Tkaczyk: OMH Shortchanges Community Mental Health Reinvestment

State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk today disputed claims by the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) about the savings to be generated from the planned downsizing of the State’s psychiatric hospital system. By underestimating those savings, the agency is shortchanging the “Community Mental Health Reinvestment Program” by millions of dollars.

The Executive Budget proposes closing 399 beds and OMH estimates annual savings per bed to be $110,000 -- a total savings of about $43 million annually.

However, holding a billing statement from the state Office of Mental Health (OMH) Senator Tkaczyk noted that the daily rate for an inpatient bed in a state psychiatric hospital is more than $1,100, yielding annual savings of $408,000 per bed.

February 13, 2014

Tkaczyk Mental Health Reinvestment Measure Moves Through Committee

State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk’s legislation to strengthen the State’s community-based mental health services has been reported from the Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities.

Senator Tkaczyk last year introduced the “Communities of Excellence Mental Health Reinvestment Act,” which would take money saved from consolidation of the State’s psychiatric hospital system and use it to ensure that our community-based services are appropriately funded.

Similar legislation was introduced this year by Senator David Carlucci, Chairman of the Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, together with Senator Tkaczyk, Ranking Democratic member on the committee, and Senator Thomas Libous, the former chair of the committee.

February 13, 2014

Four Incredible Public Servants Provide 116 Years of Service to their Constituents

Senator Neil Breslin and I recently welcomed four outstanding public servants to the Senate Chamber. Together, they provided 116 years of service to their constituents as Town Clerk. They are: RoseMary Centie; Served as Town Clerk of Guilderland for 14 years. She is Past Secretary to the NYS Town Clerks Association, a Registered Municipal Clerk, a Past Regional Director of the New York State Clerks’ Association, and the President of the Town Clerks’ Association of Albany/Schenectady Counties.

February 13, 2014

VIDEO -- Senator Tkaczyk on the Education Budget and Schoolchildren with Special Needs

January 28, 2014 - Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk questions Andy Pallotta, Executive Vice President of the New York State United Teachers, at the Elementary and Secondary Education Budget Hearing.

February 4, 2014

VIDEO -- Senator Tkaczyk Questions Education Commissioner John King during Joint Budget Hearings;

January 28, 2014 - Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk questions Commissioner of Education, John B. King, Jr. at the Elementary and Secondary Education Budget Hearing.

February 4, 2014

Separate NY, federal primaries cost millions

By Chris McKenna

Times Herald-Record

February 01, 2014 - 2:00 AM

Holding separate state and federal primaries in New York in 2012 due to partisan fighting wasted millions of taxpayer dollars — including about $260,000 in Orange County alone.

Yet that may be what happens again this year, because of a continued impasse in the state Legislature about when to hold both elections.

The Democratic-controlled Assembly voted 126-11 on Jan. 13 to move primaries for state and local offices from September to late June to coincide with a court-imposed date for New York's primaries for U.S. Senate and congressional seats. Twenty-six Republicans joined Democrats in support of the bill.

February 4, 2014

Senator Tkaczyk Skis with Wounded Warriors

I recently took part in the Wounded Warrior Project’s “Learn to Ski and Ride” program at Windham Mountain. The Adaptive Sports Center, Windham Mountain and the Wounded Warrior Project have been partnering on this event for 10 years as a way to help wounded veterans heal physically and mentally. The Wounded Warrior Project helps wounded Vets become successful and well-adjusted in their return to civilian life, and also helps to raise public awareness of the challenges faced by these heroes who so valiantly served and sacrificed for our country. I was very proud to participate and inspired by these brave men and women.

February 3, 2014

NY Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk cited by School Boards Association


ALBANY >> state Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk has been named the “2014 State Senate Legislative Freshman Leader of the Year” by the state School Boards Association.

Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg, “has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to public education issues,” School Boards Association Executive Director Timothy Kremer said in a press release. “She has met with boards of education, participated in educational forums and events and made state aid for education a top legislative priority.”

Tkaczyk served as president of her local school board before being elected to represent the state’s 46th Senate District. She said she was honored to receive the recognition from the School Boards Association.

January 31, 2014

NY should combine primary days to save money, Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk says

By Kyle Hughes, Kingston Freeman

01/29/14, 6:01 PM EST |

ALBANY >> A bill stalled in the state Senate to realign political primary dates in New York will cost local governments tens of millions of dollars if it is allowed to die, officials said Wednesday.

They estimated the cost of holding separate state and federal primaries to comply with a court ruling could total anywhere from $25 million to $50 million.

“It’s a lot of money,” said Ulster County Democratic Elections Commissioner Vic Work. “It’s just like driving on a train with $25 million in ones with the window open and throwing the money out the window.”

January 30, 2014

Legislation introduced for state to pay for primaries

By Haley Viccaro, Daily Gazette

ALBANY — Counties and taxpayers could face up to $50 million in additional costs to support two separate state and federal primary elections over the next two years.

Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg, introduced legislation Wednesday calling on the state to pay back local governments for the estimated costs of the two primaries.

“It would relieve local governments of this unfunded mandate and put it on the state, where it belongs,” Tkaczyk said during a news conference today in Albany.

January 29, 2014

Tkaczyk Measure Would Repay Taxpayers for Wasteful Second Primary Election

(ALBANY, NY) -- While the Federal courts have forced New York to move its Congressional primaries from September to June, the State Senate’s coalition leaders have failed to move State Primaries to coincide with the June date.  In response, State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk has introduced legislation (S.6417)that would require the State to pay back local governments and taxpayers for the costs of the second, unnecessary and wasteful Primary -- estimated to be up to $50 million for every two-year election cycle.

January 29, 2014

Tkaczyk Flood Relief Measure Passes Senate

Legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk to aid property owners hurt by this summer’s flooding unanimously passed the State Senate today.

Immediately following the flooding of Fort Plain in Montgomery County, Senator Tkaczyk introduced legislation to allow impacted businesses and homeowners to have their property taxes reassessed and lowered to reflect the flood-damaged status of their home or property.

January 27, 2014

Apples to Apple: Senator prodding farmers to markets



Eating local food is in, and that could be great news for local farmers looking to expand their selling market.

State Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg, and members of the upstate farming community paid a visit to New York City's largest greenmarket at Union Square Park Jan. 17.

"We were amazed at the foot traffic in New York City, at the markets," Tkaczyk said.

The Union Square Market is open four days a week, all year round.

"It was fascinating to see so many people there for several hours, shopping and buying things and connecting with farmers," Tkaczyk said.

January 27, 2014

Times Union Editorial Supports Tkaczyk Measure on Casino Siting

Just politics, Mr. Cuomo?

Our opinion: Communities must have a say in whether they host a casino. The state should not be in sole charge of this.


January 27, 2014

Tkaczyk Connecting Upstate Farms with NYC Markets

State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk organized and participated in a meeting between members of the Upstate farming community and officials from Grow NYC, which manages the largest Greenmarket in the country.

Senator Tkaczyk said, “My goal is to connect small Upstate farmers with the New York City markets, forge new partnerships and collaborations and bring more produce from our local farms to the restaurants and consumers in New York City.”

Tkaczyk organized the meeting and was joined by farmers and agricultural experts to tour Grow NYC’s largest Greenmarket, their flagship in Union Square Park. Since its start in 1976, the Union Square Greenmarket has grown to include, during peak season, 140 regional farmers, fisherman and bakers.

January 18, 2014

State Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk tells Saugerties Board of Education more state aid to schools is needed (video)

Posted: 01/14/14, 10:44 PM EST

SAUGERTIES >> All the schools within her senate district need to see increased state aid for the next few years to get out of the financial hole they are in, state Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk said Tuesday.

January 15, 2014

Tkaczyk: Single Primary Day will Protect Military Voting Rights, Save Taxpayers $50 MILLION

State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk said the Senate should immediately vote on a bill passed yesterday by the Assembly to enact a single Primary Election date in June. Consolidating State and Federal primaries to a single day would protect the voting rights of military members serving overseas and would save taxpayers more than $50 million every two year election cycle.

Senator Tkaczyk co-sponsored the measure in the Senate to consolidate the primaries and bring the state into compliance with the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act. MOVE was enacted to ensure that votes from military personnel and Americans living abroad are received in time and counted.

January 14, 2014

Tkaczyk Measure Would Protect Dogs from Neglect

State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk is introducing legislation that will make the failure to provide adequate shelter for dogs a misdemeanor, rather than a violation.

January 9, 2014

Tkaczyk Sponsors Bill To Consolidate State Primary Elections, Will Save Taxpayers $50 Million Every Two Years

State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk has co-sponsored legisaltion to consolidate the state’s Primary Election day for state and federal offices to a single day in June. This bill would save state and local governments $50 million every two years by holding a single primary election and moving Primary Election day from the month of September.

December 30, 2013