More than 50 Libraries to Receive Support to Enhance Services
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $148,000 in special funding to help enhance services at libraries throughout Central and Northern New York.
“Libraries are extremely important parts of our communities in Central and Northern New York for a number of reasons; offering patrons opportunities to access books, technology, culture and a myriad of other types of information and entertainment,” said Senator Ritchie.
Funding Will Help Budding Musicians in Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $59,000 in special funding to help support local high school marching bands throughout Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties.
Included in the funding is $5,000 for Pulaski High School; aid which helped to make a trip to represent New York State in the National Fourth of July Parade in Washington D.C. possible. Students—who spent a great deal of time recently fundraising for the trip—departed Thursday morning for the event, which will take place on Friday.
“As a former high school band member myself, I know that activities like this help students build invaluable life skills and also allow them to further develop their musical talents,” said Senator Ritchie.
$200,000 Kickstarts Project to Bring More Shipments, Jobs to the Facility
State Senator Patty Ritchie today announced that she has secured $200,000 in special state grant funding to start dredging at the Port of Ogdensburg.
“The future of Ogdensburg’s deep water port is at risk from 30 years of silt build up that makes docking more difficult, dangerous and costly,” said Senator Ritchie. “This funding helps kickstart the dredging project, protects jobs and adds to the Port’s potential to increase shipping and work opportunities.”
Group Will Explore Ways to Improve Services, Outreach to Those Who Served
State Senator Patty Ritchie has been picked to be part of a nationwide group looking at ways to improve services and outreach to veterans and active members of America’s military.
The Council of State Governments “Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs” includes legislators and elected state leaders from across the country. The panel is charged with identifying key veterans’ issues and best-practices that are already in use in various states. The group’s findings will be used to help draft legislative proposals in New York and other states to aid veterans.
“As the State Senator who represents the largest military post in the Northeast, and tens of thousands of veterans who served from World War II to the continuing battles against terrorism, I’ve given top priority to the needs of veterans and active duty members of our military,” said Senator Ritchie, whose district includes Fort Drum, home to the Army’s 10th Mountain Division.
In an effort to share her plan to help revitalize the North Country, State Senator Patty Ritchie today led a top aide to the state's job development chief on a tour of the vacant properties and buildings at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center; property that, under a plan by Senator Ritchie and the City of Ogdensburg, could be redeveloped to create new opportunities and transform the region.
“I want to thank Ken Adams, the CEO for Empire State Development, for sending his personal representative to see first-hand how my plan to redevelop Airy Point could be the key to kick-starting Ogdensburg’s economy and putting people back to work,” Senator Ritchie said.
“I want to thank representatives of the City of Ogdensburg and the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority for partnering with me to help state officials understand why we need a comprehensive approach to redeveloping the campus.”
Funding Will Help Promote Events, Raise Awareness of Region’s Waterways
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $150,000 in special funding to support fishing tournaments and boost tourism in the Central and Northern New York regions. The funding will support 15 tournaments, including nine in St. Lawrence, four in Jefferson and two in Oswego County.
Included in the funding is support for the 2014 BASS Eastern Divisional Championship, which will take place in September in Waddington as well as funding for the NYS BASS Masters tournament, which will be held in August in Ogdensburg.
“Here in Central and Northern New York, our rivers, lakes and streams are phenomenal natural resources that not only offer world-class opportunities for fishing, they also attract tourists to our area, boosting our local economy and creating jobs,” said Senator Ritchie.
SUNY Canton and SUNY Oswego to Split Funding for Campus Additions and Upgrades
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $3 million in special funding to be split between SUNY Canton and SUNY Oswego that will allow the colleges to enhance learning by making much needed additions and upgrades.
“Our SUNY schools are where so many of our state’s best and brightest get the education they need to begin promising, rewarding careers that enable them to give back to our state and our region,” said Senator Ritchie
“I’m thrilled to have been able to secure this funding, which will go a long way towards helping two of our local SUNY schools make the improvements necessary for offering top-notch educational opportunities to students.”
Since the 2014 Legislative Session began in January, I've been focused on achieving results that make for a better New York for all who call our state home. By working together, across the political aisle, we have made great strides towards several of my top priorities, including creating jobs, cutting red tape, lowering taxes, improving our schools and fostering new opportunities for people across our state.
It’s nearly every day that I hear from constituents who are concerned about the rising use of heroin in our state. Whether it’s a parent looking for a way for their child to get treatment or simply a concerned citizen, it’s becoming more and more clear that we need to take real action to address this epidemic.
At Senator Ritchie’s request, the state Office of Unclaimed Funds created a list of abandoned or forgotten accounts—usually old bank accounts, rent or utility deposits, gift cards and other type of accounts—that the state is holding with owners’ addresses in the three counties she represents.
“By law, the state holds onto the funds in these accounts until they are claimed by their rightful owners,” Senator Ritchie said. “The problem is that most people don’t even know that they are missing money, and they don’t know where to look to find it.”
“It’s your money—you just have to ask for it back.”
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced Central New Yorkers helped to “fight the bite,” disposing of nearly 4,000 waste tires at free events that took place at several locations throughout Oswego County this past weekend.
The recent event was the second of two made possible through $275,000 in the new State Budget that Senator Ritchie helped secure. As a result of the two events—which were hosted in conjunction with Oswego County—nearly 10,000 waste tires were disposed of, with the $5 fee for each tire being waived.
Measure Proposed by Local Mandate Relief Working Group
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced her bill to provide mandate relief to local school districts by eliminating the duplicative requirement for annual visual inspections of school buildings has passed the State Senate.
The measure was first suggested by Senator Ritchie’s local Mandate Relief Working Group. Established in 2011, the group—which includes local leaders from Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties—aims to find ways to provide relief to hardworking New York taxpayers by slashing mandates. Since its founding, they have proposed two dozen recommendations for cutting government spending and eliminating costly, unfunded mandates, several of which have been enacted into law.
The State Senate gave approval today to a bill striking down New York’s one-of-a-kind ban on popular side-by-side all-terrain vehicles. The measure is sponsored by Senator Patty Ritchie and Joe Griffo.
The bill (S.1946-A) would raise the weight limit for ATVs to 1,500 pounds, from the current 1,000 pounds, an outdated limit that has prevented virtually all of the side-by-side units, knows as UTVs, from being legally used on trails in the state.
A companion bill in the State Assembly has been moving through committees, and could come to a vote later this week, before the scheduled end of this year’s legislative session. The bill is currently in the Ways and Means Committee.
“State leaders are going all out to encourage New Yorkers to explore the great outdoors, but outdated laws prevent them from using UTVs that are wildly popular in every other state in the nation, to visit the ever-increasing network of trails that are being designed and built especially for these vehicles,” Senator Ritchie said.
Video Now in Schools, Available on Senator Ritchie’s Website
In an effort to help protect people in Central New York from the deadly EEE virus, State Senator Patty Ritchie has teamed up with the Oswego County Department of Health and SUNY Oswego to create an educational video to teach the public about the dangers of EEE.
“When it comes to EEE, we can’t do enough to prevent and protect people from this deadly disease. It’s my hope that this video will make more people aware of the dangers and teach them how to properly protect themselves and their loved ones.”
“Through recent tragedies, we’ve seen that our region is particularly susceptible to EEE and I’m proud to collaborate with the Oswego County Department of Health as well as SUNY Oswego to help fight the bite.”