Joseph A. Griffo's Press releases

Senator Griffo Announces Crisis Intervention Funding for Utica PD

Law enforcement will be trained to handle incidents involving people with mental illness

UTICA – Sen. Joseph A. Griffo today announced that the City of Utica will be fully reimbursed for special training that will help law enforcement officers learn how to safely and more effectively handle situations involving individuals with psychiatric disabilities.

October 28, 2014
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Griffo Secures $10,000 to Address Domestic Violence in Lewis County

LOWVILLE - Sen. Joseph A. Griffo today announced that he has secured $10,000 for Lewis County Opportunities to use toward services that directly help victims of domestic violence.

"During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it's important that we recognize agencies that are helping victims by giving them the tools they need to regain control of their lives," said Griffo, R-Rome. "Lewis County Opportunities provides confidential help free of charge and, in doing so, have become an indispensible community resource."

October 20, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #36: Tips for Addressing Domestic Violence

Recent national headlines have put a spotlight on a growing menace to society’s well-being: domestic violence.

Sadly, our area is not immune. Last year, police agencies in the counties I represent – Oneida, Lewis and St. Lawrence – reported 2,308 victims of domestic violence. The overwhelming majority involved physical abuse.

Domestic violence impacts every demographic: women and men; young and old; poor and rich; rural and city. It rips apart families and the emotional scars left behind never heal as fast as the physical wounds.

October 16, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #35: Help For Existing Businesses, Not Just New Ones

New York has the dubious distinction of ranking dead last among the 50 states in a survey of business tax climates. The governor’s initiative, START-UP NY, represented an out-of-the-box approach to lure jobs here.

However, we simply cannot earmark all of our tax breaks, credits and incentives for new businesses. The strength of an economy comes from existing business, and reducing their competitiveness to new companies can result in too many good jobs being lost.

October 9, 2014
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Mohawk Valley Legislative Delegation Pledges Support for Remington Arms, Ilion Workforce

ALBANY- State legislators representing the Mohawk Valley have pledged their continued support to venerable Herkimer County manufacturer Remington Arms.  In light of the state’s adoption of strict new guns laws in 2013, recent out of state expansions, and the announcement of job layoffs in Ilion, the state elected officials publicly recommitted their unrelenting support for Remington and its employees.

In a letter to Remington Chairman and CEO George Kollitides, the legislators wrote:

October 8, 2014
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Senator Griffo Unveils Major New Job Creation Plan: New Start NY

ORISKANY - Sen. Joseph A. Griffo today visited Fiber Instrument Sales to outline his new job creation proposal for the Empire State, which is designed to catalyze the innovation, design and manufacture of new products. The plan builds on the senator’s record of supporting job growth and helping to make a better business climate in New York by proposing additional tax relief and reforms.

October 6, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #34: Why You Should Vote

Oct. 10 is the last day to register to vote and be eligible for this year’s election.

In my last column, I encouraged you to register to vote by dispelling some common misconceptions. This week, I’m going to argue why you should make it to the ballot box on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Naysayers argue that their vote doesn’t make a difference.

If you’re a statistician, that viewpoint has some merit. In a 2001 study, two economists found that one of every 15,000 votes cast in state legislative elections “mattered in the sense that they were cast for a candidate that officially tied or won by one vote.”

But that ignores the reality that votes, even those cast for a losing candidate, do have an impact.

October 2, 2014
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Griffo To Host E-Cycling + Document Shred + Shed The Meds Event Saturday in Rome

ROME – Sen. Joseph A. Griffo is sponsoring a free drop-off Saturday for local residents to properly dispose of their electronics, confidential documents and unused and expired medication.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Westgate Shopping Plaza, 1148 Erie Boulevard West. The senator is partnering with Time Warner Cable, Confidata, Sunnking and the Rome Police Department for the event.

“This is a perfect opportunity to get rid of junk that is taking up unnecessary space in your house,” said Griffo. “The services we offer are free and there are no questions asked.”

September 30, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #33: Myths vs. Facts Regarding Voter Registration

“Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote,” writer George Jean Nathan once observed.

Election Day is Nov. 4. To participate, however, you’ll need to be registered to vote by Oct. 10.

I know from reading research and talking to people that there are several reasons why people don’t vote. First, I’d like to tackle some misconceptions about registering to vote.

Myth: If I register to vote, I’ll be called for jury duty.

September 25, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #32: Helping My Community Trumps Partisanship

New Yorkers, on the whole, tend to have a low opinion of politicians. It’s understandable when you consider more than 30 current or former officeholders in the Empire State have been convicted of crimes, faced sanctions or been accused of wrongdoing in the past decade.

Assuming all politicians are just looking out for themselves, however, is painting with too broad a brush.

I was very pleased this past week that the Observer-Dispatch highlighted my working relationship with Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi. It’s telling that our partnership is considered rare and it’s a reflection of the increasingly partisan world in which we live.

September 18, 2014
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Griffo To Host Public Service Commissioner In Open Forum

UTICA – Sen. Joseph A. Griffo will host representatives from the Public Service Commission during a 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. forum Wednesday at the North Utica Senior Citizens Community Center, 50 Riverside Drive.

The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend. Commissioner Diane X. Burman and members of her office will give a 15 to 20 minute presentation and then open the floor to audience questions.

September 15, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #31: Remembering Sept. 11

It started as an ordinary business trip, and ended as indelible memories of both tragedy and heroism.

I arrived in New York City Sept. 10, 2001.

My itinerary was simple and straightforward. I had tickets to see my favorite team, the New York Yankees, play that night against their longtime rivals, the Boston Red Sox. The following morning, I was helping to complete a bond sale in my duties as Rome city mayor.

Everything changed that Tuesday morning.

Like those here at home, I watched in horror as the planes struck the towers. It was not a freak accident, we’d come to learn, but an act of terror.

September 11, 2014
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Griffo, Butler Applaud Hawkinsville Dam Decision

BOONVILLE – Sen. Joseph A. Griffo and Assemblyman Marc Butler issued the following statements regarding the future of the Hawkinsville Dam:

September 10, 2014
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Griffo Writes OMH Regarding Psych Center Attacks

Senator concerned about staff safety in light of recent riot

UTICA – Sen. Joseph A. Griffo wrote today to the state Office of Mental Health regarding the Sept. 3 riot at the Central New York Psych Center in Marcy that left 12 staff members injured.

The senator asked Commissioner Anne Marie T. Sullivan what her office was doing to better ensure the safety of staff in light of this incident and questioned whether the offending inmates could be transferred to state prison.

“If these inmates are mentally capable of planning and executing a coordinated attack on officers at a predetermined time, is it appropriate for them to be in the Psychiatric Center at all?” Griffo asked.

September 10, 2014
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Griffo, Brindisi Secure $850K for Improvements to The AUD

UTICA – Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi and Senator Joseph A. Griffo have secured $850,000 for the second phase of improvements at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.

The funds are being used for the façade work currently ongoing, and will also be used to make interior improvements, including bathrooms and seating. Griffo and Brindisi worked together to ensure the funds were included in the 2014-15 state budget. Last year, the pair was successful in securing $2 million for the first phase of restorations.

September 4, 2014
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Griffo Secures $60,000 for Utica Police Department

UTICA –  Utica police officers will soon be wearing body cameras, thanks to a $60,000 grant secured by Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-Rome.

August 28, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #30: Honoring The Worker on Labor Day

Labor Day is our annual opportunity to collectively recognize the hard working men and women who are the backbone of our economy.

From the smelter in Massena to the small business in Sangerfield, my district includes many highly motivated individuals. Many posses a technical expertise that is, frankly, unrivaled.

As a state representative, I’m committed to holding on to each and every skilled worker and to fighting the “brain drain” that too often plagues upstate. While we can’t directly prevent business contractions and closings, we can do two things to soften the blow.

August 28, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #29: The New York State Fair is Great Every Year

The state’s biggest music and entertainment festival, trade show and agriculture exhibit is happening right now and it’s all in one place – the Great New York State Fair.

The state fair is the capstone to what is always a great county fair season.  It is a celebration of all things New York. It is a showcase for one of the state’s most important industries, agriculture, which has a $5.7 billion annual economic impact. It serves as an introduction to many of our citizens’ diverse backgrounds and cultural traditions. And it’s a platform for our best and brightest young people to show off their talents, whether it’s on a stage or in a barn.

August 21, 2014
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Unshackle Upstate Gives Griffo Its Third Highest Senate Score

ALBANY – Unshackle Upstate, a bipartisan coalition of business and trade organizations representing more than 700,000 companies, has given Sen. Joseph A. Griffo its third highest grade for his votes in the Senate supporting businesses and taxpayers this legislative session.

Griffo scored a 88 out of 100 possible points by the pro-business group. The organization gave the senator favorable marks for his ‘yes’ votes on a series of bills aimed at reducing regulations on businesses. In addition, the group applauded his support of the on-time state budget, as well as his sponsorship of two bills that would limit new taxes and protect businesses from illegitimate unemployment claims.

August 20, 2014
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Griffo To Bring Upstate Flavors to Great New York State Fair

SYRACUSE -  State Senator Joseph A. Griffo will be cooking up some tasty treats Thursday at the New York State Fair – and featuring maple syrup, apples and corn from upstate New York.

Griffo is bringing three recipes to make in the Wegmans Taste New York demonstration kitchen: spicy maple nuts, apple nachos and oven roasted corn on the cob with flavored butter. The cooking will begin at 2 p.m. in the Art & Home Center at the fairgrounds.

August 19, 2014
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