Newsroom

Senator Valesky Details Plan to Steer Stimulus Funds to Close Budget and Spur Economy

State Senator David Valesky (D-Oneida) today laid out a vision for how the State Senate can help direct discretionary stimulus funds to achieve a broader goal of economic development, while also closing specific budget holes that could be detrimental to economic stability. He noted that, with an expected $50 billion multi-year deficit still predicted for the state, tough decisions still had to be made and that any relief created by federal funds must be targeted to the right programs and purposes. 

February 19, 2009
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Senator Valesky Presides Over Historic Session Confirming State’s Top Judge

On February 11, 2009, in a historic moment for our state and for Central New York, State Senator David Valesky served as Presiding Officer of the State Senate during the session that saw the confirmation of the first Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals in 16 years.

Judge Jonathan Lippman was confirmed as the new Chief Judge of the state's highest court, replacing retiring Chief Judge Judith Kaye, who was appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo in 1993 and has served ever since.

February 11, 2009
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Senate Rules Reform Committee Website Launched

As part of their commitment to increase public participation and awareness about the legislative process in Albany, the bi-partisan New York State Senate Temporary Committee on Rules and Administration Reform today announced the launch of a new website: http://www.senate.state.ny.us/sws/reform/index.html

February 10, 2009
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Rules Reform Committee Holds 2nd Hearing in Albany

Today the bi-partisan Senate Rules and Administration Reform Committee held the second of four public hearings, at which they heard testimony from reform advocates and citizens for how the State Senate can improve the legislative process and become a transparent and accountable body. These hearings are key to the new Majority’s effort to open up the legislative process, and increase public awareness and input. In the past, few public hearings were held on important Senate actions. 

February 10, 2009
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Rules Reform Committee Holds 2nd Hearing In Albany

Today the bi-partisan Senate Rules and Administration Reform Committee held the second of four public hearings, at which they heard testimony from reform advocates and citizens for how the State Senate can improve the legislative process and become a transparent and accountable body. These hearings are key to the new Majority’s effort to open up the legislative process, and increase public awareness and input.

February 10, 2009
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Senate Rules Reform Committee Website Launched

As part of their commitment to increase public participation and awareness about the legislative process in Albany, the bi-partisan New York State Senate Temporary Committee on Rules and Administration Reform today announced the launch of a new website: http://www.senate.state.ny.us/sws/reform/index.html

February 10, 2009
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NYSS Temporary Committee on Rules Reform: Albany Testimony Given February 10, 2009

Hearing MinutesMinutes from the Hearing in Albany

Susan Lerner, Executive DirectorNew York Common Cause

E.J. McMahon, DirectorEmpire Center for New York State Policy

Blair Horner, Legislative DirectorNew York Public Interest Research Group

February 10, 2009
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February 10, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
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NYSS Temporary Committee on Rules Reform: Syracuse Testimony Given Friday, February 6, 2009

Hearing MinutesMinutes from the Hearing in Syracuse

Jennifer Drage, Policy Associate National Conference of State Legislatures

Tanika Jones, Syracuse Area OrganizerCitizen Action of New York

Joan Johnson, Co-PresidentSyracuse Metro League of Women Voters

February 6, 2009
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News From The News From The Temporary Committee On Rules Reform

SENATE RULES AND ADMINISTRATION REFORM COMMITTEE GATHERS TESTIMONY FROM REFORM ADVOCATES, INCLUDING A FORMER SENATOR The State Senate’s Temporary Committee on Rules and Administration Reform held its first public hearing of four planned across the state, and heard from several good government groups, regional reform advocates and a former state senator.  The hearing was hosted at Syracuse City Hall by Reform Committee Co-Chairs State Sen. David Valesky and State Sen. John Bonacic.   

February 6, 2009
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Rules Reform Committee Represents A New Beginning

Last week, in a room deep within the Capitol building in Albany, an amazing thing happened. Five Democrats and three Republicans sat at a table and openly discussed a subject close to my heart—reform—during a committee meeting, laying plans for groundbreaking changes in how the State Senate will operate. And, for the first time ever, it was recorded and broadcast on the web.

January 30, 2009
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Remembering The Reason For Memorial Day

These days, many people often refer to Memorial Day as the unofficial start of summer -- and we hear it mentioned in passing as the beginning of the summer travel season, or barbecue season, or some other season. But, all of us should take a moment to remember that it is so much more.

As this Memorial Day arrives, it is important for us to take a moment to collectively recall and honor the men and women who, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, "gave their last full measure of devotion" to our country.

May 16, 2008
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Valesky Tours State's First Cogen Home

 

In recognition of Earth Day last week, I had the pleasure of visiting a new home that has within it a furnace that may hold the key to reducing energy costs and carbon emissions. But to understand the concept, it might be best to start by considering the makeup of a typical car.

When you are driving down the road, your car is burning gas to run the engine. But it is also using the engine’s energy to create electricity. That electricity powers your radio and other devices in your car.

April 25, 2008
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Budget Done, But Does End Justify Means?

This year’s state budget season included economic forecasts and unforeseen events that certainly presented unprecedented challenges for members of the Legislature and the new Governor. In the end we adopted a budget that was nine days late, and that had a share of restraint and many strong initiatives for Central New York. Still, I believe the final product, and the process, left much to be desired.

April 11, 2008
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Are You Looking For A Job?

Thinking about a career in public service? Government careers can be both exciting and rewarding. New York State and local governments offer a broad range of career opportunities, from law enforcement to medical, conservation to education, and much more.Government jobs offer competitive salaries and benefits, including flexible work schedules. Best of all, New York State and local government jobs are available right here in New York, so you may not have to travel far to find the rewarding career that you seek.

April 9, 2008
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Year In Review

With the Holidays upon us, another year is quickly drawing to a close. For me, it is a time when I like to reflect on the past year’s accomplishments and consider lessons to be learned. When it comes to the Legislature, it has been a difficult year to summarize, for it was a year full of both promising accomplishments and disappointing distractions. The year began with great hope, as the new Governor and the Legislature tackled challenges that had gone unresolved for years, if not decades.

December 14, 2007
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Are Gift Cards On Your Holiday List?

With the holiday shopping season upon us, we will all be tempted to purchase gift cards for family and friends. These cards can be a practical way to get something for that special person. And, it seems that everywhere you look, from the checkout aisle to newspaper ads, the virtue of these cards is being promoted by top retailers. Because of their ease and promotion, gift cards have become increasingly popular, with the number issued up more then 34 percent over the last two shopping seasons.

November 30, 2007
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Senator Valesky Pushes Legislation To Rein In Thruway Authority And Hold Off Toll Increase

State Sen. David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) expressed frustration with the New York State Thruway Authority’s plan to increase tolls and renewed his calls for legislation that would require Senate and Assembly approval of any future toll increases. "Decisions affecting so many travelers and commuters, and potentially impacting the Upstate economy, should not be made without legislative input and public oversight," said Sen. Valesky.

November 20, 2007
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