David J. Valesky's News items

Stop Proposed Cuts to CENTRO Service

Letter to the Editor

Posted on February 26th, 2015 by The Stand in More News, Voices

On Thursday, Feb. 19, we had a meeting at City Hall in Syracuse concerning CNY Centro. Centro is proposing service cuts to the Syracuse area. Local 580 is not in agreement with these cuts. We believe they should be adding services and hiring more drivers.

The Mission of CNYRTA is to provide services which are Safe, Convenient, Reliable and Environmentally responsible with a goal of maximizing the taxpayers return on investment. Cutting services does not meet these standards.

March 2, 2015

IDC still powerful in the Senate: Avella

FEBRUARY 26, 2015 

By Madina Toure

When state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) first joined the Independent Democratic Conference, a group of rogue Democrats in the state Senate, he praised the group for its ability to overcome partisan lines and get things done.

Now that Republicans have the majority in the upper chamber of the state Senate, he concedes “the jury might still be out” on whether the IDC remains relevant.

But he insists that the group is still relevant, saying that it continues to have a working relationship with the Republican conference and still has influence.

March 2, 2015

Safeguard finances of the elderly

By Bobbie Sackman and Ann Marie Cook, Commentary

Published 5:38 pm, Monday, February 16, 2015

More than 260,000 older New Yorkers suffer from elder abuse every year. The most common form — financial abuse and exploitation — is growing at an alarming rate.

Not only does this heartless crime leave its victims in economic ruin and devastate families, but according to a preliminary finding of a pending report by the Office of Family and Children Services, its conservative impact on the state is $1.7 billion a year in costs for Adult Protective Services, police departments, courts, state Office for the Aging, and necessary new services like SNAP, Medicaid and Crime Victims Assistance.

March 2, 2015

Mid-year freeze halts spending at area school

POSTED: 02/13/15, 8:31 AM EST 

WATERVILLE>> The Waterville Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution to freeze spending on Feb. 3.

In 2010-11, the Gap Elimination Adjustment cost the district $5.97 million in state funds. Since the 2007-08 school year, Waterville has seen a total aid loss of $15.23 million, putting the district in a difficult situation to plan for the future, said Superintendent Charles Chafee.

March 2, 2015

Gov. Cuomo: No Ethics Reform, No Budget

By Bill Carey

Monday, February 9, 2015 at 03:01 PM EST

The downfall of State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has led to a call for new reforms in state government, a campaign that could lead to a budget impasse. As Bill Carey reports, lawmakers believe they can avoid a budget stalemate by reaching a deal with the governor before the April 1 deadline.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has been on the road to warn that timely budgets are less important than a trustworthy government in Albany.

March 2, 2015

Valesky Says Ethics Reform Won’t Be a Problem for Budget

Dan Clark on February 6, 2015 at 4:51 pm

Senator Dave Valesky said, Friday, he doesn’t think ethics legislation will hold up an on-time, fiscally responsible state budget.

Governor Cuomo said during a talk at NYU Law School Monday that he wouldn’t approve a budget without significant ethics reform. That package of bills would focus on disclosure of outside income for lawmakers, client information, and campaign finance reforms.

The package would be a large hurdle for Albany, with remnants of the latest corruption scandal still circling the halls of the state capitol.

But Valesky says he doesn’t see any trouble.

February 12, 2015

Miner calls Cuomo comment 'not reasonable,' still seeks state money for Syracuse water mains

By Tim Knauss on February 06, 2015 at 9:22 AM, updated February 06, 2015 at 9:25 AM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Mayor Stephanie Miner said she will continue to seek state money to pay for new water mains in Syracuse, despite Gov. Andrew Cuomo's statement this week that the city should pay for pipes itself by invigorating the local economy.

State legislators from Central New York have promised Miner they will seek additional funding for Syracuse infrastructure in the next state budget, the mayor said Thursday.

Allowing the century-old water system to deteriorate further is not an option, she said.

February 12, 2015

Worried about Centro's proposed service cuts? Here's what you can do

By Teri Weaver on February 03, 2015 at 10:23 AM, updated February 04, 2015 at 2:27 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Centro, last week, announced proposed cuts to late-night and weekend services to make up for a $4.5 million budget gap.

The proposals are preliminary.

But they are significant: Centro would end bus routes after 9 p.m. on weeknights, after 7 p.m. on Saturdays and all service on Sundays.

Centro officials are talking with state leaders about solutions to its budget woes to avoid the drastic changes and steer the bus authority onto better, long-term financial footing. Centro officials also have asked the public to weigh in.

February 12, 2015

'Massive' recycling event in Syracuse nets 100 tons of TVs and electronics, shuts down interstate ramp

By Tim Knauss on February 02, 2015 at 3:03 PM, updated February 02, 2015 at 3:33 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Organizers of an electronics recycling event Saturday at the Syracuse DPW garage expected a big crowd, but they were shocked by how big it actually was. So many cars arrived loaded with old TVs, computers and other junk that Syracuse police were forced to close an exit ramp from Interstate 690 for four hours to prevent traffic from backing up on the highway.

Eight tractor-trailers were filled with estimated 100 tons of electronics during the event -- four times as much as was collected at a similar event in January 2014, said Cindy Jessop, of Sunnking Electronics Recycling, the company that recycles the items.

February 12, 2015

Colgate’s Center for Art and Culture receives $750,000 in state regional development funding

JANUARY 30, 2015

Colgate University is poised to prove that regional development can have an international reach.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, through his Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative, has awarded $750,000 to Colgate, supporting the university’s efforts to relocate the Picker Gallery of Art and the Longyear Museum of Anthropology from campus to the new Center for Art and Culture in the Village of Hamilton.

February 12, 2015

Recycle old TVs and other electronics for free Saturday at Syracuse DPW

By Tim Knauss on January 30, 2015 at 2:47 PM, updated January 30, 2015 at 3:23 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Central New York residents can get rid of old TVs, computers, phones and other electronic equipment for free at a recycling event 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Syracuse Department of Public Works, 1200 Canal St. Extension, off Midler Avenue.

Just drive into the DPW truck garage and volunteers will unload your unwanted items, said Jessica DeCerce, chief of staff for Sen. David Valesky, who is sponsoring the event together with Time Warner Cable and Sunnking Electronics Recycling.

February 2, 2015


by Ed Griffin-Nolan - Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

(This may or may not be an exclusive)

A lawyer friend of mine says that whenever a law is named for someone, you can pretty much figure that it’s a bad law.

February 2, 2015

Senators seek one-year delay of New York's electronic prescribing mandate

By James T. Mulder on January 28, 2015 at 3:00 PM

Syracuse, N.Y. -- The March 27 deadline when nearly all drug prescriptions in New York state must be issued electronically would be delayed one year under proposed legislation co-sponsored by Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida.

The electronic prescribing mandate is required by the state's I-STOP law enacted in 2012 to address the epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse and addiction in New York. E-prescribing is expected to eliminate the problem of forged, traded or stolen prescriptions.

The e-prescribing mandate applies to all prescriptions, even non narcotic drugs. The new rule covers all prescribers except veterinarians.

January 28, 2015

GOP hands out Senate committee assignments

Posted on January 22, 2015 at 4:12 pm by Matthew Hamilton

Senate committee assignments were doled out Thursday, and they include many of the same chairs as were in place last session.

The same Senate Republicans remain in top chair positions, including John DeFrancisco of Finance, John Flanagan of Education and Kemp Hannon of Health.

The GOP also dealt in a few new members, including the Capital Region’s George Amedore, who will chair the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee. Amedore also will serve on the Banks, Consumer Protection, Elections, and Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs committees.

January 28, 2015

Independent Democratic Conference: More education, housing, child care, smart growth

By Rachel Shapiro on January 20, 2015 at 2:46 PM

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. --  The Independent Democratic Conference in the state Senate released a 15-point plan Monday to invest in the state's workforce, education, housing, child care and smart growth communities.

The IDC, a five-member group of Democrats, including state Sen. Diane Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn), has had a coalition with Republicans to give them a working majority in the chamber and give the IDC a larger role in Senate business as co-leaders. Now with an outright majority, Republicans continue to work with the IDC, no longer sharing co-leader roles.

January 28, 2015

Breakaway Senate Dems unveil 'Invest New York' policy agenda

BY KEN LOVETT, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Monday, January 19, 2015, 1:48 PM

The breakaway group of five Senate Democrats on Monday unveiled a 15-point policy agenda for the new legislative session that includes a call to give localities like New York City the power to set their own minimum wage rates.

Other proposals in the "Invest New York" package would be the creation of an education investment tax credit that private and parochial schools have been pushing for years, a $400 million school construction trust fund, and various housing initiatives.

January 23, 2015

A call to action for the education of our children


First Posted: Monday, January 19, 2015 -3:46 p.m.

To the editor:

January 23, 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

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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