Sen. Valesky Welcomes 600 Erie Canal Cyclists to Syracuse

Sen. Valesky greeted 600 cyclists on July 15 who are took part in the Erie Canal Tour, an eight-day 400-mile bike tour from Buffalo to Albany. The riders stopped in Syracuse and tented in Burnet Park for the night. The Syracuse stop marked the halfway point, and they were greeted with a celebration at the Rosamund Gifford Zoo.

July 16, 2015

Sen. Valesky Attends Ribbon Cutting for Sankofa Park

Sen. Valesky was on hand July 14 for the official opening of Sankofa Park, next to the Beauchamp Branch Library on South Salina Street in Syracuse. Area residents, local leaders, and elected officials worked together to determine a better use for the space, which had been an abandoned parking lot. Sen. Valesky secured $450,000 for the project. The word Sankofa comes from the Akan language of Ghana and means "reach back and get it."

July 16, 2015

Sen. Valesky Meets with Frazer Students

Fourth and fifth graders from Frazer K-8 School in Syracuse met with Sen. Valesky at the Great Western Staircase (also known as the Million Dollar Staircase) in the State Capitol building on June 15. The students were on a school field trip to Albany. With them is Assemblywoman Maritza Davila.

June 17, 2015

Senate Passes Valesky-Sponsored Elder Financial Abuse Legislation

Albany, NY - Legislation sponsored by Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) protecting seniors from financial abuse passed the Senate June 15, which was also World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

June 16, 2015

Valesky-Sponsored Legislation Combating Methamphetamine Production Passes Senate

ALBANY, N.Y.—Legislation sponsored by State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) assisting law enforcement in combating the threat to public health and safety surrounding methamphetamine production passed the Senate on June 10. The growing use and manufacture of the illegal and highly addictive drug methamphetamine is particularly pervasive in rural counties in Upstate New York.

June 11, 2015

Senate Passes Valesky Legislation to Allow Municipalities to Reduce Energy Costs Through Renewable Energy

Syracuse, NY – The New York State Senate passed legislation today, sponsored by Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida), that would allow municipal landfills and water treatment facilities to offset their energy costs by producing their own energy and feeding it back into the grid. This bill broadens the net metering law in New York State to include energy generated at county or municipal landfills and water treatment facilities as electricity that power companies must purchase back when requested to do so by counties or municipalities.

“Residential and commercial facilities may already produce their own energy to reduce costs,” Sen. Valesky said. “This bill expands the definition of net metering, which gives counties and municipalities the same opportunity.”

June 8, 2015

Senator Valesky’s Legislation to Enhance “Move Over” Penalties Passes Senate

 ALBANY, N.Y.—The State Senate unanimously passed legislation (S.640) sponsored by Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) that will increase the penalties in the “move over” law, which requires drivers approaching emergency vehicles to move one lane away. Currently, the law does not provide for increased penalties for killing or seriously injuring someone as a result of violating the law.

“The ‘move over’ law has increased safety for police and first responders, but violators may only be charged with a misdemeanor, even if their actions cause serious injury or death,” Senator Valesky said. “This legislation changes the penalty to a felony for individuals who disregard the law and operate a vehicle recklessly.”

May 29, 2015

Senator Valesky Hosts Community Resources Fair

State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) is hosting a Community Resources Fair on Thursday, June 25, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to raise awareness of the many community services available through various governmental and nonprofit organizations. The agencies listed below will have tables at the fair and provide important information on health care and health insurance, financial planning for college, emergency preparedness and fire safety, family planning, housing, voting, small business development, veterans services, and more, as well as offer giveaways. A representative from the Office of the State Comptroller will assist attendees with Unclaimed Funds searches.

May 28, 2015

Karl W. Monson

Karl W. Monson was born in 1918. He graduated from Wheaton College and planned to attend medical school, but fi rst enlisted in the United States Army as a Private in June 1941. Mr. Monson was assigned to Seacoast Artillery and was serving in San Diego when Pearl Harbor was attacked. He was sent to Officers Candidate School, and in April 1942, he graduated as a “90-day wonder” with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. That July, Mr. Monson was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and in August, Captain in charge of the 602nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA) Battalion. Mr. Monson rose quickly in the ranks due to his unprecedented intelligence and perseverance. 

May 20, 2015

Senator Valesky Inducts Karl Monson into NYS Senate Veterans Hall of Fame

Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) today announced the induction of Lieutenant Colonel Karl W. Monson of Cazenovia into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame in Albany in honor of his service to the nation.

“Lieutenant Colonel Monson fought bravely through some of the worst battles of World War II and quickly rose through the ranks to lead other soldiers during wartime,” Sen. Valesky said. “He is a true war hero, and I am pleased to be able to honor him as the 53rd Senate District’s 2015 inductee to the Veterans Hall of Fame.”

May 20, 2015

Sharon F. Owens

Sharon Owens, a graduate of Syracuse University, committed much of her energy serving individuals and families within the fields of housing, community development and human services for almost 30 years.

In May 2013, Ms. Owens became the third Chief Operating Officer of Syracuse Model Neighborhood Facility, Inc. in the agency’s history. Her vision to expand services that infuse human services with community revitalization initiatives will further serve even more communities in need.

May 13, 2015

Senator Valesky Names Sharon Owens New York State Senate Woman of Distinction

Syracuse–State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) announced today that Sharon Owens, chief executive officer of Syracuse Model Neighborhood Facility, Inc., has been selected as the 53rd Senate District’s 2015 Woman of Distinction. Owens was recognized for her work in human services and community development in the city of Syracuse.

“Sharon Owens’ remarkable contributions to our community demonstrate her dedication and commitment to the Syracuse residents most in need of a strong advocate,” Sen. Valesky said. “Her leadership is strengthening the programs and services that Southwest Community Center offers, and I am pleased to honor her as this year’s Woman of Distinction.”

May 6, 2015

AARP Thanks Senator Valesky for Voting to Pass CARE Act; Assembly Likely to Take Up

ALBANY, New York – Critical help for millions of family caregivers across New York took a giant step toward reality this week when the State Senate – with the support of Senator David Valesky - unanimously (59-0) passed the CARE Act, legislation to support family caregivers as they safely help New Yorkers age at home.

The Caregiver Advise, Record, and Enable Act ensures hospital patients can designate a family caregiver and requires hospitals to offer that caregiver instruction and demonstrations of medical tasks they are being expected to provide for their loved ones at home, such as administering multiple medications, dressing wounds, and operating medical equipment.

April 23, 2015


Dear Students,Thank you for your wonderful contribution to the New York State Senate’s Earth Day Poster Contest.  This year we received many outstanding posters that exemplify the creativity of the young people in the 53rd Senatorial District. Each entry from my district displayed tremendous originality and vision as well as obvious concern for the ecological future of our communities and our state. I am proud of your work and that of your classmates, and encourage you to continue to study and learn more about the serious challenges that face our environment.I am pleased to announce that the winners of the 2015 Earth Day Poster Contest from my district are: Mr. Matteson's Third Grade ClassMadison Central School

April 10, 2015

Statement from Senator David J. Valesky on the Confirmation of Joanne M. Mahoney as Chair of the New York State Thruway Authority

On March 30, I enthusiastically supported the confirmation of Joanie Mahoney as Chair of the New York State Thruway Authority. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of working closely with Joanie in her capacity as Onondaga County Executive. She has demonstrated skill and leadership in a challenging environment as County Executive, and I believe she will be a great asset to the Thruway Authority. I commend Governor Cuomo for this excellent appointment, and I look forward to a continued positive relationship with County Executive Mahoney in her new role.

Senator Valesky's floor comments

March 31, 2015

Senate Passes One-House Budget Resolution

The Senate passed its one-house budget resolution this week, with my support. This resolution delivers for hardworking middle class families in Central New York and throughout the State while holding the line on spending. It provides additional funding for school districts, invests in upstate transit to prevent Centro service cuts, and provides property tax relief for homeowners. I look forward to working with my colleagues to continue the process with the goal of enacting an on-time, responsible budget.

OCC Students Recognized for Academic Excellence and Service

March 26, 2015

OCC Students Honored for Academic Excellence and Service

Senator Valesky met two Onondaga Community College (OCC) students on March 9 who received the USA Today Phi Theta Kappa All-New York Academic Team Recognition for their academic excellence and community service. From left are OCC President Casey Crabill, Greg Freitag, Alena Cerro, and Sen. Valesky. Cerro is an electronic media communications major and vice president of public relations for the College’s Alpha Sigma Zeta chapter. Cerro also serves as an Honors Program Student Ambassador and Honors Program Committee Student Representative. She is an intern in OCC’s External Relations and Marketing New Media departments.

March 12, 2015

Senator Valesky Supports Veterans with PTSD

On March 2, Senator Valesky spoke in Albany about the Research and Recovery Project, which helps provide treatment for veterans with PTSD.

March 3, 2015

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