ALBANY, 06/21/11 – The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.5811) that will modernize the regulation of commercial insurance. The legislation, sponsored by the Chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta), will exempt some large commercial insurance policyholders from certain state requirements.
“This legislation is a much needed step toward streamlining and modernizing insurance regulation in New York state,” said Senator Seward. “The changes will also keep premium dollars right here, helping bolster an already robust insurance job market.”
ALBANY, 06/21/11 – The New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.1682) that would designate the Herkimer Diamond as the official state mineral. The legislation, sponsored by Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta), celebrates the distinctive quartz crystals from the Mohawk Valley.
“Formed almost 500 million years ago and known worldwide, the Herkimer Diamond deserves to be properly recognized across New York,” said Senator Seward. “I am extremely proud that the state senate has approved legislation naming the Herkimer Diamond as the official mineral of New York State.”
ALBANY, 06/21/11 – The New York State Senate recently passed legislation (S.2382-A) that for the first time in state history would protect the right to hunt, trap and fish in New York. The legislation, sponsored by Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta), calls for a state constitutional amendment protecting the long-standing outdoor traditions.
“New York’s outdoor sporting traditions have deep roots,” stated Senator Seward. “Protecting the fundamental rights to hunt, trap and fish through a state constitutional amendment would ensure their continuation for generations to come.”
ALBANY, 06/13/11 -- The New York State Senate today passed a bill (S.4555A) that would allow Otsego County to withdraw from the Montgomery, Otsego, Schoharie Solid Waste Authority (MOSA) at their discretion. The legislation, sponsored by Senator James L. Seward (R-C-I, Oneonta), establishes the legal roadmap for Otsego County to leave the authority.
ALBANY, 06/09/11 – Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Insurance Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I, Oneonta) and Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Health Senator Kemp Hannon (R/C/I, Garden City) joined today to announce legislation (S.5652) has been filed in the senate that will establish a blueprint for the development and implementation of the Health Insurance Exchange in New York State, mandated by the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA).
ALBANY, 06/02/11 – New York State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I, Oneonta) and Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes (D, Buffalo) today were joined by State University of New York (SUNY) officials in calling for the immediate passage of legislation establishing a rational tuition policy for SUNY.
Enactment of a five-year, fair, predictable and responsible tuition plan for SUNY will protect access and affordability, allow students and families to plan for the cost of their education, and ensure that additional tuition revenue is invested in campus improvements and program development.
ONEONTA, 05/27/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today concluded a tour of his district, joining local veterans and postal officials to announce that the Purple Heart postage stamp has been classified as a “Forever” stamp, ensuring that it will continue in circulation as a lasting tribute to wounded veterans.
“As we approach Memorial Day it is important to recognize the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country and our way of life,” said Senator Seward. “Classifying the Purple Heart stamp as a “Forever” stamp is an important step by the U.S. Postal Service in recognizing our military heroes.”
ALBANY, 05/24/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today announced senate approval of legislation eliminating the state gas tax for three key holiday weekends to help families cope with the rising cost at the pump.
“New Yorkers are facing increasing costs at every turn and soaring gas prices have many tapped out,” said Senator Seward. “Families need a break, especially over the summer holidays when many are traveling. A gas tax holiday would provide some much needed relief.”
ALBANY, 05/24/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today announced he is co-sponsoring legislation that would give local governments veto power over natural gas drilling through zoning authority.
“The topic of drilling in the Marcellus Shale has elicited an overwhelming response with varied opinions on all sides of the issue. One thing that cannot be discounted moving forward is the desire of local residents,” said Senator Seward. “That is why I am co-sponsoring legislation (S.3472) that would empower local governments and allow them to regulate natural gas drilling through local planning and zoning.”
ALBANY, 05/17/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today joined in supporting Brittany’s Law (S.3645C) that would establish a statewide violent felony offender registry by requiring offenders to register with the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services upon release from prison. The law is intended to increase the safety of all New Yorkers by providing access to the list of convicted violent offenders.
“New Yorkers have the right to know when violent offenders are living next door, interacting with loved ones, and possibly endangering their lives,” said Senator Seward. “A violent felony offender registry will also provide law enforcement officials with an important crime-fighting tool.”
ONEONTA, 05/10/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today announced that community libraries throughout the 51st senatorial district have been awarded a total of nearly $1.1 million in public library construction grant funds.
"Our libraries are vital to our communities, especially in these tough economic times" Seward said. “Libraries are also some of the most historic landmarks we have and are in need of repairs and upgrades to ensure their future viability and accessibility.”
COOPERSTOWN, 05/09/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today announced that the state senate recently approved a special legislative resolution he sponsored calling on the governor to proclaim May 8 – 14 as Williams Syndrome Awareness Week in the State of New York.
“Williams syndrome is a relatively unknown genetic disorder, yet it affects 1 in 10,000 people worldwide,” said Senator Seward. “Generating public awareness about Williams syndrome is an important step in supporting patients who suffer from the disorder, along with their families, improving care and advancing future research.”
COOPERSTOWN, 04/29/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today announced that the state budget includes, at his insistence, $100,000 to continue the state’s participation in National History Day. The announcement coincided with the statewide judging of student projects in Cooperstown.
"Students in our schools need to know more about history -- state, national and world,” said Senator Seward. “State participation in National History Day promotes academic achievement, intellectual growth and offers the personal reward of knowing more about our past. The program also shines a light on the New York State Historical Society, a true Otsego County gem.”
MILFORD, 04/25/11 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) toured the Cooperstown Brewing company recently to celebrate the bottling of the brewery’s five-millionth bottle of beer.
“The Cooperstown Brewing Company is a testament to what a small business can accomplish in upstate New York,” said Senator Seward. “I have been pleased to offer my support when possible and look forward to the company’s continued success.”
“Senator Seward knows that small companies create jobs and are the backbone of our economy in New York state,” said Cooperstown Brewing President Stan Hall. “The senator’s support has certainly helped us reach this major milestone.”
RICHFIELD SPRINGS, 04/18/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today announced that the state budget includes, at his insistence, $100,000 to protect New York farmers through continuation of the highly successful New York Rollover Protection System (ROPS) Rebate Program.
“Agriculture is our state’s number one industry. It is vital to our economy and our way of life,” said Senator Seward. “Ensuring our farmers have proper safety equipment is crucial and that is why I have strongly supported the ROPS rebate program since its inception.”
MOHAWK, 04/14/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today joined Village of Mohawk Mayor Irene Sweet to announce the recent completion of the Minnow Brook culvert repair project. The project was funded through a $400,000 Multi Modal grant previously secured by Senator Seward.
“Local infrastructure is critical to the well-being of families and individuals as well as future economic growth,” said Senator Seward. “Often times, however, repair costs are just too much for a small rural municipality to afford. I was pleased to step in and help secure funding to protect public safety and the bottom line for those who live and work in the Village of Mohawk.”
ALBANY, 04/12/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I–Oneonta) today joined legislative colleagues and representatives of business organizations from across the state urging the assembly to act on a meaningful property tax cap bill. “Home and business owners across my district continue to cite skyrocketing property taxes as one of their top concerns,” said Senator Seward. “The senate has already done its work, passing Governor Cuomo’s property tax cap legislation – now it’s time for the assembly to get with the program and join us.”
The New York State Senate has completed passage of the 2011-12 state budget one day prior to the April 1st budget deadline. The budget, which has now received final approval by the Assembly, achieves the critically important goals of reducing state spending, not raising taxes and creating new private sector jobs.
To learn more about the State's new fiscally responsible budget plan, I encourage you to review the documents below.
ALBANY, 03/30/11 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today commented on final approval of the state budget: “For the first time in twenty-eight years New York has an early state budget. Along with being done in advance of the April 1 deadline, the plan takes major steps to improve our economic climate, and meets the needs of our families and individuals who are ready for an Empire State rebirth.
ALBANY, 03/28/11 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today commented on the budget agreement announced by the governor and legislative leaders:
“The budget agreement balances the books in Albany and accomplishes the goals I announced I would pursue at the start of the year – lowering state spending, ending tax hikes, and providing incentives for upstate job growth.
“The agreement also restores some funding for needy school districts and eliminates numerous costs shifts to local governments, both necessary steps to help keep local property taxes in check.