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Statement On Reform Day From Sen. Valesky

Reform Day 2007 gives us a chance both to celebrate all that we have accomplished in recent months and to push forward ambitiously with the ongoing effort to make our state government more open, accessible and accountable. In the first four months of this year we adopted reforms in ethics and lobbying law, improved the school funding formula and passed solutions to a host of issues that had gone unresolved for too long, including workers' compensation and civil confinement.

Still, there is much more to be done when it comes to the reform agenda.

April 22, 2007
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Senator Valesky Announces Applications For Dairy Farmer Aid

New York State to compensate them for low milk-prices and rising production costs. Applications for this $30 million state-wide program must be post marked by Friday, April 27.

 

 

May 9, 2007.

April 17, 2007
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Strong Budget For Education, Health Costs, Taxpayers And Farmers

Last week, the New York State Legislature adopted a budget that reforms the education funding formula, reigns in Medicaid spending, enhances property tax rebates and supplies much needed relief for dairy farmers. Overall, it is a strong budget and yet another vital step on the road to a stronger economy.

For my entire tenure as a State Senator, I have spoken of the need for a better school funding formula.

April 4, 2007
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Senate Dem Leader Smith Joins Sen. Valesky To Talk Biofuels And Ag Products At Morrisville

Senate Democratic Leader Malcolm A. Smith (D-Queens) joined Sen. David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) for a tour of Morrisville State College with College President Ray Cross last week to discuss agriculture policy and to talk about ways to improve the economic outlook for Upstate farms.

March 21, 2007
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Medically Underserved Communities To Benefit Under Proposed Health Plan

State Senator David Valesky (D-Oneida) today praised legislation introduced by Senate Democrats to improve health care in medically-underserved communities, stimulate local economies by helping start-up businesses obtain health insurance and reduce the soaring costs of health care premiums by returning regulation of HMO rates to the State Insurance Department.

Sen. Valesky noted that Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) profits nearly doubled between 2001 and 2005, from $672 million to $1.3 billion, while HMO payment reimbursements decreased.

March 18, 2007
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Finally, Civil Confinement Agreement Reached

After years of gridlock, I am pleased to report that legislation has finally passed establishing a system to confine dangerous sexual predators who are most likely to re-offend.

March 13, 2007
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Workers, Business Win With Workers' Comp Reform

This past week a major obstacle to Upstate economic development was overcome with a new agreement to reform the workers’ compensation system. This agreement will cut cost for businesses, improve benefits for injured workers, and, I believe, drastically improve the economic future of New York State.

For the last decade, our state all but ignored its workers’ compensation system. That inaction translated into a system that provided the lowest weekly workers’ comp benefits in the Northeast while ranking among the highest in the nation in costs to employers.

March 7, 2007
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Senator Valesky Announces Committee Assignments

Sen. David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) is pleased to announce new Senate Committee assignments for the 2007-2008 legislative sessions.

In addition to remaining the Ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Committee, Sen. Valesky requested and received a position on the influential Senate Health Committee.

"I look forward to representing the interests of our many hospitals and the communities they serve as a member of the Health Committee," said Sen. Valesky.

Sen.

January 19, 2007
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Senator Valesky Welcomes Inauguration Of Governor Spitzer

"Governor Spitzer's inauguration address was a clear and defining moment in the battle to reform state government and to get Albany once again working for all New Yorkers.

In partnership with Eliot Spitzer and Lt. Governor David Paterson, I will continue to fight to improve Central New York's economy, make sure that our schools receive the funding that our children deserve, and to reverse out-of-control health care costs and property tax increases."

January 1, 2007
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Senator Valesky On The Berger Commission Report

"I am reviewing the report issued by the Commission and have begun discussing its implications with local health care professionals, including SUNY Upstate Medical University President David Smith and Crouse Hospital CEO and President Paul Kronenberg.""I fully recognize the need to improve and streamline our state’s healthcare system, and that tough decisions must be made to do so.

December 1, 2006
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Senator Valesky Applauds Signing Of Eminent Domain Bill

After weeks of urging the Governor to sign the Eminent Domain bill, which would restrict the New York Regional Interconnect’s efforts, Sen. David Valesky (D-Oneida) attended the ceremony in which it became law."The people of Madison County worked very hard to get this law passed, and I was pleased to be a part of that process," said Sen. Valesky.

October 3, 2006
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Senator Valesky Applauds New Agri-tourism Law

Legislation co-sponsored by State Sen. David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) that promotes the growing agri-tourism industry has been signed into law by Gov. George Pataki.The legislation, which was sponsored by the bipartisan New York State Legislative Commission on Rural Resources, amendsNew York’s right to farm laws to include agri-tourism on the state’s list of sound agricultural practices."By linking together the interests of our State’s agricultural and tourism industries," said Sen.

September 6, 2006
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Senator Valesky Named To Farm Bureau Circle Of Friends

New York Farm Bureau announced that Senator David Valesky (D-Oneida) has been named to its "2006 Circle of Friends.""For Upstate communities, agriculture is truly the backbone of the economy and I am committed to advocating strongly for issues important to New York’s farmers," Sen. Valesky said.

August 24, 2006
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A Proposal To Promote Our Parks

The day before the heat wave hit in early August, the Governor announced he would open New York State beaches on Long Island as an affordable way for the public to cool off.Like many upstate New Yorkers, I was surprised the Governor at first only proposed opening downstate beaches. So, I immediately called on him to extend the free beach days to Upstate New York.

August 13, 2006
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Senator Valesky Applauds New Rural Broadband Law

A bill that encourages rural broadband development, which Sen. David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) cosponsored in the Senate, has been signed into law. This new law will do more than just help bring high-speed Internet access to rural communities. It will encourage rural job retention and expand economic opportunities."Broadband access is an important tool in rural economic development and job retention," said Sen. Valesky. "Our local businesses need broadband access to compete in the global marketplace.

July 27, 2006
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Reducing The Property Tax Burden

There is no doubt New Yorkers are overburdened with property taxes and that reform of this local tax is a top priority. In the coming months property owners who qualify for the STAR program and the Enhanced STAR program will receive rebate checks to help address their property tax burden.

July 9, 2006
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End Of Session Report

The New York Senate has finished work in Albany and, all in all, 2006 was a productive session, building on the success of 2005. After passing the second on-time budget earlier in the year, we were able to use the rest of session to provide property tax relief, to promote Medicaid fraud prevention and to strengthen anti-crime laws.That said, some of the agreements reached and solutions adopted were only partial steps toward real resolution.

June 28, 2006
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Senator Valesky Says Time For Medicaid Fraud Solution Is Now

Last year, as part of the first on-time budget in 20 years, we passed a cap on the local component of Medicaid. This was an important first step in efforts both to control spending on the nation's most expensive Medicaid program and to help counties reign in out-of-control property taxes.With this important step behind us, it was my hope that this year the Legislature would reign in fraud and misuse of Medicaid dollars. New York currently spends about $45 billion for Medicaid a year on some 4.2 million recipients.

June 20, 2006
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