James L. Seward

Top News

Return To Albany

  In short order I will join my colleagues in state government and return to Albany for a special legislative session.  The agenda, most likely, will be limited to a few housekeeping matters and one extremely difficult bookkeeping task – how to close a $2.1 billion dollar budget gap.

 There are no simple answers to this complex financial problem and a brief special session is merely providing a band-aid to a gushing wound.  Sound, fundamental policy shifts are needed if we are going to stem the bleeding and make a long term recovery.

August 28, 2009

Seward & Butler Check On New Technology In Frankfort

The Evening Times

By Rob Juteau

Frankfort, N.Y. - More than a year after announcing that they would be taking the light bulb to the next level with the creation of a division focused on developing light-emitting diodes, officials at Fiberdyne Labs welcomed state Senator James Seward and state Assemblyman Marc Butler to their location in the Frankfort 5S North Business Park Tuesday for an inspection of sorts.

August 26, 2009
August 22, 2009

Constitutional Makeover

New York state government is in need of a makeover.  While many positive reforms were approved at the end of the last senate session, much work is left undone.  Elected officials must do their part to institute reform, but the public should also play a role.  That’s why I am sponsoring legislation calling for a state constitutional convention.

August 21, 2009

Seward Announces Child Care Grants - Vital Support For Working Families

CORTLAND, 08/20/09 – At the YWCA of Cortland County, Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today announced that the 2009-2010 state budget includes, at his request, special funding to provide for essential child care programs for working families.

August 20, 2009

Seward Announces Herkimer County Fair Funding

FRANKFORT, 08/18/09 – During the opening ceremony for the 2009 Herkimer County Fair, Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today announced that the 2009-2010 state budget includes, at his request, a $15,000 senate grant toward a new pavilion on the fairgrounds.

“The senate funding will help this growing county fair showcase local agriculture and draw additional exhibitors and fair-goers to the grounds in Frankfort,” said Senator Seward. “Other community events held at the fairgrounds will also be able to take advantage of this new pavilion.”

August 18, 2009

Rising Cost To Drive

Every New Yorker who drives a car, a truck, a motorcycle, an ATV, or a boat will be paying more as the latest round of massive tax and fee hikes approved by Democrats in Albany takes effect next month.  This time their target is motor vehicle fees, most of which will go up 25 percent for virtually every type of vehicle New Yorkers use every day.

If you drive a car you will pay more to get or renew your license and register the vehicle.  If you own a boat, an ATV or other vehicle, it will cost you more not only to register it, but to transport it as well, as fees on trailers will go up.

August 14, 2009

Worcester, Oneonta Bridge Construction Nears

ONEONTA, 08/10/09 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today announced that railroad funding toward the cost of the replacement of two railroad bridges in Otsego County has been received by local officials and construction work should begin shortly.

Otsego County will replace the Brooker Hollow Road bridge in the Town of Worcester and the Town of Oneonta will replace the railroad bridge spanning State Route 7 and Pony Farm Road in the Town of Oneonta. 

August 10, 2009

Course Correction Needed For State Finances

            The New York State Division of the Budget recently released its first quarter update to the state financial plan.  The update includes revised information on state revenues, spending and other financial indicators.  Unfortunately, the report did not include a rainbow and a pot of gold.

August 7, 2009

Extend Comment Period For Natural Gas Drilling Regs

ONEONTA, 08/04/09 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) is calling on the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to extend the public comment period on the draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) for natural gas drilling applications. 

August 4, 2009

Seward & Lopez Make Plea For Struggling Farmers

ONEONTA, 07/31/09 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) and Assemblyman Pete Lopez (R/C/I – Schoharie) are calling on the governor to release a minimum of $60 million in federal stimulus funds to save New York farms.

“Milk prices are dropping and many of our dairy farmers are at the brink of financial disaster,” said Senator Seward.  “We need to take immediate steps to protect our number one industry, or many small family run farmers will be forced out of business.”

August 3, 2009

Seward Visits Site of Italian Community Bake Oven

The Evening Times

By Rob Juteau

Little Falls, N.Y. - An artifact of the diverse ethnic heritage of the Mohawk Valley, Preserve Our Past has undertaken the stabilization of the Italian community bake oven that is listed on the New York State and National Register of Historic Places.

July 31, 2009

Summer Time Is Fair Time

 Summer is in full swing and one of the best ways to spend a day or night in upstate New York is enjoying some time at the local county fair.  Young or old, there is nothing better than the enchanting sights along the midway, the lighthearted sound of children laughing with excitement, or the enticing aroma of sausage sandwiches and fried dough.

July 31, 2009

Federal Transportation Funds Available

ONEONTA, 07/28/09 -- Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today announced applications are being accepted to help local governments fund “shovel ready” transportation projects.

"Local governments are struggling to keep property taxes down while maintaining their transportation and infrastructure systems,” said Seward.  “Our upstate economy depends on well maintained highways to attract new companies and help existing businesses grow.  Quality of life issues and the safety of our residents are also at stake.”

July 28, 2009

Dairy Crisis Looms

   In our ever evolving world, one thing has not changed: farming remains the number one industry in New York state.  Despite that fact, many of our hard working farmers are being forced out of business, while others are in need of a lifeline to preserve this time honored tradition.

July 24, 2009

Radio Station Expansion Increases Public Safety

The Daily Star

By Denise Richardson

ONEONTA _ SUNY Oneonta's public-radio staff is working to broadcast beyond Oneonta and reach more of Otsego County, station and college administrators said Wednesday.

July 23, 2009

New Utility Tax Takes Effect

The Daily Star

By Jake Palmateer

ONEONTA - Area residents are starting to see a new charge on their utility bills.

A "conservation assessment" and an increase in a fee to fund the Public Service Commission are resulting in a 2 percent increase in energy bills, according to National Grid and New York State Electric & Gas.

The utility increases will hit residents and businesses alike, said state Sen. James Seward, R-Milford.

"We estimate for a family, it could cost an additional $200 a year for electricity," Seward said. "For businesses, you get up into the thousands of dollars."

July 21, 2009

Stimulus Setback

A couple of months ago I made a plea for genuine oversight of the federal stimulus dollars flowing into our state.  While the governor’s office did enact a few minor measures, real checks and balances have not been instituted.

July 17, 2009

Seward Announces Local Housing Grants

ONEONTA, 07/16/09 -- Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) announced today that local governments and not-for-profit housing organizations across the 51st senatorial district have been awarded over $3.6 million in grants to provide safe, affordable housing for low-income individuals and families.

July 16, 2009

Seward Calls On Governor To Rethink Highway Signs

ONEONTA, 07/14/09 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) is calling on the governor to stop wasting taxpayer money on needless road signs marking American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) projects.

“A plan to post specially designed road signs identifying economic stimulus project work sites is a complete waste of taxpayer dollars,” said Senator Seward.  “I thought the idea behind the stimulus money was to get people back to work, not promote government.  These signs are simply a shameless plug that wastes the public’s money.  Try explaining to an out of work father or mother or a small businessman trying to afford health insurance for his employees how a big green sign is helping stimulate the economy.”

July 14, 2009