UTICA – State Senator Joseph Griffo of Rome and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi of Utica announce that a portion of State Route 49 has been designated to honor those who served our nation during the Vietnam War.
On Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo approved legislation sponsored by Griffo and Brindisi that names State Route 49 from the City of Rome to the City of Utica as the “Oneida County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway.”
UTICA – Legislation sponsored by Senator Joseph Griffo was signed into law today that would ban in New York State the sale of any powdered or crystalline alcohol products, commercially known as “Palcohol”.
Griffo, R-Rome, thanked the Governor for approving this legislation, which Griffo believes will help keep yet another potentially dangerous substance out of the hands of minors and other people who might abuse it. New York now joins several other states that have already passed similar legislation, including Alaska, Louisiana, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia.
UTICA – State Senator Joseph Griffo has asked the New York State Education Commissioner to implement a new assistance team for identified “struggling” schools, like Martin Luther King Elementary School in Utica.
Following the State’s recent placement of King School into receivership and this week’s public forum that outlined what’s being done to improve the school’s performance, Griffo sent a letter on Wednesday encouraging State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia to create a new “School Empowerment Assistance Team.” As Griffo proposed, this team would collaborate directly with the superintendents of such “struggling” schools to identify what specific additional funding and resources might be needed.
UTICA -- Recently I have received numerous calls from constituents concerned about water levels at the Hinckley Reservoir. This prompted me to contact the Mohawk Valley Water Authority, which confirmed that water levels had indeed been dropping due to a faster-than-normal rate of outflow. I further determined that water was being released from the reservoir at about two to three times the normal rate, which led me to contact the New York State Canal Corporation to explain this significant increase in outflow.
UTICA – As the New York State Gaming Commission prepares to issue licenses for new casino facilities in the next several months, state Senator Joseph Griffo is expressing his concerns about recent developments in the casino location process.
In a letter Griffo sent this week to the Gaming Commission, he urged the panel to be thorough and consistent in its process to expand gaming facilities across the state. The Senator’s latest letter was prompted by two recent events in particular that he believes raise questions over how the application process is conducted.
UTICA – State Senator Joseph Griffo this week is calling upon the New York State Public Service Commission to postpone any decision to alter the existing 315 area code.
As the Public Service Commission (PSC) prepares to meet Thursday to discuss ways to increase the number of additional phone numbers available in the 315 area code region, Griffo has sent a letter to PSC Commissioner Audrey Zibelman asking the Commission to further explore other potential solutions before taking any action.
UTICA– State Senator Joseph Griffo announced Friday that a statewide ammunition database established through the NY SAFE Act has been suspended following a legal agreement that Senate Republicans reached with the Governor’s office.
In the Senate’s latest step to rein in this flawed and over-reaching law, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed today by New York State Director of Operations James Malatras and Senator Majority Leaders John Flanagan suspends the creation of any database at this time that would require background checks for people who purchase ammunition.
Every day the two despicable inmates from the Dannemora prison facility were on the run brought yet another day of fears that the worst was yet to come from these violent and desperate individuals. Yet, more than three weeks later, it is with great relief and satisfaction that the bitter fates of these two escaped prisoners brought no further bloodshed than their own.
ALBANY -- State Senator Joseph Griffo of Rome and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi of Utica announce that the end of the 2015 Legislative Session has brought with it significant education reform, as well as some property tax relief for homeowners.
ALBANY– The New York State Senate last week passed a bill co-sponsored by Senator Joseph Griffo that would expand benefit coverage for volunteer firefighters who are diagnosed with various forms of cancer linked to their duties.
The overexposure to smoke that volunteer firefighters experience every time they battle flames makes it more likely that they will develop lung cancer. The exposure to smoke and toxic fumes also creates greater risk that a firefighter will develop cancer in other parts of their body, like their esophagus, stomach, blood, intestines and brain.
ALBANY– The New York State Legislature this week passed a bill authored by Senator Joseph Griffo that would give municipalities greater leverage in purchasing streetlights from a utility company and making them more energy efficient.
The bill will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.
As municipalities across the state look to save money by utilizing more energy efficient technology, Griffo’s legislation could have significant implications for many communities across the state, including Utica, Rome and Watertown.
ALBANY– The New York State Senate on Wednesday passed legislation authored by Senator Joseph Griffo that would prohibit the state from burdening local municipalities with any future unfunded mandates.
When the state imposes programs upon a municipality without fully funding them, it often forces those localities to find a way to pay for those services. This allows local priorities to essentially be dictated by the state, instead of leaving those choices up to local officials, Griffo said.
The end result is that municipalities often find themselves reluctantly having to impose more taxes on its residents to pay for programs and services that it might otherwise not have wanted.
ALBANY– Legislation sponsored by Senator Joseph Griffo and passed by the New York State Senate this week would help further prevent accidents involving underground gas and electric utility lines.
Griffo’s bill (S4862B) would require any municipality or underground facility operator to make sure that any excavator it hires for work will have completed the training and education programs provided by the one-call notification systems. The one-call notification system was established by the state in 2000 to enable excavators to determine the location of all underground utilities in an area where they plan to dig.
ALBANY – The New York State Senate on Tuesday passed Senator Joseph Griffo’s legislation that would legalize mixed martial arts in the state and ensure vital protections for fighters in combative sports.
Since 2010, Griffo and the Senate have led bipartisan efforts to bring mixed martial arts (MMA) to New York by passing legislation each year that would remove a statewide ban on the sport. This bill (S5949A) would authorize professional competitions in the state, while also allowing the State Athletic Commission the jurisdiction to regulate professional MMA promotions, participants, bouts and exhibitions.