Newsroom

2,700 LOCAL SENIORS NOW ELIGIBLE FOR FREE PRODUCE AT LOCAL FARMERS MARKETS

Promoting Better Health and Boosting Local Farmers Are Goals of Expanded ProgramSenator Patty Ritchie today announced that funding she included in this year’s state budget will provide free farm-fresh fruits and vegetables from area Farmers Markets to 2,700 seniors from Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties, as a way to boost nutrition and healthy eating, while at the same time helping to strengthen the bottom lines of New York farmers.

June 11, 2015
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RITCHIE BILL TO CONNECT NEW FARMERS WITH VIABLE, SURPLUS STATE-OWNED LAND RECEIVES FINAL PASSAGE

Measure is One of Five Passed by the Senate Wednesday Aimed at Supporting Agriculture

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced a bill aimed at encouraging more young people to pursue agricultural careers by making it easier for them to access viable, unused state-owned lands has received final passage and will now go to the Governor for his signature.

The measure (S. 1824)—which was prompted by increasing farmland prices that make it difficult for farmers to dig into agricultural careers—is part of the Senate-led “Young Farmers” program, a far-reaching plan that seeks to preserve existing farms today and for the next generation. In addition, several other measures were passed by the Senate Wednesday, aimed at helping young and beginning farmers jumpstart their agribusinesses. 

June 10, 2015
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‘THE VOICE’ WINNER LENDS HIS STAR POWER TO THE STATE SENATE

State Senator Patty Ritchie welcomed recent winner of ‘The Voice,’ Sawyer Fredericks to the Capitol Tuesday, where he was honored by both the Senate and Assembly for his recent success on the hit television show. 

June 10, 2015
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RITCHIE BILL TO REWARD DAIRY FARMS FOR ENERGY EFFICIENT IMPROVEMENTS PASSES SENATE

Measure Part of Senator’s Sprawling “Grown in NY” Plan 

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced the Senate has given its stamp of approval to her legislation that would provide grants and low interest loans to dairy farms that make energy efficient improvements. 

The measure, Senate bill 2984, is part of Senator Ritchie’s “Grown in New York” plan, a multi-part initiative designed to help meet consumers’ demands for locally-grown food, support local farmers in their efforts to provide quality, fresh food, and strengthen rural communities.

“Controlling energy costs on the farm is one of the keys to being successful in the agriculture industry, especially for dairy farmers,” said Senator Ritchie, who chairs the Senate’s Agriculture Committee. 

June 9, 2015
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RITCHIE NAMED A LEADER AMONG LEGISLATIVE WOMEN

Selected by Colleagues as Officer of Legislature’s Bipartisan ‘Women’s Caucus’

Senator Patty Ritchie has been elected by her colleagues as one of 14 leaders of the Legislature’s bipartisan Women’s Caucus.

June 9, 2015
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RITCHIE INDUCTED INTO SUNY CANTON HALL OF FAME

Senator Recognized for her Commitment to College 

In recognition of her longstanding support of SUNY Canton, State Senator Patty Ritchie was recently inducted into the college’s “Hall of Fame.”

“SUNY Canton is one of New York’s outstanding institutions of higher learning—and a shining gem of the state’s system of public higher education,” said Senator Ritchie.

“I am truly humbled to be included among the select group of men and women who make up this year’s inductees, and am honored to be a part of SUNY Canton’s family, history and tradition.”

June 8, 2015
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STAYING SAFE WITH TEENS BEHIND THE WHEEL

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column 

With summer vacation approaching for students, more and more teens are taking to the roads.  In fact, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day marks the busiest time of the year for teen drivers, not to mention the most dangerous.  It’s known as the “100 Deadliest Days,” a time frame when we see a spike in the number of crashes involving teens.  According to AAA, in 2013, an average of 220 teen drivers and passengers died in each of the summer months, representing a 43 percent increase compared to the remainder of the year.

If you’re the parent of a teen driver, there are steps you can take—and discussions you can have with your child—to help make sure they stay as safe as possible while out on the roads in the coming months:

Don’t drink and drive: It goes without saying that nobody—teens included—should get behind the wheel after drinking. While the percentage of teens in high school who drink and drive has decreased by more than half since 1991, it’s still vitally important to stress to your teen the danger of drinking and driving. 

June 8, 2015
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RITCHIE PROPOSES LEGISLATION TO CREATE STATEWIDE ATV TRAIL SYSTEM

Uses Rider Fees to Link, Build New Trails; OKs Popular Side-by-Side ATVs

June 5, 2015
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RITCHIE ANNOUNCES $185,000 FOR RIVER HOSPITAL AND WATERTOWN PTSD SUPPORT PROGRAMS

Funding Will Aid River Community Wellness Program and  PFC Joseph Dwyer Peer Support Program for Veterans 

June 4, 2015
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ON ‘ANIMAL ADVOCACY DAY,’ SENATE OK’S RITCHIE BILL TO CRACK DOWN ON ANIMAL CRUELTY

Continuing Senator’s Efforts to Protect Pets and Help Them Find Safe Homes

The State Senate marked “Animal Advocacy Day” at the State Capitol Wednesday by passing a series of bills to protect animals, including a measure sponsored by Senator Patty Ritchie that would double prison sentences for abusing an animal in the presence of a child.

“As a pet owner, I feel very strongly that it’s our responsibility to provide safe homes for our pets and protect them from abuse,” said Senator Ritchie, a dog owner of “Gunner,” a Yellow Lab, who has been teaming with local animal shelters in Central and Northern New York to promote responsible animal adoptions through her online “Pet of the Week” effort. “An act of cruelty intended to harm an animal is heartbreaking, but it’s especially heartbreaking when animals are abused in the presence of a child. This bill seeks not only to protect their innocence, but also to safeguard animals by cracking down on those who seek to harm them.”

June 3, 2015
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SENATE OK’S RITCHIE BILL TO HELP NOTIFY FAMILY MEMBERS AND LOVED ONES MORE QUICKLY IN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS

Measure Would Create Online “Next-of-Kin” Registry for Law Enforcement

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced her bipartisan legislation to help law enforcement more quickly find family members or loved ones of victims following accidents or other emergencies has passed the Senate.

Under Senate bill 2396, the Department of Motor Vehicles would be directed to create an optional “Next-of Kin Registry,” where motorists could add information—such as phone numbers and addresses—of key people to be contacted in the event of an emergency.

“When an accident or medical emergency occurs, often times life or death decisions need to be made and loved ones need to be notified as quickly as possible,” said Senator Ritchie.

June 2, 2015
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Lawmakers agree on NY's tastiest crop--it's the berries!

Senator Ritchie welcomes Dale Ila Riggs, President, New York State Berry Growers Association, to the June 2nd meeting of the State Senate Agriculture Committee.

New York is a national leader in research on diseases, pests and development of new types of berries to help promote and grow the state's $15 million, using over $800,000 in state budget funding secured by Senator Ritchie over the past three years.

Current research is helping to successfully stop a new invasive insect that threatens crops, and find new and tastier varieties that can

June 2, 2015
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RITCHIE: DON’T USE COUNTY ‘SEALS OF APPROVAL’ ON SAFE ACT

Senate OKs Measure Sought by County Clerks

June 1, 2015
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RITCHIE WELCOMES 10TH MOUNTAIN DIVISION COMMANDING GENERAL TO CAPITOL

State Senator Patty Ritchie welcomed the 10th Mountain Division’s new Commanding General, Major General Jeffrey Bannister to Albany Monday, for a visit that included meetings with legislators and top aides to the Governor.

June 1, 2015
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HOW SAFE IS YOUR IDENTITY?

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column

Did you know that every 19 minutes, someone falls victim to identity theft? Today, identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America, affecting more than 12.7 million people last year alone.  Identity theft has the power to ruin credit and wreak havoc on reputations, and it costs victims roughly $16 billion annually.

June 1, 2015
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Committee Meeting: Agriculture Meeting

Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture  Senator Patricia Ritchie, Chair  9:00 AM, Tuesday, June 2, 2015  Room 411 LOB

Dale-Ila Riggs, President, New York State Berry Growers Association to Address the Committee

June 2, 9:00 AM - 9:31 AM
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RITCHIE BACKS BILL TO PROTECT PRIVACY AT THE DMV

Launches Online Petition to Let Public Tell the

DMV Their Personal Information is “Not For Sale” 

***CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION***

Senator Patty Ritchie today announced she’s sponsoring legislation to protect the privacy of millions of New Yorkers by prohibiting the state DMV from selling personal information to the highest bidder without their consent.

And she announced that she has launched an online petition to send a message to DMV that New Yorker’s personal information shouldn’t be for sale. The petition can be found at Senator Ritchie’s website, www.ritchie.nysenate.gov.

“Each and every year, millions of Americans fall victim to identify theft, which means we all need to be increasingly concerned about privacy protection,” said Senator Ritchie.

May 28, 2015
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RITCHIE ‘CAREER PORTABILITY’ BILL FOR MILITARY SPOUSES GETS SENATE OK

NY is Only State Without a Law that Protects Careers of Soldiers’ Families

The State Senate today approved a bill, sponsored by Senator Patty Ritchie, to make it easier for spouses of active duty military to get approval to work in their chosen fields that require licensing or certification by the state.

“Right now, hundreds, if not thousands of military spouses at Fort Drum and other posts around New York are prohibited from working in jobs for which they are well-trained, even though they have valid licenses in their home states,” said Senator Ritchie.

“That’s because New York—alone among every other state—requires these professionals to undergo the same training, testing and certification process as if they were seeking a license for the very first time.

May 27, 2015
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RITCHIE RELEASES 2015 FARMERS MARKET GUIDE

Effort Aimed at Connecting Consumers with Fresh Food, Boosting Farmers’ Bottom Lines 

***CLICK HERE TO VIEW SENATOR RITCHIE'S 2015 FARMERS MARKET GUIDE***

With the harvest season for many favorite locally grown fruits and vegetables just around the corner, State Senator Patty Ritchie is releasing her 2015 Farmers Market Guide, an annual publication that aims to connect consumers with fresh, healthy foods. 

“Fresh food should be on every grocery list, and there’s no better way to get flavorful, healthy fruits, vegetables and other items than by shopping locally,” said Senate Agriculture Committee Chair State Senator Patty Ritchie. “This guide makes it easy for consumers to find markets close by where they can buy fresh, nutritious foods, and boost our local agriculture industry at the same time.”

May 24, 2015
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