Joseph A. Griffo's Press releases

GRIFFO: BUDGET INCLUDES NEARLY $23 MILLION INCREASE FOR LOCAL SCHOOLS

ALBANY – Sen. Joseph A. Griffo said the 2014-15 state budget increases aid to schools in his district by $23.1 million.

“I believe our children deserve equal access to a quality education, regardless of where they live, what their parents earn or how much their home is worth,” said Griffo, R-Rome. “My hope is that this increase will help schools in my district retain programs that are vital to the creation of a well-rounded student.”

The $138 billion state budget includes $22 billion for education, an increase of $1.1 billion, or 5 percent, in comparison to the most recent fiscal year. Through advocacy, Griffo and his colleagues managed to secure an additional $300 million for schools over what Governor Cuomo had proposed.

March 30, 2014
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GRIFFO, BRINDISI ANNOUNCE $40M FOR WINTER WEATHER RECOVERY

ALBANY – The 2014-15 state budget includes a new, one-time $40 million fund for the benefit of highway departments repairing roads damaged by extreme winter weather, Sen. Joseph A. Griffo and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi announced.

“Forty-five percent of our major roads and highways in this state are in poor or mediocre condition, which costs New York motorists dearly. We’re collectively paying $4.9 billion more than we have to every year on repairs required because of shoddy roads,” said Griffo, R-Rome. “This winter’s deep freeze just exacerbated this, which is why the assemblyman and I called for relief.”

March 30, 2014
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Griffo, Brindisi Secure Vital Funding for Economic Development in the Mohawk Valley

Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) and State Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R-Rome) jointly announced today that the state budget contains critical funding for “Nano Utica,” drone initiatives at Griffiss International Airport, SUNYIT staffing and military base retention efforts.

“The Mohawk Valley is positioning itself as an innovative leader in nano and cyber technology, and this budget invests in programs that will facilitate the growth of more good-paying, quality high-tech jobs right in our own backyard,” Assemblyman Brindisi stated.

March 29, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #13: Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal cancer: The mere mention of these words has me squirming in my seat. And surely, I’m not alone.

It’s a subject no one wants to bring up in conversation, but also one that could save your life.

So allow me to get the conversation started, in honor of my mother – who is a survivor.

If you’re between 50 and 75 years old, you should be getting screened regularly for colorectal cancer. If you’re younger than 50 but there’s a family history of cancer, Crohn’s disease or colitis, you should be talking to your doctor about when to start getting tested.

March 27, 2014
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Senator Griffo, Assemblyman Brindisi Announce Collegiate Scholarships

Applications Available From Both Legislators; Completed Applications Are Due on May 2nd

UTICA -- State Senator Joseph A. Griffo of Rome and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi of Utica announced today that the New York Conference of Italian-American State Legislators is again accepting applications for four $2,000 scholarships that will be awarded June 9th at its annual Legislative Conference Day.  

March 27, 2014
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Griffo Calls On Feds For Freeze Funding Fix

ALBANY – Sen. Joseph A. Griffo called on the federal government to help New York fix its aging infrastructure after years of underfunding and this past winter’s extreme conditions.

“The Times-Union recently declared this ‘the worst winter in years for potholes and general road decay’ – and I couldn’t agree more,” said Griffo, R-Rome. “It’s simple ‘frozenomics.’ Local governments maintain roads that sustain more than 63 billion miles of travel. Governments at all levels have underfunded the upkeep of those roads. Now motorists are paying for it.”

March 26, 2014
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Senate Passes Bill To Include New York In the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact

[CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO OF SENATOR GRIFFO'S FLOOR REMARKS]

Measure Guarantees That The Presidency Is Won By The Candidate Who Wins The Most Votes in All 50 States

March 25, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #12: Working Toward Another On-Time Budget

I want to pass a fourth on-time budget by April 1. So my colleagues and I recently outlined our priorities to provide a starting point for negotiations.

Here’s what I’d like to see in this year’s budget:

TAX RELIEF

I agree there’s a need for property tax relief. That’s why I want to make the property tax cap permanent and strengthen the STAR program.

The Senate is proposing a $1.4 billion tax relief proposal for homeowners, plus reducing various taxes for businesses. Our plan also doesn’t include any new taxes or fees.

March 20, 2014
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Senator Griffo, Assemblyman Brindisi Announce Grants to Help Children's Advocacy Center and the Oneida County Sheriff's Office

Grants have purchased essential crime fighting equipment, including a patrol car and incident command equipment

ORISKANY - State Senator Joseph A. Griffo of Rome and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi of Utica today announced that they each recently awarded the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office with a total of $45,000 in funding that is being used for equipment to fight crime in the region.

March 20, 2014
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Griffo, Steck introduce the Municipal Health Insurance Savings Act

ALBANY - Local governments have been dealing with skyrocketing health insurance costs for years. Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-Rome has introduced a bill (S6633) to allow municipalities such as towns, villages, and school districts to join county self-insured health plans as a way to drive down costs. This legislation would bring more members into a county’s self-insured plan and will spread the risk across a wider number of employees, reducing costs accordingly. The Assembly sponsor is Assemblyman Phil Steck, D-Colonie.

March 20, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #11: Combating Heroin Abuse

Heroin is our newest epidemic. It’s readily available and costs less than other street drugs, which has contributed to its meteoric rise in popularity over the past year.

Heroin does not discriminate. It makes addicts out of the young and old, the rich and the poor, the unemployed and the employed.

Heroin abuse is not just a drug addict’s problem. It’s a community problem. Heroin use creates “spinoff crimes.” Addicts are shoplifting, stealing and burglarizing homes to pay for their high, which decreases everyone’s quality of life.

March 13, 2014
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Statement From Senator Griffo Regarding Regents Re-Appointments

“The Board of Regents has failed our students, our parents and our teachers in its handling of the implementation of the Common Core curriculum. I said last week that I would stand with my constituents and not vote for any incumbent seeking election to the Board of Regents. Today, I made good on that promise.

March 11, 2014
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Griffo Receives New Leadership Post, Committee Assignment

ALBANY – Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos has appointed Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-Rome, to a leadership post of Liaison to the Executive Branch.

The liaison is an integral link between the Senate Majority and the Governor’s Office on an array of public policy issues.

March 7, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #10: Maple Weekend Is Coming

Mark your calendars for March 22-23 and March 29-30. Maple Weekend is almost upon us!

This is your chance to get a first-hand look at how maple products are made, from the tree tap to the table. New York is the nation's second largest maple producer, producing a whopping 18 percent of America's entire output.

March 6, 2014
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Senate Republicans Unveil Plan to Secure the Future of Family Farming

"YOUNG FARMERS NY" ENCOURAGE NEW GENERATION OF FARMERS, STRENGTHENS NY'S LEADING INDUSTRY 

Senator Patty Ritchie, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and members of the Senate Republican Conference today unveiled their “Young Farmers NY” plan to address issues related to the advancing average age of New York farmers and to preserve the future of family farming.

March 4, 2014
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Griffo Calls For New Regents Selection Process

ALBANY – Sen. Joseph A. Griffo today called on his colleagues in the state Legislature to re-design its process for appointing Board of Regents members, in light of systemic failures in the implementation of the Common Core curriculum.

“Regents board members control the state’s educational system, determine all its policies and appoint the commissioner of education,” said Griffo. “Frankly, the process of selecting an appropriate Regents member is too important to be decided by a single vote of the entire Legislature.”

March 4, 2014
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Griffo, Brindisi Announce $600K Grant for Griffiss International Airport

ROME – Sen. Joseph A. Griffo and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi jointly announced today that the state has awarded $600,000 to Griffiss International Airport to cover a portion of Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR)’s start-up operating costs.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently selected Griffiss International Airport as one of six national sites for drone aircraft development. The airport has teamed with NUAIR, an alliance of 40 private, academic and military institutions, to lead research and testing to determine how drone aircraft can be integrated into the national airspace.

February 28, 2014
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Senator Griffo Column #9: No Taxpayer Dollars For Free College Educations For Inmates

Gov. Cuomo’s proposal to use taxpayer dollars to provide a college education to state prisoners has provoked a lot of passionate responses from my constituents.

I don’t support the proposal and my reasoning is two-fold.

First, it’s not appropriate to offer a benefit to an inmate that we don’t also offer to every law-abiding student who is eligible for college. I don’t support initiatives that make prison more attractive to criminals, because people shouldn’t be rewarded for breaking the law.

February 27, 2014
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Griffo Opposes Free College Education for Inmates

UTICA – Sen. Joseph A. Griffo today reiterated his opposition to state prisoners receiving “extreme amenities,” which includes Gov. Cuomo’s proposal to use state funds to educate prisoners at no cost to the recipient.

“Prison is supposed to be a punishment for wrongdoing, not a Club Med where your family can visit anytime and your health issues and education are taken care of at zero cost,” said Griffo, R-Rome. “I have opposed measures that provide perks to prisoners – some of which ordinary New Yorkers don’t even receive – and will continue to do so in the future.”

February 24, 2014
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Senator Griffo Weekly Column #8: Let's Put A Stop To Bridge & Highway Fund Raids

Every time you gas up your car, rent a vehicle or use certain DMV services in New York, you pay a tax. This tax goes to a fund dedicated to state road and bridge repairs.

It makes perfect sense: We ask the people using the roads and bridges to help us keep that infrastructure safe for travel.

Here’s what makes no sense: The state has been siphoning off most of that fund to pay for budget items that have little to do with repairs. Motorists contributed $3.8 billion last year, but just 22 percent of that collection - $847 million – went to road and bridge upgrades.

February 20, 2014
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