The New York State Legislature has completed passage of an on-time budget for the second year in a row. Though it was another challenging budget, requiring the closure of a $3.5 billion deficit, we were able to balance the budget without tax increases or fiscal gimmickry. In addition, overall spending was reduced for the second straight year, the frist time this has happened in at least three decades.
SYRACUSE–State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida), joined by several local advocates, introduced the Independent Democratic Conference’s 2014 legislative agenda, titled “Affordable NY.” The agenda, composed of five core policy items, demonstrates the IDC’s commitment to working families during the 2014 legislative session.
“The Affordable NY plan is a lifetime commitment to New York’s working families. It is critically important to address issues that affect all New Yorkers; challenges in paying for child care, affording college and living on a fixed income after retirement are topics I hear about from constituents every day,” Senator Valesky said.
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.”
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.
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.