Patty Ritchie

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SENATOR RITCHIE RETURNS ‘GOLD STAR’ PLATES

DMV had denied mother’s tribute to her fallen son

State Senator Patty Ritchie today returned two “Gold Star Mother” license plates to an elderly Central New York woman who was forced to surrender them to Motor Vehicles officials who said she couldn’t keep them as a tribute to her only son, killed in Vietnam.

Ethel Barnes proudly displayed the plates, bearing the distinctive number “46,” to honor and remember her only son, Robert, who died in 1967. DMV required her to turn in the plates when she said she would no longer be driving, denying her request to keep one as part of a family memorial she had planned for her son.

June 30, 2011
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SENATOR RITCHIE: NNY PRISONS SAVED

Praises Governor’s Common Sense Approach to Closing List State Senator Patty Ritchie today said she was relieved—but not surprised—that no Northern New York prisons were included on a list of correctional facilities that are to be closed, and she credited Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s common sense approach to saving taxpayer dollars.

"Saving Northern New York’s prisons wasn’t just about jobs—though that was critical to a region suffering under some of the highest rates of unemployment in all of Upstate New York—but also about looking out for the interests of New York’s taxpayers,” Senator Ritchie said.

June 30, 2011
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MILITARY RESERVES CRITICAL TO OUR NATION'S DEFENSE

When a member of the Army Reserves asked me why some citizen soldiers are not eligible for the same kind of property tax breaks that benefit others who serve their country, I have to admit I was puzzled.

The Reserve units of our Armed Forces are a critical part of our nation’s military. They, and their families, make significant sacrifices so they can train and prepare to serve America in times of crisis.

They play an important role in our nation’s defenses and deserve the same respect and thanks that we give to the rest of our military.

June 27, 2011
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SENATOR RITCHIE STATEMENT ON END OF LEGISLATIVE SESSION

Agreement on property tax relief ‘caps’ year when Albany started working again

The 2011 legislative session, my first as the State Senator representing Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties, will be remembered as the year Albany started working again.

Partnering with our new Governor, Andrew Cuomo, we kept our promise to reduce taxes and spending, and took the first steps toward putting New York on a new path to better jobs and a stronger economy.

We passed an on-time budget and historic ethics reform to rebuild New Yorkers’ trust and confidence in their government and elected officials.

We “capped” it all off with a two-percent property tax cap that provides certainty and relief to homeowners and businesses, and will stop the flow of families, businesses and jobs out of New York.

June 27, 2011
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RITCHIE BILL EASES COUNTY JAIL CROWDING

Would force state to take inmates now languishing in local jails State Senator Patty Ritchie (R-C, Heuvelton) said the Senate today passed a bill she sponsored that would ease local county jail overcrowding by requiring the state to move more quickly in picking up its inmates and placing them back in state prisons.

The bill (S.5498) gives the Department of Correctional Services just 10 days to move parole violators from county lockups to state facilities. Right now, nearly a thousand state parole violators are languishing in county jails—some for months a time—forcing local taxpayers to pick up the tab.

June 21, 2011
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SENATOR RITCHIE: RIVER HOSPITAL TO BENEFIT FROM SENATE-PASSED BILL

Long-delayed change in payment rules could help preserve health care in the Thousand Islands   State Senator Patty Ritchie today announced Senate passage of a bill she cosponsored that helps secure the future of rural hospitals like River Hospital in Alexandria Bay, and Clifton Fine Hospital in Star Lake.

The bill, S.5431-A, will require the state to pay rural “critical access hospitals” for their actual costs of providing services, instead of relying on reimbursement formulas that currently leave the facilities shortchanged.

June 21, 2011
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SENATOR RITCHIE: RIVER HOSPITAL TO BENEFIT FROM SENATE-PASSED BILL

Long-delayed change in payment rules could help preserve health care in the Thousand Islands

State Senator Patty Ritchie today announced Senate passage of a bill she cosponsored that helps secure the future of rural hospitals like River Hospital in Alexandria Bay, and Clifton Fine Hospital in Star Lake.

The bill, S.5431-A, will require the state to pay rural “critical access hospitals” for their actual costs of providing services, instead of relying on reimbursement formulas that currently leave the facilities shortchanged.

June 20, 2011
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Blankenbush, Ritchie, Fort Drum Representatives Ask Lieutenant Governor Duffy to Locate Air Med Service at Drum

Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush, Senator Patty Ritchie and representatives from Fort Drum today met with Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy and New York State Police representatives to make the case for locating an Air Medical Services helicopter at Fort Drum. The meeting was arranged by the governor’s office at the request of Assemblyman Blankenbush.  The meeting came just hours before the Senate was expected to pass Senator Ritchie's bill S.4712, legislation that will cut red tape to help recruit a commercial air ambulance service to Northern New York to provide the north country with another option in its efforts to provide an medical air evacuation service to the region.

June 20, 2011
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RITCHIE VOTES TO HELP FAMILIES WITH AUTISM

Treatments Will Be Covered By Insurance

State Senator Patty Ritchie said a bill (S4005A) she cosponsored that was passed by the Senate today will insure that families with autistic children will have their treatments covered by insurance.

“It’s outrageous that families have been told that their insurance will not cover therapeutic care, including speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy,” Senator Ritchie said. “I am proud that I was able to vote to insure that families will no longer be discriminated against if they have a family member with autism spectrum disorder when they buy or renew health insurance.”

June 17, 2011
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RITCHIE, RUNCIMAN ASK FOR EXPLANATION ON BORDER INCIDENT

Canadian Senator Says Treatment Of U.S. Fisherman 'Outrageous'

State Senator Patty Ritchie and Ontario Senator Robert Runciman are asking Canadian officials to investigate the treatment of a U.S. fisherman who had his boat seized for straying into Canadian waters near Gananoque.

"When I heard about this incident, I immediately contacted Senator Runciman, who has been working with me on border issues. I knew he would work with me to make sure Canada's top officials were aware and took appropriate action," Senator Ritchie said. "We need to continue to work together to encourage residents on both sides of the border to enjoy what both of our nations have to offer."

June 17, 2011
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RITCHIE BILL TO AID SEARCH, RESCUE TEAMS

Inspired By Oswego County Search and Rescue Team

State Senator Patty Ritchie says her bill to provide training and certification for specialized search and rescue teams, inspired by Oswego County’s Search and Rescue Team, will enhance emergency service capabilities across upstate New York.

“Every year emergency personnel across the state are called out to help search for people who are lost in wilderness areas as well as neighborhoods,” Senator Ritchie said. “It’s been established that the same skills and courses developed by our state’s forest rangers to search for people lost in wilderness areas can dramatically improve the success of searches anywhere else. This legislation will encourage emergency personnel to obtain the additional training that’s available that would help them be more effective when someone turns up missing.”

June 17, 2011
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SENATOR RITCHIE: BILLS LIMIT MILITARY FUNERAL PROTESTS

Prevents Disruption While Families Mourn Fallen Heroes

State Senator Patty Ritchie said a measure she cosponsored that received final legislative approval will help prevent protesters from disrupting military funerals, burials and memorial services.

“When our military families gather to mourn and bid farewell to our fallen heroes, New York State owes it to them to protect them from those who would insult their sacrifice by exploiting these solemn occasions to stage protests and publicity stunts,” Senator Ritchie said. “By using the same kind of regulations that currently allow us to protect parades and demonstrations, we can insure that constitutional free speech rights are protected while grieving families are allowed to pay their final goodbyes to loved ones who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”

June 17, 2011
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AG ASSESSMENT BILL CUTS PAPERWORK

Proposal Relieves Burdens On Local Governments, Farms

State Senator Patty Ritchie says her bill (S5159) allowing the automatic renewal of agricultural assessments will help reduce paperwork for both New York’s 35,000 family farms and local governments. The bill passed the Senate Thursday night.

“Our hard working family farmers spend too much time filling out meaningless government forms,” Senator Ritchie said. “Our local governments have too many burdensome mandates from state government. This legislation reduces these meaningless bureaucratic requirements for both assessors and farmers.”

June 17, 2011
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RITCHIE BILL BOOSTS MAPLE FARMING

Seeks to treat ‘sugar bush’ as farms, not factories

State Senator Patty Ritchie (R-C, Heuvelton) today announced passage of another of her bills that cuts the red tape on farmers, and will help spur continued growth for New York’s maple syrup industry.

Senator Ritchie’s bill, S. 5499, exempts maple producers from strict industrial pollution rules that threaten to derail the growth of this important agricultural sector, which currently is valued at $13 million in 2010, with strong potential for explosive growth.

June 16, 2011
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RITCHIE WANTS SPORTSMEN TO GIVE THE GIFT OF THE OUTDOORS

Senate-passed Bill Would Create Hunting and Fishing Gift Cards

State Senator Patty Ritchie (R-C, Heuvelton) announced Senate passage today of her bill to create hunting and fishing “gift cards,” which would allow sportsmen to give the gift of the outdoors and help promote recreation in Upstate New York.

Senator Ritchie’s bill, S.5161, directs the state DEC to create the cards, which would be available in different denominations and could be used to pay for hunting and fishing licenses, stamps and other fees.

“Gift cards are an increasingly popular way for New Yorkers to remember birthdays, holidays and special occasions,” Senator Ritchie said. “What better way to introduce a child or grandchild to the outdoors, create a uniquely personal gift for a friend or co-worker, or give an incentive to a former sportsmen to get back into outdoor recreation that to create an easy way to share this gift?”

June 15, 2011
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SENATE HONORS LISBON NATIVE RICK CARLISLE ON NBA TITLE

Mavericks Coach Joins Rare Club of NBAers With Rings as Both Player and Coach

The State Senate today honored St. Lawrence County native Rick Carlisle for leading the Dallas Mavericks to their first NBA championship—and his second professional basketball title.

The Senate on Wednesday approved a formal resolution recognizing Carlisle for his accomplishments.

Carlisle hails from Lisbon, where he was a regular sight on the hardwood and blacktop courts of his youth. His parents continue to reside there.

“I’ve had the privilege to watch Rick Carlisle from his earliest years as a scrappy ball handler on the courts of St. Lawrence County to his career as champion player and coach,” said Senator Ritchie.

June 15, 2011
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OSWEGO COUNTY VETERANS INDUCTED INTO ‘HALL OF FAME’

Senator Patty Ritchie (R-C, Heuvelton) celebrated Flag Day Tuesday by helping to induct the Oswego County “Battle of the Bulge” Veterans into the New York State Senate’s Veterans Hall of Fame.

"When American soldiers threw back the German offensive during World War II in the conflict that we now call the "Battle of the Bulge," they literally saved the world," Senator Ritchie said in a video tribute. "Those soldiers helped bring an end to the Nazi domination of Europe and paved the way for a new era of peace and Democracy that has flourished across Europe over the past half century.

June 14, 2011
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SENATOR RITCHIE CONTINUES TO CUT RED TAPE

Senate OKs Package of Bills to Ease Regulations, Help Farms, Businesses

State Senator Patty Ritchie continued her assault on needless bureaucratic red tape, announcing that the Senate today has passed of package of bills she sponsored to reduce regulations on Central and Northern New York businesses.

The measures included a bill, drafted in conjunction with the state Agriculture Commissioner, that will ease some regulations that could impact Fort Drum.

“I ran for the Senate to bring common sense to Albany, and that includes cutting outdated and needless red tape that makes it tougher for businesses to create jobs, and communities to thrive,” Senator Ritchie said. “Taken together, these bills are yet another signal of the change in attitude in Albany that says ‘jobs first,’ and puts people ahead of the needs of government.“I will continue to work to find ways to ease the regulatory burden on businesses and help our economy and our communities grow stronger,” senator Ritchie said.

June 14, 2011
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