David J. Valesky's News items

Senator Valesky Applauds New Rural Broadband Law

A bill that encourages rural broadband development, which Sen. David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) cosponsored in the Senate, has been signed into law. This new law will do more than just help bring high-speed Internet access to rural communities. It will encourage rural job retention and expand economic opportunities."Broadband access is an important tool in rural economic development and job retention," said Sen. Valesky. "Our local businesses need broadband access to compete in the global marketplace.

July 28, 2006

Reducing The Property Tax Burden

There is no doubt New Yorkers are overburdened with property taxes and that reform of this local tax is a top priority. In the coming months property owners who qualify for the STAR program and the Enhanced STAR program will receive rebate checks to help address their property tax burden.

July 10, 2006

End Of Session Report

The New York Senate has finished work in Albany and, all in all, 2006 was a productive session, building on the success of 2005. After passing the second on-time budget earlier in the year, we were able to use the rest of session to provide property tax relief, to promote Medicaid fraud prevention and to strengthen anti-crime laws.That said, some of the agreements reached and solutions adopted were only partial steps toward real resolution.

June 29, 2006

Senator Valesky Says Time For Medicaid Fraud Solution Is Now

Last year, as part of the first on-time budget in 20 years, we passed a cap on the local component of Medicaid. This was an important first step in efforts both to control spending on the nation's most expensive Medicaid program and to help counties reign in out-of-control property taxes.With this important step behind us, it was my hope that this year the Legislature would reign in fraud and misuse of Medicaid dollars. New York currently spends about $45 billion for Medicaid a year on some 4.2 million recipients.

June 21, 2006

Senator Valesky Provides Update On New York Regional Interconnect Project

Last week I sat down with members of the New York State Public Service Commission, along with other Upstate New York legislators, to receive a briefing on the New York Regional Interconnect power line project -- a project I strongly oppose.I was relieved that the PSC seemed receptive to our input, and that the State would conduct public hearings as part of the process considering NYRI’s application.Most of all I was pleased to look around the table and see legislators from both parties participating in the meeting, which was organized by Assembly Energy Chair Pa

June 9, 2006

Protecting Our Hunting Heritage

Hunting and fishing have been part of the rural Upstate way of life for generations, with tradition often passed on from parents to their young adult children during weekend hunting and fishing trips.

May 26, 2006

Senator Valesky Named To Commission On Program And Economic Development

Senate Minority Leader David Paterson has appointed state Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) to the Temporary Commission on the future of New York State Power Programs for Economic Development -- a task force set up to examine the effectiveness of programs intended to make energy more affordable for manufacturers and other businesses."The power programs we will examine were created to foster economic development and to save jobs -- good-paying manufacturing jobs that helped build the upstate economy," said Sen. Valesky.

May 24, 2006

Senator Valesky Lauds Gas Tax Cap And Biodiesel Credit

With this legislation the Senate took important steps to deal with the energy crisis, capping our state sales tax on gasoline to reduce costs today and enacting policies that will help reduce dependency on foreign oil tomorrow.While I am pleased again to support a cap on the gas tax, a measure the Senate also passed last fall, I am particularly pleased that the legislation we passed today included a tax credit to encourage the use of biodiesel in home heating fuel, an idea I proposed last fall.The increased use of biodiesel will not only help reduce toxic emissions, it will

May 17, 2006

Senator Valesky Proposes Bill To Expand Freedom Of Information Laws For Legislature

Right now, thanks to the state’s Freedom of Information Laws, everyday citizens can request to see most of the documents produced by state agencies. But because of a double standard in New York’s FOIL statutes, the same is not true of documents produced by the Legislature.

May 12, 2006

Reform Day, A Look Ahead

Today, thousands of New Yorkers representing more than 30 organizations will travel to Albany to rally on the 2006 Reform New York Day of Action. I see this day as an opportunity to measure what the reform movement has accomplished in recent years, and to consider how much work there is left to do.As someone who ran for office on a reform platform, people often come up to me and ask how I think the reform movement is doing.

May 9, 2006

Senator Valesky's Stand Improves Transparency In Member Items

The reform movement scored a major victory this past week on behalf of all state taxpayers, by helping to lift the veil of secrecy on member items and adding more openness to the budget process.I was pleased to stand with my colleagues in the Senate as we demanded changes and used the power of our votes to improve transparency .In recent years, the member item process had grown increasingly secretive.

April 28, 2006

Redistricting Reform Bill Proposed By Senator Valesky

Over recent months I have been detailing ideas and legislative proposals I believe will help make our state government more open, responsible and responsive.

April 19, 2006

Senator Valesky Participates In The Great New York Read Aloud

Senator Valesky recently participated in the Great New York Read Aloud at E.R. Andrews Elementary School in Morrisville.  The Senator read stories to Mrs. Morley's 2nd grade class and Ms. Yacavone's kindergarten class.

April 19, 2006

Senator Valesky Lauds Passage Of Budget

For the second year in a row, the people of New York have a budget before the April 1st deadline, and for the second year in a row our state is closer to having a Legislature that is more open and more responsive. The budget I voted to adopt is not just on-time, it is also a strong budget that provides property tax relief, improves school funding and protects higher education.This budget reduces the property tax burden in several ways. First and foremost, the budget includes $805 million in property tax rebates for home owners.

March 31, 2006

Senator Valesky Named "freshman Legislator Of The Year"

Recognizing his commitment to education, Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) was honored as the "Freshman Legislator of the Year" on March 5th at the New York School Board Association’s annual legislative conference."When I took office, I made my support of public education a top priority. I believe sound education is a foundation not just for individual success, but for the economic prosperity of the entire community," said Sen. Valesky.

March 6, 2006

Fees Should Stay In Trail Fund

The Governor’s proposed budget holds one item in particular that surprised and angered many snowmobilers. Within the budget is a plan to take $2.5 million out of the snowmobile trail fund and put it into the general fund. As the legislature considers the budget, there are compelling economic reasons why we need to rethink the proposed shift of funds.Today, snowmobiling is much more than just a recreational activity. It is a big business in our state. There are more than 169,000 snowmobiles registered in New York.

March 6, 2006

Legislation To Prevent Dwi On The Move In The Senate

It seems every few weeks we hear another heartbreaking story about how a drunk driver has taken the life of an innocent victim in our area. These sad tales have touched so many members of our community, from the teenagers in Cicero to the WSYR family and their loyal listeners.

February 17, 2006

Senator Valesky Says Proposed School Aid Fails Central New York Students

Today, Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) called on the Governor and the state legislature to use the 2006 legislative session to address, once and for all, the state's school funding crisis. The Senator made his remarks a week after the Governor proposed his latest budget -- a budget that further illustrates the state's broken school aid funding system."Last week, the Governor unveiled a budget that he said holds a 'record increase' in school funding," said Sen. Valesky.

January 26, 2006

Senator Valesky Speaks At Fallow Land Symposium

Senator Valesky gave the following speech on January 14, 2006 at Morrisville State College. The Senator's briefing on Agriculture was part of a symposium on reclaiming fallow land using livestock as a tool for change and understanding the relationships between the soil seed bank, animal impact, grazing management and the opportunities for landowners and farmers to work together.Thanks for that welcome. And, of course, thank you President Cross for your kind words. It is always a pleasure to be here with you at Morrisville State College.

January 19, 2006

Senator Valesky Announces Reform Bill On Bond Disclosure

State Senator David Valesky has introduced legislation (S. 6024) that would disclose the hidden costs of State and local municipal bond sales, which often amount to millions of taxpayers’ dollars.Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said "I applaud Senator Valesky for shining a light on an area of financing that has had little, if any, scrutiny. Greater transparency in these transactions can only serve to improve the accountability of government."State Comptroller Alan Hevesi said "I commend Senator Valesky for turning his attention toward reforming the State’s debt practices.

January 9, 2006
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