State Senator Patty Ritchie joined fellow lawmakers today at the Capitol to call for an end to the “Gap Elimination Adjustment,” a budget gimmick that has continued to hurt schools and students since its implementation in 2010.
“Since the GEA went into effect—five years ago, before I took office—it has cost schools across our state upwards of $8 billion dollars. That’s literally thousands of dollars per student that could have been put towards providing them with new opportunities to further their education,” said Senator Ritchie.
“Today, I’m proud to stand with my fellow lawmakers to call for putting an end to the GEA once and for all. We owe it to our state’s hardworking teachers and their students to fight back against the GEA and give them the resources they need to be successful in the classroom.”
State Senator Patty Ritchie is inviting people to stand up for teachers and students by signing her petition in support of repealing the Gap Elimination Adjustment; a budget gimmick commonly known as the “GEA,” which has cost schools across New York State upwards of $8 billion since its implementation.
“Although we’ve worked hard to increase education aid in recent years, the GEA is continuing to put a strain on our schools; making it harder for them to provide teachers with the resources they need to be effective and robbing students from the opportunities they deserve,” said Senator Ritchie.
“We owe it to our dedicated educators and to New York’s next generation of leaders to put their needs first and end the GEA once and for all. I’m hopeful that people across our region will join me in standing up for our schools by signing this petition and demonstrating their support for repealing the GEA.”
Those interested in signing the petition can do so here. Individuals without access to a computer can call her Watertown office at (315) 782-3418 to show their support for the GEA’s repeal.
Funding to Assist with Construction of New Playground, Kayak Launch on Lake Neatahwanta
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $50,000 to help the City of Fulton improve recreational opportunities at the city’s Recreation Park.
A portion of the capital funding will go towards the construction of a new playground with the remainder funding a kayak launch on Lake Neatahwanta.
“Whether they are for families or individuals, quality outdoor recreational opportunities are key to any strong community,” said Senator Ritchie. “I’m pleased to provide this funding, which will give children a safe place to play and also build upon efforts to revitalize Lake Neatahwanta.”
We owe it to our children to make sure that our schools are the very best. That's why I've fought for increased education funding for schools in St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Oswego Counties, including restoring 78 percent of the GEA budget gimmick that Albany has used to balance its budget--at the expense of local schools.
On the first day of public hearings on the Governor's proposed new State Budget, I had the opportunity to question Richard Ball, Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets about the plan, and efforts to help farmers grow. We discussed the Young Farmers initiative, funding for farmland preservation, efforts to connect consumers to growers and budget cuts to programs that I believe provide a wealth of benefits to farmers.
The public hearings are just a step in the process of enacting an on-time, balanced budget, and I will file frequent updates here on my website. Be sure to check back often.
Strong support for reforming Common Core, concerns regarding raising the minimum wage and support for making the state’s 2 percent tax cap permanent are just several of the results released today from State Senator Patty Ritchie’s 2015 Legislative Survey.
In total, nearly 4,000 Central and Northern New Yorkers participated in the survey, which touched on topics ranging from government spending to investments in our state’s agriculture industry.
“As state senator, it’s very important to me to make sure the opinions of my constituents are accurately represented when I’m in Albany,” said Senator Ritchie.
An innovative plan aimed at preserving the future of family farming, increasing investments in vital agriculture programs and a renewed push to encourage people to “eat local,” are just several of the highlights included in the 2014 Annual Report of the Senate Agriculture Committee, released today by the committee’s chair, State Senator Patty Ritchie.
“Throughout 2014, my colleagues and I worked diligently to grow our state’s largest industry by doing things like repealing costly mandates affecting farmers, restoring and increasing funding for vital programs and launching new initiatives like Young Farmers NY,” said Senator Ritchie, who was just reappointed as Senate Agriculture Committee Chair last week.
Also Selected to Serve On Other Key Committees, Including Finance and Transportation
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has been reappointed as Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and in addition, was named to the powerful Finance and Transportation Committees.
“In recent years we’ve made great progress to grow the agriculture industry, increasing funding for critical programs and making investments in initiatives that support our state’s hardworking farmers,” said Senator Ritchie. "I am thrilled to once again be named as Chair of the Agriculture Committee and am looking forward to working alongside my colleagues and New York’s farmers to help the industry continue to grow.”
Since first being appointed Senate Agriculture Committee Chair in 2011, Senator Ritchie has led the charge to increase funding for critical agriculture programs by more than $21 million above the Executive’s recommendation, repeal costly mandates affecting farmers, launch new initiatives including the innovative “Young Farmers NY”—a program that aims to protect the future of agriculture by attracting young people to careers in the industry—and leading the fight against deadly diseases like EEE and rabies.
I was pleased to hear Governor Cuomo emphasize issues that are priorities for me—making critical investments in our education system, supporting small business owners, creating jobs and keeping more money in the pockets of hardworking New Yorkers.
Funding Will Help Cover Cost of Paving Lot Surrounding Town Offices, Highway Department
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $50,000 to help improve infrastructure in the Town of New Haven.
According to officials, capital funding secured by Senator Ritchie will be utilized to pave a currently unpaved parking lot that surrounds the Town Offices and the Town Highway Department.
“New Haven’s Town Offices and Town Highway Department are used on a daily basis by local residents and employees,” said Senator Ritchie. “By paving the parking lot surrounding these facilities, we can help make travel easier—especially during the winter months,” said Senator Ritchie.
Funding to Allow for Installation of New Furnace, Insulation at Town Garage
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $50,000 to help the town of Macomb cover costs associated with necessary upgrades at the town garage.
According to officials, capital funding secured by Senator Ritchie will be used to purchase a new furnace and to install insulation.
“The town of Macomb uses its garage on a daily basis for everything from meetings to community events,” said Senator Ritchie. “I’m pleased to provide this funding, which will help to ensure it remains in top condition for those who utilize it each and every day.”
January 21st Marks Deadline to Participate in Legislative Survey
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced that more than 3,000 constituents in Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties have weighed in on issues that matter to them by taking part in 2015 Legislative Survey.
The survey, which is available here, covers topics such as education, government spending, college tuition, job creation, agriculture and more. Those who still wish to participate have until January 21st to do so.
“Now that the 2015 Legislative Session is underway, it’s imperative that I hear from those I represent about the issues that matter to them,” said Senator Ritchie.
“The results gathered through my Legislative Survey will help to guide me as I work to represent the interests of the people of Central and Northern New York. I’m hopeful that in the coming days, those who haven’t yet weighed in will take the time to do so.”