David J. Valesky's News items

Is legalization of crossbows off again in New York? State budget talks will decide

By David Figura | dfigura@syracuse.com

on March 14, 2014 at 10:05 AM, updated March 14, 2014 at 10:39 AM

The state Assembly earlier this week passed a budget resolution for the 2014-2015 state spending plan, leaving out any reference to legalizing crossbows for hunting and several other outdoors-related measures that were pitched by Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this year in his proposed executive budget.

Does that mean that crossbows will remain illegal for this year's hunting season?

It's too early to tell. The Assembly's budget resolution is essentially a "wish list" of the Assembly's Democratic majority.

March 18, 2014
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Lawmakers get into the details of proposed pot program

By Laura Nahmias 2:41 p.m. | Mar. 12, 2014

ALBANY—With a proposal to legalize medical marijuana gaining momentum in the State Senate, lawmakers on Wednesday questioned patients, attorneys and marijuana business owners on the particulars of such a program.

“Many of us in the legislature are conversant I guess with the legislative side of it, but very few of us are conversant with the kinds of questions we’re asking,” said Ruth Hassell-Thompson, a Westchester Democrat, after one witness explained the difference between street names for strains of the drug (including "Bubble Gum Kush") and the technical labels that some states assign.

March 18, 2014
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Hamilton FFA Members Attend Agriculture Awareness Days in the Capitol

By Lindsey Palmer

(Hamilton, NY – March 2014) On Feb. 10 and 11, two members from the Hamilton FFA, Greg and Lindsey Palmer, attended the FFA Government Awareness Days in Albany. The members traveled with other local FFA chapters to meet 100 FFA members and advisors from across New York state  in the capitol.

On Monday, Feb. 10, members attended five sessions hosted by the NYS Farm Bureau, which taught the students about variety of agriculture issues such as GMO labeling, farm labor, animal welfare and agriculture teacher shortages.

March 18, 2014
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Valesky, Brindisi proposal would create new NY high school degree for business curriculum

By Teri Weaver | tweaver@syracuse.com

on March 06, 2014 at 2:07 PM, updated March 06, 2014 at 4:02 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- New York schools would award high school diplomas for students who excel at lessons and job training meant to built a new generation of manufacturing and high-tech workers if legislation introduced by Sen. David Valesky passes.

The bill would create a Career and Technical Education diploma to recognize students for schoolwork that measures on-the-job learning and employability rather than traditional curriculum.

March 18, 2014
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John Lemondes undecided about GOP primary for Congress, rules out run for state Senate

By Mark Weiner | mweiner@syracuse.com

on March 06, 2014 at 7:08 PM, updated March 07, 2014 at 11:57 AM

WASHINGTON -- Retired Army Col. John Lemondes, who finished second in the race for the Republican designation for Congress, said today he has ruled out a possible campaign for state Senate.

Lemondes, 48, of LaFayette, lives in the district of State Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida, who currently has no Republican opponent in this year's election.

Lemondes had been rumored as a possible opponent to Valesky after his strong showing Saturday in the Republican committee vote for a candidate in the 24th Congressional District.

March 18, 2014
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Albany proposal means to help young NY farmers with tax breaks, student loan forgiveness

By Teri Weaver | tweaver@syracuse.com

on March 04, 2014 at 1:50 PM, updated March 04, 2014 at 2:10 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Sen. Patty Ritchie, R-Oswegatchie, today introduced legislation that would put $30 million in state taxpayer money toward helping young New Yorkers replace an aging generation of farmers.

The "Young Farmers NY" legislative package includes a college loan forgiveness program, new tax breaks and an easing of property transfers -- all measures designed to encourage young people to choose agriculture as a career, according to Ritchie, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida, also supports the proposal.

March 18, 2014
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Staten Island Sen. Savino blasts lawmaker who wants Independent Democratic Conference members tossed from Democratic Party

By Tom Wrobleski/Staten Island Advance

on March 04, 2014 at 9:00 AM, updated March 04, 2014 at 9:08 AM

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - State Sen. Diane Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn) on Monday pushed back against a Democratic colleague who said that Ms. Savino and the rest of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) should be tossed from the party for working with Republicans.

Sen. Martin Dilan (D-Brooklyn) told the Daily News, "They're not Democrats, no matter what they say.

They should all be disenrolled by the Democratic Party."

March 18, 2014
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NYS Senate IDC Member David Valesky Gets Support From Local County Democratic Leader

BY KEN LOVETT, MARCH 3, 2014 5:08 PM

Onondaga County Democratic Committee Chairman Mark English rejected a call for him to try and oust Senate Independent Democratic Committee member David Valesky from the party.

“Dave has been true to the core principles of the party,” English said.

The county chair said he has not heard from Sen. Martin Dilan, who said in my “Albany Insider” column today that he would be reaching out to the five IDC members’ local county chairs to encourage them to expel them for “party disloyalty.”

“Dave Valesky is a terrific individual and he’s represented this district well,” English said.

March 18, 2014
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Cazenovia School District Budget Gap Could be $500K this Year

‘We’re going to have to cut,’ Superintendent Dubik says

By Jason Emerson, March 3

Cazenovia — The Cazenovia Central School District budget for the 2014-15 school year currently has a gap of three-quarters-of-a-million dollars; and although the state legislature — which has not finalized the budget yet — typically replaces a portion of the education funding stripped by the governor’s budget, no matter what happens, Cazenovia’s district budget will come up short and some budgetary items will not survive.

March 18, 2014
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Valesky to chair NY Senate Aging Committee

By Teri Weaver | tweaver@syracuse.com

on February 27, 2014 at 5:04 PM, updated February 27, 2014 at 5:56 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida, was named chair of the New York State Senate Aging Committee today.

Valesky previously chaired the committee in 2011 and 2012.

New York state ranks third in the nation in the number of resident older adults, according to a news release from Valesky's office. In 2010, there were about 3.7 million New Yorkers over the age of 60. That number is predicted to grow to 4.1 million by 2015 and 5.4 million in 2030--an increase of nearly 32 percent, according to information provided by Valesky.

March 7, 2014
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NY Sen. Valesky says IDC membership at five, for now

By Teri Weaver | tweaver@syracuse.com

on February 26, 2014 at 2:43 PM, updated February 26, 2014 at 3:43 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - State Sen. David Valeksy said it's hard to say whether today's move by another senator to leave the chamber's Democratic conference signals a growing wave of dissatisfaction within the caucus.

Valesky, D-Oneida, said he believes Sen. Tony Avella's decision to join the Independent Democratic Conference further solidifies the move he and three other Downstate senators made in 2011 when they broke away from their traditional conference.

March 7, 2014
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Who’s got the coolest small town? Berlin, Md., and Cazenovia mayors make a friendly wager

By Jason Emerson February 17, 2014 10:34 a.m.

Cazenovia — With barely one week left to go in the Budget Travel “Coolest Small Town in America” contest, the mayors of the top two vote-getting towns — Berlin, Md., and Cazenovia — have made a friendly wager on who will win.

The prize for the victor: craft beer from their hometown brewery.

“They have a local craft brewery there in Berlin that’s very popular, so the winner will receive a growler of beer — for them it’s Burly Oak Brewery, for us it’s Empire Brewing Company,” said Cazenovia Mayor Kurt Wheeler. “We thought this would be simple and inexpensive, but symbolic of both towns’ economies and hospitality industries.”

February 20, 2014
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Hamilton Students Take Part in Advocacy Day in Albany

By Holly Foster

Posted February 17, 2014

Four Hamilton students traveled to Albany, N.Y., on Feb. 12 to take part in Student Advocacy Day.  Hosted annually by CICU, this event makes it possible for legislators to hear directly from students on what Opportunity Programs across New York State mean in their lives. The stories are powerful, personal and motivational. Hamilton students who attended were LaShawn Ware ’17, Morolake Thompson ’14, Osvaldo Adames ’15, and Leslie Campos ’15.

The students met with Assemblyman Kenneth Blankenbush, Senator David J. Valesky and Assemblyman Marc W. Butler.

February 20, 2014
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NYS senators from Syracuse ask why New York awards so much tax money to movies

By Michelle Breidenbach | mbreidenbach@syracuse.com 

on February 10, 2014 at 3:28 PM, updated February 10, 2014 at 3:37 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Sen. John DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, wants to know why New York state lavishes $420 million in tax credits on the movie industry - hundreds of millions more than other industries combined.

"Why is this so disproportionate in our state when there are so many other industries?" DeFrancisco asked. "I don't get it."

DeFrancisco, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, asked the question of NY Economic Development Commissioner Ken Adams during hearings Monday on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2014 proposed budget.

February 20, 2014
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Syracuse Undocumented Rising raises awareness of DREAM Act’s implications

By Brett Samuels, Asst. News Editor

In mid-November, Daisy Becerra marched with around ten other students to State Senator David Valesky’s office to encourage him to support the New York DREAM Act.

The students, several of which are undocumented, walked through the cold and snow, in the hopes that Valesky would support the legislation. The legislation would give students who are undocumented immigrants access to financial aid.

“It was the first snow of the season, our signs were drenched by the time we got there, and we were freezing, absolutely freezing,” said Becerra, a senior magazine journalism major at Syracuse University. “But for me, it was worth every second.”

February 10, 2014
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Sen. David Valesky calls roll out of Common Core 'seriously flawed'

By Teri Weaver | tweaver@syracuse.com

February 07, 2014 at 2:17 PM, updated February 07, 2014 at 2:21 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida, added to calls this week from Albany lawmakers to place a moratorium on Common Core, the controversial new testing standards in elementary and secondary schools.

"While I support the Common Core standards, I believe the rollout of those standards has been seriously flawed," Valesky said today in response to a question from a reader on www.syracuse.com. "As such, I support the call from legislative leaders in both houses to consider a moratorium on the use of testing results until the process can be improved."

February 10, 2014
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State report shows thousands of regulations impede New York businesses

By Ellen Abbott

While tax breaks are the cornerstone of some of the programs in New York state meant to boost business, there are other areas where the state can become an impediment to anyone wanting to do business. A state report released recently points the finger at a bureaucracy that gets in the way.

There are 750,000 regulations on the books in New York state, many of them outdated and never reviewed. And many of them can get in the way of New York's businesses.

Oneida Democrat Dave Valesky was on the Senate Majority Coalition committee that studied these state regulations in a series of meetings, surveys and hearings last year.

February 10, 2014
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NY Senate votes to ban spending welfare money at casinos, strip clubs for third year

By Teri Weaver | tweaver@syracuse.com

February 04, 2014 at 4:54 PM, updated February 04, 2014 at 5:56 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The New York State Senate today voted to ban using cash from public assistance money to buy alcohol, tobacco products and lap dances.

The "Public Assistance Integrity Act," which passed 53-4, would prohibit people on welfare and other public help programs from using their "electronic benefits transfer" card at ATMs in liquor stores, casinos and strip clubs. It would also limit people from using cash obtained through public assistance to buy alcohol, cigarettes and lottery tickets.

February 10, 2014
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South Salina Street is being rebuilt as South Side’s financial hub

Backing Business

Posted on January 31st, 2014 by Bryan Rubin in Hometown News, More News

City officials, including Common Councilor Khalid Bey, want to see Syracuse develop a business corridor on South Salina Street. Bey, who represents the council’s 4th District, said he believes that the growth of small businesses along the street would boost Syracuse’s tax base, as South Side residents spend their dollars locally. Armed with a $1 million state grant to improve such business districts, city workers already have begun improvements to the street to make it more attractive.

February 10, 2014
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CNY lawmakers to state: Keep I-81 in same general corridor through Syracuse area

By Teri Weaver | tweaver@syracuse.com

January 30, 2014 at 7:37 AM, updated January 30, 2014 at 10:45 AM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Central New York's state lawmakers want any solution for Interstate 81 to travel along the same general path the aging highway occupies now, according to a letter sent in December to the state's top transportation official. 

February 10, 2014
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