Patty Ritchie's Press releases

AHEAD OF 4TH OF JULY HOLIDAY, NORTH COUNTRY COLLEGES AFFIRM THEIR INDEPENDENCE

State Senator Patty Ritchie joined Monday with the interim presidents of SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam to mark the success of their shared services experiment and reaffirm the colleges’ independence as they move forward as independent institutions, each with its own presidents. 

 

At the event, which was held at SUNY Potsdam, officials signed a “memorandum of understanding” on shared services between the two colleges. 

July 1, 2013
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RITCHIE HELPS BREAK GROUND AT ALCOA EAST PLANT

State Senator Patty Ritchie celebrated Alcoa’s next phase of its modernization project at a groundbreaking held Monday at the Alcoa East Aluminum facility in Massena.  In addition to the groundbreaking, the company also presented $10 million to the New York Power Authority, to capitalize the North Country Economic Development Fund. 

July 1, 2013
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STARS, STRIPES AND A SALUTE TO OUR NATION

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column

This week, many people will join friends and family members to fire up the grill, load up the cooler, and find that perfect spot to watch a spectacle in the sky for the Fourth of July holiday. But, the Fourth is so much more than cookouts and fireworks displays.  It’s a chance to salute our nation—as well as those who defend it. 

This year, our nation will celebrate its 237th birthday.  It was on July 4th 1776 that the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, declaring the 13 colonies a free nation.  If you’d like to read the document for yourself, you can request a copy by clicking here.

July 1, 2013
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RITCHIE ANNOUNCES $85,000 IN GRANTS TO AREA LIBRARIES

Special Funding Will Help 25 Libraries, 2 Library Networks

State Senator Patty Ritchie announced that she has secured special funding for 25 area libraries and 2 library networks serving local communities.  The libraries—15 in Jefferson County, six in St. Lawrence and four in Oswego—will share $85,000 in special funding that’s in addition to a $4 million increase in state budget aid for libraries statewide.

“Today’s libraries are more than just places to find a great book. They are community centers that serve as excellent resources for researchers, job-seekers and families living on a budget,” said Senator Ritchie, who serves on the recently re-formed State Senate Select Committee on Libraries.

The Senate’s former leadership eliminated the library panel, but it was re-established—and Senator Ritchie was appointed a member—in 2012.

June 26, 2013
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STATEMENT ON THE ARMY’S TROOP RESTRUCTURING ANNOUNCEMENT

There is still more to be learned about the Army’s troop restructuring plan and its full effect on Fort Drum and surrounding North Country communities, but one thing is clear: our region will be impacted from the loss of troops, their families and civilian employees at the post, and in surrounding communities.

The potential for additional, even deeper cuts as a result of inaction on the federal budget, referenced repeatedly during the Army’s Pentagon announcement, raises even greater concerns, and makes today’s news a strong wake up call for Congress to act.

June 25, 2013
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SENATOR RITCHIE ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR AREA LIBRARIES

State Senator Patty Ritchie announced that she has secured special funding for 27 area libraries and library networks serving local communities.  The libraries—15 in Jefferson County, six in St. Lawrence and four in Oswego—will share $85,000 in special funding that’s in addition to a $4 million increase in state budget aid for libraries statewide.

June 25, 2013
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RITCHIE SECURES $50,000 GRANT FOR SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER AT CENTRAL SQUARE CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT

State Senator Patty Ritchie announced today she has secured a special, $50,000 grant to provide a school resource officer for the Central Square School District.

HOW SAFE ARE YOUR SCHOOLS? CLICK HERE TO PARTICIPATE IN MY 2013 SCHOOL SURVEY

School Resource Officers—commonly known as SROs—are law enforcement officials, stationed at schools and tasked with improving safety and security.

In 2010, due to budget cuts, the New York State Police ended its School Resource Officer program, leaving many districts—like Central Square—to find a way to implement the service provided by the SROs on their own. 

June 24, 2013
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STATEMENT ON ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY 'HOME RULE' LEGISLATION

Today, the Senate gave final approval to “home rule” legislation to allow St. Lawrence County to set its own sales tax rate, just as 57 other counties across the state are already authorized to do.

June 22, 2013
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STATEMENT ON THE 2013 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

As State Senator, my top priority has been making Central and Northern New York a better place to live and work, and this year’s session continues our progress.

With the adoption of a Middle Class-friendly state budget, we once again held the line on state spending, and provided urgently needed tax relief for the Middle Class.

June 22, 2013
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SENATE OK’S BILL TO GIVE CAPITOL FLAG TO FAMILIES OF FALLEN HEROES

Ritchie Cosponsors Bill Inspired By, Named For Slain Fort Drum Officer

The State Senate today approved a bill cosponsored by Senator Patty Ritchie to create the “Lt. Colonel Todd Clark Memorial Flag Presentment Program.”

June 20, 2013
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RITCHIE: NO TAXPAYER DOLLARS FOR SMOKES, BOOZE, LOTTO

Senate Passes Ritchie Cosponsored Measure to Stop Welfare Recipients

From Using EBT Cards on Alcohol, Lotto Tickets, Casino Gambling 

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced a measure she cosponsored to prohibit welfare recipients from using their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Cards on items such as cigarettes, alcoholic beverages and lottery tickets or casino gambling, has passed the State Senate.

“EBT cards are intended to help people who have fallen on hard times afford the necessities.  But, when these cards are used to purchase things like smokes, booze or lottery tickets, it’s a major waste of taxpayer money” said Senator Ritchie. 

June 19, 2013
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STATEMENT FROM SENATOR RITCHIE ON FULL RESTORATION OF OPWDD FUNDING

Earlier this year, the Governor proposed $120 million in cuts to the OPWDD budget.  Although the Senate and Assembly supported a full restoration of this cut, the Governor would not agree.  We were however successful in restoring $30 million of the $120 million in proposed cuts.

June 18, 2013
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RITCHIE TO FARMERS: PROPERTY TAX RELIEF IS ON THE WAY

2% Tax Cap for Land Assessments a Top Farm Bureau Priority

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced final passage of legislation that would provide New York State farmers with relief from rising property taxes. Under Senate Bill 1952, a 2 percent tax cap would be placed on annual agricultural land assessment increases.

"Land taxes are crushing farmers, threatening to drive many right out of business, and making it harder to keep generations-old farms in the family," said Senate Agriculture Chair Patty Ritchie. 

June 18, 2013
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SENATE HONORS FALLEN FORT DRUM OFFICER TODD CLARK

 

Moving Tribute to Soldier Who Was Part of Ritchie’s 2012 ‘Fort Drum Day’ at the Capitol

Members of the State Senate honored a fallen hero Tuesday, one day after the body of Lt. Col. Todd Clark was returned to his Albany hometown.

June 18, 2013
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RITCHIE, BARCLAY JOIN VOLNEY STUDENTS FOR “GOVERNMENT DAY”

State Senator Patty Ritchie visited Volney Elementary recently, to meet with 6th grade students who participated in the school’s Government Day.

As part of the visit, Senator Ritchie presented each student with a certificate, recognizing them for their participation. 

June 14, 2013
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RITCHIE CELEBRATES AGRICULTURE AT JEFFERSON COUNTY DAIRY FESTIVAL

Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Patty Ritchie recently joined community members to celebrate the region’s agriculture industry at the Jefferson County Dairy Festival. 

The celebration, which is held each year during National Dairy Month, aims to raise awareness of the importance of agriculture in the North Country.

June 14, 2013
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RITCHIE MOTORCYCLE SAFETY BILL UNANIMOUSLY PASSES SENATE

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced her  bill that would improve motorcycle safety by adding motorcycle awareness training to the DMV’s mandatory, pre-licensing courses has passed unanimously the Senate.

 

“Today, more and more people are using motorcycles to get around, and that means that all drivers need to be more aware of how to safely share the road” said State Senator Patty Ritchie. 

 

“By adding this training to the DMV’s pre-licensing courses, we can help ensure that new drivers are given the information they need—right from the start—to be more cognizant of motorcycles when they are out on the road.”

June 13, 2013
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SENATE OK’S RITCHIE BILL TO BOOST LOCAL FOOD IN STATE FACILITIES

Plan Would Support Local Farmers, Improve Nutrition in Prisons, Hospitals

The State Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Patty Ritchie that seeks to boost the amount of locally produced food sold to state prisons, hospitals and other facilities.

FIND LOCAL FOOD AT AREA FARMERS MARKETS

The measure (S.4061) would give agencies easy access to farm fresh products by directing officials to create a list of competitively priced food products that are available for institutional sale.

June 12, 2013
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RITCHIE BILL WOULD MAKE ELECTRONIC MONITOR TAMPERING A CRIME

Legislation Sparked by Case of David Renz, Accused Killer Said to Have Defeated Device 46 Times

State Senator Patty Ritchie has introduced legislation to make it a crime to tamper with electronic monitoring devices, like the ankle bracelet that was supposed to be helping law enforcement keep an eye on accused killer-child rapist David Renz.

The bill (S.5422-A), which is sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak, a Buffalo-area Democrat and cosponsored in the Senate by Senator John DeFrancisco and Senator David Valesky,  would make it a felony—adding up to four years of additional prison time—for an offender who tampers with a device and commits another violent crime, and up to one year in jail if no other crime is involved.

Right now, tampering with a device can be a violation of parole or pre-sentencing release, but it is not a separate crime.

June 12, 2013
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“DON’T SHUT THE LIGHTS OUT ON THE NORTH COUNTRY”

Ritchie Launches Postcard Campaign in Support of the St. Lawrence Psych Center 

State Senator Patty Ritchie met with the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center Task Force Friday to launch a postcard campaign to demonstrate support for the facility as state officials continue to deliberate the future of mental health care in New York State.

Postcards, which read “Don’t Shut the Lights Out on the North Country,” have been printed and given to community leaders, union leaders and county officials for distribution.  In addition, cards are also available at Senator Ritchie’s Ogdensburg office, located at 330 Ford Street and can be printed here. All postcards will be mailed to Governor Cuomo and Kristin Woodlock, Acting Commissioner New York State Office of Mental Health.

June 7, 2013
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