James L. Seward

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Freeze High Energy Bills

As we work our way through another upstate New York winter there are many exciting outdoor pursuits to help pass the time.  Skiing, snowmobiling, hiking, ice fishing and simply riding a sled in the backyard with the kids are just some of the activities so many of use enjoy.


Unfortunately, the cold temperatures lead to an indoor activity none of us are too fond of- paying the heating and electric bills.  When the days are shorter and the temperatures colder the home energy bills can sky rocket.  The good news is that there are steps you can take to help keep your costs under control.

January 14, 2010

CSI - Upstate

ONEONTA, 01/08/10 -- In media conferences across his district kicking off the 2010 session of the New York State Senate, Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) outlined his agenda of state spending cuts, property tax relief and business investments he dubbed “CSI – Upstate.”

January 8, 2010


As we start 2010 it is time for New York to embark on a new direction.  Our economic struggles have been well documented, particularly across the upstate region, and the time has come to change our thinking and generate a true rebirth.  Last year we went to the edge of the cliff and if we are to avoid plunging into the financial abyss some tough decisions are required.

January 7, 2010

State of the State Falls Short

ALBANY, 01/06/10 -- Senator James L. Seward today commented on Gov. Paterson’s State of the State address:

“As we start 2010 it is time for New York to take a new direction.   Last year we went to the edge of the cliff and in order to keep from going over we will need to make some difficult decisions. 

January 6, 2010

Authority Reform

While the debate over the state budget was rightfully grabbing headlines over the past few weeks, other pieces of important legislation were also discussed and voted on in Albany.  Among those receiving approval was senate bill 1537B, authority reform.  This important reform measure, which has been signed into law

December 31, 2009

'Tis The Season For Safe Shopping

While shopping our local main streets is still one of the best ways to get in the holiday spirit and at the same time help spark the local economy, shopping online has also become a very popular way to purchase gifts.   Whether during the holiday season or any other time of the year, Internet shoppers can reduce their chances of becoming victims of online predators by following some simple tips.

According to the New York State Consumer Protection Board (NYSCPB), online shoppers should follow these safety guidelines:

December 17, 2009

Funding For Greene County Pop Warner Announced

CATSKILL, 12/12/09 – Joined by players, coaches and families, Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today announced that the 2009-2010 state budget includes, at his request, a $5,000 senate grant toward new equipment and lighting for the Greene County Pop Warner Football league.

“The senate funding will help improve the football experience for our young men and women,” said Senator Seward.  “For many of these athletes this is their first opportunity to take part in organized athletics, a step along what can be a very rewarding path.”

December 11, 2009

Proper Protection Needed Before Drilling

The clock is ticking on the public comment period for those interested in registering their thoughts on revised natural gas drilling regulations.  The topic has understandably generated a great deal of interest as the regulations will likely govern potential drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation for the foreseeable future.

December 10, 2009

Herkimer County Pistol License System On Target

HERKIMER, 12/09/09 -- Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) joined law enforcement officials today for a demonstration of the new Herkimer County sheriff’s computer based pistol license and weapons tracking program. 

“Herkimer County is one of only a handful of counties across the state utilizing this new, cutting-edge technology to issue pistol licenses,” said Senator Seward.  “The system reduces paperwork for local officials while enhancing record keeping and streamlining the registration process for qualified gun owners.”

December 9, 2009

Seward Ushers In The Holidays At Kaaterskill Care

By Colin DeVries

Hudson-Catskill Newspapers

The 17th annual tree lighting ceremony at Kaaterskill Care Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation brought friends, family and local dignitaries together to share in the holiday spirit.

December 4, 2009

DRP Is Just A Start

New York’s finances have been front and center over the past several weeks.  Every time you opened the newspaper or turned on the television or radio another story concerning the budget deficit was making headlines.  Now after multiple special sessions in Albany a budget deal has been finalized.  However, this won’t be the last time you hear about the state’s financial situation.

December 4, 2009

A Time To Give Thanks

While I typically devote my weekly column to the work of state government and the efforts of the New York State Senate to propose, craft and pass laws that would improve our lives, this week I wanted to take a momentary departure to observe one of the governmental roots of Thanksgiving.

November 20, 2009

Seward Fights To Rescue Greene County Jobs

Photo:  Senator Seward arrives at Stiefel Labs, Oak Hill for a meeting on the plant's future in Greene County

The Daily MailBy Hillary Hawke

DURHAM — Stiefel’s representatives and regional lawmakers met on Monday in a session closed to the public about parent company GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) stunningly unexpected announcement on Nov. 11 to close the Oak Hill site and phase out 262 positions.

November 17, 2009

License Plate Plan Lands On Scrap Heap

ALBANY, 11/16/09 – Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today hailed the governor’s decision to drop plans requiring New York motorists to purchase new license plates in April at a cost of $25 per vehicle.

“I have been fighting the license plate scheme since it was first uncovered in the budget proposal earlier this year,” said Senator Seward.  “More than 8,000 people in the 51st district joined me in the battle by signing my on-line petition and offering a resounding NO to the government cash grab.  I am pleased that together, we can declare victory in this fight.”

November 16, 2009

SUNY Strategic Plan Important To Local Colleges

Pictured, from left, HCCC Board of Trustees Chairman Donald Snyder, HCCC President Dr. Ann Marie Murray, SUNY Board of Trustees member Robert J. Bellafiore, SUNY Institute of Technology President Wolf Yeigh and Senator James L. Seward.  

The Evening Times

By Rob Juteau

November 14, 2009

Cut Government Mandates - Save Local Tax Dollars

As local governments seek creative ways to save money they often look to the state for assistance.  One of the most important avenues I have long pursued is mandate relief.  During the recent special legislative session in Albany we were able to take a step in the right direction by passing a bill aimed at encouraging efficiencies that would ultimately benefit local property taxpayers.

November 13, 2009

Full-Fledged Strategy Needed To Lift New York

ALBANY, 11/09/09 – Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today commented on Governor David Paterson’s budget message:

“While I appreciate the governor’s effort and stand ready to work with him, his budget plan lacks the comprehensive and complete strategy needed to solve New York’s fiscal challenges.

November 9, 2009

Hands On The Wheel

A new law took effect this month which will increase safety on our highways in New York.  While it was already illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving, the new law also bans reading, typing and sending text messages while behind the wheel.  The law is meant to limit driver distraction and in turn enhance highway safety.   This measure is long overdue and one I have supported for several years.

Our lives are filled with distractions and as a result individuals have become accustomed to multi-tasking.  Certainly, this is a skill which comes in handy in many instances, but when driving a motor vehicle it is important to focus on a single pursuit – arriving safely at your destination.

November 6, 2009

DEC Extends Public Comment Period For Proposed Natural Gas Drilling Regs

ONEONTA, 11/04/09 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today applauded the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) extension of the public comment period on the draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) for natural gas drilling applications. 

November 5, 2009

New York's Greatest Export - People

As the birds fly south for the winter, they are joined by a host of New Yorkers.  While the birds will return when the weather improves next spring, the people are only coming back if our economy makes an about face.

According to a recently released study by the Empire Center for New York State Policy, we are losing residents in droves.  From 2000 to 2008, New York experienced the nation's largest loss of residents to other states—a net domestic migration outflow of over 1.5 million, or 8 percent of its population at the start of the decade.  This rate of loss means our most valuable resource, our people, is being eroded at an alarming pace.

October 30, 2009