Newsroom

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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Senator Valesky Attends Forum on Heroin and Opioid Abuse

Yesterday, Senator David J. Valesky joined colleagues Senator Joseph Griffo and Senator Phil Boyle in Utica at a forum of the Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction. The task force is examining the rise in use of heroin and other opioids in New York State and will develop recommendations for treating and preventing addiction.

April 16, 2014
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Senator Valesky Joins Leaders to Address Smartphone Theft

Senator David Valesky joined NYS Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, and Rep. Dan Maffei to address smartphone theft, which is a problem in Syracuse.

April 14, 2014
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Senator David J. Valesky joins Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction

SYRACUSE, N.Y.—State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) today announced that he has joined the Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction to examine the rise in use of heroin and other opioids in New York State and develop recommendations for treating and preventing addiction.

“These drugs are highly addictive and extremely dangerous, and the increase in use that we’re seeing is deeply troubling,” Senator Valesky said. “Action is needed, and through this task force, I am hopeful we can do our part from a legislative perspective.”

April 14, 2014
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Newsmakers Interview, Road Construction, Fire Dept. Open House

If you didn't get a chance to watch my interview with Dan Cummings on Newsmakers this weekend, you can see it online. We talked about the Independent Democratic Conference, the state budget process, and more.

Avoid Road Construction

April 11, 2014
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Highlights from the Fourth Consecutive On-Time Budget

This week marked the passage of the state’s fourth consecutive on-time budget. This has not been accomplished with the same Governor and legislative leaders in more than 40 years. This budget holds spending growth below 2% and addresses your priorities—among them increased school aid, property tax relief, health care, and growing the economy.

Highlights of the budget include:

April 11, 2014
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Grow: Pride of NY, Fishing Licenses from Home, Calculate College Costs

Although much of the focus in Albany this week is on the state budget, legislation is also being considered and brought to the Senate floor. Today the Senate unanimously passed legislation I sponsored (S.5064) that will help consumers find garden centers, nurseries, Christmas tree farms and other horticulture dealers that sell New York state products. The Grow: Pride of New York program creates a designation for such businesses and allows them to use marketing materials that promote their locally sourced products.

In addition, I supported several bills that passed the Senate this week:

April 11, 2014
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Your Feedback Is Needed

As we proceed through budget negotiations and the Legislative Session, I am interested to know your opinion on a number of issues that are being discussed. I recently mailed a survey to my constituents asking about full-day pre-kindergarten, medical marijuana, the estate tax, campaign finance reform, and more. If you have already returned the survey, I appreciate your feedback. If not, please mail it back at your earliest convenience, or fill out the survey on my website. Thank you.

Women's History Month Exhibit

April 11, 2014
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