State Senator Patty Ritchie announced that three bills she’s sponsored to boost farming in New York were approved by the Senate today, and two were sent on to the Governor, the last stop before they become law.
The measures would expand markets for New York farm products, allow farmers to increase their land that’s available for agriculture purposes, and look for ways to boost programs that can help aging farmers who want to stay in business.
“New York’s $5.7 billion agriculture industry is key to our region’s and the state’s economy and I am constantly working to find ways to keep farmers growing,” said Senator Ritchie, who serves as chair of the Senate’s Agriculture Committee.
“These three bills build on—and complement—my earlier legislative efforts to strengthen New York agriculture and help preserve family farming as the backbone of our agricultural industry.”
Legislation Will Create 21st Century Workgroup for Disease Elimination and Reduction
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced her legislation (S.2115) to help find a vaccine to prevent the deadly EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) disease has passed the State Senate.
The bipartisan measure will create the 21st Century Workgroup for Disease Elimination and Reduction within the state Department of Health. The group, comprised of experts in diseases, infection and public health, will be tasked with pushing for the development of effective vaccines against diseases, including EEE, West Nile Virus and Lyme. Included in the new State Budget is $100,000, secured by Senator Ritchie to fund the new workgroup.
What was once thought to only be a problem in inner cities, heroin is a drug that has pushed out across our state—being used everywhere from rural Northern New York to our Central New York suburbs and beyond.
Today, the Senate has taken a major step in fighting back against this deadly drug; passing a package of legislation to combat the heroin epidemic, including my bill (S.7662), which will help recovering abusers gain insurance coverage for treatment. The passage of these bills—which target the important areas of treatment, prevention and law enforcement—will go a long way to stop the spread of heroin and ensure those looking for help receive it.
As the school year winds down, students are itching to get out of the classroom and dreaming of days spent having fun in the sun. However, while the season might mean time off from school, it shouldn’t mean a break from the books.
It’s so important that throughout the summer months, students keep their minds sharp to avoid what’s commonly called “learning loss.” Helping to ensure students stay on track is the New York State Senate Summer Reading Program. This program, which is made possible through a partnership with the New York State Library is a fun and exciting way to keep students in fourth through sixth grades reading while on break from school during the summer months.
Teachers Receive Special Funding for Classroom Enrichment
In recognition of their efforts to encourage students to succeed, 65 educators from Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties were awarded State Senator Patty Ritchie’s Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence at a special ceremony held Friday evening at Pulaski’s historic Kallet Theater.
In addition to receiving the Golden Apple Award, each teacher was also awarded $500 in special funding for classroom enrichment. The funding—which represents a more than $30,000 addition to the increase in state education funding local schools received this year—will be used by teachers for making improvements to their classrooms.
RITCHIE TO HONOR 65 EDUCATORS WITH GOLDEN APPLE AWARD
Honorees to be Recognized at Friday Event in Pulaski
In recognition for their dedication to brightening the futures of students in the Central and Northern New York regions, State Senator Patty Ritchie will award 65 local educators with her Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence.
Educators receiving the award include those who dedicate their lives to working with students with special needs and individuals who ignite a passion for learning in those they teach to those who have made headlines for safeguarding students and educators who have overcome major challenges to pursue their careers.
“It doesn’t matter who you are, we can all remember a teacher who has made a lasting, significant impact on our life,” said Senator Ritchie.
“That’s what this event is all about—recognizing educators for going above and beyond to make a difference in those who they teach. I’m pleased to recognize these 65 educators for dedicating themselves not only to their careers, but more importantly, to the students they influence each and every day.”
Treatment, Prevention and Law Enforcement are Focus of New Report
Better treatment, increasing prevention programs and stepping up law enforcement efforts are the focus of a report released today by members of the New York State Senate Join Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction; a bipartisan group tasked with examining the issues surrounding the increase in drug abuse in New York State.
The report, which includes a comprehensive package of bills that target treatment, prevention and law enforcement issues, was complied following a series of more than a dozen forums held across the state—including one hosted by Senator Ritchie in Watertown—where experts, those in recovery, parents, law enforcement officials and other concerned citizens weighed in on how to best address the drug problem in New York State. A full copy of the report can be viewed here.
“When it comes to heroin use, the statistics speak for themselves. With abuse of these drugs increasing across both our state and country, it’s clear that we need to take action now to stop the spread of these deadly substances,” said Senator Ritchie.
Job seekers will have an opportunity to talk with nearly 50 employers next week at State Senator Patty Ritchie’s annual Oswego County Job Fair.
The free event will take place Wednesday June 4th from 11 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. the Fulton War Memorial. Those looking for work are encouraged to bring their resumes.
“From opportunities for new graduates to jobs for people looking to reenter the workforce, my upcoming Oswego County Job Fair will feature a number of employers that are looking to hire now for a wide variety of positions,” said Senator Ritchie.
Following a long winter, motorcyclists across the Central and Northern New York region are eager to hit the road. As summer approaches, it’s extra important for those on both two wheels and four to safely share the road.
State Senator Patty Ritchie brought doughnuts and coffee to the 30 volunteers painting a house on New York Avenue in Ogdensburg recently. The group was lending their time as part of the city’s pride and beautification program.
(Senator Ritchie is pictured in the above photo with Ogdensburg Free Academy Key Club Lt. Governor Laken Kelly and President Ashleigh Sovie)
State Senator Patty Ritchie congratulated two medal-winning Olympians this week at the State Capitol for their athleticism during the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.
Visiting the Capitol were Erin Hamlin of Remsen, a three-time Olympian and the first female American luger to medal at any Winter Olympics and Josephine Pucci of Pearl River, a member of the Silver Medal-winning U.S. Women’s Hockey Team.
Measure Would Let Watertown, Other Local Police Use County Lockup for Detainees, Cuts Costs to Taxpayers
The State Senate Wednesday approved a shared-services bill authored by Senator Patty Ritchie that would allow Watertown and other local police to once again use the Jefferson County jail to hold detainees prior to their arraignment.
The bill (S.7138) fixes state law to allow the special holding arrangement. Once approved by the Assembly and signed into law by the Governor, the county and city need to reach a mutual agreement to resume that arrangement.
“The state is challenging local governments to find ways to share services, cut costs and provide relief for local taxpayers,” Senator Ritchie said.
State Senator Patty Ritchie honored St. Lawrence County’s John Halford as her 2014 inductee to the New York State Veterans Hall of Fame from the 48th Senate District at a special ceremony held Tuesday at the State Capitol.
Entering the US Marine Corps at age 17, John Halford served in the Raider Battalion that was part of the daring raid on Makin Island during World War II. After his honorable discharge, he returned to Gouverneur, finished high school, and went on to SUNY Canton—which at the time, was known as the Agricultural and Technical Institute. Since retiring, John and his wife have played an active role in helping to improve the lives of people in the North Country, especially through his work as a member of the SUNY Canton Foundation Board of Directors.
Ritchie-led Effort Part of County's 'Fight the Bite/Stop Triple-E' Campaign
Oswego County residents joined Senator Patty Ritchie to “Fight the Bite” Saturday, disposing of more than 5,600 tires at free waste tire disposal events taking place throughout Oswego County. The total is nearly three times more tires than were collected at similar events last year.
State Senator Patty Ritchie honored Oswego County’s Jane Backus as her 2014 Woman of Distinction from the 48th Senate District recently at a special ceremony at the State Capitol.
A retired English teacher after 25 years, Mrs. Backus taught seniors and sophomores at both Ogdensburg Free Academy and Mexico Academy and Central Schools. Today, she is an extremely active member of her community, volunteering her time with many organizations that aim to better the Central New York region.
Dispose of Up to Eight Tires With Usual $5 Per-Tire Fee Being Waived
State Senator Patty Ritchie is reminding Central New York residents to “Fight the Bite” by getting rid of waste tires at free disposal events taking place Saturday across Oswego County.
Studies have shown that one waste tire can act as breeding ground for one million mosquitoes, which have the potential to carry deadly diseases like EEE. Last year, Oswego County residents disposed of more than 2,000 waste tires at similar free events sponsored by Senator Ritchie. In addition to this Saturday’s event, Senator Ritchie and Oswego County will also host free tire disposals on June 14th.
“There are a number of things we can do to prevent mosquito bites and control the number of mosquitoes around our homes. With each waste tire acting as breeding ground for one million mosquitoes, doing away with even a single tire that sits idle on one’s property can dramatically reduce the risk of getting bit,” said Senator Ritchie.