Newsroom

RITCHIE: NEW STATE BUDGET INCLUDES SUPPORT FOR LIBRARIES

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced the new State Budget includes significant support for local libraries and rejects the Governor’s $4 million cut to library funding while increasing funding for libraries across New York State by $1 million over last year’s budget. 

“As a member of the Senate Select Committee on Libraries, I have been working hard to make sure our libraries can continue to provide educational opportunities, family friendly entertainment, job-searching tools and of course, plenty of books,” said Senator Ritchie.

“Supporting our libraries is critically important, and I’m thrilled that this vital funding was included in the State Budget so our libraries—which in many regions, are the centers of communities—can provide the services taxpayers rely on.”

April 2, 2014
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REMINDER: RITCHIE’S ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY JOB FAIR TO TAKE PLACE THURSDAY

Event Will Feature 65 Employers

State Senator Patty Ritchie is reminding those who are looking for work that her St. Lawrence County Job Fair will take place on Thursday April 3rd. 

The event will feature 65 employers—many that are looking to hire immediately—as well as opportunities to access job tools to make their job search easier. Click here to see a full list of participating employers.  

“Getting people back to work is so vital to reenergizing our economy in Upstate New York.  This event will be a one-stop-shop of sorts for anyone who is looking for a job or needs tips on how to make yourself marketable,” said Senator Ritchie.

“I’m thrilled to once again be able to host this job fair and would like to thank the featured businesses and organizations for taking the time to let the people of our community know what opportunities are out there.”

April 2, 2014
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85 STATE LAWMAKERS JOIN TO STAND UP FOR FORT DRUM

Ritchie, Blankenbush Lead Effort to Rally Support for NY’s Largest Military Post

A bipartisan group of 85 State Senators and Assembly Members—from Long Island to Buffalo, Brooklyn and Binghamton to the North Country—have joined together to back Fort Drum in the face of looming federal defense budget cuts.

The lawmakers signed a letter to Governor Cuomo asking him to rally state leaders in Albany, New York City and Washington, D.C., to fight for the post, which is crucial to the nation’s defense and, as the state’s largest single-site employer, adds almost $2 billion a year to New York’s economy.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE LETTER

The signers include 58 Republicans and 27 Democrats, and at least 13 veterans of the US Armed Forces. Copies of the letter were sent to members of the state’s Congressional delegation.

April 1, 2014
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BUDGET INCLUDES BIGGEST BOOST TO LOCAL SCHOOLS IN FIVE YEARS

Students, Taxpayers Gain from Plan That Also Reforms ‘Common Core’

State Senator Patty Ritchie today announced that the new State Budget adds $20 million in new funding for schools in the 48th Senate District, which includes Jefferson, Oswego and part of St. Lawrence Counties—the largest hike in five years and nearly three times the increase proposed in January by the Governor for North Country and Central New York schools.

Jefferson County’s public schools will receive $8.7 million in additional aid, Oswego County schools will receive $5.4 million, and 12 districts in St. Lawrence County that are included in Senator Ritchie’s Senate district will receive $6.1 million additional.

“Students, teachers and taxpayers depend on the state for aid to maintain the high quality of public education and to help hold the line on our school property taxes,” Senator Ritchie said.

March 31, 2014
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BUILDING A FUTURE FOR FARMING IN THE NEW STATE BUDGET

Snow and cold aside, March is a “sweet” month.  That’s because of “Maple Weekend,” an annual celebration held to promote New York’s maple industry. With 2.2 million taps, our state is the nation’s second largest maple producer with plenty of room for growth.During this year’s Maple Weekend, I had the chance to visit with our region’s newest young farmer, Josh Parker.  A16 year-old, Josh has set up his own maple sugar operation in St.

March 31, 2014
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PSYCH CENTER LAND TRANSFER INCLUDED IN STATE BUDGET

Ritchie Plan Would Transform Unused Parcel to Create Jobs

State Senator Patty Ritchie today announced that the new State Budget will authorize the transfer of 45 acres of vacant land at the St. Lawrence Psych Center to the City of Ogdensburg as part of a broad plan to redevelop unused parcels at the site to create jobs.

“Hundreds of acres of prime real estate are sitting unused for decades at the Psych Center, and could be transformed to help stimulate our economy and create jobs,” Senator Ritchie said. “By authorizing this transfer, we are taking the first step to realizing the dream of returning this vacant land to the community, getting it back on the tax rolls and into productive reuse.”

The parcel, which abuts Route 37, between the OBPA industrial park and the Children and Youth Facility, is one of four eyed by the city for redevelopment. Working with Senator Ritchie, city officials have presented a plan to reclaim a total of 160 acres of the Psych Center campus and market it for commercial, industrial and residential development.

March 31, 2014
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RITCHIE ‘YOUNG FARMERS’ PLAN INCLUDED IN FINAL STATE BUDGET

Budget Also Reaffirms NY’s Commitment to Agriculture with Record New Funding for Farm Programs State Senator Patty Ritchie announced that key elements of her “Young Farmers NY” plan to support and encourage careers in agriculture will be included in the final state budget, which also adds record levels of new funding for priority agriculture programs that can help farmers succeed. The $1 million Young Farmers NY initiative includes Sen. Ritchie’s proposal for new farmer innovation grants—now called the “NY Beginning Farmer Fund”—of up to $50,000 each to help start or expand an agriculture business.

March 30, 2014
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Senator Ritchie Celebrates Fort Drum Day 2014

Video timeline/Directory

2:27 Entry of Fort Drum color guard to Senate Chamber

3:55 Invocation by Fort Drum Chaplain (Col.) Kelly J. Moore

6:16 Reading of teh Fort Drum Day resolution

10:50 Welcome by Senate Leader Dean Skelos

12:38 Remarks and Welcome by Senator Patty Ritchie

16:45 Remarks by Brigadier General Michael Howard

March 27, 2014
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RITCHIE WELCOMES FORT DRUM CHILDREN TO THE CAPITOL

Group Celebrates ‘Purple Up Day’ and the Month of the Military Child

State Senator Patty Ritchie welcomed the children of Fort Drum soldiers to the State Capitol Tuesday to recognize them for their own service, as well as their strength and sacrifices.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH SEN. RITCHIE'S WELCOME REMARKS IN THE SENATE CHAMBER

The visit takes place during the “Month of the Military Child,” an annual month-long celebration that pays tribute to roughly 1.8 million sons and daughters of those currently serving in our Armed Forces. That number includes the family members of 18,000 soldiers who are attached to Fort Drum and live in North Country communities Senator Ritchie represents.

“We sometimes forget that behind every brave soldier are family members who love, support and courageously stand by them—and it’s so important that we recognize them for their bravery too,” said Senator Ritchie.

March 26, 2014
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MEASURE COSPONSORED BY SENATOR RITCHIE TO CREATE JOBS, EXPAND BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES FOR VETERANS PASSES SENATE

State Senator Patty Ritchie speaks on the Senate floor on a measure she cosponsored to support the men and women of our Armed Forces by giving preference for state contracts to businesses owned by disabled veterans.

March 24, 2014
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'JOBS FOR HEROES' BILL COSPONSORED BY SENATOR RITCHIE TO CREATE JOBS, EXPAND BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES FOR VETERANS PASSES SENATE

***CLICK HERE TO WATCH SENATOR RITCHIE'S REMARKS ON THE LEGISLATION***

 

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced a measure she cosponsored to support the men and women of our Armed Forces by giving preference for state contracts to businesses owned by disabled veterans has passed the Senate.

The measure (S.6865) would create a six percent state contract set-aside for service-connected disabled-veteran owned small businesses, ensuring New York State’s service-connected disabled veterans are better able to compete for millions of dollars in state contracts. 

“I’m fortunate to be able to represent Fort Drum, as it gives me an opportunity on a regular basis to see everything our troops do not only for our region, but also for our country and this legislation is a tremendous way to say ‘thanks’ for their service” said Senator Ritchie.

March 24, 2014
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RITCHIE TO HOST ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY JOB FAIR

Dozens of Ready-to-Hire Businesses Featured at April 3rd Event

 

State Senator Patty Ritchie is asking all those looking for work to mark their calendars for her annual St. Lawrence County Job Fair.  Taking place on April 3rd, the free event will feature dozens of businesses looking to hire as well as opportunities for individuals to access tools to make their job search easier.

“It’s no secret that there are a significant number of people in our region who are looking for work,” said Senator Ritchie. 

“One of my top priorities is creating jobs, but that’s just part of the puzzle.  Getting our economy back on track also depends on matching people with employers who are looking for talented, hardworking individuals who can make a difference, and that’s what this event does.”

March 24, 2014
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HONORING OUR NATION’S HEROES

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column

March 24, 2014
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RITCHIE NOW ACCEPTING VETERANS HALL OF FAME NOMINATIONS

Veterans to be Honored at Fort Drum Ceremony on May 15th 

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she is now accepting nominations for the New York State Senate’s Veterans Hall of Fame program.

CLICK HERE FOR A NOMINATION FORM

The Hall of Fame pays tribute to New Yorkers who have served their country in the US Armed Forces and made significant contributions to their communities.

“Throughout the past several years I have had the opportunity to recognize so many men and women who have made tremendous sacrifices in their lives by serving in our Armed Forces,” said Senator Ritchie.

March 21, 2014
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RITCHIE, CENTRAL NEW YORK LAWMAKERS MEET AT CAPITOL

State Senator Patty Ritchie met recently with Assemblyman Will Barclay and Assemblyman Bob Oaks at the Capitol. The three work closely on issues that impact Oswego County and at the meeting, discussed topics such as job creation, cutting taxes, and creating new opportunities in the region. 

 

 

March 21, 2014
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ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY WINE TRAIL INCLUDED IN SENATE BUDGET

Plan Would Put Local Wineries and Vineyards on the Map, Boost Local Business, Create Jobs

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced the recently approved Senate budget proposal includes a measure to establish a St. Lawrence County Wine Trail; a plan that would help put local vineyards and winemakers on the map, attract more tourists to the area and boost local business, create jobs in the region.

“The North Country has a perfect opportunity to capitalize on the fast-growing wine and grape industries by creating a St. Lawrence Wine Trail that links our area’s vineyards and winemakers,” said Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Senator Patty Ritchie.   

“The inclusion of the St. Lawrence Wine Trail in the Senate’s spending plan represents a major step for this legislation.  I’m looking forward to working to make sure the proposal—which would create new business, employment and tourism opportunities—is included in the final enacted budget.”

March 20, 2014
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RITCHIE MEETS WITH BISHOP, CHURCH LEADERS

State Senator Patty Ritchie met with Bishop Terry LaValley of the Diocese of Ogdensburg and other local church leaders recently in Albany to discuss the priorities of the Catholic Church. 

In addition, Bishop LaValley also delivered the invocation at the start of the day’s Senate session.  

March 20, 2014
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SENATE BUDGET EXPANDS PRESCRIPTION DRUG PROGRAM FOR SENIORS

Protects EPIC Program That Nearly 10,000 Central and Northern New Yorkers Depend On

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced that the Senate’s budget proposal includes an expansion to a program designed to provide relief to low-income seniors struggling with cost of life-saving prescription drugs. 

Included in the spending plan is $2 million to increase the income limits for the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage program, commonly known as EPIC.  Income limits for EPIC—which helps seniors supplement their out-of-pocket Medicare Part D drug plan costs—have not been changed since 2001.

“For seniors, skyrocketing prescription drug costs are a major concern, as many individuals find it hard to afford the medications they need to stay healthy” said Senator Ritchie. 

March 19, 2014
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Senator Ritchie Celebrates Fort Drum Day with Gen. Mike Howard

Senator Patty Ritchie hosted soldiers and officers of the 10th Mountain Division for her third annual Fort Drum Day at the New York State Senate on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. Visitors were able to inteact with soldiers, view exhibits and learn more about Fort Drum. The highlight of the day was an address by General Michael Howard to senators in the historic Senate Chamber.

March 19, 2014
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