Joseph A. Griffo

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Griffo, Brindisi: More Family Court Judges Coming

UTICA - Sen. Joseph A. Griffo and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi jointly announced that they will work to ensure that Oneida County is assigned an additional Family Court judge.

The 2014-15 state budget includes $5 million for the addition of 20 new Family Court judges. The Unified Court System believes Oneida County is among those with the greatest need for a second judge, based on its number of filings.

April 8, 2014
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Griffo Calls on PSC to Investigate Heating Bills

UTICA – Senator Joseph A. Griffo has written a letter asking the Public Service Commission to uncover the true reason behind skyrocketing heat and electric bills.

“I’ve heard from several people about how bills doubled and tripled this winter – and it can’t be all explained by just using more of the utilities,” said Griffo. “We need to find out which entities are gouging customers and how they can be stopped.”

Some of the reasons for a cost increase are known, the senator said.

April 3, 2014
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Senator Griffo's Weekly Column #14: Explaining My 'Yes' Vote on the Budget

My colleagues and I have just passed a $138 billion state budget. It’s our fourth consecutive year we’ve delivered a spending plan on time, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished in nearly four decades.

There’s a lot in this budget that will impact those of us living in Lewis, Oneida and St. Lawrence counties. Instead of trying to explain it all in this column, I’m going to devote the next several weeks to detailing how certain parts are going to affect us, for better or worse.

First, I’d like to explain my votes.

I was recently asked: “Why do you vote for a budget that has bad stuff in it?”

April 3, 2014
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Brindisi & Griffo: The Stanley Theater and Other Upstate Arts Centers Will Benefit From Tax Credit in the 2014-15 State Budget

THEATERS THAT HOST HIGH-TECH ‘PREVIEW’ PRODUCTIONS WILL GET 25 PERCENT CREDIT FOR PRODUCTION COSTS; THE STANLEY HAS SEEN SUCCESS ALREADY WITH TECH SHOWS

UTICA - State Senator Joseph Griffo and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi have announced the new State Budget for 2014-15 will provide a significant boost for Utica’s Stanley Theatre, and other venues that host the high tech shows that are used as previews for upcoming Broadway shows.

April 1, 2014
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Griffo, Brindisi: State Budget Supports New York Students And Their Colleges

ALBANY – New York’s colleges – and its students – receive more financial help from the state if the 2014-15 budget is passed, Sen. Joseph A. Griffo and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi said today.

The Tuition Assistance Program - which helps New Yorkers pay for the cost of attending a State University of New York (SUNY), City University of New York (CUNY), or not-for-profit independent college - will be increased by $34 million. The maximum award per student will be $5,165 – the first increase in 14 years.

March 31, 2014
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Griffo, Brindisi: New State Budget Includes Boost to Agriculture

ALBANY – As Maple Weekend comes to a close, Sen. Joseph A. Griffo and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi are pleased to announce more than $8.5 million in funding to sustain future agriculture programs.

The 2014-15 state budget includes $2.4 million for vital agricultural programs restored through negotiations, as well as a $6.3 million increase in funding for important ongoing research – the largest commitment in at least six years, the legislators said.

“New York farmers need our support to make their operations more efficient and more profitable,” said Griffo, R-Rome. “That’s why I was pleased to advocate for rejecting the governor’s proposed cuts to these essential programs and increasing funding to several others.”

March 31, 2014
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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 Congratulates the Mohawk Valley-New York State Women’s 3-on-3 Basketball Team Upon the Occasion of Winning A Bronze Medal at the National Senior Games in Cleveland, Ohio

Thank you, Mr. President.

It is really a pleasure for me today to be able to host an outstanding group of ladies who I had the opportunity to meet earlier today.

It is March Madness. And the brackets are out there. Perhaps, Senator DeFrancisco, if some of these ladies were on the court with Coach Boeheim, we would have had a better result.

I think this is very important because these individuals come from a variety of career paths. They are really fascinating talent, phenomenal personalities and they have some extraordinary stories.

March 26, 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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Senator Griffo's Floor Comments on National Popular Vote Bill

Thank you, Mr. President.

I want to thank all of those who are co-sponsoring this, especially Senator Parker who has carried this bill in the past. I appreciate their efforts as well as Assemblyman Dinowitz.

Elections are the foundation of our democracy. In order to have the most representative government possible, we need a system that both attracts voters to participate in the process and requires candidates to deal with all people on all issues.

That is not the current scenario in which we find ourselves every four years. Potential presidential candidates concentrate more than two-thirds of their advertising budget and two-thirds of their campaign stops in just five states. Almost 100 percent of their message is seen in approximately 16 “battleground” states.

March 25, 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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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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