Senator O'Mara offers his weekly perspective on many of the key challenges and issues facing the Legislature, as well as on legislative actions, local initiatives, state programs and policies, and more. Stop back every Monday for Senator O'Mara's latest column "From the Capitol..."
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation today announced that the stream-fed swimming pool at Stony Brook State Park in Steuben County will reopen for the season on June 22. The pool has been closed since the end of the 2009 season due to water quality and clarity issues and budget constraints.
Albany, N.Y., June 5—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats) has voted in favor of legislation unanimously approved by the Senate late yesterday to strengthen a key New York State assistance program to help local volunteer fire departments and emergency squads – as well as cities, counties, towns and villages -- repair and purchase firefighting and rescue equipment, and meet other emergency services infrastructure needs.
Albany, N.Y., May 31—The State Senate has unanimously approved legislation co-sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats) to continue efforts to combat abuse, fraud and waste in New York’s $54-billion-plus system of Medicaid.
Albany, N.Y., May 29—The New York State Senate today approved legislation co-sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) to establish a “Dairy Farm Improved Energy Efficiency Loan Fund.”
The legislation (S.1081/A.4021) passed the Senate by a vote of 60 to 1.
The proposed new loan fund, 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.
Albany, N.Y., May 7—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) honored Beverly “Bev” Stamp, co-owner and operator of Lakewood Vineyards near Watkins Glen, as a New York State Senate “Woman of Distinction” at a ceremony in Albany this evening.
Stamp, a longtime and beloved ambassador of New York State’s nationally and internationally renowned wine and grape industry, represented O’Mara’s 58th Senate District at the statewide awards tribute in the Legislative Office Building. She and her husband, the late LaMont “Monty” Stamp, are widely admired as stalwarts of the industry.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has scheduled another National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day which will take place on Saturday, April 27, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
According to the DEA, this is a great opportunity for those who missed the previous events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to safely dispose of those medications.
To find out more and to find collection sites throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, CLICK HERE
Albany, N.Y., April 23—While police and firefighters in the city of Elmira today were on the scene of a suspected meth lab, the New York State Senate approved, by a strong bipartisan vote of 57 to 5, legislation sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) to further outlaw the operation of clandestine methamphetamine labs by increasing the criminal penalties for the possession of meth manufacturing material and the unlawful manufacture of meth, implementing a series of increasingly severe felony offenses.
Albany, N.Y., April 21—As Americans everywhere observe National Volunteer Week beginning today and running through Saturday, April 27, State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats), Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) and Assemblyman Chris Friend (R,C,I-Big Flats) announced that they are continuing to sponsor legislation aimed at helping localities recruit and retain volunteer firefighters and other emergency services personnel.
Elmira, N.Y.—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats), Assemblyman Chris Friend (R,C,I-Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) reminded area residents that they can help support regional food banks -- the Food Bank of the Southern Tier and Foodlink -- by voting online in the Walmart Foundation-sponsored “Fighting Hunger Together” contest.
Albany, N.Y., April 18-State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) welcomed Governor Andrew Cuomo’s call earlier this week for Congress and President Barack Obama to reject proposals surfacing as part of federal budget discussions to eliminate the ability of New York State taxpayers to deduct their state and local taxes, including property taxes, from their federal taxes.
Cuomo released an analysis in Albany on Tuesday showing that such a move at the federal level would cost millions of New York taxpayers billions of dollars annually.
Elmira, N.Y., April 16—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats), Assemblyman Chris Friend (R,C,I-Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) reminded area residents that they can help support the Food Bank of the Southern Tier by voting online in the Walmart Foundation-sponsored “Fighting Hunger Together” contest.
The contest ends on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.
In a statement, O’Mara, Friend and Palmesano said: “We are grateful to have this opportunity to help spread the word on a genuinely meaningful local cause and to help support the Food Bank of the Southern Tier in its outstanding work. All of our support will go to make a real difference in the lives of area students and their families.”
Elmira, N.Y., April 11 —State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats), highlighting the increasing frequency of methamphetamine-related arrests and other incidents across the region over the past few years, announced today that he has introduced legislation in the Senate to significantly increase the criminal penalties for possessing, selling or manufacturing the dangerous and highly addictive drug.
Albany, N.Y., April 4—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) announced today that he’s accepting nominations for the New York State Senate’s “Veterans Hall of Fame” -- an online tribute to the military and civilian lives of distinguished veterans from across New York State.
Albany, N.Y., March 28—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) today said that one of the highlights of the new state budget is the creation of a Hire-a-Vet tax credit to encourage businesses throughout New York to hire returning veterans.
Albany, N.Y., March 27—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) today welcomed the ongoing state spending restraint – for the third consecutive year state spending growth will remain below two percent – and the establishment of future tax breaks in the state’s final 2013-14 state budget.
The Senate finished approving the state’s new fiscal plan early this morning, and the Assembly is expected to follow suit and give the budget final legislative approval on Thursday. It will then be signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, representing the third year in a row the state budget's been enacted on time.
Albany, N.Y., March 25—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R-C, Corning) said today that area counties will see significant increases in state support for local roads and bridges under the 2013-14 New York State budget being enacted this week.
A breakdown of county figures as a result of this year’s state-level increase of $75 million for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) was released by Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders earlier today at the Capitol [to see the full breakdown for counties, towns and villages, go to http://www.governor.ny.gov/assets/documents/CHIPS-Funding-Breakdown.pdf.]
Albany, N.Y., March 21—Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R-C, Corning), who in early March joined county and town highway superintendents and other local leaders from across New York to call for increased state support for local roads and bridges, applauded today’s announcement that the final 2013-14 state budget will include a $75 million increase in funding for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS).
CHIPS provides the bulk of state aid to counties and towns for the maintenance and improvement of local roads and bridges.
Albany, N.Y., March 8—A comprehensive state Senate Republican plan to jump-start the state economy and create private-sector jobs includes a proposal introduced earlier this year by State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) to phase-out the corporate franchise tax for manufacturers across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, and statewide.
The plan also includes proposals for a utility tax cut and the creation of a Hire-A-Vet tax credit which O'Mara has pushed over the past several weeks.
Bath, N.Y., March 7—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) today urged area residents to support the veterans assistance organization RenovatingHope by voting daily online in the The Home Depot Foundation’s 2nd annual “Aprons in Action” contest.
In a joint statement, O’Mara and Palmesano said: “We are proud to take every opportunity that we possibly can to support our veterans. We hope that as many area residents as possible will join us in this effort to help RenovatingHope make a life-changing difference for another local hero.”