Earlier this year, the Governor proposed $120 million in cuts to the OPWDD budget. Although the Senate and Assembly supported a full restoration of this cut, the Governor would not agree. We were however successful in restoring $30 million of the $120 million in proposed cuts.
2% Tax Cap for Land Assessments a Top Farm Bureau Priority
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced final passage of legislation that would provide New York State farmers with relief from rising property taxes. Under Senate Bill 1952, a 2 percent tax cap would be placed on annual agricultural land assessment increases.
"Land taxes are crushing farmers, threatening to drive many right out of business, and making it harder to keep generations-old farms in the family," said Senate Agriculture Chair Patty Ritchie.
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced her bill that would improve motorcycle safety by adding motorcycle awareness training to the DMV’s mandatory, pre-licensing courses has passed unanimously the Senate.
“Today, more and more people are using motorcycles to get around, and that means that all drivers need to be more aware of how to safely share the road” said State Senator Patty Ritchie.
“By adding this training to the DMV’s pre-licensing courses, we can help ensure that new drivers are given the information they need—right from the start—to be more cognizant of motorcycles when they are out on the road.”
Plan Would Support Local Farmers, Improve Nutrition in Prisons, Hospitals
The State Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Patty Ritchie that seeks to boost the amount of locally produced food sold to state prisons, hospitals and other facilities.
Legislation Sparked by Case of David Renz, Accused Killer Said to Have Defeated Device 46 Times
State Senator Patty Ritchie has introduced legislation to make it a crime to tamper with electronic monitoring devices, like the ankle bracelet that was supposed to be helping law enforcement keep an eye on accused killer-child rapist David Renz.
The bill (S.5422-A), which is sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak, a Buffalo-area Democrat and cosponsored in the Senate by Senator John DeFrancisco and Senator David Valesky, would make it a felony—adding up to four years of additional prison time—for an offender who tampers with a device and commits another violent crime, and up to one year in jail if no other crime is involved.
Right now, tampering with a device can be a violation of parole or pre-sentencing release, but it is not a separate crime.
Ritchie Launches Postcard Campaign in Support of the St. Lawrence Psych Center
State Senator Patty Ritchie met with the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center Task Force Friday to launch a postcard campaign to demonstrate support for the facility as state officials continue to deliberate the future of mental health care in New York State.
Postcards, which read “Don’t Shut the Lights Out on the North Country,” have been printed and given to community leaders, union leaders and county officials for distribution. In addition, cards are also available at Senator Ritchie’s Ogdensburg office, located at 330 Ford Street and can be printed here. All postcards will be mailed to Governor Cuomo and Kristin Woodlock, Acting Commissioner New York State Office of Mental Health.
Attendees Connect With Nearly 40 Employers Looking to Hire
More than 250 job seekers packed the Fulton War Memorial Thursday for State Senator Patty Ritchie’s 3rd annual Oswego County Job Fair.
Those in attendance were able to connect with nearly 40 local employers—many of which are looking to hire—and access tips on everything from interview techniques to how to improve your online job search.
Teachers Receive Special Funding for Classroom Enrichment
More than 40 educators from Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties were each awarded $500 in special funding for classroom enrichment at Senator Patty Ritchie’s “Teachers of Excellence” program, held Thursday in Watertown.
The funding—which represents a $22,000 addition to the increase in state education funding local schools received this year—will be used by educators for technology, supplies and other improvements in the classroom.
State Senator Patty Ritchie honored 29 veterans from across Central and Northern New York at a special ceremony held recently at Fort Drum’s USO.
The veterans were nominated for induction into the New York State Senate “Veterans Hall of Fame” by family, friends, co-workers and comrades-in-arms for their military service to our nation, and their continuing work and involvement in causes that benefit and improve our local communities.
I was so pleased to be on hand for the OFA Blue Devils victory in the Class B regional contest tonight. Coach Tom Pinkerton's boys really shined behind stellar pitching by Breton LaRose and a clutch, 9th inning 2-run homer by Andrew Cole!
Now it's off to Binghamton for Saturday's semifinal. Sadly, the news wasn't as great for two other local teams, but I know they played their hearts out. Congrats to all on a great season!
Many people think of Memorial Day as the “unofficial” start to summer. But, for me, there’s something else that signals the start of the season: the opening of farmers markets across Central and Northern New York.
From fresh corn and crisp apples, to delicious pies and salt potatoes the farmers markets that dot our region are not only an opportunity to eat tasty, local, nutritious food they’re a great way to support New York State’s hardworking farmers too.
State Senator Patty Ritchie joined colleagues, health professionals and rural health experts from across New York State for a Rural Hospitals Roundtable, taking place at the Capitol on Monday.
The group, which included members of the bipartisan Rural Resources Commission and Members of the Senate Health Committee, explored ways to strengthen rural hospitals and preserve access to quality healthcare in underserved communities.
Drivers are Urged to ‘Share the Road’ as Biker Numbers Soar
State Senator Patty Ritchie is joining with the New York State Thruway to urge drivers to use greater caution and “Share the Road” with a growing number of motorcycle riders who are appearing on area roadways as the summer riding season gets in full gear.
Beginning this weekend, the Thruway will use its electronic Variable Message Signs (VMS) to increase driver awareness. Senator Ritchie had asked for the state Thruway Authority’s help in the wake of a series of horrific motorcycle crashes that claimed the lives of a number of local bikers.
From June 1 to June 8, the Thruway will flash the messages, “Watch for Motorcycles” and “Share the Road” on signs boards across their system, from Buffalo to the New York City line—and also including Central New York. The signs could be seen by an estimated 750,000 motorists who use the highway each day.