It was an exciting day at the Gates Public Library yesterday as we cut the ribbon on the new Early Learning Center. I was proud to secure a $15,000 grant to help transform this unoccupied space in the library into a fun area for children to learn and play. I am certain this will be a popular addition to the Gates Public Library!
I was honored to join my colleagues in government to help plant a tree on the Greece Town Campus in memory of Jerry Helfer. I was fortunate to work with Jerry in his roles at Monroe County and the Town of Greece, he truly embodied the meaning public employee and was always attentative to the needs of his constituents. This was a wonderful tribute Jerry and his family.
I was excited to help break ground on the new Local History Room addition to the Seymour Library in Brockport. The addition was made possible through funding from the State Education Department, which I was pleased to support. I can't wait to go back for the ribbon cutting in November!
I was pleased to join U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at RIT as she announced new federal legislation that would designate "manufacturing universities" to help strengthen engineering programs and bolster manufacturing in America. Our region, with our skilled workforce, and RIT could benefit from the passage of this legislation.
I joined the Monroe County/City of Rochester Coalition for Crime Victims to help kickoff National Crime Victims' Rights Week, which will take place from April 19 - April 25. National Crime Victims' Rights Week highlights the support crime victims need in their road to recovery. Many thanks to all of the local law enforcement officials and advocacy agencies in our community that help crime victims every day.
Congratulations to the Scott Spino Foundation for receiving the Friends of Education Award from the School Administrators Association of New York State. Geri and Jerry Spino have dedicated their lives to remembering their son Scott, a popular RCSD teacher who was tragically killed by a drunk driver, by raising money and donating books to local schools. I had the privilege of awarding Geri with the New York State Senate's Woman of Distinction Award in 2014. Once again congratulations to Geri, Jerry and everyone involved with the Scott Spino Foundation, it certainly is a well deserved recognition.
Dear Students,Thank you for your wonderful contribution to the New York State Senate’s Earth Day Poster Contest. This year we received many outstanding posters that exemplify the creativity of the young people in the 56th Senatorial District. Each entry from my District displayed tremendous originality and vision as well as obvious concern for the ecological future of our communities and our state. I am proud of your work and that of your classmates, and encourage you to continue to study and learn more about the serious challenges that face our environment.I am pleased to announce that the winner of the 2015 Earth Day Poster Contest from my District is: Eli Curwin6th GradeThe Harley School
I was honored to join the hard working men and women of General Motors as they presented checks of $10,000 to the United Way and $5,000 to Holy Childhood on behalf of the GM Foundation. It's always great to see our corporate partners give back to local charities and non-profit organizations that make a huge impact in the lives of people in our community. Many thanks to the GM Foundation, the members of the UAW and all of the hard working employees of the Lexington Road plant for their generosity!
The Rochester Lyric Opera announced today that they will be tranforming the former First Church of Christ, Scientist into its new home for performances. Lyric Hall, as it will be called, will seat 900 people in its main hall and will have a smaller, 150 person cabaret-style theater in the rear. This venue will also feature other performances, including the Rochester International Jazz Festival later this year. Congratulations, I can't wait to see the finished product!
I was pleased to recently help welcome Cinelli's Pizza Kitchen to the Town of Greece. Located in Stoney Creek Plaza on Long Pond Road, Cinelli's offers great food, service and a welcoming atmosphere. Congratulations and welcome to Greece!
It was a beautiful morning for some fishing! I joined residents young and old from throughout Monroe County at Powder Mills Park for the annual Intergenerational Fishing Derby. Thanks to Monroe County for planning this great day and ordering this beautiful weather! I hope everyone had a fun and successful day at Powder Mills Park.
For the fifth consecutive year we have successfully passed an on-time State Budget. This budget includes a significant increase in aid for Rochester and Monroe County schools, property tax relief for hard working men, women and families, and $1 billion to improve Upstate roads and bridges.
The New York State Senate recently passed legislation (S1782), co-sponsored by Senator Joe Robach, that would ensure timely payment of state income tax refunds. The bill requires the state Department of Taxation and Finance to pay tax refunds within 30 days of receiving a taxpayer’s return, unless there is a discrepancy in the return.
As the April 15 deadline for filing tax returns within New York State approaches, it is important that all New Yorkers who overpaid their state taxes receive their refunds in a reasonable amount of time. However, there have been many instances of taxpayers having to wait three months or more before they received their refunds from the state.
Senator Joe Robach Announces Collegiate Scholarships
New York State Senator Joe Robach announced today that the New York Conference of Italian-American State Legislators is now accepting applications for four $2,500 scholarships, which will be awarded in June at their Annual Legislative Conference Day.
Today, I joined kinship caregivers and kinship advocates in announcing that September 2015 will be Kinship Care Month in New York. We are fortunate to live in a state that is among the leaders nationwide in recognizing kinship caregivers for stepping up to raise at-risk youth. I applaud all those who take the time to give New York's children the care, attention and love they need to become healthy adults.
I recently had the opportunity to host George Romell, President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater Rochester on News & Views. George and I talked about all of the different programs and services that are offered at YMCAs throughout New York. Many thanks to everyone at the YMCA for their dedication to making our communities healthier, friendly and a better place to live.
I was honored to receive the 2015 YMCA Champion Award at the YMCA Advocacy Day at the State Capitol. The YMCA provides a safe, nurturing environment for children, seniors and families, and helps promote friendship, comradery and so much more. Thank you to the YMCAs of New York for this honor, I am truly humbled and proud to support this great organization.