Issues: General

Senator Bonacic joins members of the Goshen Chamber at Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Senator Bonacic attends an open house and ribbon cutting at Flat Iron Financial Group’s new office in the Village of Goshen. The event was hosted by the Goshen Chamber of Commerce. Flat Iron Financial is a small business that assists individuals in financial planning.

January 30, 2015

Senator Ortt Responds to Sheldon Silver Being Forced Out of Speaker Position

“The allegations against Sheldon Silver are very serious and I’m sure they’ll play out in the court system,” said Sen. Ortt. “As a new Senator, I’ve called for tougher transparency, disclosure and enforcement, because the public needs to trust its elected officials and our democracy. We can’t let this become a distraction from the important work we need to do for the people of our state.

January 29, 2015

Mother of a November Storm Victim Invited to Albany for Commemoration Ceremony of the 13 Lives Lost

Senator Robert Ortt (R,C,I-North Tonawanda) has invited Niagara Falls resident Ms. Barnette Burton, 63, to join him in Albany for a ceremonious declaration in honor of her son, Delancey Scott, 47, who froze to death in the November storm.

Burton will join Senator Ortt and other state senators in Albany this Monday to remember the 13 lives lost in the deadly snowstorm. She will leave from the Niagara Falls Amtrak station at 27th Street and Lockport Road in Niagara Falls at 6:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 26.

January 25, 2015

Sen. Ortt Attends Change of Command Ceremony at Air Base

Sen. Ortt took questions from WIVB following a change of command ceremony at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. Col. Robert Kilgor officially took command of the 107th Airlift Wing during the military tradition Saturday. Col. Kilgor replaces Col. John Higgins. Click here to read the full article.  

January 24, 2015

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

Your Voice with Senator Ortt

Senator Ortt talks about his swearing-in ceremonies in Senate Chambers in Albany and at the historic Riviera Theatre in his hometown of North Tonawanda. The Senator also talks about his priorities for this legislative session and outlines the type of district he represents. Senator Ortt also responds to how the Thruway Authority handled the "Snowvember" storm. 

January 21, 2015

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

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

Ken-Ton and Orchard Park Bee Newspapers: Panepinto Takes Oath as State Senator

The Bee Newspaper profiled a story on Senator Panepinto's in district swearing-in ceremony and his comments following the event. Panepinto spoke about his call to public service, his commitment to serving working families, and his eagerness to hit the ground running in. To read the article, please click here. 

January 8, 2015

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

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

Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #34: Why You Should Vote

Oct. 10 is the last day to register to vote and be eligible for this year’s election.

In my last column, I encouraged you to register to vote by dispelling some common misconceptions. This week, I’m going to argue why you should make it to the ballot box on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Naysayers argue that their vote doesn’t make a difference.

If you’re a statistician, that viewpoint has some merit. In a 2001 study, two economists found that one of every 15,000 votes cast in state legislative elections “mattered in the sense that they were cast for a candidate that officially tied or won by one vote.”

But that ignores the reality that votes, even those cast for a losing candidate, do have an impact.

October 2, 2014

Legislative Notebook: State Initiatives of Interest to Veterans

Here is a partial listing of bills I have supported this session to aid New York’s former servicemen and servicewomen. These initiatives will now go to Governor Cuomo for final action.

-- Legislation I co-sponsored was passed by both houses (S.7839, first introduced as S.4714)) to extend the Military Service Credit Law of 2000 to all veterans who have served in the military. Right now, public employees who served in the armed forces may purchase up to three years of pension credit only if their military service occurred during specified conflicts. This measure will expand this opportunity to public employee veterans who also served their country in peacetime.

June 26, 2014

Griffo, Schimminger Bills Would Reform Lieutenant Governor Post

ALBANY – The lieutenant governor position has drawn increased attention and scrutiny in the past month in light of an upcoming change in personnel in November.

State Sen. Joseph A. Griffo and Assemblyman Robin Schimminger believe this is a perfect time for the Legislature to reconsider how the lieutenant governor is chosen and his or her role in the governing of New York. They sponsor three bills that would institute some common-sense reforms: 

June 2, 2014

Five interesting things from Siena's poll, starting with this: NYers like the IDC-GOP Senate

By Teri Weaver |

on April 22, 2014 at 7:35 AM, updated April 22, 2014 at 7:40 AM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The April poll from Siena College covered a range of political topics, from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's job performance to his decision to dismantle an anti-corruption investigatory panel.

Here's a look at five more things voters said in the poll:

GOP+IDC = So far, so good

A large majority of voters wants to see a coalition of Democrats and Republicans continue to control the New York State Senate next year, according to a poll of registered voters out this morning.

April 30, 2014


ALBANY, NY—State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) today lauded the passage of the state’s fourth and historic consecutive on-time budget. This has not been accomplished with the same Governor and legislative leaders in more than 40 years.

April 1, 2014

Senator Griffo's Floor Comments on National Popular Vote Bill

Thank you, Mr. President.

I want to thank all of those who are co-sponsoring this, especially Senator Parker who has carried this bill in the past. I appreciate their efforts as well as Assemblyman Dinowitz.

Elections are the foundation of our democracy. In order to have the most representative government possible, we need a system that both attracts voters to participate in the process and requires candidates to deal with all people on all issues.

That is not the current scenario in which we find ourselves every four years. Potential presidential candidates concentrate more than two-thirds of their advertising budget and two-thirds of their campaign stops in just five states. Almost 100 percent of their message is seen in approximately 16 “battleground” states.

March 25, 2014

The Big Picture with Senator Phil Boyle

Check out the most recent episode of the "The Big Picture with Senator Phil Boyle." The guests were three of this year's honorees from Senator Boyle's upcoming Black History Month celebration. They provided great advice for young people to help steer them toward successful futures. 


February 24, 2014

Senator Serrano & DA Vance Co-Sponsor Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting to improve Public Safety

(Roosevelt Island, NY)- Senator José M. Serrano and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. co-sponsored an important Town Hall meeting at the Good Shepherd Community Center on Roosevelt Island.  Residents of Roosevelt Island packed the auditorium to ask the panel, which consisted of Senator Serrano, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. and Inspector Kevin Maloney of the 114th Precinct, a number of questions touching on a variety of topics. Issues of public safety, Stop and Frisk, trespassing and affordable housing were all brought up during the lively thought-provoking discussion.

February 24, 2014

Senator Serrano and Attorney General Schneiderman Serve Thanksgiving Dinner at the New York Common Pantry

(East Harlem, NY)- Senator Serrano and Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman celebrated the holiday spirit by serving Thanksgiving dinner at the New York Common Pantry in East Harlem. The New York Common Pantry is a community-based food pantry dedicated to reducing hunger by providing New Yorkers with meals.

November 27, 2013
Syndicate content