“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.
Senator Griffo discusses Olympian Erin Hamlin, the governor's Adirondack Challenge, the flawed implementation of Common Core, his opposition to taxpayer-funded college for state inmates, and the Senate's budget with host Julia Lilkendey.
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.
"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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed a plan that would provide college-level education at 10 state prisons, at a cost to taxpayers of about $5,000 per inmate per year. There are an estimated 54,500 inmates currently confined in state prisons.
Hard-working families, many of whom have never run afoul of the law, are struggling to put together the money to send their children to college. New York should not be giving inmates a free education at the same time.
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.
I believe one of government’s most important functions is to provide a helping hand to those who are working, but are still struggling to meet life expenses, such as food, rent, utility bills and household necessities.
Public assistance programs are funded through taxpayer dollars, so it’s in our best interest to ensure that the money is used for its intended purpose.
I have zero tolerance for recipients who abuse the welfare program by withdrawing cash from their Electronic Benefits Transfer card to pay for tobacco, alcohol, gambling and adult entertainment.
"State Sen. Joseph Griffo is dead-on in his criticism of the state's ongoing raid on highway and bridge funds. Our infrastructure is a mess and requires every tax dollar and fee collected to make improvements. Our infrastructure is a mess and requires every tax dollar and fee collected to make improvements.
"And we second Griffo's call for legislation that will protect taxpayers' money and make sure it goes where it should."
UTICA – Sen. Joseph A. Griffo today reiterated his objection to the state’s sweep of highway and bridge funds, following a state comptroller’s report that revealed just 22 percent of motorist taxes and fees are being used for capital construction project.
“Motorists paid $3.8 billion last year in state taxes and fees on travel-related items such as gas, vehicle licensing and rental cars. That money is supposed to go toward making bridges and highways safer,” said Griffo, R-Rome. “Instead, the money is being taken to pay for past borrowing as well as operating costs of state agencies – at the expense of our infrastructure.”
Attention sportsmen: Starting Feb. 1, New York is making changes to its hunting and fishing licenses, including reducing fees.
Gov. Cuomo proposed simplifying the licensing system during last year’s budget negotiations. I voted to support the proposal because I felt it would encourage more hunters, anglers and trappers – whether living here or out of state – to make use of New York’s great outdoors.
Here are some of the biggest changes you should know about:
The Public Service Commission today announced it authorized National Grid to take immediate action to provide its customers with a $32 million temporary credit to offset an unprecedented increase in electric supply costs. The surges, expected in February, would result in bill spikes for upstate residential and small business customers. Read full release here. (This link opens a PDF file.)
Senator Joseph A. Griffo, R-Rome, issued the following statement in response:
UTICA – Sen. Joseph A. Griffo today called on the state Assembly to support legislation that would prevent New Yorkers from using public-assistance funds on alcohol, tobacco, gambling or strippers.“New York has just 30 days left to prove it has tried to curtail E.B.T. debit card fraud and abuse, or lose out on $120 million in federal funding for needy families,” said Griffo, R-Rome. “It’s important that we pass this legislation now, so that those on public assistance who play by the rules aren’t hurt.”Media reports and public documents have proved that E.B.T.