James L. Seward

Top News

The Budget Battle Continues

 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 20, 2009

The Value Of A Tune

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.

March 13, 2009

A Better Plan For New York

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. 

March 6, 2009

Senate Republicans Unveil "A Better Plan for 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.

March 5, 2009

Libraries Receive Construction Grants

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.”

March 4, 2009

Where's The Reform?

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.

February 27, 2009

Governor's Ski Tax Falls Flat

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.”

February 20, 2009

It's Not Too Late To Fix Health Insurance

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.

February 20, 2009

Budget Held Hostage To Politicians' Private Agendas

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.

February 17, 2009

Paying Back Our Troops

 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.

February 13, 2009

SUNY Students Unfairly Targeted

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. 

February 6, 2009

Budget Philosophy Needs To Change

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.

January 30, 2009

Fitness Goals

So, here we are a month into the new year.  How is that New Year’s Resolution coming along?

For many individuals a top priority is losing weight.  Not a bad idea when put in the proper context.  Unfortunately so many people concentrate only on the numbers on the scale.  Health experts agree though that in order to achieve a healthy level of fitness you need to focus on a more well rounded lifestyle. 

January 23, 2009

Excellence In Our Midst

 Our region is filled with great pieces of history; many are well known while others have yet to receive their due.  Now is the time to change that.I am issuing a call for nominations for the 2009 Erie Canal Heritage Award of Excellence.  The award honors and celebrates the significant places of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and recognizes excellence in advancing the goals of the Erie Canalway Preservation and Management Plan.

January 16, 2009

Return To Greatness

Much like a sports franchise after a down year, the state needs to rebuild.  While there is some heavy lifting ahead, job creation and tax relief, combined with commonsense cuts can help spur our economy.

The governor has presented his budget, and his state of the state address, now it is time to take those unfinished pieces of the puzzle and create a completed solution that will return New York to greatness.

January 9, 2009

Outdoor Enthusiasts Hit Their Stride

  Now that we are firmly entrenched in winter, it’s time for many people to head outdoors and embrace the season.  Despite the cold temperatures, many individuals who live in upstate New York look forward to the snow and cold conditions for so many reasons.

January 2, 2009