Legislation prompted by Utica woman’s murder at the hands of a paroled rapist
ALBANY – The State Senate today passed a bill that would allow the State Board of Parole to require a violent felony offender serve his or her maximum term if there’s clear and convincing evidence the inmate’s release would pose an imminent threat to society.
We’ve committed hundreds of millions of dollars to projects that will make our area a more attractive place to live and work – and we’re not done yet.
Nano Utica is our most exciting development. It’s an emerging hub for research and development in the field of nanotechnology, which is rapidly improving the computers, tablets and laptops we use for everything from hospital patient records to 3-D gaming.
We put $180 million in this year’s state budget for purchasing new equipment for the Computer Chip Commercialization Center currently being constructed on the SUNYIT campus in Marcy. When completed, the $125 million facility will include cleanrooms, laboratories, workforce training facilities, and space for hands-on education.
ALBANY – Senator Joseph A. Griffo continued his quest to limit the power of state government and empower the citizenry, as the state Senate passed his bill Tuesday to place term limits on Legislature leadership positions.
The bill, S.3556, would limit the tenure of the temporary president, speaker and minority leaders to 12 years. It would limit the tenure of any committee chairman to eight years, with the exception of the Rules Committee.
ALBANY – The New York State Senate passed a bill Monday that would benefit local highway departments by reducing its costs and its legal liabilities.
Senator Joseph A. Griffo is sponsor of the bill (S.1965), which would amend highway law to create a new definition: a low-volume road, which would apply to roads where less than 400 vehicles drive daily.
The bill would save municipalities money by allowing their highway departments to perform less maintenance, such as plowing and grading, on these less utilized roads.
Earth Day and Arbor Day are wonderful reminders of our ongoing obligation to protect our natural resources, which provide us shelter, food, fuel and beauty.
I was pleased to support this year’s state budget because it recognizes the importance of protecting our clean air and clean water and expanding our access to park lands and other open spaces. Our spending plan also includes needed investments in agriculture, which will allow our farmers to better use their land and to have an easier time bringing their harvest to homes.
NEW HARTFORD – Is your home filled with old computers you always meant to recycle but never did? Do you have a bunch of documents with personal information that need a good shredding? Are you still storing medication from that one time you got sick years ago?
Bring your junk to the New Hartford Shopping Center, 120 Genesee St. between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday and we’ll make sure it’s recycled or disposed of properly.
Sen. Joseph A. Griffo is sponsoring the free event, with assistance from Time Warner Cable, Confidata, Sunnking and the New Hartford Police Department.
I believe our children deserve equal access to a quality education, regardless of where they live, how much their parents earn or how much the house they live in is worth. I voted for this year’s state budget because it will give children the opportunity for a brighter future.
The budget includes more than $25 billion in total education aid, of which $3.4 billion is dedicated to relief from school taxes. Through our advocacy, education aid increased by more than $1.1 billion, or 5 percent – a larger percentage than any other major component of the budget. The schools in my district will receive a combined $23 million more this year than last year.
UTICA – State Sens. Joseph A. Griffo and David J. Valesky announced today that the state budget includes, for the first time, funding for American Legion Boys’ State and American Legion Auxiliary’s Empire Girls State.
Morrisville State College will receive $100,000 to defray the cost of hosting 1,100 rising seniors for Boys’ State, which will be held from June 27 to July 3. The College at Brockport will receive $50,000 to cover some costs related to hosting more than 360 rising seniors for Empire Girls State, which will be held June 30 to July 6.
UTICA - Senator Joseph A. Griffo today announced he will be hosting the Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction in Utica from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the State Office Building, 207 Genesee St.
The forum is one of 12 being held throughout the state by the bipartisan task force created to solicit input on the rise in the use of heroin and other opioids in New York and to develop legislative recommendations for treating and preventing addiction and its consequences.
The forum will include members of the task force, experts in the fields of education, law enforcement, mental health and substance abuse and municipal officials.
I voted for this year’s state budget because it will provide more than $10 billion in tax relief for families and job creators, while creating no new taxes or fees.
This budget sets aside a record $3.4 billion to fully fund our state School Tax Relief Program (STAR) and Enhanced STAR for the benefit of middle-class families and seniors.
This budget also includes a $1.5 billion property tax freeze program that will help 2.8 million homeowners, including 1.7 million upstate. It rewards municipalities and school districts who hold the line on tax increases by sending property tax rebate checks to their residents.
CAP performed vital assistance with Hurricanes Sandy, Irene and Lee and assists with flooding and other weather emergencies, along with countering drug flights and searching for missing children
UTICA - Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi and State Senator Joseph Griffo have announced that $200,000 for improvements and overall operations for the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) in New York State is a part of the 2014-2015 state budget.
UTICA - Sen. Joseph A. Griffo and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi jointly announced that they will work to ensure that Oneida County is assigned an additional Family Court judge.
The 2014-15 state budget includes $5 million for the addition of 20 new Family Court judges. The Unified Court System believes Oneida County is among those with the greatest need for a second judge, based on its number of filings.
UTICA – Senator Joseph A. Griffo has written a letter asking the Public Service Commission to uncover the true reason behind skyrocketing heat and electric bills.
“I’ve heard from several people about how bills doubled and tripled this winter – and it can’t be all explained by just using more of the utilities,” said Griffo. “We need to find out which entities are gouging customers and how they can be stopped.”
Some of the reasons for a cost increase are known, the senator said.
My colleagues and I have just passed a $138 billion state budget. It’s our fourth consecutive year we’ve delivered a spending plan on time, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished in nearly four decades.
There’s a lot in this budget that will impact those of us living in Lewis, Oneida and St. Lawrence counties. Instead of trying to explain it all in this column, I’m going to devote the next several weeks to detailing how certain parts are going to affect us, for better or worse.
First, I’d like to explain my votes.
I was recently asked: “Why do you vote for a budget that has bad stuff in it?”
THEATERS THAT HOST HIGH-TECH ‘PREVIEW’ PRODUCTIONS WILL GET 25 PERCENT CREDIT FOR PRODUCTION COSTS; THE STANLEY HAS SEEN SUCCESS ALREADY WITH TECH SHOWS
UTICA - State Senator Joseph Griffo and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi have announced the new State Budget for 2014-15 will provide a significant boost for Utica’s Stanley Theatre, and other venues that host the high tech shows that are used as previews for upcoming Broadway shows.
ALBANY – New York’s colleges – and its students – receive more financial help from the state if the 2014-15 budget is passed, Sen. Joseph A. Griffo and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi said today.
The Tuition Assistance Program - which helps New Yorkers pay for the cost of attending a State University of New York (SUNY), City University of New York (CUNY), or not-for-profit independent college - will be increased by $34 million. The maximum award per student will be $5,165 – the first increase in 14 years.
ALBANY – As Maple Weekend comes to a close, Sen. Joseph A. Griffo and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi are pleased to announce more than $8.5 million in funding to sustain future agriculture programs.
The 2014-15 state budget includes $2.4 million for vital agricultural programs restored through negotiations, as well as a $6.3 million increase in funding for important ongoing research – the largest commitment in at least six years, the legislators said.
“New York farmers need our support to make their operations more efficient and more profitable,” said Griffo, R-Rome. “That’s why I was pleased to advocate for rejecting the governor’s proposed cuts to these essential programs and increasing funding to several others.”