Democrats Pass Largest Tax Increase in State History; Ranzenhofer Leads the Fight to Restore STAR Rebate Checks

Albany, NY - With millions of Western New Yorkers working harder than ever to balance their own family budgets—and with businesses struggling to cope with an historic economic downturn, the Democrats have passed a State Budget that includes massive increases in spending and the largest tax increase in state history. The whopping $132 Billion dollar plan increases spending by $10.5 billion or roughly 10% and includes $8 billion dollars in new taxes and fees.

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Senator Griffo Votes Against 'Disgraceful' State Budget

(Albany) - Saying that the state’s 2009-2010 budget raids the pockets of average taxpayers while further eroding Upstate New York’s damaged economy, Senator Joseph A. Griffo announced his strong opposition to the budget.

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Seward Applauds the End of NYRI

ONEONTA, 04/03/09 – Senator James L. Seward (R/I/C- Oneonta) commented today on reports that New York Regional Interconnect has withdrawn its application to construct a 190 mile electric transmission line across upstate New York:

“I have said all along the NYRI power line would be a bad deal for New York, and have worked diligently with citizens and local elected officials to shut the line down. The news today that NYRI is pulling the plug on their application should be celebrated by everyone in central New York.

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Senate Republicans Push for Propert Tax Relief in State Budget

Members of the New York State Republican Conference today proposed an amendment to budget legislation being advanced on the Senate floor that would restore $1.45 billion in property tax relief for New York’s middle class homeowners. Senate Democrats voted to defeat the amendment.

The budget plan being advanced by the Governor and legislative leaders completely eliminates the STAR property tax rebate checks, placing and additional burden on homeowners struggling with rising property taxes across the state.

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Statement by Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith on the Tragedy in Binghamton

“Today, a terrible tragedy occurred in the city of Binghamton, in which a dozen people, possibly more, have lost their lives. A truly beautiful community is shaken to its core tonight.   The people of Binghamton have always welcomed me with open arms, and on behalf of the State Senate, I am so very sorry for the pain that they are enduring. But I also know how strong this community is, and have no doubt they will overcome.  

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Costly State Budget Fails

A new budget is now in place for the state of New York, but I can’t say I am pleased.  The spending plan, which was approved shortly after the April 1 deadline, includes a great deal of bad news that will affect individuals, families and businesses across the state. 

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GRIFFO CREDITS LOCALS FOR FORCING NYRI WITHDRAWAL

(Albany) - Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R-I-C, Rome), an architect of the regional effort to block the New York Regional Interconnect proposal, said the withdrawal of the application is proof that the idea was, from the start, a bad solution to the state’s energy problems.

"First of all, I want to thank all the grass-roots organizations and local governments who united to fight this proposal," Griffo said, "I also want to acknowledge the Senate Republicans who stepped forward when we needed support in this fight by securing funding and passing legislation to fight NYRI.

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Seward Fights for Camp Pharsalia

ALBANY, 04/03/09 – Senator James L. Seward (R/I/C- Oneonta) joined senate Republicans in offering an amendment to keep three minimum security prisons in upstate New York operating. Under the budget agreement announced by Governor Paterson, Speaker Silver, and Senator Smith, Camp Pharsalia in Chenango County, Camp Gabriels in Franklin County and Mt. McGregor in Saratoga County would be closed without the required twelve month notice required by law.

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Senate Republicans Push to Stop Drug Laws Changes in State Budget

Democrats Defend Plan To Release Inmates in Communities

State Senate Republicans today tried to stop Democrats from pushing through major changes to the states drug laws that could potentially put as many as 5,000 drug dealers back on the streets. The proposal is included in the 2009-10 state budget. Senate Republicans offered an amendment to strike the plan from the budget bill, however Senate Democrats voted to move forward with the so-called “drug dealer protection act.”

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Senator Serrano Makes Statement on Enacted Budget (Bilingual Release – Scroll Down for Spanish)

April 3, 2009

Albany, NY - Senator Serrano (D-Manhattan/Bronx) today highlighted major legislative triumphs during an otherwise difficult budget season.

"Never let a serious crisis go to waste," said Serrano, echoing the words of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. "In bad economic times, we find the political will to enact progressive reform."

Serrano said that comprehensive reforms to the State's notorious Rockefeller Drug Laws will significantly impact his district.

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