Issues: Recreation and Tourism

RITCHIE URGES SPORTSMEN TO SIGN HER PETITION TO ALLOW UTVs IN N.Y.

Public Urged to Get Behind Effort as Ritchie Bill Clears Key Legislative Committee

State Senator Patty Ritchie is urging sportsmen, seniors and every New Yorker who enjoys the great outdoors to sign her online petition to allow side-by-side UTVs to be legally registered in the state. The petition can be found here.

More than 2,000 members of the public—from across New York State and as far away as Tennessee, Florida and California—have already signed the petition calling on the Assembly to pass Senator Ritchie’s bill (S.1946). Most signers indicated that they were ATV owners.

Senator Ritchie’s bill cleared a key legislative hurdle Tuesday when it was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee. The full Senate is expected to act on the bill in the next few weeks.

New York is the only state in the nation that does not allow UTVs to be legally registered and, while the Senate has approved Senator Ritchie’s bill each year for the past three years, the Assembly has failed to act even once.

May 13, 2014
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Statement on Judge Connolly's Decision in Airbnb Subpoena Litigation

Sen. Krueger issued the following statement on Acting Supreme Court Justice Gerald Connolly's decision in the litigation between the Attorney General and Airbnb:

"Today's decision gives Airbnb a little time, but it looks like that's all it gives them. Judge Connolly ruled for the Attorney General on every substantive point, save a technical issue with the breadth of the subpoena. I'm no lawyer, but this looks like the definition of a pyrrhic victory for Airbnb."

May 12, 2014
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Senator Carlucci & Assemblywoman Galef Inform Constituents New Boating Safety Law Takes Effect

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and State Senator David Carlucci announced that a new boating safety law takes effect in New York this week. The law was sponsored by Assemblywoman Galef and Senator Carlucci (Chapter 361 of 2013) and requires all operators of a mechanically propelled boat, born on or after 5/1/96, to hold a boating safety certificate, which would be granted following successful completion of an eight-hour boating safety course. New York State approved courses include those offered by New York State Parks, the U.S.

May 2, 2014
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NYS Snowmobile Association Educational Luncheon

I was honored to receive the Bill Sears Legislator of the Year Award from the New York State Snowmobile Association at their recent educational forum. As a major state tourism attraction, the dedicated members of the NYSSA work towards improving trails, facilities and services for snowmobilers throughout New York. Whether it's riding my Harley, a snowmobile or an ATV, I love 'em all!

April 30, 2014
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Senate Approves Bill Dubbing Herkimer Diamond Official State Mineral

ALBANY, 04/29/14 – The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.3051) that would designate the Herkimer Diamond as the official state mineral.  The legislation, sponsored by Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta), celebrates the distinctive quartz crystals from the Mohawk Valley.

April 29, 2014
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Oswego Sportsmen Support UTVs

Senator Patty Ritchie's legislation to allow UTV registrations in New York is gaining support. TWC News reports on an event in Oswego County, at which sportmen were asked to sign onto Senator Ritchie's UTV petition, which is available by clicking here.

New York is the ONLY state that currently bans registration of UTV's, which are increasingly popular for families and seniors, and allowing UTVs would translate into increased tourism and sales tax and other revenue to state and local governments.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION.

April 28, 2014
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Senator Valesky Attends Opening of New Fishing Access Site

Senator David J. Valesky joined Assemblyman Bill Magee, DEC Regional Director Ken Lynch, and Trout Unlimited for the opening of the new Chittenango Fishing Access site in Cazenovia on April 24. Senator Valesky noted for the local anglers that it looks like a great spot to catch some world-class trout.

April 24, 2014
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SENATOR SQUADRON TESTIMONY ON EQUITY IN PARKS FUNDING

Senator Highlights Parks Conservancies Are Not Independent Non-Profits, Part of Larger System

NEW YORK – Today, Senator Daniel Squadron submitted testimony at the City Council’s hearing on equity in parks funding. Senator Squadron argued that since parks conservancies are not independent non-profits – they are entities that exist as the result of a contractual relationship with the City – the City has a right and the responsibility to set the terms of a relationship around its broader values and needs.

April 23, 2014
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Next City Q&A: New York Senator Liz Krueger, Airbnb’s Doubter-in-Chief

Last week, Sen. Krueger spoke with Next City's Nancy Scola for an in-depth interview on Airbnb, New York's short-term rental laws, and the fight to protect residential housing. Read the full interview at Next City.

April 21, 2014
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Town of Cicero to receive $100,000 state grant to build playground for children of all abilities

By Sarah Moses on March 26, 2014 at 11:59 AM, updated March 26, 2014 at 1:09 PM

Town of Cicero -- The town of Cicero will receive a $100,000 grant from State Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida, to install a community playground that will accommodate all children and their families, including those with special needs.

The playground will be built at Central Park, which is located 6540 Route 31, in Cicero. Central Park is 25 acres that already has public accessible restrooms, a pavilion, picnic tables, water fountain, security lighting and parking adjacent to the park.

April 17, 2014
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Sen. Krueger's Statement on the Use of Airbnb for Floating Brothels

Sen. Krueger issued the following statement in reaction to today's front-page New York Post story on the use of Airbnb to facilitate floating brothels: "When residential housing ceases to be residential -- via online businesses, like Airbnb, turning residential apartments into illegal, unregulated hotel rooms -- all kinds of undesirable and illegal activity can be brought into a residential building. Prostitution wasn't really at the top of our minds when we passed the 2010 law helping NYC enforce against illegal short-term rentals, but in hindsight it seems kind of obvious.

April 14, 2014
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RITCHIE MEETS WITH CNY, NNY SPORTSMEN AND GUN OWNERS IN ALBANY

State Senator Patty Ritchie recently met with Central and Northern New York sportsmen and gun owners who were in Albany to voice their opposition to the SAFE Act. 

Senator Ritchie has been a strong supporter of gun owners’ rights, voting against the SAFE Act and supporting measures to repeal the legislation.

April 4, 2014
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Sen. Krueger Applauds Strong Basic Home Rule Requirement in Gaming Board's Request for Casino Applications

Sen. Krueger today applauded Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the New York State Gaming Commission, and the New York State Gaming Facility Location Board for their institution of a strong basic home-rule requirement for casino license applications. Sen. Krueger previously introduced legislation with Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk (D-Duanesburg) to guarantee basic home rule for municipalities on casino siting, as well as requiring respect for local zoning and environmental laws in the casino siting process. This legislation (S. 6433) was supported by a diverse group of newspaper editorial boards both upstate and downstate, including the Albany Times Union, New York Post, Poughkeepsie Journal, and Gloversville Leader-Herald.

In its Request for Applications (RFA) issued yesterday, the Gaming Facility Location Board committed that “[a]s a condition of filing, each applicant must illustrate to the Board's satisfaction that local support has been demonstrated,” and specifically, “local support must be demonstrated through a post-November 5, 2013 vote of the local legislative body of each Host Municipality.”

April 1, 2014
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Brindisi & Griffo: The Stanley Theater and Other Upstate Arts Centers Will Benefit From Tax Credit in the 2014-15 State Budget

THEATERS THAT HOST HIGH-TECH ‘PREVIEW’ PRODUCTIONS WILL GET 25 PERCENT CREDIT FOR PRODUCTION COSTS; THE STANLEY HAS SEEN SUCCESS ALREADY WITH TECH SHOWS

UTICA - State Senator Joseph Griffo and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi have announced the new State Budget for 2014-15 will provide a significant boost for Utica’s Stanley Theatre, and other venues that host the high tech shows that are used as previews for upcoming Broadway shows.

April 1, 2014
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SENATOR VALESKY HAILS PASSAGE OF FOURTH CONSECUTIVE ON-TIME STATE BUDGET

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
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SENATOR SQUADRON TESTIMONY ON CITY PARKS BUDGET

Senator Pushes Neighborhood Conservancies to “Change The Game” on Parks Funding

NEW YORK CITY – Today, Senator Daniel Squadron submitted testimony on the City’s Parks budget at the New York City Council’s Fiscal Year 2015 Preliminary Budget hearing. Senator Squadron argued that his proposal to connect well-financed conservancies and parks most in need -- called the Neighborhood Parks Alliance -- would be a “game changer” for the Parks budget overall.

March 27, 2014
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Statement on New Study of "Mixed Martial Arts"

Sen. Krueger issued the following statement on a new study highlighting the dangers of "mixed martial arts" (MMA) professional fighting:

University of Toronto researchers have found evidence that almost a third of professional MMA fights result in traumatic brain injuries. This deeply disturbing statistic is reported in today's National Post of Toronto, and is backed up by troubling comparisons to other sports: traumatic brain injuries occur in MMA many times more often than in rough full-contact sports like hockey, twice as often as in football, and many times more often than in other competitive fighting systems such as boxing and kickboxing.

This needs to be a wake-up call and a mandatory time-out in the conversations about legalizing this under-researched but obviously dangerous 'sport' in New York State.

March 27, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #12: Working Toward Another On-Time Budget

I want to pass a fourth on-time budget by April 1. So my colleagues and I recently outlined our priorities to provide a starting point for negotiations.

Here’s what I’d like to see in this year’s budget:

TAX RELIEF

I agree there’s a need for property tax relief. That’s why I want to make the property tax cap permanent and strengthen the STAR program.

The Senate is proposing a $1.4 billion tax relief proposal for homeowners, plus reducing various taxes for businesses. Our plan also doesn’t include any new taxes or fees.

March 20, 2014
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ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY WINE TRAIL INCLUDED IN SENATE BUDGET

Plan Would Put Local Wineries and Vineyards on the Map, Boost Local Business, Create Jobs

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced the recently approved Senate budget proposal includes a measure to establish a St. Lawrence County Wine Trail; a plan that would help put local vineyards and winemakers on the map, attract more tourists to the area and boost local business, create jobs in the region.

“The North Country has a perfect opportunity to capitalize on the fast-growing wine and grape industries by creating a St. Lawrence Wine Trail that links our area’s vineyards and winemakers,” said Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Senator Patty Ritchie.   

“The inclusion of the St. Lawrence Wine Trail in the Senate’s spending plan represents a major step for this legislation.  I’m looking forward to working to make sure the proposal—which would create new business, employment and tourism opportunities—is included in the final enacted budget.”

March 20, 2014
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MEASURE TO ALLOW REGISTRATION OF UTVS INCLUDED IN SENATE BUDGET PROPOSAL

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced that for the first time, her proposal to allow for the registration of increasingly popular Utility Task Vehicles—commonly known as UTVs—has been included in the Senate’s budget proposal.

The measure, which has passed the Senate three times, would authorize the state Department of Motor Vehicles to allow the registration of larger recreational vehicles and in turn, would allow New York State to recoup hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost non-tax revenue, boost tourism and revitalize the economy.

March 14, 2014
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