Newsroom

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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Senator Valesky Wears White Ribbon to Raise Awareness about Domestic Violence

Senator David Valesky, with Senator John DeFrancisco, wears a white ribbon in support of Vera House and its campaign to raise awareness about domestic and sexual abuse.

April 2, 2014
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SENATOR VALESKY HAILS PASSAGE OF FOURTH CONSECUTIVE ON-TIME STATE BUDGET

ALBANY, NY—State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) today lauded the passage of the state’s fourth and historic consecutive on-time budget. This has not been accomplished with the same Governor and legislative leaders in more than 40 years.

April 1, 2014
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SENATOR VALESKY ANNOUNCES EXPANSION OF SENIOR PRESCRIPTION DRUG PROGRAM IN FINAL NYS BUDGET

ALBANY, NY—State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida), Chair of the Senate Aging Committee, announced the state budget will expand the successful Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) Program to include more than 25,000 more seniors in New York State. Prescription drug rates have increased twice the rate of inflation, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, disproportionately affecting senior citizens, many of whom live on fixed incomes.

"Prescription drugs are one of the most expensive components of health care for seniors," Senator Valesky said. "With the cost of prescription drugs increasing significantly, it is important to expand the EPIC program to provide a safety net for more older New Yorkers."

March 29, 2014
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Senator Valesky’s Grow: Pride of New York legislation passes Senate

ALBANY, N.Y.—The State Senate unanimously passed legislation (S.5064) sponsored by Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) 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.

March 27, 2014
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Senator Valesky joins Manufacturers Alliance to release study

Syracuse, New York - Senator David Valesky (D-Oneida) joined local business leaders to announce the results of a new study released today, “Manufacturing Executives: Attitudes, Operations, Expectations & Opportunities,” which indicate that while the manufacturing sector stills finds the economic climate to be challenging, they continue to invest in capital and operations in New York State. The study is part of a continuation series that began in 2010, conducted by Zogby Analytics, and commissioned by a partnership between the Manufacturers Alliance of New York State, its policy and research arm the Manufacturers Research Institute of New York State, and the New York State Economic Development Council (NYSEDC).

March 25, 2014
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Cardinal Dolan Visits Senator Valesky and Independent Democratic Conference

Senator David Valesky and the other members of the Independent Democratic Conference - Sen. Jeff Klein, Sen. David Carlucci, Sen. Diane Savino, and Sen. Tony Avella - met with His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan on March 18 in Albany.

March 24, 2014
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Senator Valesky Meets with SUNY Potsdam Representatives

Senator David Valesky met with representatives from SUNY Potsdam on March 11. They included student Jonathan Bintz, Government Relations Liaison Alex Jacobs Wilke, students Chelsea Rourke and Stephanie Bub, and SUNY Potsdam President Dennis Hefner.

March 24, 2014
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SENATOR VALESKY, IDC RELEASE SENIOR AFFORDABILITY REPORT

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.

March 19, 2014
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Is legalization of crossbows off again in New York? State budget talks will decide

By David Figura | dfigura@syracuse.com

on March 14, 2014 at 10:05 AM, updated March 14, 2014 at 10:39 AM

The state Assembly earlier this week passed a budget resolution for the 2014-2015 state spending plan, leaving out any reference to legalizing crossbows for hunting and several other outdoors-related measures that were pitched by Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this year in his proposed executive budget.

Does that mean that crossbows will remain illegal for this year's hunting season?

It's too early to tell. The Assembly's budget resolution is essentially a "wish list" of the Assembly's Democratic majority.

March 18, 2014
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Lawmakers get into the details of proposed pot program

By Laura Nahmias 2:41 p.m. | Mar. 12, 2014

ALBANY—With a proposal to legalize medical marijuana gaining momentum in the State Senate, lawmakers on Wednesday questioned patients, attorneys and marijuana business owners on the particulars of such a program.

“Many of us in the legislature are conversant I guess with the legislative side of it, but very few of us are conversant with the kinds of questions we’re asking,” said Ruth Hassell-Thompson, a Westchester Democrat, after one witness explained the difference between street names for strains of the drug (including "Bubble Gum Kush") and the technical labels that some states assign.

March 18, 2014
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Hamilton FFA Members Attend Agriculture Awareness Days in the Capitol

By Lindsey Palmer

(Hamilton, NY – March 2014) On Feb. 10 and 11, two members from the Hamilton FFA, Greg and Lindsey Palmer, attended the FFA Government Awareness Days in Albany. The members traveled with other local FFA chapters to meet 100 FFA members and advisors from across New York state  in the capitol.

On Monday, Feb. 10, members attended five sessions hosted by the NYS Farm Bureau, which taught the students about variety of agriculture issues such as GMO labeling, farm labor, animal welfare and agriculture teacher shortages.

March 18, 2014
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Valesky, Brindisi proposal would create new NY high school degree for business curriculum

By Teri Weaver | tweaver@syracuse.com

on March 06, 2014 at 2:07 PM, updated March 06, 2014 at 4:02 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- New York schools would award high school diplomas for students who excel at lessons and job training meant to built a new generation of manufacturing and high-tech workers if legislation introduced by Sen. David Valesky passes.

The bill would create a Career and Technical Education diploma to recognize students for schoolwork that measures on-the-job learning and employability rather than traditional curriculum.

March 18, 2014
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John Lemondes undecided about GOP primary for Congress, rules out run for state Senate

By Mark Weiner | mweiner@syracuse.com

on March 06, 2014 at 7:08 PM, updated March 07, 2014 at 11:57 AM

WASHINGTON -- Retired Army Col. John Lemondes, who finished second in the race for the Republican designation for Congress, said today he has ruled out a possible campaign for state Senate.

Lemondes, 48, of LaFayette, lives in the district of State Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida, who currently has no Republican opponent in this year's election.

Lemondes had been rumored as a possible opponent to Valesky after his strong showing Saturday in the Republican committee vote for a candidate in the 24th Congressional District.

March 18, 2014
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Albany proposal means to help young NY farmers with tax breaks, student loan forgiveness

By Teri Weaver | tweaver@syracuse.com

on March 04, 2014 at 1:50 PM, updated March 04, 2014 at 2:10 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Sen. Patty Ritchie, R-Oswegatchie, today introduced legislation that would put $30 million in state taxpayer money toward helping young New Yorkers replace an aging generation of farmers.

The "Young Farmers NY" legislative package includes a college loan forgiveness program, new tax breaks and an easing of property transfers -- all measures designed to encourage young people to choose agriculture as a career, according to Ritchie, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida, also supports the proposal.

March 18, 2014
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Staten Island Sen. Savino blasts lawmaker who wants Independent Democratic Conference members tossed from Democratic Party

By Tom Wrobleski/Staten Island Advance

on March 04, 2014 at 9:00 AM, updated March 04, 2014 at 9:08 AM

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - State Sen. Diane Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn) on Monday pushed back against a Democratic colleague who said that Ms. Savino and the rest of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) should be tossed from the party for working with Republicans.

Sen. Martin Dilan (D-Brooklyn) told the Daily News, "They're not Democrats, no matter what they say.

They should all be disenrolled by the Democratic Party."

March 18, 2014
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NYS Senate IDC Member David Valesky Gets Support From Local County Democratic Leader

BY KEN LOVETT, MARCH 3, 2014 5:08 PM

Onondaga County Democratic Committee Chairman Mark English rejected a call for him to try and oust Senate Independent Democratic Committee member David Valesky from the party.

“Dave has been true to the core principles of the party,” English said.

The county chair said he has not heard from Sen. Martin Dilan, who said in my “Albany Insider” column today that he would be reaching out to the five IDC members’ local county chairs to encourage them to expel them for “party disloyalty.”

“Dave Valesky is a terrific individual and he’s represented this district well,” English said.

March 18, 2014
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Cazenovia School District Budget Gap Could be $500K this Year

‘We’re going to have to cut,’ Superintendent Dubik says

By Jason Emerson, March 3

Cazenovia — The Cazenovia Central School District budget for the 2014-15 school year currently has a gap of three-quarters-of-a-million dollars; and although the state legislature — which has not finalized the budget yet — typically replaces a portion of the education funding stripped by the governor’s budget, no matter what happens, Cazenovia’s district budget will come up short and some budgetary items will not survive.

March 18, 2014
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New York State Senate Inducts St. Marianne Cope into Historic Women of Distinction Exhibit

ALBANY--To celebrate Women’s History Month, the New York State Senate is hosting an exhibit honoring historic New York women whose achievements in arts, science, government, military, labor, education, and social reform have earned them recognition as Women of Distinction.

This exhibit inducts American Saint and health care pioneer St. Marianne Cope (1838-1918), of Syracuse and Utica. In 1869, she became one of the founders of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse. She was a pioneering advocate for patients’ rights, sanitation, and hygiene, and believed that no distinction should be made for patients due to their religious beliefs, nationality, or color.

March 18, 2014
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