There is still more to be learned about the Army’s troop restructuring plan and its full effect on Fort Drum and surrounding North Country communities, but one thing is clear: our region will be impacted from the loss of troops, their families and civilian employees at the post, and in surrounding communities.
The potential for additional, even deeper cuts as a result of inaction on the federal budget, referenced repeatedly during the Army’s Pentagon announcement, raises even greater concerns, and makes today’s news a strong wake up call for Congress to act.
School Resource Officers—commonly known as SROs—are law enforcement officials, stationed at schools and tasked with improving safety and security.
In 2010, due to budget cuts, the New York State Police ended its School Resource Officer program, leaving many districts—like Central Square—to find a way to implement the service provided by the SROs on their own.
Senate Passes Ritchie Cosponsored Measure to Stop Welfare Recipients
From Using EBT Cards on Alcohol, Lotto Tickets, Casino Gambling
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced a measure she cosponsored to prohibit welfare recipients from using their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Cards on items such as cigarettes, alcoholic beverages and lottery tickets or casino gambling, has passed the State Senate.
“EBT cards are intended to help people who have fallen on hard times afford the necessities. But, when these cards are used to purchase things like smokes, booze or lottery tickets, it’s a major waste of taxpayer money” said Senator Ritchie.
Bipartisan Legislation Sparked by Horrific Crime in CNY
State Senator Patty Ritchie’s bill to make it a crime to tamper with electronic monitoring devices, like the ankle bracelet that was supposed to helping law enforcement keep an eye on accused killer-child rapist David Renz.
Under Senate Bill 5422-A, which is cosponsored in the Senate by Senator John DeFrancisco and Senator David Valesky, it would be a felony—adding up to four years of additional prison time—if an orrdener tampered with a device and committed another violent crime, and up to one year in jail if no other crime is involved.
Currently, tampering with an electronic monitoring device can be a violation of parole or pre-sentencing release, but it is not a separate crime.
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.