David J. Valesky's News items

Mayor Miner appeals again for NY state help for Syracuse

By Tim Knauss on March 31, 2014 at 11:51 AM, updated March 31, 2014 at 2:01 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Mayor Stephanie Miner today said she has called on Syracuse's representatives in the state Legislature to continue efforts to secure emergency state funding to pay for city infrastructure, following news that the state budget to be voted on today does not contain such funding.

Miner said she appealed over the weekend to Senators John DeFrancisco and David Valesky and Assemblymen Bill Magnarelli and Sam Roberts to help Syracuse pay for water main repairs, police cars and other expenses the city cannot afford on its own.

April 17, 2014
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53rd State Senate District: Democrat Valesky Unopposed

Posted on March 30, 2014, Joe Infantino

For the second consecutive election, voters in the 53rd State Senate District could be limited to only one choice at the voting booth in November.

As of March 29, state Sen. David J. Valesky, D-Oneida, is running unopposed again. And a contender is unlikely to step up before the official April 10 deadline for candidates to declare, political experts say. The election is Nov. 4, 2014.

April 17, 2014
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Senate passes set asides for disabled vets who own businesses

State lawmakers have passed legislation to guarantee state contracts for disabled veterans who own businesses.

The state Senate Monday passed the measure Monday. The Assembly took it up the next day and approved it. Both of Oneida County's senators were cosponsors of the measure. In the Assembly, it was cosponsored by Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi, D-119, Utica.

The action follows Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's last week that he and legislative leaders had reached an agreement on the preference. The bill would set aside 6 percent of state contracts for small businesses owned by veterans disabled during their service.

April 17, 2014
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NY Budget gives more seniors break on prescription drug costs

By Teri Weaver on March 29, 2014 at 3:22 PM, updated March 29, 2014 at 3:29 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- About 25,000 more seniors will receive help paying for prescription drugs under the final 2014-15 New York state budget, according to Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida.

The final budget deal -- struck by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders late Friday -- raises the income levels allowed to qualify for Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage.

The budget would raise the eligibility thresholds from $35,000 to $75,000 for singles and from $50,000 to $100,000 for married couples. The new thresholds also excludes social security income from the income calculations.

April 17, 2014
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Cayuga County Legislature votes 10-2 to urge state to require welfare recipients to be residents

March 27, 2014 6:05 am Samantha House | samantha.house@lee.net

AUBURN | When it comes to welfare benefits, most local legislators believe state assistance should only be extended to residents.

On Tuesday evening, during the Cayuga County Legislature's full monthly meeting, legislators voted 10-2 to support a resolution urging New York to a establish a residency requirement for people seeking to obtain welfare benefits.

The resolution sparked debate among legislators — two of whom questioned the matter's underlying claims.

April 17, 2014
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Town of Cicero to receive $100,000 state grant to build playground for children of all abilities

By Sarah Moses on March 26, 2014 at 11:59 AM, updated March 26, 2014 at 1:09 PM

Town of Cicero -- The town of Cicero will receive a $100,000 grant from State Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida, to install a community playground that will accommodate all children and their families, including those with special needs.

The playground will be built at Central Park, which is located 6540 Route 31, in Cicero. Central Park is 25 acres that already has public accessible restrooms, a pavilion, picnic tables, water fountain, security lighting and parking adjacent to the park.

April 17, 2014
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Concert benefits music program for refugee children

By Kathleen Rubino on March 25, 2014 at 7:00 AM, updated March 25, 2014 at 10:49 AM

The Cathedral Academy at Pompei (CAP) Symphonic Music Program will hold a benefit concert on Friday, March 28 at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral. Elinor Frey, who released her most recent CD "La voce del violoncello" in 2013, will perform at the event.

CAP's music program has given refugee children in Syracuse the chance to work with music professionals. Children choose from strings, brass, woodwinds or drumming, learning to compose and ultimately perform their piece at a concert.

April 17, 2014
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Senator Valesky, IDC Release Senior Affordability Report

(Albany, NY – March 2014) State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida), Chair of the Senate Aging Committee, along with his colleagues in the Independent Democratic Conference, released a report in support of the conference’s proposals making New York State more affordable for senior citizens. Each of these proposals were addressed in the Senate one-house budget resolution.

April 17, 2014
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Palmesano pitches technical diploma

By James Post Mar. 23, 2014 @ 2:55 pm

ALBANY | Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, R-Corning, is co-sponsoring a bill that would create a new technical diploma in New York state.

The bill, “The 21st Century Education Initiative,” was created by State Sen. David J. Valesky, D-Oneida, and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, D-Utica.

It would create a new educational track through the Board of Regents that would culminate in a Career and Technical Education diploma.

Palmesano said the program would allow high school students to continue their apprenticeships after graduation, or choose to attend a college, university or technical institution for additional training.

April 17, 2014
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CAPITOL PRESSROOM

March 20, 2014: Sen. Valesky, Asm. Moya, Dr. Rick Timbs and Dr. Lori Caplan, James Tallon

by ALYSSA PLOCK

March 20, 2014

Syracuse area Democrat and IDC member David Valesky discusses his conference’s “Affordable New York Agenda” as well as the Governor’s tweaked property tax freeze.

Assemblyman Francisco Moya was outraged by the failure of the DREAM Act vote in the State Senate this week. Is there a future for the legislation within the state budget?

April 17, 2014
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IDC Dems Set Senior Issues as a Top Priority

Updated: 03/19/2014 6:18 PM, Created: 03/19/2014 4:55 PM WNYT.com

By: Bill Lambdin

ALBANY - Members of AARP turned out at the State Capitol Wednesday to put a human face on the IDC budget proposals.

The measures have passed the State Senate, which puts them near the top of the pile of items being bartered behind closed doors as budget items are negotiated.

April 17, 2014
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Property tax relief likely, but not exactly like Cuomo proposed, CNY senators say

By Teri Weaver on March 18, 2014 at 1:20 PM, updated March 18, 2014 at 1:28 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Despite growing criticism of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's property tax freeze, Sen. John DeFrancisco said today he thought some version of state-supported property tax relief would be in New York's 2014-15 budget.

"I think it will be there in some form," DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, said as budget talks begin in earnest in Albany this week.

The key to winning support in the Senate, according to DeFrancisco, is easing up on state-mandated programs and costs to local governments while at the same time acknowledging that some communities have taken steps to curb costs and consolidate services.

April 17, 2014
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Koppell Waiting for Budget Before Deciding on Klein Challenge

BY ROSS BARKAN 3/18 11:07AM

In one of the most high-profile potential primary contests this year, ex-Councilman Oliver Koppell is waiting until the budget season is over before making a final decision on whether he’ll challenge State Senator Jeff Klein.

In an interview with the Observer this morning, Mr. Koppell, sounding very much like a candidate, said he wants “eliminate someone who has betrayed the Democratic Party and progressive principles,” but first needs to see how those principles fare in the state budget, due April 1. Mr. Klein leads the breakaway faction of Democrats allied with Republicans in his chamber.

April 17, 2014
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NY Dream Act fails in state Senate by two votes

By Teri Weaver on March 17, 2014 at 7:15 PM, updated March 17, 2014 at 7:22 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A proposal to expand state-funded tuition assistance to undocumented college students failed by two votes in the New York State Senate today.

The Senate vote likely ends, for this year, the debate on New York's Dream Act, which would have expanded the state's Tuition Assistance Program to include undocumented students.

April 17, 2014
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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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