You may have read recently about the protracted debate in Albany concerning a bailout for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). You may have also thought because it was a New York City issue, the outcome wouldn’t affect you. Unfortunately, that is not entirely the case.
The MTA bailout, which was finally approved earlier this month, will have very real consequences for upstate New York residents. Consequences that hardly seem fair considering most upstate residents will never set foot on a subway, bus or train covered under the MTA banner.
ALBANY, 05/12/09-- New York State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) is calling for a change in the vehicle and traffic law to allow volunteer emergency responders to operate fire trucks and other emergency vehicles without having to get commercial drivers’ licenses (CDL).
A little known 2005 amendment requires first responders to have CDLs to drive fire trucks except in the case of an emergency. The requirement means firefighters can drive to the scene of an emergency, but not back to the station. They are also unable to drive to training sessions or even in community parades.
Providing property tax relief to New York’s struggling homeowners has always been a top priority of mine. That’s why I was extremely disappointed when the governor decided to drop the STAR rebate check program from this year’s budget. Now, though, there is a ray of hope that the STAR checks can be revived.
ONEONTA, 05/07/09 -- Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today launched a grass-roots petition drive to restore the STAR property tax relief rebate checks important to middle class families. “Providing tax relief to New York’s struggling homeowners has always been one of my top priorities,” said Seward. “Families are struggling to make ends meet and the STAR rebate checks have provided real relief.”
New York livestock farmers may be moving closer to launching a slaughter and processing facility that will allow them to sell the meat raised on their farms.
The New York Farm Viability Institute recently awarded a $100,000 grant to the Northeast Livestock Processing Service, to help livestock farmers improve profitability through sale of local, farm-raised meats.
Senator James L. Seward and Assemblymember Peter D. Lopez announced the grant funds at events on May 1 at the SUNY Cobleskill Meat and Fisheries Lab and at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Greene County Agro-Forestry Center. Senator James L. Seward said. ``this initiative is about giving new life to livestock farmers in our region.’’
Billions of dollars in federal money is coming to New York as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). This so-called federal stimulus money is intended to create jobs and help our economy bounce back. The governor has applauded the funding and announced lists of transportation projects for every region of the state. But just how many jobs are being created?
Middleville, N.Y. - The Herkimer County Chamber of Commerce held its 41st annual Membership Meeting Luncheon Thursday at the Crystal Chandelier Restaurant on Route 28.
Executive Director John Scarano started off the meeting by congratulating the nearly 500-member-strong Chamber on its continued success despite the hardships that the current economic conditions have inflicted on small businesses around the country. He stated, “Herkimer County is a place where businesses can grow in a caring, compassionate environment, in a county where dreams can come true.”
Students from the Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga BOCES New Visions Program visited Albany on Tuesday and met with state Sens. James L. Seward, R-51st Dist., and George Winner, R-53rd Dist.
High school seniors from schools throughout Tompkins and Seneca counties met with the senators to discuss their program, which focuses on environmental and agricultural sciences.
"These students, who are all on their way to college next year, are our next generation of leaders," Seward said. "I appreciate hearing their thoughts on the environment, the economy and other current issues."
Senate Democrats held a recent press conference in New York City touting a plan to revive the STAR property tax rebate checks. Unfortunately this is nothing more than a desperate attempt to divert attention from their votes to eliminate the tax relief program. They stole the car last month. Now they want to return it.
ALBANY, 04/23/09 -- Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) was joined this week by Connor Adsit, an eleventh grade student at Cooperstown High School, as part of the League of Women Voters of New York State Education Foundation’s 9th annual Students Inside Albany conference.
“The unique program offers students an inside look at how state government runs,” said Seward. “I am pleased to take part, and show one of our state’s future leaders around the Capitol.”
CORTLAND, 04/20/09 – Senator James L. Seward (R/I/C- Oneonta) today joined Governor David A. Paterson in announcing that the New York Jets will hold their 2009 training camp at the campus of SUNY Cortland.
“Bringing the New York Jets to SUNY Cortland is exciting news on many fronts,” said Senator Seward. “This is a great opportunity for area fans to get an up close glimpse at their football heroes, while at the same time providing a major boost to the area economy.”
Thousand of New Yorkers spent some time recently rallying against high taxes. Tax Day Tea (Taxed Enough Already) Parties took place nationwide on April 15th, and several were held right here in the 51st district. The Boston-like tea parties were an opportunity for people to vent their anger over their ever growing tax bills. I too feel the frustration expressed by these hard working, overburdened taxpayers.
ONEONTA, 04/15/09 – Senator James L. Seward (R/I/C- Oneonta) commented today on Tax Day Tea (Taxed Enough Already) Parties occurring in his district.
“Hard working taxpayers are gathering throughout my district today to speak out against the ever growing tax burden they are forced to shoulder. I join them in expressing my frustration with the rising cost of living in New York due in great part to ever increasing taxes.
Now that the new state budget is in place analysts from across New York have been weighing in on the plan. Almost universally the reaction has been negative. As time goes on, and people start to feel the effects of this budget first hand, I expect to hear more and more criticism.
ONEONTA, 04/09/09 -- Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today criticized Governor David Paterson for announcing an outreach program for consumers who can’t pay their energy bills, just days after pushing through a massive utility tax hike that will make it even tougher for people to pay them.
ALBANY, 04/07/09 – Senator James L. Seward (R/I/C- Oneonta) this week administered the oath of office to new Village of Coxsackie Mayor Mark Evans and re-elected trustees.
Before the swearing-in Seward told the standing room only crowd on hand at the Coxsackie Village Hall that “holding office in local government is a vital and important service. It is also one of the most difficult because you see your constituents on the village streets each and every day.”