Thomas F. O'Mara's Press releases

NY Farm Bureau to O'Mara: Welcome to our 'Circle of Friends'

Albany, N.Y., September 21—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) has been named as a member of the 2012 New York Farm Bureau "Circle of Friends" -- an honorary organization formed in 1990 by the state’s leading farm advocacy organization to recognize state legislators who strongly support agriculture. 

The Farm Bureau represents more than 35,000 member farm families and notified O’Mara of his selection earlier this week.

September 21, 2012
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ReCharge NY sparks $37 million investment by Anchor Glass and helps century-old Southern Tier manufacturer retain 340 local jobs

Elmira Heights, N.Y.--State Senator Tom O'Mara (R,C-Big Flats) and Assemblyman Chris Friend (R-Big Flats) today joined local leaders and state economic develoment officials to announce that Anchor Glass Container Corp., a Southern Tier glass container maker, is receiving 6.6 megawatts in low-cost electricity through the ReCharge NY (RNY) program that will allow the company to retain 340 jobs and invest $37.2 million in its facility.

The area leaders were also joined by representatives of the New York Power Authority and Anchor Glass at the company's 100-year-old glass container production facility in Elmira Heights in Chemung County.

September 18, 2012
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Steuben County gets state ok on tax abatement program, legislation sponsored by Senator O'Mara and Assemblyman Palmesano

Corning, N.Y., August 23—Legislation sponsored by State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C-Corning) to establish a real property tax abatement program in Steuben County, has been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

O’Mara and Palmesano introduced the legislation (S.7424/A.10107, Chapter 394 of the Laws of 2012) at the request of Steuben County officials who believe that the new program will help spur investment and revitalization of commercial and residential properties in the cities of Corning and Hornell, as well as other localities. Cities, towns and villages throughout Steuben County can participate in the program at their option.

August 23, 2012
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Business Council gives Senator O'Mara, colleagues high marks for commitment to 'pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda'

Albany, N.Y., August 22—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) has received a strong vote of confidence from the state’s largest business advocacy organization, The Business Council of New York State, for his commitment “to a pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda.” 

O’Mara joins a number of his Senate colleagues as the highest-rated state senators in the Business Council’s just-released 2012 Voters’ Guide.  O’Mara received a score of 90%.  He noted that area Assemblymen Phil Palmesano (R,C-Corning) and Chris Friend (R-Big Flats) also received high grades.

August 22, 2012
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Seneca Lake Scenic Byway Signed Into Law

Albany, N.Y., August 2—New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua) and State Senators Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) and Mike Nozzolio (R-C, Seneca Falls) announced today that legislation they sponsored to designate the Seneca Lake Scenic Byway between Schuyler and Seneca counties as a New York State Scenic Byway, has been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The Senate approved the legislation ((S.5818/A.8468, Chapter 310 of the Laws of 2012) in late March.  It was given final legislative approval in early June by the Assembly, where it was also cosponsored by Assemblymen Phil Palmesano (R-C, Corning) and Chris Friend (R-Big Flats).

August 2, 2012
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O'Mara cheers approval of new law to encourage growth of craft beer industry

Albany, N.Y., July 19—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, cheered the enactment of legislation signed into law yesterday by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to implement regulatory reforms and tax incentives to encourage the expansion of the state's growing craft beer industry.

O’Mara said that the new law, which he strongly supported in the Senate, will help enhance and strengthen the foundations of agriculture and tourism across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions.

July 19, 2012
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Governor Cuomo signs new law co-sponsored by Senator O'Mara to more immediately honor fallen firefighters like longtime Horseheads Fire Chief Dick Sullivan

Albany, N.Y., July 12—Legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) to ensure that every New York State volunteer or professional firefighter killed in the line of duty has his or her name included on the New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Albany, has been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

“New York State’s firefighters put their lives on the line day in and day out, and they earn and deserve every measure of honor and respect that we can offer and provide,” said O’Mara.  “This new law ensures that every firefighter who dies in the line of duty will immediately be provided a place and forever be remembered on the New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial.”

July 12, 2012
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On eve of nation's July 4th observance, Governor Cuomo signs O'Mara-Palmesano legislation to designate the 'Sergeant Devin Snyder Memorial Highway' in tribute to fallen local hero

Albany, N.Y., July 3-Legislation sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R-C, Corning) to designate a portion of I-390 in Steuben County as the “Sergeant Devin Snyder Memorial Highway” has been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The designation (S.7739/A.10726/Chapter 101 of the Laws of 2012), which was unanimously approved by the Legislature two weeks ago, honors the memory and pays tribute to the life and service of United States Army Sgt. Devin A. Snyder of Cohocton, Steuben County, who was killed on June 4, 2011 while serving in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Snyder was the first female soldier from western New York to die in the war.

July 3, 2012
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Legislature approves designation of 'Sergeant Devin Snyder Memorial Highway' in Steuben County to honor life, service of fallen soldier

Albany, N.Y.—The New York State Legislature has unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R-C, Corning) to designate a portion of I-390 in Steuben County as the “Sergeant Devin Snyder Memorial Highway.”

The designation honors the memory and pays tribute to the life and service of United States Army Sgt. Devin A. Snyder of Cohocton, Steuben County, who was killed on June 4, 2011 while serving in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Snyder was the first female soldier from western New York to die in the war.

June 21, 2012
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Legislature approves "Protection of People With Special Needs Act"

Albany, N.Y., June 20—New York State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) today voted in favor of legislation approved by the Senate and Assembly to enact the “Protection of People With Special Needs Act” to reform and strengthen protections for more than one million state residents with special needs who are served by facilities and programs operated, licensed and certified by state agencies.

The agreed-upon legislation now goes to Governor Andrew Cuomo to be signed into law.

June 20, 2012
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Senate approves 'Hire-a-Vet' legislation

Albany, N.Y., June 20—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) voted in favor of legislation approved by the Senate yesterday to provide tax credits to state businesses that hire returning and wounded veterans.

O’Mara highlighted federal Bureau of Labor statistics showing that unemployment has reached a staggering 20 percent for veterans under the age of 30 who have recently returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan.  Moreover, statistics show that a significant number of recently returned veterans report service-connected disabilities.

June 20, 2012
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Senate approves legislation prohibiting use of public assistance benefits to buy alcohol and tobacco -- or to gamble

Albany, N.Y., June 19—The New York State Senate today approved legislation co-sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats), the “Public Assistance Integrity Act,” to prohibit welfare recipients from using cash assistance to purchase tobacco, alcoholic beverages or lottery tickets, and to combat other abuses of public assistance benefits.

June 19, 2012
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Senate approves O'Mara's anti-fraud legislation targeting 'runners'--read more in this week's New York Daily News

Albany, N.Y., June 15—The State Senate this week approved legislation co-sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara  (R-C, Big Flats) to target criminals, called “runners,” who are key players in the epidemic of fraud that especially plagues New York’s automobile insurance industry, drives up insurance rates for every state motorist and costs New Yorkers more than $1 billion annually.

[Read a June 14th New York Daily News opinion piece on the legislation, "The way to choke no-fault fraud"]

June 15, 2012
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Senator O'Mara teams up with NYS Library and local public libraries to encourage summer reading

Albany, N.Y., June 7—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) has announced the beginning of “Dream Big READ!” -- a new, online summer reading program that the Senate will be promoting throughout the summer of 2012 in partnership with the New York State Library and public libraries across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions.

June 7, 2012
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Senate approves 'College Affordability Plan'

Albany, N.Y., June 5—The New York State Senate has unanimously approved legislation called the “College Affordability Plan” that Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) said proposes state-level actions  to try to find new ways to ease the burden of college costs for students and families.

June 5, 2012
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Senate approves creation of new dairy farm energy assistance fund

Albany, N.Y., June 4—The New York State Senate today unanimously approved legislation co-sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) to establish a “Dairy Farm Improved Energy Efficiency Loan Fund.”

The measure was approved by a vote of 54-0.

The proposed new loan fund (S.3126/A.5145), which would be administered by the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA), would provide state grants and low-interest loans to help dairy farmers undertake energy efficiency projects and purchase cutting-edge energy technologies.

June 4, 2012
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'New York State Museum Week' underway locally, statewide

Elmira, N.Y., May 31—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) reminded area residents today that a number of regional museums and historical societies will be sponsoring special events and activities as part of the inaugural “New York State Museum Week” from May 31 to June 6, 2012.

“We’re fortunate that the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions are home to many of New York State’s exciting and finest museums and historical attractions.  They’re a foundation of our premiere tourism industry and the first annual ‘New York State Museum Week’ offers a new opportunity to showcase everything they offer,” said O’Mara.

May 31, 2012
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Senator O'Mara honors local veteran with induction into Veterans' Hall of Fame

Elmira, N.Y., May 24—When the late Cornelius “Connie” Milliken, the long-time chairman of the Chemung County Legislature who passed away this April, contacted State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) early last year to nominate his friend and fellow public servant J. Arthur “Archie” Kieffer for the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame, Milliken wrote, “J. Arthur ‘Archie’ Kieffer is the definition of what it is to be an American – a role model to all serving his country, his family, and his community.  He truly believes that government deserves respect and dignity.” 

May 24, 2012
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State begins new competitive grant program to encourage local government efficiency and cost cutting, ease property tax burden

Albany, N.Y., May 17—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Elmira) alerted local leaders across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions today that a new state competitive grant program is underway that will award state grants to assist local government initiatives to reduce government costs and ease the burden on local property taxpayers.

O’Mara said that the new program was created as part of last year’s state budget.

May 17, 2012
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Virginia Houseknecht of Watkins Glen to be honored as a "Woman of Distinction" in Albany later today

Albany, N.Y., May 15—In Albany on Tuesday, State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) and his Senate colleagues will pay tribute to Virginia “Ginny” Houseknecht of Watkins Glen, a long-time area Cornell Cooperative Extension educator and leader, and founder of the Southern Tier Parkinson’s Disease Support Group, as a 2012 New York State Senate “Woman of Distinction.” 

The Senate's "Women of Distinction" program, which began in March to coincide with Women's History Month in New York State, allows senators statewide to select one honoree from their respective legislative districts for this distinguished, statewide tribute.

May 14, 2012
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