Series of bills to benefit veterans and active service members
The State Senate marked an early Memorial Day by passing a series of bills to benefit veterans, military service members and their families.
The bills covered a broad range of topics, from a plan to create free fishing events to veterans and active duty service members (a bill cosponsored by Sen. Ritchie) to bills making more veterans eligible for property tax relief.
“Memorial Day reminds us to keep in our thoughts all of those who served and sacrificed for our freedom, but also to remember the many thousands of men and women from our communities who continue to serve our nation today,” Sen. Ritchie said. “I’m pleased that the Senate should choose this time to pause, and then act on measures that show our appreciation to these men and women.”
State Senator Patty Ritchie says a bill (S4880B) she supported that was passed by the Senate today will reduce the cost of gasoline by 33 cents a gallon for three holiday weekends this summer.
The savings could take effect as soon as this weekend if the Assembly joins the Senate in passing the bill.
“With Memorial Day almost upon us, New York’s families need relief from high gasoline prices. The American Petroleum Institute reports New Yorkers pay the second highest gasoline taxes in the nation,” Senator Ritchie said. “The bill requires that savings be passed on to consumers.”
Urges Friends To Cast Vote For Waddington For Ultimate Fishing Town
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced the New York State Senate has commended the village of Waddington in its campaign to become the national "Ultimate Fishing Town."
"As we enter the final week of the competition, I need all of my friends across Central and Northern New York to join me in helping Waddington," Senator Ritchie said. "It's time to end upstate New York's status as North America's best kept secret. If we work together, we can spur tourism, help our economy, put our region on the map and make people aware that the St. Lawrence River is one of the greatest places in America to visit and vacation."
Children’s Home Director to be Honored at Capitol Ceremony Tuesday
State Senator Patty Ritchie (R-C, Heuvelton) today announced that Karen Y. Richmond, executive director of the Children’s Home of Jefferson County, has been named a “Woman of Distinction” by the State Senate for 2011.
Mrs. Richmond will be recognized in a special ceremony in the Senate Chamber, and a reception for family and friends later, at the State Capitol on Tuesday, where she will be joined by other nominees from across New York State in the annual Senate rite.
“For more than 25 years, Karen Richmond has devoted her life to serving and protecting children, and strengthening families, in Jefferson County and St. Lawrence Counties,” Senator Ritchie said.
Memorial Day provides an opportunity to reflect on the events of recent days, and the hard work and sacrifice of the men and women of our Armed Forces, and the veterans who have gone before.
I ask everyone to join with me in remembering, honoring and thanking those who serve to keep us free. Like the 10,000 men and women of Fort Drum who serve day after day in the mountains and deserts of Afghanistan to continue the work of dismantling terrorist networks that threaten our peace and freedom. They serve for little pay—and at tremendous personal risk—out of a deep patriotism and commitment to preserving our American way of life.
Senator Patty Ritchie hosted Senate Education Committee Chair John Flanagan for a two hour discussion with school superintendents, school board members and BOCES officials to talk about education.
Senator Flanagan assured school officials that even though he represents part of Suffolk County, he understands and supports providing additional aid to rural school districts in Central and Northern New York. He told the school officials he understood that school districts in Senator Ritchie and Senator Joseph Griffo's districts have lower property wealth, higher needs, and lower incomes than communities he represents.
Measure to Create Ex-Con Registry Sparked by Massena Assault
State Senator Patty Ritchie (R,C-Heuvelton) today hailed the expected passage of “Brittany’s Law,” which would create a public registry—akin to New York’s “Megan’s Law” list of sex offenders—that parents and neighbors could check to learn if dangerous ex-cons are living in their community.
The bill, which is expected to pass the Senate this afternoon and is sponsored by Sen. Joe Griffo and co-sponsored by Sen. Ritchie, was sparked by two heinous crimes, including the 2008 Harry Klages case. The bill is named for a 12-year-old, Rochester-area girl, who was murdered along with her mother by a dangerous ex-con, who won an early prison release after an earlier assault.
Bill Allows Innovation, New Products, New Jobs In Food, Wine Industry
State Senator Patty Ritchie’s bill (S4054) to allow the sale of wine flavored frozen desserts in New York State passed the Senate.
“With record unemployment, New York State needs to encourage innovation in its wine industry and commercial food industries to make it easier for companies to create new products using what's already produced on New York’s farms,” Senator Ritchie said. “As the chair of the Senate’s Agriculture Committee, I felt it was vital to help encourage food manufacturers to use wine as an ingredient in more desserts like sorbets to help create new products, new businesses and new jobs both on farms, at wineries and in our manufacturing plants.”
Bill Makes Killing Emergency Responders 1st Degree Murder
State Senator Patty Ritchie has introduced “Mark’s Law,” a bill to make the killing of emergency first responders first degree murder, punishable by the stiffest penalty allowed by law - life without parole.
The bill, S 4717, was introduced in memory of Mark Davis, the emergency medical technician who was shot to death while responding to a call for help in Cape Vincent on January 30, 2009.
Karen Y. Richmond has served children, teens, and families of New York’s 48th Senate District for nearly 30 years. The executive director of the Children’s Home of Jefferson County (CHJC) since 1997, Mrs. Richmond joined the agency in 1983, serving first as a bookkeeper and later as finance director. Under her guidance, the organization’s staff and programs have undergone tremendous growth. Over the past 14 years, the staff has expanded from 40 to 150 employees, and the annual number of clients served from 200 to 2,000.
The St. Lawrence County Information Technology Advisory Board has picked the winners of the Helene Mellon Memorial Spotlighting Progressive Implementation of Revered Innovative Technology (SPIRIT) Awards for 2011.
• The SPIRIT 2011 Award for Community Service goes to New York State Senator Patricia Ritchie.
• The award for Education belongs to St. Lawrence County Cooperative Extension.
• The award for Business and Industry goes to the Development Authority of the North Country Internet Mapping Application.
• An honorable mention is awarded to St. Lawrence County Office of Emergency Services / NYS Office of Fire Protection / Dale Gardner NYS Fire Instructor.
State Senator Patty Ritchie announced the Senate passed a bill (S4415) she sponsored to allow Jefferson County’s District Attorney to appoint, as needed, a stenographer who lives in St. Lawrence County or any county in the fifth judicial district.
"When Jefferson County District Attorney Cindy Intschert told me she needed my help, I made sure we got this bill moving through the Senate," Senator Ritchie said. "It is critical that our prosecutors have the resources they need."
Small town on way to becoming America's fishing capital, but needs votes now
State Senator Patty Ritchie congratulated the residents and friends of the village of Waddington for winning 1st place in the first round of the Ultimate Fishing Town Contest.
"When a small village of just 900 can beat out communities across the nation, it's a real testament to the kind of community pride and spirit that you find in Waddington," Senator Ritchie said. "For too long the year-round fishing opportunities in Waddington and across Northern New York have been one of our nation's best kept secrets. That’s why when the Chamber of Commerce asked me for my support, I helped nominate Waddington and I urged my friends to join me in helping to put our region on the map."
Last week, I had the opportunity to tour the Linde North America's new carbon dioxide plant in Fulton, N.Y.
Linde North America is employing innovative technology to harness the CO2 produced at SUNOCO's nearby ethanol plant by purifying, liquifying and distributing what others once considered a waste product for beverage, food and chemical companies across the Northeast.
As the chair of the Senate's Agriculture Committee, it's fascinating for me to see how the 41 million bushels of corn grown across New York State and other northeastern farms that's used at Oswego County's ethanol plant is being used to produce other products and create new jobs.
Tug Hill Staff Explains Its Role To SAGE Commission Member
Senator Patty Ritchie met with Hudson Valley Senator Greg Ball and representatives of the Tug Hill Commission in Albany Monday. Senator Ritchie arranged the meeting to allow Tug Hill officials to make their case before Senator Ball, who is a member of Governor Andrew Cuomo's Spending and Government Efficiency (SAGE) Commission, charged with slashing state agencies and authorities that are redundant or unnecessary. Senator Ritchie and her Central and Northern New York colleagues have been arguing that the Tug Hill Commission serves a vital purpose in helping local governments deal with state issues--at no expense to local taxpayers.