Bill Seeks to Close Gaps in State Law So Abusers Can’t Go Free
Inspired by the case of the St. Lawrence County sisters who were abducted from their family’s Amish roadside stand, Senator Patty Ritchie has written and introduced legislation that proposes to toughen New York’s laws against the sexual abuse of children, with longer prison terms and new restrictions to prevent offenders from hiding their crimes in their future.
Senator Ritchie’s bill, S.5560, creates the specific crime of “Sexual Exploitation of a Child,” a Class B felony, defined as participating, arranging or assisting in creation of child pornography, including enticing or transporting the victims to be used in such a production. Abusers would face up to 25 years in prison for each offense. Under current law, promotion or possession of child pornography can result in a sentence of as little as seven years in prison, or even probation.
Senator Ritchie’s Effort is Cleaning Up Roadsides, Protecting Public
More than 10,000 waste tires were removed from area backyards and roadsides during last weekend’s free disposal events sponsored by Senator Patty Ritchie in Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties.
It’s the most ever collected during the one-day events, made possible through special State Budget funding secured by Senator Ritchie. Over three years, Senator Ritchie’s efforts have resulted in the removal of more than 30,000 waste tires from area communities.
“Waste tires along roadsides and in backyards are not only unsightly, they can be a cause for spreading disease because mosquitoes love to breed in the standing water that collects inside them,” Senator Richie said. “With proper disposal, we are cleaning up our roadsides and communities, protecting the environment and preventing disease.”
As the nation continues to celebrate National Military Appreciation Month, State Senator Patty Ritchie honored 16 veterans from throughout Central and Northern New York Thursday, at her annual “Veterans Hall of Fame” ceremony, which took place at the U.S. Army Reserve Center near Fort Drum.
“There are people we paid tribute to today, who fought in some of history’s most dangerous battles, including, the Invasion of Normandy, Iwo Jima and the Battle of the Bulge, as well as more recent conflicts in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Senator Ritchie.
Students and Families Recruited in Latest Effort to Raise Awareness and Stop EEE
State Senator Patty Ritchie is once again teaming with Oswego County health officials and educators to raise awareness and help fight the deadly mosquito-borne disease, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE.
This week, Senator Ritchie distributed more than 20,000 EEE educational flyers to all nine Oswego County school districts. The flyers contain information about EEE and ways that residents can protect themselves, and was created in cooperation with Oswego County’s Health Department and the family of Maggie Sue Wilcox, the little New Haven girl who died in 2011 after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
Community Sprang Into Action to Avert Possible Rabies Outbreak
State Senator Patty Ritchie today honored eight St. Lawrence County residents with the prestigious New York State Senate Liberty Medal for their work to stop a major health emergency, after a farmer and other members of the local Amish community were exposed to a rabid horse.
The eight, including a veterinarian, several county public health workers, concerned community volunteers, and employees of a regional farmer cooperative with deep ties to area Amish, all played key and potentially lifesaving roles in identifying and locating individuals in the normally isolated community who could have been exposed to rabies, and required preventive treatment.
Effort Seen As a Way to Help Women Succeed, Inspire Future Leaders
Rep. Elise Stefanik, State Senator Patty Ritchie and Jefferson County District Attorney Cindy Intschert, joined by other local leaders, today announced formation of the “Upstate Women’s Leadership Council.”
The nonpartisan, non-political group is aimed at increasing opportunities for women’s personal and professional advancement and inspiring a next generation of leaders across Northern and Central New York.
“Today, more and more women are stepping up to the plate, in academics, business, medicine and public service,” said Senator Ritchie. “The Upstate Women’s Leadership Council’s aim is to help these women and others find success in their chosen fields, and inspire women of every age—but especially young women—to reach for higher goals and become our next generation’s leaders,” Senator Ritchie said.
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced passage of legislation she cosponsored to honor Lieutenant Colonel Todd Clark, a 17-year Army veteran and member of the 10th Mountain Division’s 2nd Battalion Combat Team, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2013.
The measure passed Wednesday would name a portion of the state highway system, near Lt. Col. Clark’s hometown of Albany, the "Lieutenant Colonel Todd J. Clark Memorial Highway.”
“While Lt. Col. Clark was a native of Albany, I was proud to represent him when he was stationed at Fort Drum,” said Senator Ritchie.
Funding to Support Library Addition, Heating for Arena
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $50,000 to help the Town of Clayton with costs associated with upgrades being made at the Depauville Free Library and Cerow Recreation Park arena.
A portion of the capital funding will be aimed at assisting the Depauville Free Library with the building of an addition that will include a children’s room and improvements to make the library more handicapped accessible. The remainder of the funding will be used to construct a radiant heating system in the mezzanine—which currently isn’t heated—of the Cerow Recreation Park Arena.
State Senator Patty Ritchie welcomed Zakiya Saunders, a graduate of Carthage High School and member of the UAlbany women's basketball team to the State Capitol Monday, as the squad was recognized for their play in the 2015 NCAA tournament.
State Senator Patty Ritchie honored 20 “Women of Distinction” from throughout the region she represents—including 10 from Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties—at a special ceremony held Thursday at Watertown’s historic Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library.
The individuals nominated included educators, community volunteers, entrepreneurs, and women at the top of their career fields.
“Each and every year I’m humbled to have the opportunity recognize local women nominated by colleagues, friends and fellow change-makers who have noticed that they are making a difference,” said Senator Ritchie.
State Senator Patty Ritchie welcomed the Heuvelton Lady Bulldogs basketball team to the State Capitol Wednesday, honoring the team for their winning the New York State Girls Class D Championship.
A graduate of Heuvelton High School, Senator Ritchie recognized student athletes from her alma mater with a Resolution during the day’s Senate Session, commemorating the team’s victory over South Kortright, which marked the first girls’ basketball title in school history.
Legislation Would Promote Hunting Safety by Helping Volunteers Cover Mileage, Equipment Costs
In an effort to recognize volunteer hunter safety instructors for the work they do to make the sport safer, State Senator Patty Ritchie has introduced legislation that would provide a tax credit for certified hunting safety course instructors.
The measure—Senate bill 4961—would create a $300 tax credit for instructors of hunting safety courses, which aspiring hunters and trappers must complete in order to purchase a first-time sporting license. The tax credit would help volunteers pay necessary expenses, like mileage and equipment costs incurred while becoming certified and teaching courses.
“Last year’s hunting season was the safest on record, thanks to the hundreds of men and women who volunteer their time to teach safety basics to new hunters across New York State,” said Senator Ritchie.
Working together, we made Albany put fairness over politics and pass Equal Pay for Women legislation that’s a giant leap forward in ensuring opportunity in the workplace.
Repeated studies have shown that, despite a 50-year-old federal law aimed at prohibiting paycheck discrimination, women continue to earn just 78 cents for every dollar paid to men doing the exact same job. That’s not—and for more than two years, I’ve been working to put teeth in New York’s law to stop that practice.
Now, the Assembly, which has been holding up the bill over politics, has finally passed it, sending the measure to the Governor who has promised to sign it. You can read the details of this landmark legislation, by clicking here.
$15 Fee to be Waived at St. Lawrence County Events Taking Place During “Earth Week”
State Senator Patty Ritchie is reminding St. Lawrence County residents that as part of Earth Week, she will be hosting two free waste tire drop-off events on Saturday, April 25th.
Being made possible with special funding secured by Senator Ritchie in the State Budget, the events—which are aimed at cleaning up the county, protecting the environment and stopping the spread of illnesses—are being hosted in conjunction with the St. Lawrence County Highway Department. In addition to this weekend’s events, Senator Ritchie will also host free tire drop-offs on May 9th.
“Across our region, many people are celebrating Earth Week by making an extra effort to tidy up their yards and get rid of waste and debris that pollutes our planet,” said Senator Ritchie.
$15 Drop-Off Fee to be Waived at Events in St. Lawrence County on April 25th and May 9th
State Senator Patty Ritchie is encouraging North Country residents to take the weekend to collect waste tires to be disposed of at her “Free Tire Drop-Off “ events taking place in St. Lawrence County on April 25th and May 9th.
The free events are being made possible with special funding Senator Ritchie secured in the State Budget, and are being hosted in conjunction with the St. Lawrence County Highway Department in an effort to clean up the county, protect the environment and reduce the spreading of illnesses by eliminating tires that can act as breeding ground for disease-carrying insects.
“Many people don’t realize that waste tires aren’t just unsightly—they’re a danger to public health,” said Senator Ritchie.
Fulton Named Tops Among Local Libraries; 55 Librarians Named Best
Fulton Public Library in Oswego County was selected as the favorite among 43 local libraries that gained votes—and 55 local librarians won rave reviews—in an online poll conducted by Senator Patty Ritchie to mark National Library Week, April 12- 18.
More than 200 votes were cast for the region’s best libraries and most outstanding librarians.
“Today, libraries are so much more than books, they are centers of our communities where people have endless opportunities to expand their horizons, learn and grow,” said Senator Ritchie.
Dear Students,Thank you for your wonderful contribution to the New York State Senate’s Earth Day Poster Contest. This year we received many outstanding posters that exemplify the creativity of the young people in the 48th Senatorial District. Each entry from my District displayed tremendous originality and vision as well as obvious concern for the ecological future of our communities and our state. I am proud of your work and that of your classmates, and encourage you to continue to study and learn more about the serious challenges that face our environment.I am pleased to announce that the winner of the 2015 Earth Day Poster Contest from my District is: Addison BarrickKindergartenJames E. Lanigan Elementary School