Group Will Work to Improve Prevention, Detection and Treatment of Lyme and Other Deadly Diseases
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has been named to the Senate Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases, a group which aims to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Lyme and other related illnesses.
“In recent years, the region I represent has seen a sharp spike in the number of cases of Lyme disease,” said Senator Ritchie. “I’ve heard from a number of constituents that something more needs to be done to fight back against this potentially deadly disease and I’m pleased to have a role on the Task Force, which will allow me to be involved as we work to better protect the health of people in our local communities and across the state.”
New Awards From Senator Ritchie Aim to Recognize Area Libraries, Librarians
In advance of Valentine’s Day, State Senator Patty Ritchie is inviting the public to "love their library,” by casting their votes for two new awards aimed at recognizing area librarians and libraries for the invaluable service they provide to communities across Central and Northern New York.
“In the past several years, I’ve had the opportunity to visit dozens of libraries throughout Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties and at each, I’ve been so impressed with not only the resources and entertainment offerings, but also with the dedicated librarians who go above and beyond to meet the educational and cultural needs of our communities,” said Senator Ritchie.
“As a member of the Senate Select Committee on Libraries and someone who enjoys visiting my local library, I know what an invaluable resource they provide. I’m thrilled to announce these new awards, which will help our libraries and librarians receive the recognition they deserve.”
State Senator Patty Ritchie joined fellow lawmakers today at the Capitol to call for an end to the “Gap Elimination Adjustment,” a budget gimmick that has continued to hurt schools and students since its implementation in 2010.
“Since the GEA went into effect—five years ago, before I took office—it has cost schools across our state upwards of $8 billion dollars. That’s literally thousands of dollars per student that could have been put towards providing them with new opportunities to further their education,” said Senator Ritchie.
“Today, I’m proud to stand with my fellow lawmakers to call for putting an end to the GEA once and for all. We owe it to our state’s hardworking teachers and their students to fight back against the GEA and give them the resources they need to be successful in the classroom.”
State Senator Patty Ritchie is inviting people to stand up for teachers and students by signing her petition in support of repealing the Gap Elimination Adjustment; a budget gimmick commonly known as the “GEA,” which has cost schools across New York State upwards of $8 billion since its implementation.
“Although we’ve worked hard to increase education aid in recent years, the GEA is continuing to put a strain on our schools; making it harder for them to provide teachers with the resources they need to be effective and robbing students from the opportunities they deserve,” said Senator Ritchie.
“We owe it to our dedicated educators and to New York’s next generation of leaders to put their needs first and end the GEA once and for all. I’m hopeful that people across our region will join me in standing up for our schools by signing this petition and demonstrating their support for repealing the GEA.”
Those interested in signing the petition can do so here. Individuals without access to a computer can call her Watertown office at (315) 782-3418 to show their support for the GEA’s repeal.
Funding to Assist with Construction of New Playground, Kayak Launch on Lake Neatahwanta
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $50,000 to help the City of Fulton improve recreational opportunities at the city’s Recreation Park.
A portion of the capital funding will go towards the construction of a new playground with the remainder funding a kayak launch on Lake Neatahwanta.
“Whether they are for families or individuals, quality outdoor recreational opportunities are key to any strong community,” said Senator Ritchie. “I’m pleased to provide this funding, which will give children a safe place to play and also build upon efforts to revitalize Lake Neatahwanta.”
On the first day of public hearings on the Governor's proposed new State Budget, I had the opportunity to question Richard Ball, Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets about the plan, and efforts to help farmers grow. We discussed the Young Farmers initiative, funding for farmland preservation, efforts to connect consumers to growers and budget cuts to programs that I believe provide a wealth of benefits to farmers.
The public hearings are just a step in the process of enacting an on-time, balanced budget, and I will file frequent updates here on my website. Be sure to check back often.
Strong support for reforming Common Core, concerns regarding raising the minimum wage and support for making the state’s 2 percent tax cap permanent are just several of the results released today from State Senator Patty Ritchie’s 2015 Legislative Survey.
In total, nearly 4,000 Central and Northern New Yorkers participated in the survey, which touched on topics ranging from government spending to investments in our state’s agriculture industry.
“As state senator, it’s very important to me to make sure the opinions of my constituents are accurately represented when I’m in Albany,” said Senator Ritchie.
An innovative plan aimed at preserving the future of family farming, increasing investments in vital agriculture programs and a renewed push to encourage people to “eat local,” are just several of the highlights included in the 2014 Annual Report of the Senate Agriculture Committee, released today by the committee’s chair, State Senator Patty Ritchie.
“Throughout 2014, my colleagues and I worked diligently to grow our state’s largest industry by doing things like repealing costly mandates affecting farmers, restoring and increasing funding for vital programs and launching new initiatives like Young Farmers NY,” said Senator Ritchie, who was just reappointed as Senate Agriculture Committee Chair last week.
Also Selected to Serve On Other Key Committees, Including Finance and Transportation
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has been reappointed as Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and in addition, was named to the powerful Finance and Transportation Committees.
“In recent years we’ve made great progress to grow the agriculture industry, increasing funding for critical programs and making investments in initiatives that support our state’s hardworking farmers,” said Senator Ritchie. "I am thrilled to once again be named as Chair of the Agriculture Committee and am looking forward to working alongside my colleagues and New York’s farmers to help the industry continue to grow.”
Since first being appointed Senate Agriculture Committee Chair in 2011, Senator Ritchie has led the charge to increase funding for critical agriculture programs by more than $21 million above the Executive’s recommendation, repeal costly mandates affecting farmers, launch new initiatives including the innovative “Young Farmers NY”—a program that aims to protect the future of agriculture by attracting young people to careers in the industry—and leading the fight against deadly diseases like EEE and rabies.
I was pleased to hear Governor Cuomo emphasize issues that are priorities for me—making critical investments in our education system, supporting small business owners, creating jobs and keeping more money in the pockets of hardworking New Yorkers.
Funding Will Help Cover Cost of Paving Lot Surrounding Town Offices, Highway Department
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $50,000 to help improve infrastructure in the Town of New Haven.
According to officials, capital funding secured by Senator Ritchie will be utilized to pave a currently unpaved parking lot that surrounds the Town Offices and the Town Highway Department.
“New Haven’s Town Offices and Town Highway Department are used on a daily basis by local residents and employees,” said Senator Ritchie. “By paving the parking lot surrounding these facilities, we can help make travel easier—especially during the winter months,” said Senator Ritchie.
Funding to Allow for Installation of New Furnace, Insulation at Town Garage
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $50,000 to help the town of Macomb cover costs associated with necessary upgrades at the town garage.
According to officials, capital funding secured by Senator Ritchie will be used to purchase a new furnace and to install insulation.
“The town of Macomb uses its garage on a daily basis for everything from meetings to community events,” said Senator Ritchie. “I’m pleased to provide this funding, which will help to ensure it remains in top condition for those who utilize it each and every day.”
January 21st Marks Deadline to Participate in Legislative Survey
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced that more than 3,000 constituents in Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties have weighed in on issues that matter to them by taking part in 2015 Legislative Survey.
The survey, which is available here, covers topics such as education, government spending, college tuition, job creation, agriculture and more. Those who still wish to participate have until January 21st to do so.
“Now that the 2015 Legislative Session is underway, it’s imperative that I hear from those I represent about the issues that matter to them,” said Senator Ritchie.
“The results gathered through my Legislative Survey will help to guide me as I work to represent the interests of the people of Central and Northern New York. I’m hopeful that in the coming days, those who haven’t yet weighed in will take the time to do so.”
Legislative Package Aims to End Discrimination, Combat Sexual Harassment and Stop Domestic Violence
State Senator Patty Ritchie today is praising passage of legislation that will provide females across New York State with new protections when it comes to discrimination, sexual harassment and domestic violence.
The historic measures passed Monday mark the first legislative act of 2015 and are the components of a comprehensive Women’s Equality Agenda, made up of bills that would stop human trafficking; ensure equal pay for equal work; combat sexual harassment in the workplace; end gender discrimination in employment, housing and credit decisions; make reasonable work accommodations available for pregnant women; and provide stronger protections for domestic violence victims.
“In every corner of our state and across our nation, women are breaking glass ceilings and reaching new heights. However, we cannot turn a blind eye to the things that often hold them down—namely the discrimination, harassment and abuse that often happen in the workplace and in our society at large,” said Senator Ritchie.
State’s Highest Honor Presented in Recognition of Efforts During Amish Kidnapping
State Senator Patty Ritchie recently presented the New York State Senate Liberty Award to members of the Ogdensburg Police Department who assisted the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department and other agencies with the investigation of surrounding the abduction and recovery of two Amish girls in August.
“Members of law enforcement put their lives on the line each and every day to keep our communities safe,” said Senator Ritchie. “When tragedy struck this past summer and two young Amish girls went missing, members of the Ogdensburg Police Department stepped up to the plate to assist with efforts to return them safely home. Their bravery and willingness to come to the aid of their neighbors is to be commended and it is my pleasure to present them with the New York State Senate Liberty Award.”
In September, law enforcement who attend a special “Community Thank You” event, hosted by Senator Ritchie to recognize those who assisted with the search for the Amish girls, were also presented with the Liberty Award. Those honored recently were unable to attend the event.
As lawmakers prepare to head back to the Capitol for the upcoming Legislative Session, State Senator Patty Ritchie is inviting her constituents to weigh in on issues facing New York State through her 2015 Legislative Survey.
Available here, the survey asks individuals to voice their opinions on major topics including government spending, Common Core, agriculture, college tuition, job creation and others.
“As State Senator, it’s my top priority to make the voices of my constituents heard and to represent their views in Albany,” said State Senator Patty Ritchie.
“I’m eager to hear the opinions of the people in Central and Northern New York whom I represent on the major issues—everything from education to government spending—in an effort to make sure I’m accurately representing their interests when I head back to Albany.”
Landmark New Law Latest in Effort to Combat the Disease That’s Claimed Lives in CNY;Focuses Health Experts on Finding Vaccine
State Senator Patty Ritchie today announced that the Governor has signed into law her bill to help speed the discovery of potentially life-saving vaccines for deadly diseases including Eastern Equine Encephalitis, the mosquito-borne virus that’s claimed five lives in Oswego County and Central New York. The measure (S.2115), which passed both houses of the Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support, creates a new “21st Century Workgroup for Disease Elimination and Reduction” within the state Department of Health. Comprising experts in diseases, infection and public health, the group is tasked with identifying obstacles that may be preventing development of effective vaccines for EEE and other diseases, including West Nile Virus, Lyme disease, tuberculosis and more.