Issues: General

Update from Albany: Senator DeFrancisco Discusses the Final Weeks of Legislative Session Agenda on Your Voice

On this program of Your Voice, I talk about the bills and policy measures that will be negotiated during the final three weeks of Legislative Session. I also explain my efforts to ensure that the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) plan will provide ratepayers with safe, reliable energy.

Finally on the program, I provide more details about legislation that would allow pension service credit buyback for certain veterans.



June 2, 2015

Senator Valesky Hosts Community Resources Fair

State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) is hosting a Community Resources Fair on Thursday, June 25, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to raise awareness of the many community services available through various governmental and nonprofit organizations. The agencies listed below will have tables at the fair and provide important information on health care and health insurance, financial planning for college, emergency preparedness and fire safety, family planning, housing, voting, small business development, veterans services, and more, as well as offer giveaways. A representative from the Office of the State Comptroller will assist attendees with Unclaimed Funds searches.

May 28, 2015

Senator Ortt's Week in Review

Sen. Ortt discusses what he's been doing throughout his district. 

April 23, 2015

Senator Comrie Announces EITC Awareness Day and Free Tax Assistance

Senator Comrie Announces EITC Awareness Day and Free Tax Assistance

(Queens, NY) Senator Leroy Comrie (D-Hollis) announced that January 30th, 2015, marks Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day, a nationwide effort to increase awareness about EITC and free tax preparation sites. Last year, more than 1.8 million low to moderate income New Yorkers received $4.1 billion in EITC refunds.

March 20, 2015

NIMAC Unveils Video Highlighting Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station

NIMAC unveiled its Joint Base Niagara Video Friday afternoon highlighting all the military capabilities of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. Senator Ortt spoke at the event vowing to continue to advocate for the base in order to help ensure its future and keep it off the chopping block.

March 13, 2015

Ortt Talks About His Time so Far in Office

Senator Ortt reached out to constituents through an editorial outlining what he’s been up to in office and what his plans are for the future. Read the full article here.

March 11, 2015

Budget Talk With CSEA Labor Union

Sen. Ortt sat down with the CSEA Western Region 6 labor union to talk about upcoming budget negotiations. Sitting at the table starting from the Senator's right, Chris Rackl, Sharon Ivey, Tom Weston, Jill Kwoka and Lovette Mootry.  

February 17, 2015

Business Council Says Upstate Lags Behind in Business Growth

The Business Council of New York pointed out a handful of major challenges facing upstate businesses during a presentation hosted by USA Niagara. As a way to spark business development and create jobs in Western New York, Senator Ortt suggested extending the state’s brownfield remediation tax credit program, which expires at the end of this year. Read more online at Lockport Union-Sun & Journal’s website.  

February 13, 2015

Thruway Authority Discusses Response Recommendations Following November Storm

State Senator Robert Ortt (R,C,I-North Tonawanda), local lawmakers and town officials today met with members from the New York State Thruway Authority and the Department of Transportation to discuss what measures they are taking to be better prepared in a weather event similar to the lake-effect snowstorm last November.

“While the November storm did not have as big of an impact in Niagara County as it did in Erie County, it’s important to hash out all setbacks and hiccups, so we can better prepare ourselves in the future,” said Sen. Ortt. “After this meeting with everyone, I am confident they will be able to better identify the things that worked well and improve upon the things that didn't."

February 12, 2015

Sen. Ortt Discusses Infrastructure With Keeler Construction

Sen. Ortt met with Albion-based Keeler Construction Monday to discuss the issues impacting New York’s infrastructure and the need to invest in infrastructure and Rebuild NY. Rebuild NY is a coalition that promotes safe roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, and other infrastructure.  

February 9, 2015

Kids Learn Invaluable Lesson About Gun Safety & Rights

Sen. Rob Ortt and Assemblyman Steve Hawley stopped by the Holley Rod & Gun Club Sunday to teach a group of young kids an invaluable lesson. After target practice, both legislators spoke to the class about gun safety and the importance of protecting our 2nd Amendment rights. 

February 9, 2015

Public Hearing: Route 531 Terminus Project

DOT officials will host a public hearing on Thurs., Feb. 5 to discuss the proposed highway safety improvements as part of the Route 531 Terminus Project. The project’s design alternative will be presented at Spencerport High School, located at 2749 Spencerport Rd., from 5:00 - 6:30 p.m. The formal public hearing will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium. A snow date has been scheduled for Thurs., Feb. 12. Visit for more information.


February 5, 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

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
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