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.
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."
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.
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.
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.”
I am pleased to announce that after a brief hiatus, the new and improved New York State Senate is back in business. Admittedly the Albany impasse lasted a bit longer than I had expected or hoped, but key reforms are now being enacted that will change the culture in the senate and clear the way for policy changes that will mean a great deal to upstate New York.
Since the start of the year the New York City political bosses ran the show in Albany and the results have not been good for upstate New York.
ALBANY, 07/10/09 -- Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today commented on the end of the senate impasse:
“The senate has returned to the people’s business after winning reforms to make the senate more transparent and accountable and limit the power of legislative leaders. People will benefit from a more democratic, bipartisan institution.
With summer here and long warm days ahead many people will be headed out on our numerous bodies of water to enjoy a day of boating. Whether it is a lazy day on a sail boat, an adventure in a canoe or an exhilarating afternoon water skiing there is no better place to enjoy yourself than on the waterways of upstate New York. Certainly though, many things should be considered before you set out.
ALBANY, 06/24/09 -- Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today commented on the fight for senate leadership:
“It has become apparent that the governor’s calls for special sessions have not stopped the circus at the Capitol and more definitive action must be taken. That’s why today I joined with my senate reform coalition colleagues in calling for binding arbitration to resolve the leadership dispute.
ALBANY, 06/22/09 - The Senate Reform Coalition today proposed a new governing structure that provides for the bipartisan designation of committee co-chairs, equal membership on committees, equal resources for both conferences and a jointly prepared active list of legislation. The plan was developed in an effort to forge a bipartisan compromise that will enable the Senate session to move forward.
CATSKILL — A lively and welcoming crowd, combined with a wide assortment of homemade dishes ranging from hearty pot roast to no-bake oatmeal cookies resulted in the rousing success of the first Senior Citizen Cookoff in roughly 30 years.
The school year is winding down and children across the state are on the cusp of summer vacation. While this is certainly a time to enjoy the outdoors, family vacations and a few lazy days, I hope that families will take some time to stop by the local library and take part in the New York Statewide Summer Reading Program.
Recent events in Albany have sparked a new day of reform that will mean a great deal for the residents of New York state. The changes came amidst a dramatic, historic week at the Capitol, and the results will mean a more open, transparent government that will provide equitable representation for all New Yorkers.
CATSKILL — State legislators representing Greene County agreed that consolidation of municipal governments and services could alleviate property tax increases, but hope certain changes can be made to the bill before it is sent to Gov. David A. Paterson for signature.
The New N.Y. Government Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment Act passed a June 1 state Senate vote of 46-16.
It passed a June 3 vote in the state Assembly of 118-26.
For those of you who have been following state politics recently you are almost certainly aware of the new state budget enacted at the beginning of April. I voted against this plan for several reasons. It taxes too much, fails to create much needed upstate jobs and it includes record state spending. These are among the reasons why New York is struggling right now with deep economic and fiscal issues. I believe, however, that we can turn things around and a new plan, the “Taxpayer Empowerment Act” (TEA) is the start.