and family, I wish you health, happiness and good fortune." The holiday celebrates a legendary victory of the Maccabees, a band of Jews, over a Greek army that occupied the Holy Land.  After the battle, the victorious Maccabees found only a one day supply of oil in the temple to light the lamps.  But the oil burned miraculously for eight days, the story says.

December 17, 2014
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Hundreds cast write-in votes against unopposed NYS Sens. DeFrancisco, Valesky

By Michelle Breidenbach on December 09, 2014 at 11:32 AM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Hundreds of voters decided not to let state Sens. John DeFrancisco and David Valesky get away with running unopposed in this year's election.

In both districts, voters likely set a record for the number of times they chose to write in a name on the ballot instead of allowing a senator to return to Albany with no opposition.

New paper ballots make it easier than ever for a quiet write-in protest.

December 15, 2014
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Seward supports NY Senate GOP continuing 'some sort of partnership' with Independent Democratic Conference

November 18, 2014 6:15 am  •  Robert Harding

Thanks to election night wins in three upstate New York districts, Republicans now hold the majority in the state Senate. But does that mean they will discontinue their coalition with the Independent Democratic Conference?

The answer could be no.

After Republicans re-elected state Sen. Dean Skelos as leader of the GOP conference, the focus shifted to what to do with the power-sharing coalition, which began in 2013.

November 24, 2014
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Central New York's influence in state legislature changes

By Ryan Delaney & Ellen Abbott

Thu November 6, 2014 1:27AM

The New York state Senate got swept up in this year's Republican election wave, with 33 districts in their corner after the votes were counted.

The dean of central New York’s Senate delegation, state Sen. John DeFrancisco, said that’s good news.

On the flip side, it means difficulty for central New York's Democratic Assembly members to push through key agenda items, and reduces the influence of Sen. Dave Valesky, who DeFrancisco shares representation of Syracuse with.

November 12, 2014
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Unopposed state legislators return to office

By Ashley M. Casey, Sarah Hall First Posted: Wednesday, November 5, 2014 -10:28 a.m.

Neither John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) nor Dave Valesky (D-Oneida) had an opponent this election season.

The lack of opposition allowed both state senators to coast easily back to the state legislature, earning 65,967 and 35,515 votes, respectively.

In a speech before the crowd at the Republican Party’s Election Night celebration at the Sheraton Syracuse University, DeFrancisco, senator for the 50th District, said he much prefers running without an opponent.

November 12, 2014
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Handful of key local races on Election Day

Elizabeth Cooper,Posted Nov. 2, 2014 @ 7:15 am

Mohawk Valley voters Tuesday will help decide who gets to represent them in a host of seats, from the governor’s office down to town offices.

Polls open Tuesday at 6 a.m.

At the top of the ballot are races for governor, state comptroller and attorney general.

Closer to home, incumbent Republican Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney is challenged on the Independence Party line by Republican Herkimer County Sheriff Chris Farber for the 101st Assembly seat. In the race for the 121st District Assembly seat, incumbent Democrat Bill Magee is challenged by Republican John Salka.

November 3, 2014
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Unopposed or Unwanted?

Veronica Ung-Kono ‘18, STAFF WRITER

October 30, 2014

Not a Green Party, a Right to Life, or a Libertarian is running against the candidates for the New York Senate.

Currently Senator John D. Francisco [R-Syracuse], James Seward [R-Milford], Patty Ritchie [R-Oswegatchie], Michael Nozzolio [R-Fayette], David Valesky [D-Oneida] and Joseph Griffo [R-Rome] will be running in an election for the first time in about 16 years where opposition is nonexistent.

This means voters of Central New York will be stuck with the decisions of voters from the districts of Buffalo, Albany and across the Hudson Valley, who will either turn the chamber into an entirely Democratic institution by joining the two factions of Democrats, or allow Republicans to retain control.

November 3, 2014
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Senator Gallivan reminds voters of 3 important ballot initiatives to consider this year

Voters head to the polls in a couple of weeks to exercise their most basic democratic right; choosing the people they want to represent them at various levels of government.  In addition to the candidates running for various federal, state and local offices, this year’s ballot includes three important statewide propositions.  Unfortunately, these proposals often don’t get much attention in the media and can catch some voters by surprise. 

October 22, 2014
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Why Syracuse should care about who controls the New York Senate

By Teri Weaver on October 20, 2014 at 6:50 AM, updated October 20, 2014 at 6:56 AM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The state's Republican Party is in a fight for its life to keep control of its last source of power in state government: The New York State Senate.

Central New York voters will have no say in the matter. The region's six senators are all unopposed.

That means voters in a handful of districts near Buffalo and Albany and across the Hudson Valley likely will decide whether the Republicans retain control of the Senate - or whether two Democratic factions will join forces to control the chamber and put the entire New York State Legislature into the party's hands.

October 20, 2014
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