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.”
ALBANY, 04/06/09 – Senator James L. Seward (R/I/C- Oneonta) today announced the award of federal funding for transportation projects throughout the 51st district.
“These projects will spur economic development and create construction jobs while making necessary improvements to our Main Streets, bike paths and walkways,” said Seward. “Projects like these upgrade the quality of life for our residents and are needed to help attract visitors to our region.”
A new budget is now in place for the state of New York, but I can’t say I am pleased. The spending plan, which was approved shortly after the April 1 deadline, includes a great deal of bad news that will affect individuals, families and businesses across the state.
ALBANY, 04/03/09 – Senator James L. Seward (R/I/C- Oneonta) joined senate Republicans in offering an amendment to keep three minimum security prisons in upstate New York operating. Under the budget agreement announced by Governor Paterson, Speaker Silver, and Senator Smith, Camp Pharsalia in Chenango County, Camp Gabriels in Franklin County and Mt. McGregor in Saratoga County would be closed without the required twelve month notice required by law.
ALBANY, 04/03/09 - Senate Democrats today rejected a Republican-sponsored amendment that would have reduced skyrocketing health care costs in New York, ensuring that affordable health coverage will continue to remain out of reach for many small businesses, New Yorkers and their families.
The Rockefeller Drug Laws, a series of stringent anti-drug measures passed in 1973 which were once considered among the strongest in the nation, were dramatically reformed in December 2004 and August 2005. Now, once again, additional reforms are being considered. These reforms though would do much more harm than good. To put it quite simply this so called reform should be called the “Drug Dealers Protection Act.”
ATHENS, 03/26/09 - State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) attended Agriculture Literacy Day at Edward J. Arthur Elementary School in Athens today.
Senator Seward read to Michelle Whiting’s second grade class from the book, “The Empire State Investigator: The Applesauce Bandit.” The book was donated to the school by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Greene County.
ONEONTA, 03/23/09 - State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today presented Oneonta Middle School student Charlotte McKane with a legislative resolution honoring her as a recipient of the 2009 Prudential Spirit of Community Award.
The legislative session in Albany continues to move at a snail’s pace, thanks to what has become a major step backward in transparency and openness in the operation of state government. Budget negotiations have been bottled up in closed door sessions constituting three leaders, all of whom hail from New York City. All three are also Democrats, and the reason this point is important is because for years Democrats have been demanding more open door meetings, and calling for government reform. Interestingly enough, when given the opportunity, they are quick to ret
March may be a tough month at times, winter weather lingers, time is running out to file your taxes, and at the state level, budget negotiations are grinding along. But March is still music to my ears.
The clock is ticking, spring is approaching, and as we wipe away the final remnants of winter, progress on a new state budget is unnoticeable. With so much hanging in the balance this year, it is essential that we complete work on the state spending plan by the April 1st deadline. That is why I have joined with my fellow senate Republicans in offering a new vision for the state of New York.
ALBANY, 03/05/09 – Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) and New York state senate Republicans today offered a comprehensive budget savings plan that spends less than the governor’s budget, rejects $6.2 billion in taxes and fees proposed by Governor Paterson, implements a spending cap to restrain future spending growth and helps businesses create jobs to strengthen the state’s economy.
ALBANY, 03/04/09 -- Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) announced today that local community libraries in the 51st senatorial district have been awarded $421,032 in public library construction grant funds.
"Our libraries are vital to our communities, especially in these tough economic times" Seward said. "Local libraries are being counted on for so much more these days. Traditional book lending still accounts for a high volume of traffic, but more and more people are visiting libraries for other needs.”
After years of promising fundamental reforms to ensure greater transparency and accountability, the new senate Democratic majority has actually taken New York’s notoriously flawed state budget process and made it fundamentally worse on every level. In fact, this year’s budget process has been more closed, more secretive and more dysfunctional than ever before.
WINDHAM, 02/20/09 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) and Assemblyman Peter Lopez (R/C/I-Schoharie) today called on the governor to eliminate his higher tax on ski areas.
“The budget proposed by Governor Paterson is filled with $6 billion in new taxes and fees that will strike at the heart of upstate New York businesses and families,” said Seward. “The additional 4 percent hike on ski lift tickets and lessons unfairly targets an industry already battling a tough economy.”
When Governor Paterson’s deficit reduction package hit my desk one of the first things that jumped out at me was an increase in health insurance taxes. I fought the ill conceived legislation, but senate Democrats were unwilling to budge, and passed the plan anyway. Now I am calling on the governor to use funds from the federal stimulus package to rescind his hike in health insurance taxes and right a very serious wrong.
ONEONTA, 02/17/09 – With New York State facing a grave fiscal crisis, State Senators James L. Seward (R/C/I- Oneonta) and Joseph A. Griffo (R/C/I-Rome) today called for urgent, non-stop action to resolve the serious flaws in Governor David Paterson’s proposed 2009-2010 state budget.
The cost of a college education is high. Every day college students and their parents wrestle with tuition bills, the cost of books and room and board. Studies show that the expense is worth it.
Over time college graduates, on average, earn more than high school graduates. According to the Census Bureau, over an adult's working life, high school graduates earn an average of $1.2 million, associate's degree holders earn about $1.6 million, and bachelor's degree holders earn about $2.1 million.
I am proud to represent several State University of New York (SUNY) schools and public community colleges throughout the 51st district. The campuses have grown over the years and are considered among the finest educational institutions in America. Students leave these schools with a first-class education, extraordinary job skills, and a keen perspective on life.
Work is underway in Albany on the 2009 – 2010 state budget, but we are already off to a rocky start. That is not to say that we can’t right the ship, but it is a job that will take a bit of work from all sides.
The biggest problem is that we are beginning the process from a flawed starting point. The governor’s budget proposal that we are using as a jumping off point increases spending by 1 percent, and raises approximately 137 taxes and fees by more than $4 billion, all in an attempt to close a two year deficit approaching $15 billion.