Patty Ritchie

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HAT TRICK! SENATE APPROVES THREE BILLS TO BOOST FARMING

Two Sent to Governor on Way to Becoming Law

State Senator Patty Ritchie announced that three bills she’s sponsored to boost farming in New York were approved by the Senate today, and two were sent on to the Governor, the last stop before they become law.

The measures would expand markets for New York farm products, allow farmers to increase their land that’s available for agriculture purposes, and look for ways to boost programs that can help aging farmers who want to stay in business.

“New York’s $5.7 billion agriculture industry is key to our region’s and the state’s economy and I am constantly working to find ways to keep farmers growing,” said Senator Ritchie, who serves as chair of the Senate’s Agriculture Committee.

“These three bills build on—and complement—my earlier legislative efforts to strengthen New York agriculture and help preserve family farming as the backbone of our agricultural industry.”

June 10, 2014
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RITCHIE: MEASURE TO HELP FIND VACCINE FOR EEE GETS FINAL PASSAGE

Legislation Will Create 21st Century Workgroup for Disease Elimination and Reduction

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced her legislation (S.2115) to help find a vaccine to prevent the deadly EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) disease has passed the State Senate.

The bipartisan measure will create the 21st Century Workgroup for Disease Elimination and Reduction within the state Department of Health.  The group, comprised of experts in diseases, infection and public health, will be tasked with pushing for the development of effective vaccines against diseases, including EEE, West Nile Virus and Lyme. Included in the new State Budget is $100,000, secured by Senator Ritchie to fund the new workgroup.

June 9, 2014
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STATEMENT FROM SENATOR RITCHIE ON PASSAGE OF LEGISLATION TO COMBAT HEROIN EPIDEMIC

What was once thought to only be a problem in inner cities, heroin is a drug that has pushed out across our state—being used everywhere from rural Northern New York to our Central New York suburbs and beyond. 

Today, the Senate has taken a major step in fighting back against this deadly drug; passing a package of legislation to combat the heroin epidemic, including my bill (S.7662), which will help recovering abusers gain insurance coverage for treatment.  The passage of these bills—which target the important areas of treatment, prevention and law enforcement—will go a long way to stop the spread of heroin and ensure those looking for help receive it. 

June 9, 2014
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THIS SUMMER, DON’T ABANDON THE BOOKS

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column 

As the school year winds down, students are itching to get out of the classroom and dreaming of days spent having fun in the sun.  However, while the season might mean time off from school, it shouldn’t mean a break from the books.

***CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE NYS SENATE SUMMER READING PROGRAM***

It’s so important that throughout the summer months, students keep their minds sharp to avoid what’s commonly called “learning loss.”  Helping to ensure students stay on track is the New York State Senate Summer Reading Program.  This program, which is made possible through a partnership with the New York State Library is a fun and exciting way to keep students in fourth through sixth grades reading while on break from school during the summer months. 

June 9, 2014
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NORTH COUNTRY LEADERS PEER INTO THE FUTURE AT PSYCH CENTER

Ritchie’s Land Transfer Plan Focus of Multiagency Tour

June 5, 2014
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MORE THAN 300 JOB SEEKERS ATTEND RITCHIE'S FULTON JOB FAIR

More than 300 people attended State Senator Patty Ritchie’s annual Oswego County Job Fair, held Wednesday at the Fulton War Memorial.

June 4, 2014
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RITCHIE HONORS 65 EDUCATORS WITH GOLDEN APPLE AWARD

Teachers Receive Special Funding for Classroom Enrichment

In recognition of their efforts to encourage students to succeed, 65 educators from Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties were awarded State Senator Patty Ritchie’s Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence at a special ceremony held Friday evening at Pulaski’s historic Kallet Theater.

CLICK HERE TO SEE A VIDEO OF THE EVENT

In addition to receiving the Golden Apple Award, each teacher was also awarded $500 in special funding for classroom enrichment.  The funding—which represents a more than $30,000 addition to the increase in state education funding local schools received this year—will be used by teachers for making improvements to their classrooms. 

June 1, 2014
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RITCHIE: TASK FORCE RELEASES RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TREATING HEROIN ABUSE

Treatment, Prevention and Law Enforcement are Focus of New Report

Better treatment, increasing prevention programs and stepping up law enforcement efforts are the focus of a report released today by members of the New York State Senate Join Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction; a bipartisan group tasked with examining the issues surrounding the increase in drug abuse in New York State.

The report, which includes a comprehensive package of bills that target treatment, prevention and law enforcement issues, was complied following a series of more than a dozen forums held across the state—including one hosted by Senator Ritchie in Watertown—where experts, those in recovery, parents, law enforcement officials and other concerned citizens weighed in on how to best address the drug problem in New York State. A full copy of the report can be viewed here

“When it comes to heroin use, the statistics speak for themselves.  With abuse of these drugs increasing across both our state and country, it’s clear that we need to take action now to stop the spread of these deadly substances,” said Senator Ritchie.

May 28, 2014
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RITCHIE TO HOST OSWEGO CO. JOB FAIR JUNE 4th

Event to Feature Nearly 50 Employers

Job seekers will have an opportunity to talk with nearly 50 employers next week at State Senator Patty Ritchie’s annual Oswego County Job Fair.

The free event will take place Wednesday June 4th from 11 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. the Fulton War Memorial.  Those looking for work are encouraged to bring their resumes. 

“From opportunities for new graduates to jobs for people looking to reenter the workforce, my upcoming Oswego County Job Fair will feature a number of employers that are looking to hire now for a wide variety of positions,” said Senator Ritchie.

May 27, 2014
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SENATE OK’S RITCHIE’S JEFFERSON COUNTY JAIL SHARING BILL

Measure Would Let Watertown, Other Local Police Use County Lockup for Detainees, Cuts Costs to Taxpayers

The State Senate Wednesday approved a shared-services bill authored by Senator Patty Ritchie that would allow Watertown and other local police to once again use the Jefferson County jail to hold detainees prior to their arraignment.

The bill (S.7138) fixes state law to allow the special holding arrangement. Once approved by the Assembly and signed into law by the Governor, the county and city need to reach a mutual agreement to resume that arrangement.

“The state is challenging local governments to find ways to share services, cut costs and provide relief for local taxpayers,” Senator Ritchie said.

May 21, 2014
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RITCHIE HONORS ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY’S JOHN HALFORD AT CAPITOL CEREMONY

State Senator Patty Ritchie honored St. Lawrence County’s John Halford as her 2014 inductee to the New York State Veterans Hall of Fame from the 48th Senate District at a special ceremony held Tuesday at the State Capitol.

Entering the US Marine Corps at age 17, John Halford served in the Raider Battalion that was part of the daring raid on Makin Island during World War II. After his honorable discharge, he returned to Gouverneur, finished high school, and went on to SUNY Canton—which at the time, was known as the Agricultural and Technical Institute.  Since retiring, John and his wife have played an active role in helping to improve the lives of people in the North Country, especially through his work as a member of the SUNY Canton Foundation Board of Directors.

May 21, 2014
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5,600 WASTE TIRES COLLECTED IN FREE DISPOSAL DAY EVENT

Ritchie-led Effort Part of County's 'Fight the Bite/Stop Triple-E' Campaign

Oswego County residents joined Senator Patty Ritchie to “Fight the Bite” Saturday, disposing of more than 5,600 tires at free waste tire disposal events taking place throughout Oswego County.  The total is nearly three times more tires than were collected at similar events last year. 

May 20, 2014
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RITCHIE HONORS OSWEGO COUNTY'S JANE BACKUS AT CAPITOL CEREMONY

State Senator Patty Ritchie honored Oswego County’s Jane Backus as her 2014 Woman of Distinction from the 48th Senate District recently at a special ceremony at the State Capitol.

A retired English teacher after 25 years, Mrs. Backus taught seniors and sophomores at both Ogdensburg Free Academy and Mexico Academy and Central Schools.  Today, she is an extremely active member of her community, volunteering her time with many organizations that aim to better the Central New York region.

May 19, 2014
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DON’T FORGET: FIGHT THE BITE WITH FREE TIRE DISPOSAL EVENTS SATURDAY

Dispose of Up to Eight Tires With Usual $5 Per-Tire Fee Being Waived

State Senator Patty Ritchie is reminding Central New York residents to “Fight the Bite” by getting rid of waste tires at free disposal events taking place Saturday across Oswego County. 

Studies have shown that one waste tire can act as breeding ground for one million mosquitoes, which have the potential to carry deadly diseases like EEE. Last year, Oswego County residents disposed of more than 2,000 waste tires at similar free events sponsored by Senator Ritchie. In addition to this Saturday’s event, Senator Ritchie and Oswego County will also host free tire disposals on June 14th. 

“There are a number of things we can do to prevent mosquito bites and control the number of mosquitoes around our homes.  With each waste tire acting as breeding ground for one million mosquitoes, doing away with even a single tire that sits idle on one’s property can dramatically reduce the risk of getting bit,” said Senator Ritchie.

May 16, 2014
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RITCHIE HONORS 28 VETERANS FROM CENTRAL, NORTHERN NEW YORK

State Senator Patty Ritchie honored 28 veterans of the US Armed Forces at a special ceremony that took place Thursday at the USO Fort Drum.

WATCH THE CEREMONY ON YOUTUBE

READ ABOUT THE HONOREES HERE

From individuals who fought on the front lines during the Battle of the Bulge to those who have served our country during more current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the diverse group of honorees were nominated for the New York State Senate “Veterans Hall of Fame” by friends, co-workers and comrades-in-arms for their military service and their continuing efforts to better our local communities. 

May 15, 2014
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RITCHIE URGES SPORTSMEN TO SIGN HER PETITION TO ALLOW UTVs IN N.Y.

Public Urged to Get Behind Effort as Ritchie Bill Clears Key Legislative Committee

State Senator Patty Ritchie is urging sportsmen, seniors and every New Yorker who enjoys the great outdoors to sign her online petition to allow side-by-side UTVs to be legally registered in the state. The petition can be found here.

More than 2,000 members of the public—from across New York State and as far away as Tennessee, Florida and California—have already signed the petition calling on the Assembly to pass Senator Ritchie’s bill (S.1946). Most signers indicated that they were ATV owners.

Senator Ritchie’s bill cleared a key legislative hurdle Tuesday when it was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee. The full Senate is expected to act on the bill in the next few weeks.

New York is the only state in the nation that does not allow UTVs to be legally registered and, while the Senate has approved Senator Ritchie’s bill each year for the past three years, the Assembly has failed to act even once.

May 13, 2014
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SENATE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE APPROVES NEW COMMISSIONER

The State Senate Agriculture Committee Tuesday approved Richard Ball—a native New Yorker and longtime farmer—as the new Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE CONFIRMATION PROCEEDINGS (TRT 01:04)

“I first had opportunity to meet Richard during the recovery efforts following Hurricane Irene, when he was gracious enough to let me survey the damage sustained at his farm and offered suggestions for how to best help farmers rebound from their losses,” said Senator Patty Ritchie, who chairs the Agriculture Committee. 

“I learned then agriculture and helping his fellow farmers succeed are Richard’s passions.  I’d like to thank the Governor for making such an excellent appointment to this post and I’m looking forward to working alongside the new Commissioner to help our state’s largest industry continue to grow.”

May 6, 2014
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RITCHIE TEAMS WITH OSWEGO COUNTY TO “FIGHT THE BITE” WITH FREE TIRE DISPOSAL EVENTS

Will Take Place May 17th and June 14th at all 5 County Transfer Stations

State Senator Patty Ritchie is joining with Oswego County to “Fight the Bite” and stop the spread of EEE with free tire disposal events taking place on May 17th and June 14th.  The events are being held in an effort to help people get rid of waste tires, which often act as breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes. 

The events will allow Oswego County residents to drop off  a maximum of eight tires at five locations throughout the county, with the usual $5 fee for tire-drop off being waived.  Farm tractor tires will also be accepted, but must be cut into four pieces.  Electronic waste, such as used TVs, computers and radios will also be accepted free of charge.

May 5, 2014
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RITCHIE HONORS “WOMEN OF DISTINCTION”

State Senator Patty Ritchie honored more than two dozen “Women of Distinction” from Central and Northern New York—including advocates, activists, teachers and change-makers—at a special ceremony Thursday at Watertown’s historic Flower Memorial Library.  

“I’m always humbled by the actions and accomplishments of the women I recognize though the Women of Distinction program, and this year was no different” said Senator Ritchie.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO OF THE CEREMONY

***TO READ MORE ABOUT THE 2014 HONOREES, CLICK HERE***

“This group truly gives new meaning to what it means to be a woman in today’s society—they’re bright, determined, selfless and most importantly, working to make a difference in the communities we live in.”

May 2, 2014
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