Governor Spitzer recently mandated that all illegal aliens in our State will now be eligible to receive a New York State driver’s license.
That’s right, as unbelievable as this sounds, Governor Spitzer is rewarding those who have entered our country illegally.
As your State Senator, I am strongly opposed to this misguided decision by Governor Spitzer. Granting driver’s licenses to illegal aliens will raise serious issues for our homeland security agencies charged with the responsibility to protect our borders and safeguard our security.
It will also result in tax increases as New York State residents struggle to bear the costs of housing, education and medical services to individuals who will seek New York State out as a place to live.
This is not about preventing immigrants from entering the United States. My grandparents and father immigrated to the United States, but they did so legally and came with the desire to become American citizens and to contribute to society. They did not expect to be treated differently. They sought freedoms and opportunities that they did not have in their home countries.
Our nation and state have spent billions to improve the security of all Americans and to identify those who might wish to harm us. Historically, terrorists seeking to attack the United States have used validly issued drivers licenses from other states as identification to accomplish their means. The September 11th hijackers all used drivers’ licenses to purchase their airline tickets, rent cars and reserve hotel rooms.
The federal government has recognized the importance of security of driver’s licenses. That is why the Federal Real ID Act requires social security numbers and other documentation for people applying for drivers licenses. Governor Spitzer’s action will place his administration in violation of our own state law and it would also be in noncompliance with the Federal Law Real ID Act.
Over the course of the next several weeks, my colleagues and I in the New York State Senate will be challenging Governor Spitzer’s authority to unilaterally implement such a mandate without any type of open debate and vote by the Legislature.
What do you think? Register your opinion on my online poll here.
Senator Michael F. Nozzolio
The recent decision by the Finger Lakes Technologies Group to create a data disaster-recovery site at the former Seneca Army Depot will create a number of new high paying full-time positions for local residents. The company will also offer area companies a centrally located, off-site facility for data backup and recovery.
This new technology is critical in the protection of essential data for business and industry. I am very pleased that I could play a role in their decision to locate at the Depot and deliver over $250,000.00 in state funding to help create this new business enterprise.
We have come a long way in re-building the Depot since the dark days of the early 1990’s when our region received a devastating one-two punch with the closure of the Seneca Army Depot and the Willard Psychiatric Center.
For generations these facilities drove the local economy, employing thousands of area residents who enjoyed the steady, secure employment these two government facilities offered. Once they closed, these facilities became an economic anchor around the necks of local residents as we struggled with the loss of more than 1,000 good-paying jobs.
Today, the economic recovery of the Seneca Army Depot is grander than even the most nostalgic memory of the glory days of the Army Depot and Willard Psychiatric Center era.
Now, the former Seneca Army Depot is once again an economic engine with the Five Points Correctional Facility, the Willard Drug Treatment Center, Hillside Children’s Center, Finger Lakes Law Enforcement Center, The Advantage Group and the Finger Lakes Technologies Group.
Through years of hard work and perseverance, I am proud to say that there are now more than 1,500 jobs at the former Seneca Army Depot. That’s right.....more jobs than there were in the 1990's at the height of its use and we are still working aggressively to create new opportunities and development.
Some of our successful efforts to create new jobs include:
Five Points Correctional facility..................645 jobs
Willard Drug Treatment Center..................429 jobs
Hillside Children’s Center..........................350 jobs
The Advantage Group...............................60 jobs
Finger Lakes Technology Group.................25 jobs
Total Jobs Created --1,509
Taken together, the job producing enterprises that I have worked to bring to the area in and around the former Seneca Army Depot employ over 1,500 residents with an annual payroll of nearly $60 million. In addition, over $7.5 million in economic activity is generated for local businesses annually by these companies and facilities.
The challenges that we faced when the Seneca Army Depot and Willard Psychiatric Center closed were substantial, but I was committed to meeting the challenge of rebuilding the Depot and to create a new future for our region.
There were many long hours working with previous Governors Cuomo and Pataki, members of the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency and the Seneca County Board of Supervisors to develop alternative uses for these facilities. The closures of Willard and the Army Depot created a nearly 12,000 acre economic black-hole in the heart of Seneca County. In 1995, we achieved our first major victory when the Willard facility was re-opened as a drug treatment center run by the New York State Department of Corrections.
In 1994, when I was appointed to serve as Chairman of the Senate Crime Victims, Crime & Corrections Committee, I immediately held hearings across the State to take testimony on how dangerous our overcrowded prisons were to the nearly 26,000 brave men and women serving as Correction Officers. These hearings set the stage for the largest expansion of the state prison system in many years and ultimately led to the construction of a new maximum security facility in Seneca County - the Five Points Correctional Facility located at the Seneca Army Depot.
Building the $180 million Five Points Correctional Facility was the largest construction project in Western New York in a generation. More than 500 construction workers in the building trades were employed for nearly two years building the state-of-the-art prison. The new prison presented tremendous opportunities for the Army Depot as the new facility required all new infrastructures at the Depot--new water lines and new electrical lines which could be utilized by new businesses at the Depot.
While the Willard Drug Treatment Center, with 429 full-time jobs and an annual payroll of $14 million, and the Five Points Correctional Facility, with 645 full-time jobs and an annual payroll of $27 million, helped to re-energize the economy, there was much more potential to be tapped. I was very pleased that we were able to recruit a nationally recognized children’s organization that would ultimately become the Hillside Children’s Center where nearly 350 jobs have been created in the treatment of at-risk youth.
The Seneca Army Depot property, once empty and deteriorating, is now filled with energy and optimism. The economic foundation we have built at the Army Depot will allow for further economic growth as we continue to work on exciting projects and job growth opportunities at the Army depot. Look for more exciting news in the future.
For New York State Employment Opportunities: http://www.cs.state.ny.us/jobseeker/public/index.cfm
For Local Government Employment Opportunites: http://www.cs.state.ny.us/jobseeker/local/index.cfm
For United States Employment Opportunities: http://www.usajobs.gov/
Senator Nozzolio received an Honorary Degree from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in recognition of his work on the behalf of New York State at the 2007 Commencement ceremony held on May 13 on the Hobart Quadrangle.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with the Colleges through the years and a particular pleasure to work with President Mark Gearan, who has been an outstanding leader,” said Senator Nozzolio. “I am humbled and enormously grateful for this honor.”
“This year, we recognized individuals at Commencement who symbolize the Colleges’ commitment to service. Senator Nozzolio stands out for his outstanding service to Geneva, our state and our nation,” Gearan said.
Senator Nozzolio began his eighth term in the State Senate in 2007, representing New York’s 54th district. Nozzolio is an outspoken proponent of criminal justice reform and victims’ rights. He is chair of the Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee and serves as a co-chairman of the Senate Majority Task Force on Privacy Invasion. Prior to joining the Senate, Nozzolio served for 10 years in the New York State Assembly. Over the years, he has been honored with numerous awards and accolades for his efforts on behalf of farm workers, sexual assault victims and many others.
Senator Nozzolio was instrumental in the creation of the Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park in Geneva and has secured millions of dollars in state funding to develop the Technology Park. He has been a stalwart supporter of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, securing $1 million in capital funds for the creation of the Finger Lakes Institute at 601 South Main St. He continues to acquire significant operating funds that allow for such projects as the study of Owasco Lake.
GET YOUR FREE CREDIT REPORT!
Thanks to a change in the federal law,you will now be able to obtain a free copy of your credit report once every twelve months. The report will be issued by the three nationwide credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).
A credit report is an important record of an individual’s finances, and is used by creditors, insurers, and other businesses when determining applications for things like credit, insurance, loans, and mortgages. It is so vitally important foryou to review this information to make sure there are no inaccuracies.
Reviewing your credit history is one of the best ways to protect yourself from identity theft, so please make sure you take advantage of this new opportunity.
HOW DO I ORDER MY FREE REPORT?
*By phone: call 1-877-322-8228
*By mail: please CLICK HERE to access the request form. Once you have completed filling out the form, mail it to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta GA 30348-5281
*On the Web: order online by CLICKING HERE.
REVIEW YOUR CREDIT REPORT
By checking your credit report on a regular basis you can catch mistakes and fraud before they ruin your credit rating. One of the most common ways that consumers find out that they're victims of identity theft is when they try to make a major purchase (such as a car or house) and discover unfavorable contents and mistakes in their credit reports. Legitimate loans can be denied or delayed while the credit mess is straightened out. Knowing what's in your credit report allows you to fix problems before they jeopardize a major financial transaction.