Joseph A. Griffo

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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #20: Reducing Red Tape

Red tape: If you talk to most business owners about their impediments to growth, they’ll give you an earful about the countless hours they spend filling out forms for the government.

Now, not all regulations are bad. We’ve got well designed and well implemented rules that provide more benefits than costs, including ones that ensure our health and safety.

However, New York does not need 750,000 regulations. Businesses are spending $274 billion every year to comply with all these rules. That’s money much better spent on developing new product lines, expanding facilities or hiring additional workers.

May 15, 2014
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Senate Approves Mixed Martial Arts Legislation

The New York State Senate today passed legislation to legalize and regulate mixed martial arts (MMA) competitions in New York State. The bill (S6502), sponsored by Senator Joseph Griffo (R-C-I, Rome), would allow single discipline martial arts organizations to hold professional competitions in New York State and gives the state Athletic Commission the jurisdiction to regulate professional mixed martial arts promotions, participants, bouts and exhibitions.

May 14, 2014
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Griffo Asks Governor To Proclaim May As Lupus Awareness Month

"I'm pleased to once again help educate my colleagues in state government about lupus. I advocate in memory of my aunt, who was afflicted by this devastating autoimmune disease. Lupus affects more than 1.5 million Americans - 100,000 of them live right here in New York. And yet, there's so much we still don't know about it. We need to find a way to diagnose the disease quicker, to treat it effectively and to wipe it out completely." - Sen. Joe Griffo

May 12, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #19: Honoring Our Police & First Responders

The second full week in May is National Police Week and the following week is National EMS week, providing us a great opportunity to recognize the important work done by these two groups in our communities.

It’s also a time for reflection on those we’ve lost. Hundreds of officers gathered at the State Capitol recently to memorialize those killed in the line of duty, including our officers: Utica Police Department Officer Thomas Lindsey; Oneida County Sheriff’s Deputy Kurt Wyman and New Hartford Police Department Officer Joe Corr.

A similar, but larger, gathering will take soon take place in Washington, D.C. There will be 268 names added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial this year, including the late Patrick J. Fogarty of Lowville.

May 8, 2014
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Senate Passes Bill To Give Parole Board More Discretion Over Its Worst Criminals

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.

May 7, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #18: Growing Our Economy With Good Jobs

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.

May 1, 2014
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Griffo's Term Limits Bill Passes Senate

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.

April 30, 2014
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"Your Voice" with Senator Griffo

On this week's episode, Senator Griffo breaks down the budget - taxes, spending, education, Common Core, higher ed, health care, agriculture, transporation and ethics.

With I Love My Parks Day upcoming, Griffo explains what state legislators are doing for the environment and for state parks. And finally, the senator recaps a forum on heroin and opioid abuse that he recently hosted in Utica.

"Your Voice" is hosted by Julia Lilkendey.

 

April 29, 2014
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Senate Passes Griffo Bill To Help Lower Local Costs for Highway Maintenance

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.

April 29, 2014
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Griffo Sponsors Free Drop-Off Event Saturday

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.

April 24, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #17: Celebrating Earth Day & Arbor Day

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.

April 24, 2014
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Testimony from NYS Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction forum in Utica

Attached is testimony from the New York Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction forum on Tuesday, April 15 in Utica. Senator Joseph A. Griffo, R-Rome, hosted the event.

Video of the forum can be found here.

April 22, 2014
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Earth Day 2014 Poster Contest: District 47

Dear Students,Thank you for your wonderful contribution to the New York State Senate’s Earth Day Poster Contest. This year we received many outstanding posters that exemplify the creativity of the young people in the 47th Senatorial District.Each entry from my District displayed tremendous originality and vision as well as obvious concern for the ecological future of our communities and our state. I am proud of your work and that of your classmates, and encourage you to continue to study and learn more about the serious challenges that face our environment.I am pleased to announce that the winner of the 2014 Earth Day Poster Contest from my District is:Nya Marsh3rd gradeWestmoreland School

April 17, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #16: Ensuring A Quality Education

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.

April 17, 2014
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Griffo, Valesky Announce Funding For Boys' and Girls State

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.

April 17, 2014
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Help For Students Attending College - And Those Paying for It

Congratulations! Your child has just been accepted to a college.

Now: How are you going to pay for that?

Determining the true cost of a continuing education can be tricky. Here’s three websites that will make it easier to find the aid you need – and avoid the predatory scammers lurking.

STUDENT LENDING RESOURCE CENTER

www.dfs.ny.gov/studentprotection

April 16, 2014
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Senator Griffo To Hold April 15 Forum on Heroin and Opioid Addiction in Utica

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.

April 10, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #15: Budget Delivers on Tax Relief

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.

April 10, 2014
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Brindisi, Griffo announce $200,000 in Funding for the New York Wing of the Civil Air Patrol

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.

April 10, 2014
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Vernon, Oneida County to Receive 27 Percent Increase in VLT Aid

UTICA – The village and town of Vernon and Oneida County will receive 27 percent more aid for being the host of video lottery terminal (VLT) facilities in 2014-15, Sen. Joseph A. Griffo announced.

The budget includes the following aid for municipalities that host the Vernon Downs racino:

April 9, 2014
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