ALBANY, 03/30/12 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today commented on final approval of the 2012-2013 state budget:
“For the second year in a row, New York has an on-time, and in fact, early, state budget. This important achievement is proof-positive that Albany is working again.
“The fiscally responsible budget cuts state spending, closes a $2 billion budget gap without raising taxes, rebuilds our upstate roads and bridges and funnels additional education aid to our neediest rural schools.
ALBANY, 03/29/12 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today commented on the education aid portion of the 2012-2013 state budget:
“Providing our upstate rural schools with the resources they need to help our students achieve more in the classroom has always been a high priority of mine. This year I fought diligently to funnel more state dollars to high need, low wealth districts – keeping in mind New York’s fiscal condition. The final per-pupil aid figures reflect that successful effort.”
Albany, 03/28-12 —State Senators James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta), Tom O’Mara (R/C-Big Flats), and Mike Nozzolio (R/C-Seneca Falls) announced today that the 2012-2013 state budget includes $800,000 in funding to assist local efforts to stop the spread of the invasive aquatic plant hydrilla, which was found last year in the Cayuga Inlet.
The trio of state lawmakers has been working closely with local leaders and other state officials to urge both houses of the Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo to provide increased state support to begin a more aggressive, effective eradication program this spring.
ALBANY, 03/27/12 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today commented on the state budget agreement:
“The announced budget agreement sets New York on course to approve an on time spending plan for a second consecutive year. More than the timeliness, the plan meets upstate needs, provides incentives for private sector job growth and closes a $3.5 billion budget gap without raising taxes.
“One item I fought hard for was funding for our rural, low-wealth school districts and additional aid was included in the final agreement. Community colleges also benefited, ensuring quality, affordable higher education for our young people.
ALBANY, 03/22/12 – The New York State Senate today passed three bills to combat auto insurance fraud, which costs New Yorkers more than $1 billion a year, as well as legislation that would impose stronger criminal penalties for staging auto accidents. Recent cases of auto insurance fraud have uncovered massive crime rings, including doctors, lawyers and scam artists who staged accidents and used New York's no-fault insurance program as their own giant state-sponsored, ATM machine.
ALBANY, 03/19/12 – The New York State Senate today passed the “Buy From the Backyard Act” to promote the purchase of locally grown or produced food.
Senator Seward co-sponsored the bill (S.2468) which requires state agencies with food contracts to buy at least 20 percent of their food from New York sources.
“Agriculture is New York’s number one industry,” said Senator Seward. “In recent years, agribusinesses have taken on all shapes and sizes – large dairy farms, small alpaca ranches, roadside vegetable stands - encouraging the use of their products will help our upstate economy grow.”
ALBANY, 03/15/12 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) announced today that the New York State Senate has passed legislation that will implement the largest expansion of the state’s DNA databank since it was created in 1994.
“DNA is a proven crime-fighting tool. Expanding its use provides police and prosecutors with the means to put more lawbreakers behind bars and offers another layer of protection for the public,” said Senator Seward. “More crimes will be solved, more criminals will be brought to justice and more innocent individuals will be exonerated through the databank expansion.”
ALBANY, 03/14/12 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) has been named to two key joint budget conference committees which held their first meetings today in Albany. Senator Seward will serve on the higher education subcommittee and the education subcommittee.
ALBANY, 03/13/12 – The New York State Senate today adopted a legislative resolution calling on Governor Cuomo to declare March 12 – 17, 2012 as Flood Safety Awareness Week in the State of New York.
Senate resolution 3593 was sponsored by Senator James L. Seward R/C/I-Oneonta) in conjunction with the national awareness week recognized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
“We are all painfully aware of the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee late last summer,” said Senator Seward. “Many communities across New York State, including in my senate district, suffered major flooding and continue to rebuild from the destruction.
ALBANY, 03/12/12 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today commented on passage of a senate budget resolution for fiscal year 2012-2013:
“Passage of a senate spending plan is an important step toward final enactment of an on-time state budget that controls spending, cuts taxes and includes vital job creation tools. The plan closes a $2 billion deficit and builds on last year’s success.
“The senate budget resolution cuts taxes on businesses and provides incentives to hire new employees – steps needed to accelerate private sector job growth in New York state.
ALBANY, 02/29/12 – The New York State Senate today passed legislation to repeal the notification provisions of the Wage Theft Protection Act, a costly mandate on every employer in the state.
Senator Seward co-sponsored the bill (S.6063A) which amends the labor law by eliminating a costly wage reporting requirement which costs employers time and money while doing nothing to help employees or create jobs.
ALBANY, 02-29-12 - The Senate’s Republican Majority has reduced senate spending by $7.8 million over the last six months and $11.1 million in the last year alone, saving hardworking taxpayers millions of dollars while creating a leaner, functional and more efficient state government. These figures were released tod
ONEONTA, 02/23/12 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) has called on New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) to upgrade electrical service in the Town and Village of Laurens in Otsego County.
A number of constituents have contacted Senator Seward concerning frequent power outages. Seward recently convened a meeting with representatives from the Town and Village of Laurens, Laurens Central School District and NYSEG to discuss the unacceptable situation.
ALBANY, 02/15/12 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I–Oneonta) today met with Governor Cuomo’s Deputy Secretary for Education David Wakelyn and delivered over 600 letters signed by parents, educators and other concerned citizens at a recent forum at Unatego High School. Senator Seward also attended the forum which was designed to facilitate a discussion on proposed state budget cuts and the impact on Unatego and similar schools.
ALBANY, 02/13/12 – With the abuse of illegally-obtained prescription narcotics growing rapidly, the New York State Senate today passed several bills to curb the black market in prescription painkillers.
Senate approval of the bills followed a roundtable discussion on the issue of abuse of prescription painkillers. This was a second in a series of public meetings discussing legislation to combat prescription drug abuse and to examine improving New York’s prescription reporting system.
ONEONTA, 02/02/12 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) has been named to two key senate budget sub-committees which will review the governor’s budget proposal and offer recommendations for modifications. Senator Seward will serve on the health sub-committee and the education sub-committee.
Regarding his health subcommittee assignment Senator Seward said:
“A number of important issues are included under the health heading – a state takeover of Medicaid, creation of a health insurance exchange, and funding for vital public health programs,” said Senator Seward. “Ensuring the public’s needs are met while keeping state spending in check will be a primary focus.”
ALBANY, 01/31/12 – The New York State Senate today passed legislation, co-sponsored by Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta), for the largest expansion of the state’s DNA databank since it was created in 1994. The legislation (S.5560A) mirrors the databank expansion plan proposed by Governor Cuomo in his executive budget to require people convicted of all felonies, as well as misdemeanors in the penal law, to submit DNA samples.
ALBANY, 01/23/12 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today announced that applications are now being accepted for the Hurricane Irene-Tropical Storm Lee Business Flood Recovery Grant Program.
“Many small businesses, farms and non-profits damaged during Irene and Lee were already operating on a tight budget before the storms and are unable to afford costly repairs on their own,” said Senator Seward. “This state grant program will help fill the gaps that private insurance, federal grants and other assistance programs haven’t covered.”
ALBANY, 01/19/12 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today announced that he was named to a newly created Senate Select Committee on Libraries. This 19-member bipartisan body was established on January 10th through passage of a senate resolution.
“Our libraries play a vital role in our communities,” Seward said. “As a long-time advocate for libraries, I look forward to furthering my role in promoting their benefits and assisting them in addressing their needs.”
The select committee is authorized to conduct meetings, conferences and public hearings to gather information and to make recommendations on library related legislative proposals.