ONEONTA, 12/20/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today applauded the announcement that counties in the 51st senate district will receive nearly $7 million through the Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant (SICG) program to improve emergency communications.
“A reliable communication network is an essential tool for emergency responders,” said Senator Seward. “These grants will help provide that tool, protecting the lives of those who live and work in upstate New York, while also ensuring the safety of our firefighters, ambulance workers and police. The funding will also offset a major expense that taxpayers simply cannot afford to shoulder on their own.”
COBLESKILL - 12/12/11- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I–Oneonta) and Assemblyman Pete Lopez (R/C/I-Schoharie) joined with local officials and area businesses at SUNY Cobleskill today to focus on newly-awarded state funds aimed at rebuilding flood ravaged communities and strengthening job creation in Schoharie County.
In today’s briefing, Senator Seward and Assemblyman Lopez drew attention to over $5 million dollars for growing the county’s economy and to $50 million approved for flood recovery in Schoharie County and in other declared disaster areas across New York State.
ALBANY, 12/08/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today announced additional details in regard to flood assistance legislation approved during this week’s special legislative session.
“As communities throughout my senate district and across upstate continue to rebuild from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, I am pleased the recently completed special legislative session produced some significant help,” said Senator Seward.
ALBANY, 12/07/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today applauded the Middle Class Tax Cut and Job Creation Plan which helps rejuvenate the upstate economy and includes special state funding to assist flood devastated communities.
“This plan means lower taxes - $690 million worth – for hard-working, middle class New Yorkers, the backbone of our communities. That’s money that will now flow through our local economy and create jobs. At the same time, we are cutting taxes for manufacturers helping them create additional jobs and continue to drive our economy forward,” Seward said.
ONEONTA, 12/04/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today announced the launch of an on-line petition drive in support of Medicaid reform legislation that he is co-sponsoring.
“Overburdened taxpayers in upstate New York and across the state are desperate for relief,” said Senator Seward. “The property tax cap was a great first step, but as I have said all along, it needs to be linked to mandate relief for local governments.
ONEONTA, 11/29/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today announced he is co-sponsoring legislation that will close a loophole in the state’s child abuse reporting requirements. The “College Coaches and Professionals Reporting Act” adds college coaches, athletic directors, professors, graduate assistants, administrators and college presidents to the list of mandatory reporters of child abuse in New York.
ONEONTA, 11/28/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today joined members of Governor Cuomo’s Upstate Storm and Recovery Task Force at a summit to assess the state's ongoing recovery efforts in response to the damage caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The meeting was held in the Town of Windham and included state agency commissioners, local elected officials, community representatives, and was chaired by Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy.
ONEONTA, 11/25/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) was recently honored as a recipient of the “Circle of Friends” award from the New York Farm Bureau, the state’s leading and most respected agricultural advocacy organization.
“Agriculture is our state’s number one industry. It is vital to our economy and our way of life,” said Senator Seward. “It is a great honor to work with our upstate farmers and agribusinesses and I will continue to do all I can to assist in their growth.”
Overburdened taxpayers in upstate New York and across the state are desperate for relief. The tax cap was a great first step but to actually cut property taxes, county governments need relief from unfunded mandates handed down by the state. Medicaid is the largest mandated budget item for every county in New York State and is the primary reason that New Yorkers pay the highest property taxes in the nation.
ONEONTA, 11/10/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today presented the following statement at a forum organized by the City of Oneonta, Otsego 2000, and the Otsego County Conservation Association regarding proposed natural gas drilling regulations:
“Thanks to City of Oneonta, Otsego 2000 and the Otsego County Conservation Association for organizing tonight’s hearing.
“Hydrofracturing and natural gas drilling have implications for generations to come and it is vital that everyone have an opportunity to be heard on this matter.
“This is a topic on which people of good conscience, and intent, disagree.
ONEONTA, 11/16/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today alerted residents and business owners who suffered damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee of additional flood recovery resources now available. “I have joined Governor Cuomo and members of the Upstate Storm Recovery Task Force in meeting with those devastated by Irene and Lee and appreciate the continuing effort from state agencies to assist those in need,” said Senator Seward.
“The initial storms were devastating but the ongoing recovery is just as daunting. As families and business owners make life-altering decisions they need to know what specific government support is available to help them rebuild.
ONEONTA, 11/16/11 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I–Oneonta) recently joined in the grand reopening of the Pony Farm Road bridge in the Town of Oneonta. The bridge connecting State Route 7 and Pony Farm Road had been closed since January 2008.
“Pony Farm Road businesses and residents rely on this bridge for improved access and safety,” said Senator Seward. “By leveraging public and private funding sources the long-awaited span was completed without impacting local taxes – a major plus.”
On Veterans Day, Americans should pause and reflect on the sacrifices made by our veterans. Whether combat veterans or Cold War veterans, all who served need to be given proper praise for a job well done. Our veterans have faced hardships that a non-veteran could never fully understand. Some have faced death in defending our nation’s freedom. Veterans possess the core American values of loyalty, duty, respect, honor, selfless service, personal courage and integrity.
ONEONTA, 11/02/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today alerted residents and business owners who suffered damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Irene that the deadline to register for federal assistance has been extended until December 15, 2011. “Many families and businesses in communities devastated by Irene and Lee have already received federal assistance to begin the painstaking process of rebuilding. If you are eligible for assistance but have not yet applied I urge you to register immediately,” said Seward.
ONEONTA, 11/01/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today applauded an administrative decision to reschedule the due date for an “extra” mandated Medicaid payment from counties in 2012. The slight postponement will save homeowners and taxpayers millions of dollars statewide.
“Local elected leaders are already dealing with enough bureaucratic red tape and increased costs without adding an unintentional calendar quirk to the equation,” said Senator Seward. “By reversing the mandate that would have forced counties to write an additional check in 2012, taxpayers will avoid a costly expense.”
ONEONTA, 10/17/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today announced he is co-sponsoring legislation (S.5889-B) that will reform the cost administration of New York State’s Medicaid system through a phased-in state takeover - gradually eliminating the local share traditionally paid by county governments and funded by property taxes.
“After working for years to convert the masses in Albany, a property tax cap is finally in place,” said Senator Seward. “The cap is a major milestone but it needs to be linked to substantial mandate relief for local governments – a step we can take by exorcising the biggest mandate demon – Medicaid.”
ONEONTA, 10/07/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today announced he is co-sponsoring legislation requiring New York’s drivers to pass eye exams in order to renew their licenses. The legislation is in response to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles’ rash plan to eliminate the eye exam requirement.
“Operating a motor vehicle requires several skills starting with accurate eye sight,” said Senator Seward. “Dropping the eye exam requirement for drivers is a roadmap to disaster and that is why I am co-sponsoring legislation (S.5904) that would guarantee this essential safety measure is not kicked to the curb.”
ONEONTA, 09/29/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today called on the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to reverse plans to eliminate vision test requirements for drivers renewing their licenses.
“The DMV’s plan to drop eye tests for a driver license renewal is short-sighted and reckless,” said Senator Seward. “Clear vision is essential for safe driving. Allowing motorists to get behind the wheel with even a hint of question in regard to their eye sight is irresponsible.”
DMV Commissioner Barbara Fiala announced earlier this week the department’s plan to change its regulations so that motorists no longer have to submit to a simple eye test before they have their license renewed.
WINDHAM, 09/22/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today joined officials with The Guardian Life Insurance Company in announcing special funding to assist flood victims in storm damaged Windham.
“Guardian is setting the example for how good neighbors treat one another in times of tragedy,” Seward said. “Touring storm damaged portions of my district, including Windham, I have witnessed people banding together – neighbors helping neighbors, strangers helping strangers – with a common goal of rebuilding. Guardian is clearly on the front line of the reconstruction effort.”