Newsroom

Senate Aging Committee Chairmanship, Pothole Hotline, Text Reminders from DMV

I am pleased to be resuming the Chairmanship of the Senate Aging Committee, a post I previously held from 2011-12. This position allows me to take the lead on policy issues that are important to seniors and their families, and as Baby Boomers enter retirement age, aging issues are among the state’s most important.

February 28, 2014
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Senator Valesky Named Chair of Senate Aging Committee

ALBANY, N.Y.—State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) was named Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee today, a post he previously held from 2011-12.

“I am pleased to resume chairmanship of the Aging Committee and look forward to taking the lead on policy issues that are important to seniors and their families,” Senator Valesky said. “With Baby Boomers entering retirement age, aging issues are among the state’s most important.”

New York State ranks third in the nation in the number of resident older adults. In 2010, there were approximately 3.7 million New Yorkers over the age of 60. That number is predicted to grow to 4.1 million by 2015 and 5.4 million in 2030—an increase of nearly 32 percent.

February 27, 2014
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2014 Legislative Questionnaire/What Are Your Priorities?

As we proceed through the 2014 Legislative session, I’d like your feedback on issues that may be considered, such as medical marijuana, universal full-day pre-kindergarten, and campaign finance reform. I want to know what your priorities are. What concerns you the most? Please share your thoughts by filling out this survey.

February 20, 2014
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Who’s got the coolest small town? Berlin, Md., and Cazenovia mayors make a friendly wager

By Jason Emerson February 17, 2014 10:34 a.m.

Cazenovia — With barely one week left to go in the Budget Travel “Coolest Small Town in America” contest, the mayors of the top two vote-getting towns — Berlin, Md., and Cazenovia — have made a friendly wager on who will win.

The prize for the victor: craft beer from their hometown brewery.

“They have a local craft brewery there in Berlin that’s very popular, so the winner will receive a growler of beer — for them it’s Burly Oak Brewery, for us it’s Empire Brewing Company,” said Cazenovia Mayor Kurt Wheeler. “We thought this would be simple and inexpensive, but symbolic of both towns’ economies and hospitality industries.”

February 20, 2014
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Hamilton Students Take Part in Advocacy Day in Albany

By Holly Foster

Posted February 17, 2014

Four Hamilton students traveled to Albany, N.Y., on Feb. 12 to take part in Student Advocacy Day.  Hosted annually by CICU, this event makes it possible for legislators to hear directly from students on what Opportunity Programs across New York State mean in their lives. The stories are powerful, personal and motivational. Hamilton students who attended were LaShawn Ware ’17, Morolake Thompson ’14, Osvaldo Adames ’15, and Leslie Campos ’15.

The students met with Assemblyman Kenneth Blankenbush, Senator David J. Valesky and Assemblyman Marc W. Butler.

February 20, 2014
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NYS senators from Syracuse ask why New York awards so much tax money to movies

By Michelle Breidenbach | mbreidenbach@syracuse.com 

on February 10, 2014 at 3:28 PM, updated February 10, 2014 at 3:37 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Sen. John DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, wants to know why New York state lavishes $420 million in tax credits on the movie industry - hundreds of millions more than other industries combined.

"Why is this so disproportionate in our state when there are so many other industries?" DeFrancisco asked. "I don't get it."

DeFrancisco, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, asked the question of NY Economic Development Commissioner Ken Adams during hearings Monday on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2014 proposed budget.

February 20, 2014
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FFA Visitors, CNY Boat Show, Free Outdoor Adventure License Plates, Tree and Shrub Sale

Several Future Farmers of America groups stopped by my Albany office this week to discuss the importance of this program and how it benefits the students who participate. I was pleased to spend time with young people from my district who are thinking about going into agriculture as a profession. 

February 14, 2014
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Syracuse Undocumented Rising raises awareness of DREAM Act’s implications

By Brett Samuels, Asst. News Editor

In mid-November, Daisy Becerra marched with around ten other students to State Senator David Valesky’s office to encourage him to support the New York DREAM Act.

The students, several of which are undocumented, walked through the cold and snow, in the hopes that Valesky would support the legislation. The legislation would give students who are undocumented immigrants access to financial aid.

“It was the first snow of the season, our signs were drenched by the time we got there, and we were freezing, absolutely freezing,” said Becerra, a senior magazine journalism major at Syracuse University. “But for me, it was worth every second.”

February 10, 2014
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Sen. David Valesky calls roll out of Common Core 'seriously flawed'

By Teri Weaver | tweaver@syracuse.com

February 07, 2014 at 2:17 PM, updated February 07, 2014 at 2:21 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida, added to calls this week from Albany lawmakers to place a moratorium on Common Core, the controversial new testing standards in elementary and secondary schools.

"While I support the Common Core standards, I believe the rollout of those standards has been seriously flawed," Valesky said today in response to a question from a reader on www.syracuse.com. "As such, I support the call from legislative leaders in both houses to consider a moratorium on the use of testing results until the process can be improved."

February 10, 2014
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State report shows thousands of regulations impede New York businesses

By Ellen Abbott

While tax breaks are the cornerstone of some of the programs in New York state meant to boost business, there are other areas where the state can become an impediment to anyone wanting to do business. A state report released recently points the finger at a bureaucracy that gets in the way.

There are 750,000 regulations on the books in New York state, many of them outdated and never reviewed. And many of them can get in the way of New York's businesses.

Oneida Democrat Dave Valesky was on the Senate Majority Coalition committee that studied these state regulations in a series of meetings, surveys and hearings last year.

February 10, 2014
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NY Senate votes to ban spending welfare money at casinos, strip clubs for third year

By Teri Weaver | tweaver@syracuse.com

February 04, 2014 at 4:54 PM, updated February 04, 2014 at 5:56 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The New York State Senate today voted to ban using cash from public assistance money to buy alcohol, tobacco products and lap dances.

The "Public Assistance Integrity Act," which passed 53-4, would prohibit people on welfare and other public help programs from using their "electronic benefits transfer" card at ATMs in liquor stores, casinos and strip clubs. It would also limit people from using cash obtained through public assistance to buy alcohol, cigarettes and lottery tickets.

February 10, 2014
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South Salina Street is being rebuilt as South Side’s financial hub

Backing Business

Posted on January 31st, 2014 by Bryan Rubin in Hometown News, More News

City officials, including Common Councilor Khalid Bey, want to see Syracuse develop a business corridor on South Salina Street. Bey, who represents the council’s 4th District, said he believes that the growth of small businesses along the street would boost Syracuse’s tax base, as South Side residents spend their dollars locally. Armed with a $1 million state grant to improve such business districts, city workers already have begun improvements to the street to make it more attractive.

February 10, 2014
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CNY lawmakers to state: Keep I-81 in same general corridor through Syracuse area

By Teri Weaver | tweaver@syracuse.com

January 30, 2014 at 7:37 AM, updated January 30, 2014 at 10:45 AM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Central New York's state lawmakers want any solution for Interstate 81 to travel along the same general path the aging highway occupies now, according to a letter sent in December to the state's top transportation official. 

February 10, 2014
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Free Home Energy Audits, Buy Madison, and New I81 Outreach Center Open

Another flu death was reported in Central New York this morning for a total of seven. If you have not yet gotten a flu shot, I urge you to do so soon, particularly if you have a chronic health condition. To find the nearest location where you can get a flu shot, visit HealthMap Vaccine Finder.

Assistance with Heating Bills

February 10, 2014
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Senator Valesky Answers Questions at Live Q&A

Senator David J. Valesky answered questions from constituents during a live Q&A hosted by syracuse.com. Topics included tax relief, the Route 81 project, campaign finance reform, and the Common Core.

February 7, 2014
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Flood Damage Relief, Help with Heat Bills, and F.O.C.U.S. Survey

Last summer’s floods taught us what we did well and what needed improvement. This week, the Senate passed a package of four bills, which I was pleased to sponsor with Senators Griffo and Seward, that will provide assistance to those who were affected by last summer’s floods, ensure expeditious relief in case of another event, and study best practices to put together a plan to mitigate damage in the future. The bills are in response to multiple floods and storm events throughout last summer that caused an estimated $80 million in damage between June 26 and July 3 in the Mohawk Valley alone. All now await Assembly action. Details about the bills are available on my website.

January 31, 2014
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Committee Meeting: Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business Meeting

Senate Standing Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business Senator David J. Valesky, Chair 10:30 AM, Tuesday, February 4, 2014 Room 511 LOB

February 4, 10:41 AM - 10:45 AM
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Senate Passes Bills to Help Flood Victims

UTICA – The New York State Senate has passed four bills aimed at improving response and providing relief to Mohawk Valley residents negatively impacted by flooding.

Senators who represent the Mohawk Valley – David Valesky, Joseph Griffo, and  James Seward – touted the bills at a news conference today at the State Office Building, Utica.

The package is:

S6345 (Valesky): Relates to creating the upstate flood mitigation task force within the Canal Corp.

S5931 (Seward): Enacts the “Mohawk Valley and Niagara County assessment relief act”

January 29, 2014
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Babies Will Get Pulse Oximetry Test Before Leaving Hospital

Starting today, the Pulse Oximetry test will be given to every newborn before discharge from the hospital, due to a law signed by Gov. Cuomo that had been promoted by American Heart Association Superheroes.

January 28, 2014
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Executive Budget Proposal, Government Modernization

Governor Cuomo released his Executive Budget proposal this week, and as he made clear, the difficult choices that we have had to make in recent years have erased a sizeable structural deficit and we are in a much better fiscal position. I share the Governor’s broad priorities to address the property tax burden, increase education funding, and create a more business friendly environment. I am especially pleased with the Governor’s focus on breaking the cycle of economic decline in Upstate New York.

January 24, 2014
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