On this week’s program of Your Voice, State Senator John A. DeFrancisco previews ome of the budget priorities that he and the Senate Majority will tackle in the 2015 Legislative Session. These budget items include a new five-year plan for road and bridge projects, school aid, and the local property tax cap that is set to expire.
Also on the show, Senator DeFrancisco shares a reminder about his seventh annual Cell Phones For Soldiers collection drive and where people can drop off their old cellular phones to support our deployed troops.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco, a United States Air Force veteran, kicked off his seventh-annual collection drive for Cell Phones For Soldiers on November 24th. He was joined at his press conference to promote this important program by Syracuse Army Recruiting Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Paul T. Jackson and Helping Heroes Home Program Director David A. Foster.
As a veteran myself, I know there is no greater service that a citizen can give to our country than to risk his or her life so that our freedoms can be protected.
I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to all of our veterans, who have honorably served this great Nation. Their invaluable sacrifices and contributions have not gone unnoticed.
That is why I wanted to provide you with more information on several new programs and services that I have supported to better assist our military members and their families. To read about these measures, please click on the link below.
Again, thank you to all of our veterans, and I hope you, and yours, have a safe and memorable Veterans Day.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco is pictured with Gabriel Bol Deng, who was recently recognized as an OCC Alumni Faces honoree on October 1, 2014. Mr. Deng was one of four distinguished alumni honored for their professional achievements and contributions to the community.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco is pictured with Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and Elizabeth Lin, President of the Upstate New York Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce, at the annual Taiwanese Flag Raising Ceremony in Syracuse. Senator DeFrancisco presented Ms. Lin with a Senate Citation to commemorate the event, which was held in front of Syracuse City Hall on October 10, 2014.
On October 8, 2014, State Senator John A. DeFrancisco attended the American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association's open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony - to celebrate the organization's new location at The Atrium Building in Syracuse.
Senator John A. DeFrancisco read a story on how to overcome bullying to fith graders at Stonehedge Elementary School in theWest Genesee School District. Senator DeFrancisco was invited by the Stonehedge Parent Teacher Association to be a guest reader on October 7, 2014.
As I’m sure you are aware, the elevated portion of Interstate 81, which runs north-south through downtown Syracuse, is nearing the end of its useful life. State and federal officials are now determining a solution for fixing this important thoroughfare. It’s a decision that will impact Central New Yorkers for many decades.
With this in mind, I mailed a survey to all of my constituents of the 50th Senate District to gather their input on the future of I-81. Then in early October, I mailed a letter to members of the business community to also request their participation in this survey, as I-81 will, no doubt, impact their business and the overall economy for years to come.
The survey is now closed.
To date, 168 members of the Central New York business community completed the I-81 survey below. The results are as follows:
47% want to construct a new I-81 viaduct or repair the existing one
21% want to remove the existing viaduct and construct a street-level boulevard only through Syracuse
2% want to remove the existing viaduct and construct a tunnel only through Syracuse
30% want to remove the existing viaduct and replace it with a street-level boulevard for downtown access, with a tunnel under the boulevard for interstate north-south traffic through Syracuse
Furthermore, 77% of the survey respondents, to date, think it is important to maintain a north-south throroughfare, at interstate speed, through the City of Syracuse. Just 23% do not think a thoroughfare is important.
The percentages shown in the above results are almost identical to the results of the survey that was sent to the residents of my Senate District.
Thank you, again, for having completed this short survey to share your vision for I-81 and to help shape our community's future. Your responses will be kept confidential.
On September 23, 2014, INFICON, Inc. broke ground on the planned expansion of its manufacturing operations in East Syracuse. State Senator John A. DeFrancisco joined other elected officials and community and business leaders for the ceremony, and he spoke about the signicance of the project during the groundbreaking ceremony.
INFICON, a producer of sensor technologies, will invest $20 million to build an addition to its existing facility, resulting in the creation of 40 new high-paying jobs and the retention of 240 existing jobs. New York State is providing INFICON with a $1 million grant.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco held a press conference on Wednesday, September 24, 2014, at the State Office Building in Syracuse to discuss the final results of his I-81 survey. The survey asked people living in Senator DeFrancisco’s district to share their thoughts on the future of I-81.The survey, which was mailed last month to constituents of the 50th Senate District, provided four main options for addressing the critical infrastructure needs of Interstate 81.
Chairman of the New York State Senate Finance Committee John A. DeFrancisco today (9/22/14) warned constituents of proposed legislation, sponsored by New York City Democrat Gustavo Rivera, that would give illegal immigrants the right to vote and hold office in New York State. The bill is likely to become law, if New York City democrats were to win control of the State Senate in November.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco helped celebrate the 25th anniversary of the New York Relay Service on September 15, 2014. The New York Relay Service is a specialized call center located in Syracuse for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Senator DeFrancisco is pictured with Joline Harris, Marybetth Mothersell and Assemblyman William Magnarelli. During the celebration, Senator DeFrancisco presented the New York Relay Service with a proclamation to recognize the center's milestone.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco held his 10th annual Senior Fair on September 16, 2014. Senator DeFrancisco is pictured with Mickey Vendetti and Mickey's son, long-time providers of the musical entertainment at the Senior Fair.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco was honored to receive the Accomplished Professional Award from the Eldercare Foundation during the annual "Gift of Age" cabaret on September 12, 2014, at the OnCenter. Senator DeFrancisco was presented the award for his consistent advocacy of seniors and the elderly. Senator DeFrancisco is pictured with Dr. Thomas Dennison of VNA Homecare and Cathy James, CEO of the Alzheimer's Association, Central New York.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco helped kick off Festa Italiana during a press conference on the steps of Syracuse City Hall on September 12, 2014. Festa Italiana features a vast variety of great Italian foods, musical acts and entertainment. An Italian flag-raising ceremony was held at City Hall.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco is pictured with rapper, Pitbull, at the 2014 New York State Fair.
Senator DeFrancisco has been referred to as the "pit bull" for his strong advocacy style. He also recently was advertised as John "The Pit Bull" DeFrancisco in his boxing match against Ray Rinaldi, called the Fight for a Future, to raise funds for youth athletic programs.
Now the pitbulls have met. However, there is no truth to the rumor that Senator DeFrancisco is going to launch a singing career.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco helped celebrate the opening of Solvay Bank in DeWitt with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 10, 2014. The bank branch is located on East Genesee Street near the Aldi supermarket.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco is pictured with Judge Michael Hanuszczak and Director Terri Gooley of the Onondaga County Family Treatment Court. On September 10, 2014, a special ceremony was held to celebrate the court's 10th anniversary. Senator DeFrancisco presented a Citation to recognize the court for its positive impact on families within the community.
State Senator John A. DeFrancisco spoke during the Veterans Ceremony at the 2014 Great New York Fair on August 28, 2014. Senator DeFrancisco, who is a veteran of the United States Air Force, recognized military members for their invaluable sacrifices and contributions to our county.