Newsroom

HAT TRICK! SENATE APPROVES THREE BILLS TO BOOST FARMING

Two Sent to Governor on Way to Becoming Law

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.”

June 10, 2014
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RITCHIE: MEASURE TO HELP FIND VACCINE FOR EEE GETS FINAL PASSAGE

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.

June 9, 2014
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STATEMENT FROM SENATOR RITCHIE ON PASSAGE OF LEGISLATION TO COMBAT HEROIN EPIDEMIC

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. 

June 9, 2014
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THIS SUMMER, DON’T ABANDON THE BOOKS

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column 

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.

***CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE NYS SENATE SUMMER READING PROGRAM***

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. 

June 9, 2014
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CELEBRATE DAIRY: JUNE IS DAIRY MONTH

Senator Patty Ritchie, chair of the State Senate's Agriculture Committee, is pictured with New York's 51st Dairy Princess, Casey Porter, of Adams Center, during the annual Dairy Parade, held June 6 in downtown Watertown . The 17-year-old, who grew up on a dairy farm and plans to study agriculture this fall at Cornell, was chosen over 24 other contestants at the Coronation event held in Liverpool in February.

Dairy is the centerpiece of New York's $5.7 billion agriculture industry, and New York currently ranks third in the US in dairy production, with 5427 dairy farms--and young farmers, like Casey, will help lead the indutry's growth into the future, Senator Ritchie said.

June 9, 2014
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Plan Moves Forward To Turn Over Old Psych Center Land

7 News' John Friot updates on Senator Ritchie's plan to breathe new life into unused loand and buildings at the St. Lawrence Psych Center to create North Country jobs and economic development.

June 6, 2014
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Land Purchase Could Bring Big Benefits to Ogdensburg

TWC News update on Senator Ritchie's plan to transform unused and decaying buildings at the St. Lawrence Psych Center to boost North Country jobs and economic development.

June 6, 2014
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NORTH COUNTRY LEADERS PEER INTO THE FUTURE AT PSYCH CENTER

Ritchie’s Land Transfer Plan Focus of Multiagency Tour

June 5, 2014
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MORE THAN 300 JOB SEEKERS ATTEND RITCHIE'S FULTON JOB FAIR

More than 300 people attended State Senator Patty Ritchie’s annual Oswego County Job Fair, held Wednesday at the Fulton War Memorial.

June 4, 2014
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SIGN THE PETITION: TELL THE ASSEMBLY TO STOP BLOCKING UTV's IN NY

I'm getting ready to ride, joining fellow outdoor enthusiasts at the weekend's ATV ride in South Colton (St. Lawrence County). I told riders that 3,000 people have already signed my online petition to allow UTVs in New York -- we are the only state that bans their use.

You can join the fight by clicking here and signing the petition.

 

June 2, 2014
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RITCHIE HONORS 65 EDUCATORS WITH GOLDEN APPLE AWARD

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.

CLICK HERE TO SEE A VIDEO OF THE EVENT

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. 

June 1, 2014
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RITCHIE TO HONOR 65 EDUCATORS WITH GOLDEN APPLE AWARD

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.”

May 29, 2014
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RITCHIE: TASK FORCE RELEASES RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TREATING HEROIN ABUSE

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.

May 28, 2014
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RITCHIE TO HOST OSWEGO CO. JOB FAIR JUNE 4th

Event to Feature Nearly 50 Employers

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.

May 27, 2014
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WATCHING OUT FOR THOSE ON TWO WHEELS

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column

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.  

May 23, 2014
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RITCHIE GIVES BEAUTIFIERS A BOOST

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)

May 23, 2014
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GOING GOLD: RITCHIE CONGRATULATES OLYMPIANS AT CAPITOL

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.

 

May 23, 2014
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SENATE OK’S RITCHIE’S JEFFERSON COUNTY JAIL SHARING BILL

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.

May 21, 2014
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