David J. Valesky's Blog entries

Senator Valesky Hosts Health and Civic Engagement Fair

Senator Valesky is hosting a Health and Civic Engagement Fair at the Southwest Community Center on Friday, August 22, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This free event is open to all area residents. The nonprofit and government agencies listed below will have tables at the fair and provide important information on health care, free smoke detectors, healthy living, long-term elder care, job hunting, prescription payment assistance, and more, as well as offer giveaways. Flu shots will be available (bring insurance card, cash, or check), along with other health screenings. For more information, call the district office at 478-8745.

Onondaga Community College Nursing Program

August 15, 2014
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Health and Civic Engagement Fair, Jobs Express, Wildlife Areas Open

On Friday, I joined Mayor Miner and City Parks Commissioner Baye Mohammed to officially open the Baker Playlot. I was glad to help provide state funding for this project to give kids in the neighborhood a safe and fun place to play. After the opening, I headed over to Kirk Park where my staff and I, with enthusiastic help from the neighborhood kids, picked up litter and tidied up the field and play areas.

Save the Date – Health and Civic Engagement Fair on Aug. 22

August 14, 2014
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Land Bank Legislation, Buy Fair Tickets Online

This week, Governor Cuomo signed into law legislation I sponsored (S.6731) that increases to 20 the allowable number of land banks in New York State.

August 14, 2014
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Recovering from Severe Storms and Tornado

My deepest condolences to the families of Kimberly Hilliard, Paris Newman, Virginia Warner, and Arnie Allen, who died in the tornado that hit Smithfield on July 8.

As the area recovers from the devastating storms and tornado, Disaster Action Teams from the American Red Cross of Central New York are offering assistance to those whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged.

The New York Insurance Association also has tips for filing insurance claims related to storm and tornado damage:

August 13, 2014
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Free Fishing this Weekend in All State Lakes and Rivers

Warm, sunny weather is predicted for this weekend, perfect to get out and enjoy some free fishing. All New York residents and visitors may fish for free without a fishing license in any of the state’s 7,500 lakes and ponds or 50,000 miles of rivers and streams during the weekend of June 28-29. Saltwater anglers may also fish in marine waters or for migratory marine fish species without enrolling in the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry for the same two days.

August 13, 2014
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End of 2014 Legislative Session Update

The 2014 Legislative Session has ended and much was accomplished, including an agreement to legalize medical marijuana in New York State. I supported this legislation because I believe it is about compassionate care and will provide comfort and relief to people with serious medical conditions. I am satisfied that the program will be highly regulated to ensure the drug goes only to those who need it. The legislation includes provisions to ensure medical marijuana is reserved only for patients with serious conditions and is dispensed and administered in a manner that protects public health and safety.

August 13, 2014
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Legislation Passed that Addresses Elder Abuse, Substance Abuse, and Land Banks

To celebrate Juneteenth, I joined Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, Congressman Dan Maffei, Syracuse City Common Councilors, and area residents for a flag raising at City Hall on Friday, June 13.

This past week, the Senate passed a number of bills that I sponsored or co-sponsored that address elder financial abuse, substance abuse, land banks, and housing.

July 25, 2014
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Physical & Financial Fitness for Seniors, Meachem Ice Rink, June is Dairy Month

Today I joined with a coalition of advocates from the Syracuse Area Domestic & Sexual Violence Coalition's Elder Abuse & Justice Committees to draw attention to the serious issue of elder financial abuse and to invite the community to a special presentation, “Physical & Financial Fitness,” in recognition of the 9th Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

July 25, 2014
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Fighting Heroin Abuse in Central New York

As we’ve been hearing in the news lately, heroin abuse is on the rise here in Central New York. In order to combat this growing problem, I and the other members of the Senate Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction released a report this week summarizing the findings of statewide forums held to examine the issues surrounding the increase in drug abuse, addiction, and drug-related crimes in New York. The report includes a comprehensive package of bills recommended for action this legislative session. They target the prevention, treatment, and enforcement issues raised during testimony from dozens of experts, parents, and concerned New Yorkers.

July 25, 2014
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Lt. Col. Robert McLean Inducted to Veterans Hall of Fame

This week, it was my honor to induct Lieutenant Colonel Robert McLean (USMC Ret.) into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame in honor of his service to the nation and his work on behalf of veterans after leaving active service.

July 25, 2014
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Judy O'Rourke Inducted as Woman of Distinction

I had the honor this week of inducting Judy O’Rourke, director of undergraduate studies at Syracuse University, as the 53rd Senate District’s 2014 Woman of Distinction. Judy was recognized for her work in developing the Pan Am 103 Remembrance and Lockerbie Scholars programs at SU, which honor the memory of the 35 students lost in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. As part of those programs, she mentors students who return to Scotland to become leaders and advocates for preventing terrorism. More information about Judy’s accomplishments is available on my website.

May 22, 2014
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Elderly Abuse Report, Diplomas for Veterans, State Fair Competition Registration, Earth Day Poster Contest Winner

This week, I released a report that exposes the high level of elderly abuse and shows financial abuse amongst New York's seniors to be more prevalent than initially thought. The number of incidents involving elder abuse correlate with statistics that show a significant increase in New York's senior population. Unfortunately, these incidents often times go unreported due to the startling fact that the abuser is someone that the victim either trusts, is a caregiver, or more often than not, is a family relative.

May 22, 2014
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Senate Passes Legislation to Protect Children and Strengthen Meth Penalties

The Senate passed two important pieces of legislation this week, both of which I co-sponsored, aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and at strengthening the penalties for manufacturing methamphetamine. “Erin Merryn’s Law” (S.2367) would require schools to add child sex abuse prevention to existing curriculum for child abduction. In addition to prevention, this change would give critically important information to victims–many of whom do not know there is a way out of their horrific situation.

May 2, 2014
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Newsmakers Interview, Road Construction, Fire Dept. Open House

If you didn't get a chance to watch my interview with Dan Cummings on Newsmakers this weekend, you can see it online. We talked about the Independent Democratic Conference, the state budget process, and more.

Avoid Road Construction

April 11, 2014
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Highlights from the Fourth Consecutive On-Time Budget

This week marked the passage of the state’s fourth consecutive on-time budget. This has not been accomplished with the same Governor and legislative leaders in more than 40 years. This budget holds spending growth below 2% and addresses your priorities—among them increased school aid, property tax relief, health care, and growing the economy.

Highlights of the budget include:

April 11, 2014
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Grow: Pride of NY, Fishing Licenses from Home, Calculate College Costs

Although much of the focus in Albany this week is on the state budget, legislation is also being considered and brought to the Senate floor. Today the Senate unanimously passed legislation I sponsored (S.5064) that will help consumers find garden centers, nurseries, Christmas tree farms and other horticulture dealers that sell New York state products. The Grow: Pride of New York program creates a designation for such businesses and allows them to use marketing materials that promote their locally sourced products.

In addition, I supported several bills that passed the Senate this week:

April 11, 2014
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Your Feedback Is Needed

As we proceed through budget negotiations and the Legislative Session, I am interested to know your opinion on a number of issues that are being discussed. I recently mailed a survey to my constituents asking about full-day pre-kindergarten, medical marijuana, the estate tax, campaign finance reform, and more. If you have already returned the survey, I appreciate your feedback. If not, please mail it back at your earliest convenience, or fill out the survey on my website. Thank you.

Women's History Month Exhibit

April 11, 2014
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Career and Technical Education Diploma Offers New Career Path

This week I was joined by my colleagues in promoting legislation I sponsor (S.5966) that creates a new Career and Technical Education (CTE) diploma, a specialized path that incorporates career-focus

March 7, 2014
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Senate Aging Committee Chairmanship, Pothole Hotline, Text Reminders from DMV

I am pleased to be resuming the Chairmanship of the Senate Aging Committee, a post I previously held from 2011-12. This position allows me to take the lead on policy issues that are important to seniors and their families, and as Baby Boomers enter retirement age, aging issues are among the state’s most important.

February 28, 2014
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FFA Visitors, CNY Boat Show, Free Outdoor Adventure License Plates, Tree and Shrub Sale

Several Future Farmers of America groups stopped by my Albany office this week to discuss the importance of this program and how it benefits the students who participate. I was pleased to spend time with young people from my district who are thinking about going into agriculture as a profession. 

February 14, 2014
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