Joseph A. Griffo

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Your Voice with Senator Griffo

Senator Griffo discusses the Senate's budget resolution, and his priorities for tax relief, mandate relief, education, agriculture, health care and infrastructure. Hosted by Julia Lilkendey.

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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Capital NY: Senate GOP lobbies Cuomo Medicaid waiver money upstate

By Laura Nahmias

ALBANY—A group of 13 Republican state senators has signed off on a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo asking him to ensure upstate hospitals get a share of $8 billion in federal Medicaid waiver funds.

While the state and federal government reached a broad outline of an agreement more than a month ago to give New York state $8 billion over the next five years to transform its hospitals, that plan has not yet been finalized, in part because of continuing negotiations over which hospitals will qualify to receive the money, particularly over the definition of so-called “safety-net” hospitals.

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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"Your Voice" With Senator Joe Griffo

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.

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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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #7: Protecting Tax Dollars In Welfare Programs

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.

February 13, 2014
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Utica Observer-Dispatch editorial: Stop robbing bridge fund

"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."

Read the rest here

February 11, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #6: For Those About To RAK, We Salute You

Being kind is contagious.

Want proof? Look no farther than the Remsen Central School District.

This tight-knit district of about 400 students joined together recently to give native Erin Hamlin a sendoff worthy of a three-time Olympian.

Students waved homemade banners littered with encouraging messages and composed cheers, dance routines and even a rap in Hamlin’s honor.

The entire event – captured beautifully in a two-minute video – was, in the words of NBC Sports, “adorable.”

February 6, 2014
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Griffo: State Must Stop Raiding Highway & Bridge Fund

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.”

February 5, 2014
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