Senator Speaks Out at Community Rally and Listening Session
In an effort to safeguard Fort Drum from potential cuts, State Senator Patty Ritchie joined community members and elected officials at a rally and “listening session” taking place Friday night at Jefferson Community College.
During the listening session, Senator Ritchie conveyed the importance of Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division to Army brass in attendance, including John P. McLaurin, III, the Army's deputy director of force management.
“I grew up in St. Lawrence County,” said Senator Ritchie. “I saw how the expansion of Fort Drum has transformed this region with new jobs, better health care, improved schools and other benefits that extend even to my community.”
“I am proud that the men and women of Fort Drum, of our Army, of the 10th Mountain Division are all part of New York.”
In addition to her remarks, Senator Ritchie presented Mr. McLaurin, as well as 10th Mountain Division General Stephen Townsend and Fort Drum Garrison Commander Gary Rosenberg with an official Senate Resolution, which was passed earlier this week in support of Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division.
Continues Week of Efforts Aimed at Highlighting Post
Just one day before a “listening session” on proposed troop reductions, State Senator Patty Ritchie and her colleagues are calling on Congress to stand up and protect Fort Drum.
Senator Ritchie and members of the Senate Majority sent a letter today to members to the state’s Congressional delegation to voice support for the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum and express concerns about the significant economic impact potential troop reductions would have on the North Country and the state as a whole.
State Senator Patty Ritchie welcomed 10th Mountain Division Commanding General, Major General Stephen Townsend and troops to the Capitol Tuesday for 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum Day.
The event—which is in its fourth consecutive year—celebrated Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division’s contributions to the North Country region, the state and our nation. Joining General Townsend were Colonel Gary Rosenberg, Fort Drum Garrison Commander; Captain Scott Dawe, Commanding General’s Aide; Lieutenant Colonel Tage Rainsford, Public Affairs Officer and more than four dozen soldiers and officers who serve with the 10th Mountain Division.
“Year after year, 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum Day has allowed my colleagues in Albany to see firsthand the impact that the post and its troops have on our entire state—not just the North Country,” said Senator Patty Ritchie.
Law Would Give Authorities Immediate Access to Child Protective Records
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced legislation she cosponsors that would give law enforcement immediate access to child protective records in the event of a kidnapping has passed the Senate. Under current state law, authorities are often stalled in their investigations when trying to obtain records from child protective services.
The measure (S.3520-A) was sparked by a recent case in the Albany region, where 5 year-old Kenneth White was reported missing and later found dead. While investigating the case, authorities were stopped from accessing Kenneth’s child protective records, which could have provided them with additional persons of interest. A cousin was later arrested and charged with the crime.
Senator Also Wants Additional "Base Retention" Funding in New State Budget
State Senator Patty Ritchie is announcing $500,000 in new state funding to secure additional "buffer areas" around Fort Drum that are critical to preserving the future of the military post.
The $500,000 comes from a special "military base retention" budget account, aimed at supporting efforts to enhance and protect Fort Drum and other military installations. This year, Senator Ritchie is seeking to increase funding for military base retention in the new state budget that's due April 1st. In recent years, she has played a key role in filling the account help preserve Fort Drum and other military installations across the state.
“Right now, more than ever, it’s critical that we make protecting and enhancing Fort Drum one of our top priorities,” said Senator Ritchie.
Feeling like you need a cure for cabin fever? On March 21st-22nd and 28th-29th, more than 160 maple producers across New York State will open their sugar houses for “Maple Weekend.” Maple Weekends are chock full of events—everything from tours, pancake breakfasts, free samples and more—aimed at showing people just how maple syrup and maple products make their way from “tree to table.”
As Maple Weekend demonstrates, maple is more than just a tasty part of many of our favorite foods—it’s a major sector of our state’s agricultural economy. When it comes to maple syrup production, New York is second only to Vermont. In 2014, 2.2 million taps across the state produced 546,000 gallons of syrup, which accounted for 17 percent of the total syrup produced in the entire United States.
Plan Eliminates the Aid-Cutting GEA Gimmick, Helps More Families Pay for College
Senator Patty Ritchie announced that the Senate’s proposed budget plan would hike aid to schools by $1.9 billion, and completely eliminate the aid-cutting GEA, or Gap Elimination Adjustment, that’s been squeezing local schools to balance the state budget, when the funds should be going into classrooms. The Senate’s increase is $800 million more than that proposed by the Governor.
Restores Cuts, Includes Full Support for Senator’s ‘Grown in NY’ Plan
State Senator Patty Ritchie today announced that the Senate’s 2015-16 Budget Plan includes record funding for agriculture programs, including full support for her landmark “Grown in New York” plan that links consumers and local farms and preserves the future of family farming in the state.
The Senate’s budget plan (S.4203) increases support for agriculture by more than $20 million above the Governor’s proposal. Included is additional funding for programs that have proven critical to the success of farmers in Central and Northern New York, including restoration of funding cuts to the well-regarded Farm Viability Institute and the Northern New York Agriculture Development Program, as well as for research and promotion of key farm products, from apples to dairy, maple syrup to onions.
The restorations and new funding are more than five times the amount included in the Assembly’s agriculture plan (A.6003), which only restored about half of the cuts in the Executive Budget.
The month of March marks National Women’s History Month, a time to reflect on the tremendous contributions of women from the past who have made indelible marks on today’s society. While it’s so important to celebrate the accomplishments of women from the past, a big part of National Women’s History Month is learning more about the women of today who are following in their footsteps and going above and beyond to make a difference.
State Senator Patty Ritchie has been named Deputy Majority Leader for Senate and Assembly Relations. The new leadership post gives Senator Ritchie added responsibilities and puts her in an even stronger position to advocate on behalf of her constituents in Central and Northern New York. “In the four years I’ve served in the Senate, I’ve been able to work closely with members of both political parties, in both the Senate and Assembly, and I’m proud of the friendships and relationships I’ve established to help win passage of important legislation and new laws that
Senator Patty Ritchie, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and members of the Senate Republican Conference today unveiled their new “Grown in New York” multi-part plan to help meet consumers’ demands for locally-grown food, support local farmers in their efforts to provide quality, fresh food, and strengthen rural communities.
Members of the Indian River Warriors football team traveled to the State Capitol Monday, where they were honored for their capture of the New York State Class A Championship.
In recognition of their historic 63-38 win over defending state champions the Queensbury Spartans, the Warriors were honored in the Senate Chamber with an official Legislative Resolution.
“The Indian River Warriors are proof that dedication and diligence pay off,” said Senator Ritchie. “Their accomplishments are the result of countless hours of hard work both on and off the field, and it’s my honor to recognize them for their achievements here at the Capitol.”
Fighting back from a 19-point deficit in last November’s championship game, the Warriors’ win is especially significant, as it was the team’s first trip to the state championship and also marked the first time a North Country team won a state title on the gridiron.
State Senator Patty Ritchie is now accepting nominations for the New York State Senate’s “Women of Distinction” program; a special initiative aimed at honoring women’s history in the Empire State by recognizing the accomplishments of outstanding leaders from the present.
“From doctors and teachers to people who volunteer countless hours in the name of bettering their community, over the past several years I’ve had the honor of recognizing dozens of women from across our region who are going above and beyond to make a difference,” said Senator Ritchie. “This year, I’m truly looking forward to honoring a new group of local women through this special program.”
Group Will Work to Improve Prevention, Detection and Treatment of Lyme and Other Deadly Diseases
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has been named to the Senate Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases, a group which aims to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Lyme and other related illnesses.
“In recent years, the region I represent has seen a sharp spike in the number of cases of Lyme disease,” said Senator Ritchie. “I’ve heard from a number of constituents that something more needs to be done to fight back against this potentially deadly disease and I’m pleased to have a role on the Task Force, which will allow me to be involved as we work to better protect the health of people in our local communities and across the state.”
It’s often said that opportunity is the key to success. That’s why it’s so critically important that we provide young people across our state with every chance to pursue their dreams. Doing that starts in the classroom.