Thomas F. O'Mara's Blog entries

Finish, Then Start Again

The start of summer has so far been a season of victory laps for the Cuomo administration.  In the wake of a 2011 legislative session that’s received many positive reviews, the governor and key members of his cabinet have been out and about across New York State touting this year’s achievements.

July 13, 2011

Wine in grocery stores?

Should New York State allow wine to be sold in grocery stores?

That's been debated in the Legislature for a long time, and I weighed in on the issue today.

May 23, 2011

Share It

The newly created Spending and Government Efficiency Commission, or SAGE Commission, is inviting public input on ways to cut government waste and smarten up about state spending.

We should take every advantage of the opportunity.

May 13, 2011

(Right)sizing It Up

The 2011-2012 state budget undeniably took some important steps in the direction of getting spending under control as the first step toward a more economically and fiscally strong New York.

Now what?  I say keep going.

May 2, 2011

New York's not all big cities

The joint, bipartisan Legislative Commission on Rural Resources has long been noted as a voice of rural New York within the state Legislature.

That's important at a time when New York government has become increasingly dominated by urban-oriented, mostly downstate legislative leaders.    

April 13, 2011


Governor Andrew Cuomo released his proposed 2011-2012 state budget on February 1st and since then we've done our best to encourage local feedback on the potential impact of the governor's plan.

March 24, 2011

Budget Feedback

For everyone interested, I've posted the results of my recent online survey on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2011-2012 New York State budget.

Read the results of Senator O'Mara's 2011-2012 budget survey

March 18, 2011

Upstate Decline

News reports this morning are telling us again that Upstate New York continues to lose population. Why?

Here's what one analyst said, "The basic connection is a strong economy and healthy job growth keeps residents..."

So it's a good time to remember that the Senate kicked off the 2011 legislative session with the approval of what we're calling the "Job Creation and Taxpayer Protection Act." It's aimed at jump-starting the upstate economy.

March 8, 2011

Budget Alert

From the start, Medicaid reform has been targeted as one of the key battlegrounds of the 2011-2012 state budget.

The latest: Governor Andrew Cuomo's "Medicaid Redesign Team" approved a series of reform recommendations late yesterday.

February 25, 2011
February 15, 2011


There's a long way to go in the 2011-2012 state budget adoption process, but there was an important step in the right direction this week when legislative leaders announced an agreement to utilize what's called the "conference committee process" to help us reach a final budget agreement before April 1st.

February 11, 2011

A Closer Look

Now that Governor Cuomo has released his 2011-2012 proposed New York State budget, attention turns to the Legislature's efforts to carefully and deliberately examine the details of the plan and assess its impact on local communities.

February 8, 2011

Opening Bell

Governor Cuomo has taken the wraps off his first state budget proposal and it's drawing reaction from every corner of New York State.

So here's a chance to share your own opinion on the general direction the Governor is charting for New York,

February 2, 2011

Students Inside Albany

The New York State League of Women Voters hosts an annual ‘Students Inside Albany’ conference for high school students from across New York.

January 28, 2011

Jobs, Spending, and Taxes

Jobs, spending, and taxes. Too many Upstate jobs have disappeared.  State spending has been reckless.  State taxes and fees have skyrocketed.

These refrains have been steady and strong across recent state history.

January 21, 2011

Sounding the Alarm on Medicaid

This week's column "From the Capitol..." focuses on Medicaid reform. 

Governor Cuomo's Medicaid Redesign Team continues a series of informational meetings across New York State.

January 18, 2011

Governor on Tour

Governor Cuomo began a “Take it to the People Tour” this week.  Jamestown on Thursday.  Watertown on Friday.  Other stops on the way in the days ahead. 

January 14, 2011

Committee Agenda

The Senate Majority conference unveiled its 2011 committee assignments at the Capitol earlier today.  In addition to heading up the Senate Elections Committee as chairman, I’ll also be serving on 10 other committees.

January 11, 2011

From the Capitol

It’s going to be a pivotal year in New York State government.  That's at least one agreement that's already been reached here at the start of the 2011 legislative session.  Throughout the year ahead, I'll be offering a weekly perspective on many of the key issues, as well as on legislative actions, local initiatives, state programs and services, and much more.&

January 10, 2011

Day Two

Governor Cuomo started us off on the right note in yesterday's State of the State message to begin New York's 234th legislative session, and I think the underlying theme of his speech came through loud and clear: it's going to be difficult, but it's never been more important.

January 6, 2011
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