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Breakaway Senate Dems unveil 'Invest New York' policy agenda

BY KEN LOVETT, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Monday, January 19, 2015, 1:48 PM

The breakaway group of five Senate Democrats on Monday unveiled a 15-point policy agenda for the new legislative session that includes a call to give localities like New York City the power to set their own minimum wage rates.

Other proposals in the "Invest New York" package would be the creation of an education investment tax credit that private and parochial schools have been pushing for years, a $400 million school construction trust fund, and various housing initiatives.

January 23, 2015
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A call to action for the education of our children

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

First Posted: Monday, January 19, 2015 -3:46 p.m.

To the editor:

January 23, 2015
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Skelos: The IDC-GOP Coalition Remains In Place

JAN 13TH - 12:43 PM

Posted by Nick Reisman

Even though Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein was largely stripped of the power and title he held for the last two years, Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos insisted in an interview there would be little change in how the chamber functions.

“As we go through the legislative session, you’re going to see it’s going to be very similar to the way it was for the last four years,” Skelos said.

The Senate last week adopted rules that made Skelos, a Long Island Republican, the majority leader once again as well as temporary president of the chamber.

January 23, 2015
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Statement from Senator David J. Valesky on Governor Cuomo's State of the State/Executive Budget Presentation

Overall, the Executive Budget proposal addresses issues we face every day, including property taxes, jobs, and infrastructure, while keeping spending in check. I am especially encouraged by Governor Cuomo’s continuing commitment to invest in Upstate New York. There is much to consider in this budget proposal, and I look forward to studying the details and discussing it with my constituents and colleagues in the coming weeks, with the goal of enacting and on-time, fiscally responsible budget.

January 21, 2015
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Independent Democratic Conference Launches 2015 Policy Agenda

“INVEST NEW YORK”

IDC Unveils 15 Innovative Investments that will Create Long Term Stability, Security and Sustainability for all New Yorkers

Proposals Invest in New York Workers, Students, Seniors and Families and Support a Significant Expansion in New York State Schools, Housing, and Communities

January 20, 2015
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Valesky on IDC, Republican NY Senate coalition: 'Continuing to do what works'

By Teri Weaver on January 08, 2015 at 5:17 PM, updated January 08, 2015 at 5:18 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Without last year's power-sharing arrangement between the New York State Senate and breakaway Democrats, it's hard to imagine that allowing marijuana for medical use would now be state law, according to Sen. David Valesky.

"You can't say if there wasn't a coalition, it wouldn't have happened," Valesky, D-Oneida, said. "But I think you can say, absent the coalition as it existed last year, I feel comfortable saying that it is highly unlikely that that statute would be on the books now."

January 12, 2015
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GOP takes full control of NY Senate, but retains 'coalition' with Valesky, IDC

By Teri Weaver on January 07, 2015 at 2:52 PM, updated January 07, 2015 at 2:55 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Republicans officially took full control of the New York State Senate today, but they committed to continuing a special, if not equal, relationship with a small group of breakaway Democrats including Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida.

Sen. Dean Skekos, R-Rockville Centre, was re-elected as the Republican's majority leader, an expected move that puts him in charge of the Albany chamber.

But the Independent Democratic Conference still has advantages over a larger group of mainstream Democrats.

January 12, 2015
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Electronics Recycling Event on Jan. 31

The 2015 Legislative Session has begun, and I am looking forward to returning to Albany and working with my colleagues in the Legislature to enact a responsible, forward-looking agenda that improves our state, our region, and our economy. The Independent Democratic Conference’s bipartisan coalition continues, with a few rule changes. Syracuse.com ran a story about the coalition, and I also appeared on Capital Tonight on January 8 to talk about the IDC’s role in the Senate.

January 9, 2015
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Senator Valesky Hosts Free Electronics Recycling Event

SYRACUSE – Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) is hosting an electronics recycling event in partnership with Sunnking Electronics Recycling and Time Warner Cable on Saturday, January 31, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the City of Syracuse Department of Public Works, 1200 Canal St. Extension (off Midler Ave.), Syracuse. Area residents can drop off old and unused electronics at no charge, and there is no limit to the number of items that may be dropped off.

January 9, 2015
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Libous: IDC To Be ‘Respected’ In New Rules

JAN 6TH - 6:05 PM

Posted by Nick Reisman in State Senate

The state Senate’s new rules will grant some power to the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference, but also acknowledge that Republicans control the chamber, Deputy Senate Republican Leader Tom Libous on Tuesday said.

“I think it will be a good working relationship,” Libous said. “It will be a positive one. I think once the rules are finally adopted, it will show Republicans control the chamber, but the IDC will be respected and have a lot to say.”

January 8, 2015
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Valesky-Sponsored Legislation that Targets Seniors’ Participation in Agriculture Signed into Law

SYRACUSE--Two bills sponsored by Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) that expand agriculture-related opportunities for seniors have been signed into law.

December 30, 2014
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Thank You for a Successful Coat and Blanket Drive

I want to extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to everyone who generously donated items during my recent coat and blanket drive to benefit the Center for New Americans. Through your kindness, we collected more than 50 large bags and boxes of items that will be distributed to local refugee families. Many refugees arrive in the United States with few possessions from climates that do not experience the kind of winters that we are accustomed to. Thanks to the generosity of the community, hundreds of families will be able to face our harsh weather with a basic necessity in Central New York—a winter coat. 

December 19, 2014
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More than $2.6 Million Awarded to Tourism Projects in Madison County

Economic Development Resources Awarded in Fourth Round of Regional Council Initiative

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced that $2,610,000 in economic and community development funding has been awarded to tourism-related entities in Madison County through Round IV of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative.

December 17, 2014
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CAPITOL PRESSROOM: Dec. 9, 2014: Anne Marie Garti and Robert Nied, UUP’s Fred Kowal, Sen. David Valesky, AG Schneiderman

by ALYSSA PLOCK

December 9, 2014

The Constitution Pipeline, which will transport shale gas from Pennsylvania to New York, has received conditional approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. But some groups are looking for legal actions to halt the process. Anne Marie Garti, a founder of “Stop the Pipeline” and a volunteer lawyer representing “Stop the Pipeline” through the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic, and Robert Nied, of the Center for Sustainable Rural Communities, say Constitution Pipeline lawyers’ threaten and intimidate landowners who refuse to sign easement agreements. They are calling on the Attorney General to intervene.

December 15, 2014
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Advocates gather at Syracuse City Hall to seek state money for roads, pipes and bridges

By Tim Knauss on December 09, 2014 at 12:36 PM, updated December 09, 2014 at 12:40 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Anticipating a "feeding frenzy'' over New York state's $5 billion windfall, a dozen public officials, union leaders and contractors gathered this morning at Syracuse City Hall to advocate spending all of the money to repair roads, bridges, water pipes and other infrastructure.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, state Senators John DeFrancisco and David Valesky, Assemblyman Al Stirpe and others said the state should use the money from a one-time settlement with banks to make long overdue infrastructure repairs.

December 15, 2014
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Hundreds cast write-in votes against unopposed NYS Sens. DeFrancisco, Valesky

By Michelle Breidenbach on December 09, 2014 at 11:32 AM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Hundreds of voters decided not to let state Sens. John DeFrancisco and David Valesky get away with running unopposed in this year's election.

In both districts, voters likely set a record for the number of times they chose to write in a name on the ballot instead of allowing a senator to return to Albany with no opposition.

New paper ballots make it easier than ever for a quiet write-in protest.

December 15, 2014
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Suburban Agriculture Bill Is Signed Into Law In NYS

By ALLISON DUNNE 8:45 AM FRI DECEMBER 5, 2014

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a suburban agriculture bill. A Hudson Valley lawmaker had sponsored the bill in the Assembly.

December 15, 2014
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National Endowment for the Arts

CNY Arts is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $40,000 contract from the National Endowment for the Arts through the Art Works grant program. The funds will be used to support implementation of ENGAGE CNY, CNY Arts’ ten-year cultural plan to boost the livability and economic vitality of Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, and Oswego counties.

December 15, 2014
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NYS Education Department Announces Nominees for 2015 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

By Long Island News & PRs Published: December 03 2014

Education Commissioner John B. King announced the nomination of 10 New York state high school seniors for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

Merrick, NY - December 3, 2014 - Education Commissioner John B. King announced today the nomination of 10 New York state high school seniors for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.  The Presidential Scholar recognition is one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.  Every year, one young man and one young woman from each state are named as Presidential Scholars.

December 15, 2014
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