James L. Seward's Reports

Saving Gas This Summer

As motorists tighten their belts to beat the high cost of fuel, government should cut back too. I have proposed rolling back the tax on gas to relieve some of the pressure on motorists’ wallets.

May 1, 2008
Read more...

Budget Helps Our Farms

Agriculture continues to be New York’s number one industry, and there are many innovative opportunities in agriculture that will revitalize our economy. About 25 percent of the state’s land area, or 7.5 million acres, is covered by 35,000 farms. New York is among America’s major agricultural states, ranking number 2 in apples and maple syrup, number 3 in dairy, grapes, wine and corn silage, number 4 in pears, and number 5 in floriculture.

April 17, 2008
Read more...

Budget Spends Less, Spends Better

The state legislature wrapped up the state budget on April 9 -- nine days after the start of the new fiscal year. We were faced with some extraordinary challenges, like a change in governors just before the start of the new fiscal year. We lost several days when governors came and went, the transition, questions about the new governor's marital life. Given all that, the budget got done in relatively short order.

April 10, 2008
Read more...

See If You Are Entitled To New York State Unclaimed Funds

You may be entitled to some of the over $8 billion in unclaimed funds in New York State. A simple internet search is all it takes to see if you are eligible.

April 7, 2008
Read more...

Protecting Our Seniors

Random, predatory violence has grown in America. Last year, Rose Morat, a 101-year-old Queens woman, was brutally attacked and mugged on her way to church. The same attacker went on to beat and mug 85-year-old Solange Elizee just a half an hour later.

Our elderly are particularly vulnerable to attacks from youthful, agile thugs. They often can not and do not fight back.

April 3, 2008
Read more...

Focusing On Property Tax Reform

I have received a volume of mail recently concerning rising assessments, community revaluations, and the effect of inflated home assessments in a down market. Many want to know how the reassessments will affect their property taxes, and why they pay more taxes than a family across the street in a similar home -- but in another town or village.

April 3, 2008
Read more...

Seward: Keep Our Schools Safe

With the news daily reporting sexual abuse of students and school violence, it's important to be sure our state doesn't take a step back in protecting our school's students. That why the senate has announced action on a comprehensive plan to enhance school safety and ensure the well-being of millions of children.

April 3, 2008
Read more...

Senate Okays Spending Cap

The past two state budgets have increased state spending dramatically, and last year the governor's proposed budget offered one of the largest increases in state spending in history. In addition, the governor's budget -- which we still have to work from, in spite of his resignation -- has proposed massive tax increases on hardworking New Yorkers to pay for spending hikes. To make matters worse, the assembly majority has recommended a $1.5 billion tax increase.

April 3, 2008
Read more...

Too Many 'get Out Of Jail Free' Cards

Remember those rainy days when you played Monopoly and you got a 'Get out of jail free' card' so you could keep playing if you landed in jail? It's for real for some New York jailbirds right now.

February 11, 2008
Read more...

A Budget Of Broken Promises

Governor Spitzer has made a number of promises to New Yorkers during his first 13 months in office. Let's see how his proposed budget matches up.

The promise: "I will not raise taxes – you can take that to the bank." In his 2008 State of the State the governor said: "We need lower taxes, strong infrastructure, great places to live and above all great jobs." In his State of Upstate speech he promised his budget "will not raise taxes."

February 4, 2008
Read more...

Senator Seward Reports On...lead In Toys

    Get the lead out! That used to be a local expression used to urge someone not to poke along on the highway. It's a message we should start sending to toymakers and manufacturers and importers of consumer goods.

January 18, 2008
Read more...

Hit By The Subprime Crisis? Here's Help

A sharp rise in the number of defaults on subprime and adjustable rate mortgages gave way to the current U.S. housing crisis, which quickly became one of the top issues of 2007. Borrowers were attracted to high-risk mortgages because of their initially low interest rates which, at the time, gave those with modest incomes the ability to purchase expensive homes. However, initial low rates quickly ballooned to levels that were unaffordable, resulting in widespread defaults and foreclosures.

January 14, 2008
Read more...

Boosting Our Math And Science Competitiveness

One recurring theme heard in discussions about both education and economic development is the state's inability to produce and retain scientists and mathematicians -- critical fields in the state's drive to take advantage of growth in cutting edge high tech fields. Without a substantial number of students entering science and math based careers, New York can't attract and retain employers in the new lines of chip fab or semiconductor production.

December 31, 2007
Read more...

Boosting Our Math And Science Competitivenes

    One recurring theme heard in discussions about both education and economic development is the state's inability to produce and retain scientists and mathematicians -- critical fields in the state's drive to take advantage of growth in cutting edge high tech fields. Without a substantial number of students entering science and math based careers, New York can't attract and retain employers in the new lines of chip fab or semiconductor production.

December 31, 2007
Read more...

New Lending, Consumer Laws Kick In January 1

    Additional property tax relief totaling $1.3 billion for New York families, a consumer bill of rights for airline passengers, and legislation to improve oversight of the mortgage lending industry highlight the list of new laws scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2008.

December 24, 2007
Read more...

Senate Fights Computer Crimes Against Children

When the state senate returned to Albany to continue our ongoing work to provide property tax relief, boost our economy and protect the children of the state, we put on our priority list a key bill that's going to help us catch and nail those who prey on our children with the use of computers. It's horrible to think about and the news almost everyday includes some sickening tale of a person who has exploited children in some way and used the Internet to send photographs or other information to others with similar immoral interests.

December 17, 2007
Read more...

What Benefits Can Illegal Aliens Receive?

During the recent flap over Gov. Spitzer's plan to issue drivers' licenses to illegal aliens, the question arose as to what benefits an illegal alien in New York can receive. Here is a quick look at what New York State grants to illegal immigrants.

Conservation.

November 21, 2007
Read more...

Protecting Victims Of Domestic Violence

During the recent flap over Gov. Spitzer's plan to issue drivers' licenses to illegal aliens, the question arose as to what benefits an illegal alien in New York can receive. Here is a quick look at what New York State grants to illegal immigrants.

Conservation.

November 13, 2007
Read more...

Senate Issues Report On Drivers’ License Plan

The New York State Senate Majority Task Force on Immigration has released a comprehensive report on Governor Spitzer’s plan to grant drivers' licenses to illegal aliens. The report, "Fiasco: The Governor’s Plan to Grant Illegal Aliens Driver’s Licenses in New York State" is the first legislative report that provides a detailed analysis of the withdrawn plan and its potential impact on New York State.

September 1, 2007
Read more...
Syndicate content