Patty Ritchie's Press releases

HONORING NEW YORK’S NOTABLE WOMEN

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column

What started as a small-town school event in California held over the course of a week in 1978, Women’s History Month has grown tremendously.  Today, throughout the entire month of March, the world’s focus turns to women and the significant contributions they have made to our history, culture and society. In recognition of Women’s History Month, the New York State Senate has developed its “Women of Distinction” program which celebrates females from the Empire State. 

This year, three women have been added to the Senate’s Historic Women of Distinction exhibit, including an individual with ties to Central New York.  Mother Marianne Cope, O.S.F. was a German-born American and a member of the Sisters of Saint Francis in Syracuse, New York.  Known for her charitable works and compassion, she spent much of her life caring for lepers in the Hawaiian Islands.  Despite her close contact with those who had the disease, Cope was never afflicted by it—considered by many to be a miracle in itself.  In 2005, Cope was beatified by  Pope Benedict XVI and in 2012, she was declared a saint.  Mother Marianne Cope now joins the ranks of other remarkable women who are being celebrated through the Women of Distinction program, including Ella Fitzgerald, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, Estee Lauder, Harriett Tubman and many others.

March 17, 2014
Read more...

SENATE BUDGET INVESTS IN EDUCATION, SPEEDS END OF AID-CUTTING GEA

Plan Also Boosts College Aid to Help Families Struggling with Tuition Costs

New York’s schools would receive $812 million more in state aid, and the aid-cutting “Gap Elimination Adjustment” (GEA) would be eliminated over two years, under the Senate’s new budget plan that also boosts aid for middle class families struggling to pay college tuition costs.

The bipartisan Senate plan (R.4036) includes $541 million in “GEA restoration”—$200 million more than proposed by the Governor, and five times the increase recommended by the Assembly.

Eliminating the aid-cutting GEA was listed as a top priority of school officials in this year’s budget.

“The GEA was a budget gimmick imposed before I joined the Senate, and one that disproportionately punishes rural schools,” Senator Ritchie said. “Eliminating the GEA and getting a fair share for our schools and taxpayers has been a priority for school officials, as it has been for me, and this plan drives more funding to the classroom, and gets us closer to our goals.”

March 17, 2014
Read more...

AGRICULTURE, FAMILY FARMING WILL GROW WITH SENATE BUDGET PLAN

Ritchie ‘Young Farmer’ Plan, Record Ag Funding Wins Bipartisan Support   Senator Ritchie’s “Young Farmers NY” plan to secure the future of family farming and encourage more young people to pursue careers in agriculture won bipartisan approval today as part of the Senate’s state budget plan that also included nearly $9 million in new investments in programs to help farmers grow. That amount is the largest increase in support for agricultural research, marketing and education programs in at least six years. Senator Ritchie’s Young Farmers NY plan was modeled on successful programs in other states that are bringing young people back to agriculture.

March 16, 2014
Read more...

RITCHIE PSYCH CENTER JOBS PLAN INCLUDED IN SENATE BUDGET

Bipartisan Support for Shift of Unused Land to Local Control

A plan by Senator Patty Ritchie to create economic growth and new jobs by shifting control of unused land and buildings on the St. Lawrence Psych Center campus from the state to the local community was approved by the Senate Friday.

Senator Ritchie’s proposal to transfer 160 acres of unused campus property—including river frontage—to the City of Ogdensburg was included in the Senate’s version of the new state budget (R.4036), which passed with bipartisan support.

“My plan would create new opportunity for Ogdensburg and the entire North Country for jobs and economic growth, by transforming unused land and buildings for development, housing, industry and recreation,” Senator Ritchie said.

March 14, 2014
Read more...

MEASURE TO ALLOW REGISTRATION OF UTVS INCLUDED IN SENATE BUDGET PROPOSAL

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced that for the first time, her proposal to allow for the registration of increasingly popular Utility Task Vehicles—commonly known as UTVs—has been included in the Senate’s budget proposal.

The measure, which has passed the Senate three times, would authorize the state Department of Motor Vehicles to allow the registration of larger recreational vehicles and in turn, would allow New York State to recoup hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost non-tax revenue, boost tourism and revitalize the economy.

March 14, 2014
Read more...

RITCHIE MEETS WITH MEMBERS OF THE NYS CORN AND SOYBEAN GROWERS ASSOCIATION

State Senator Patty Ritchie met recently with members of the New York State Corn and Soybean Growers Association in Albany. 

March 14, 2014
Read more...

RITCHIE MEETS WITH SUNY POTSDAM INTERIM PRESIDENT, STUDENTS AND STAFF

State Senator Patty Ritchie met with SUNY Potsdam Interim President Dr. Dennis Hefner as well as students and staff from the college recently in Albany. 

A member of the Senate’s Higher Education Committee and a SUNY Potsdam graduate herself, Senator Ritchie has been a strong advocate for the state’s public education system, including the four colleges located in the district she represents.

 

March 14, 2014
Read more...

SENATOR RITCHIE VOTES TO REPLACE REGENTS

Votes NO on Nominees; Backs Reforms in Wake of Flawed ‘Common Core’ Rollout

State Senator Patty Ritchie today voted to oust members of the Board of Regents, citing the flawed rollout of the state’s new Common Core educational standards, and announced support for legislation to increase accountability of the education policy-setting board to students, parents and taxpayers. Senator Ritchie voted to reject the reappointments of three current Regents, James Cottrell of Brooklyn, Wade Norwood of Rochester, and Christine Cea of Staten Island. A fourth Regent, James Jackson of Albany, who served on the board since 2011, abruptly withdrew his name from consideration. “The flawed roll-out of Common Core has created anxiety for students, parents and teachers from every corner of New York, and a resulting outpouring of protest from all across Central and Northern New York,” Senator Ritchie said. “Every single parent, student and educator who has contacted me about Common Core has demanded change from the Board of Regents, and with my vote today I am joining my voice with theirs in calling for increased accountability and reform.”

March 11, 2014
Read more...

WHAT IF THERE WERE NO FARMERS?

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column From the food we eat to the products we use, not a day goes by that we don’t have a farmer to thank for helping to provide life’s necessities.  But, what if there weren’t any farmers?  As recent research suggests, that’s a question we should be considering.  Farming is our state’s most important industry, it’s also a way of life handed down from generation to generation. But as the recent USDA Census of Agriculture depicted, the average New York farmer is changing. According to the report, the average age of New York farmers is 57.1 years, with two farmers aged 65 and older for each one under 35.  In addition, the survey also pointed to the fact that roughly 50,000 acres of farmland were lost in New York in each of the past five years.

March 10, 2014
Read more...

RITCHIE GETS A “TASTE OF NY” AT AGRICULTURE EVENT

State Senator Patty Ritchie recently attended the New York Farm Bureau’s “Taste of New York Reception and Issues Forum.”

The event—which was held at the Capitol—featured locally produced food and drink. 

As Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Ritchie has been working to support farmers and recently, unveiled her “Young Farmers NY” plan to encourage more young people to pursue careers agriculture.

March 7, 2014
Read more...

RITCHIE MEETS WITH SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS

State Senator Patty Ritchie met this week with superintendents from the Canton and Potsdam Central School Districts to discuss funding for schools in Northern New York. 

Senator Ritchie has successfully pushed in prior years for additional funding for rural schools and is working to improve the Governor’s school aid plan in the new State Budget, due April 1st. 

March 7, 2014
Read more...

RITCHIE MEETS WITH LIBRARY GROUP

State Senator Patty Ritchie met recently with representatives from libraries and library networks in Central and Northern New York.  At the meeting, the group thanked the Senator for her support and discussed State Budget funding for libraries. 

Last year, Senator Ritchie—who is a member of the Senate Select Committee on Libraries— was able to deliver $161,000 in special funding to 49 area libraries and 2 library networks in the region she represents.  The funding was in addition to a $4 million increase in state budget aid for libraries across New York State.

March 7, 2014
Read more...

RITCHIE SEEKS NOMINATIONS FOR 2014 “WOMEN OF DISTINCTION”

Nominees to be Honored at Event on May 1st

State Senator Patty Ritchie is now accepting nominations for the New York State Senate’s 2014 “Women of Distinction” program. 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A NOMINATION FORM

The program honors women’s history in the Empire State by recognizing outstanding leaders and everyday citizens from the present who are making a difference.

“Each and every day, women in our region are doing amazing things and throughout the years I’ve had the opportunity to recognize dozens of them through the New York State Senate’s ‘Women of Distinction’ program,” said Senator Ritchie. “I’m truly excited to once again honor the women of our region who are making a difference.” 

Women living in the 48th Senate District, including Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties are eligible for nomination. All nominees will be invited to a local recognition ceremony to be held on May 1st.  One individual from each State Senate district will be selected to travel to the Capitol to be honored at a special reception on May 13th.  

March 6, 2014
Read more...

RITCHIE UNVEILS PLAN TO SECURE THE FUTURE OF FAMILY FARMING

“Young Farmers NY” Encourages New Generation of Farmers, Strengthens NY’s Leading IndustrySenator Patty Ritchie, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today unveiled her “Young Farmers NY” plan to address issues related to the advancing average age of New York farmers and to preserve the future of family farming.  The initiative will support and encourage a new generation of farmers and help strengthen the state’s leading industry for decades to come.CLICK HERE TO SEE DETAILS OF THE PLANWATCH VIDEO OF THE STATE CAPITOL PRESS CONFERENCE“Young Farmers NY,” which was announced today at a Capitol news conference, is a series of proposals to smooth the transfer of farmland to the next generation, preserve existing farmland, and help young farmers overcome obstacles to give them a grea

March 4, 2014
Read more...

JOIN THE FIGHT AGAINST WELFARE ABUSE

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column

It’s frustrating to know that someone would abuse a program designed to help children and families in need and let people get back on their feet.  That’s why reports that some people are using their taxpayer-paid welfare benefits to pay for tobacco, alcohol—even trips to nightclubs—really touch a nerve.

March 3, 2014
Read more...

RITCHIE, NORTH COUNTRY ARTS COUNCIL TEAM UP TO “CELEBRATE LOCAL ARTISTS”

In an effort to recognize local artistic talent in Central and Northern New York, State Senator Patty Ritchie, along with the North Country Arts Council hosted a celebration of the arts Thursday evening in Watertown.

At the event those who have participated in the “Senator Ritchie Celebrates Local Artists” program were recognized.  Through the effort, two dozen artists have had their work featured in Senator Ritchie’s Albany, Ogdensburg, Oswego and Watertown offices.   The work of past featured artists can be viewed at Downtown Watertown’s Franklin Building or by clicking here

In addition, at the event, high school students from the Central and Northern New York region were inducted into Senator Ritchie’s local artists program, and in the weeks to come, will have their artwork featured in her offices.  Several high school students were also invited to perform in the areas of song and dance.

February 28, 2014
Read more...

RITCHIE MEETS WITH NORTH COUNTRY LAWMAKERS ON PSYCH CENTER LANDS, ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY WINE TRAIL

State Senator Patty Ritchie met with North Country lawmakers Wednesday in Albany to discuss her plan to return unused land at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center back to the community to be used for economic development and job creation. 

From the Senate, attendees included Senator Betty Little and a representative for Senator Joe Griffo.  From the Assembly, attending the meeting were Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush, Assemblyman Marc Butler, Assemblywoman Addie Russell and a representative for Assemblywoman Janet Duprey.

February 27, 2014
Read more...

SUPPORT GROWS FOR RITCHIE PLAN TO RENEW ABANDONED PSYCH CENTER LANDS

Local, State Leaders Getting on Board to Return Unused Parcels to Help Create Jobs

State Senator Patty Ritchie announced growing support for her proposal to return 160 acres of unused land at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center back to the community to be used for economic development and to create jobs.

The Senator’s bill, S.6661, was formally introduced in the Legislature today. All three Senators representing St. Lawrence County, including Senator Ritchie, Senator Joe Griffo and Senator Betty Little have signed on as cosponsors.

On Monday night, Senator Ritchie’s plan, which was developed collaboratively with Ogdensburg Mayor Bill Nelson, as well as Ogdensburg’s City manager and City Planner, was officially endorsed by a unanimous City Council.

Members of the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators also unanimously voiced their support during a meeting of that body’s Finance Committee Monday.

February 25, 2014
Read more...

ROOM TO GROW IN NY’S BIGGEST INDUSTRY

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly ColumnFrom sowing crops by hand and working the land with simple wooden plows to employing new and advanced technologies to grow better—and more—crops, agriculture has come a long way since it first took root in the United States.Illustrating these changes is the newly-released USDA 2012 “Census of Agriculture” (read the full report here).  The survey, which is taken every five years, not only indicates that agriculture continues to be a strong and major driver of our state and local economies, it also shows that there are tremendous opportunities for further growth in the industry. According to the report, the market values of livestock, crops and total products grown and produced by those in the industry are at an all time high, as farms in the United S

February 24, 2014
Read more...

RITCHIE, CITY HALL UNVEIL PLAN TO CREATE JOBS AND OPPORTUNITY AT PSYCH CENTER CAMPUS

'Land Transfer' Bill Aims to Get Unused Land Back on the Tax Rolls, Help Community Grow

State Senator Patty Ritchie announced she will be introducing legislation next week to transfer 160 vacant acres of surplus land at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center to the City of Ogdensburg as part of a long-term comprehensive program to redevelop the campus.

Senator Ritchie has been working with Ogdensburg Mayor William Nelson and City Manager John Pinkerton over the past two months to develop a plan to transform blighted properties at the 125-year-old Psychiatric Center into economic development assets to create opportunities for new jobs and growth.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE POWERPOINT PRESENTATION ON THE SLPC CAMPUS PLAN

The proposal was endorsed by the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center Task Force on Thursday.  The Ogdensburg City Council will consider a proposal to endorse the plan Monday.

Senator Ritchie will present the legislation to members of State Assembly and State Senate delegation representing St. Lawrence County in the state legislature on Wednesday to seek their support. Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell has announced her support for the plan.

February 21, 2014
Read more...
Syndicate content