ALBANY, 06/22/13 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today commented on the close of the 2013 legislative session:
“The priorities of those who live and work in the 51st Senate District are reflected in the actions taken in Albany during the 2013 legislative session.
“The state budget was approved on time for a third consecutive year continuing a significant transformation and end to Albany dysfunction. Moreover, the budget cut taxes, established job creation initiatives, provided help for our neediest schools, and boosted aid to our local highway departments.
“Job growth continues to be a considerable concern statewide, and the innovative Start-Up NY program will be another way to encourage upstate economic development by linking new businesses with our already successful SUNY campuses.
“I was also extremely pleased that funding restorations I fought for, that will protect our most vulnerable citizens, were approved in the final days of the session. Restoring funding to our community based agencies that serve the developmentally disabled was a priority for me. Local service providers can now continue to help families who depend on them every day.
“The senate also took steps to cut unnecessary government red tape, crack down on insurance and welfare fraud, and partner with dairy farmers and small businesses to provide cost saving efficiencies. These measures unfortunately languished in the assembly, and will be battles fought another day.
“I also took real steps to advance women’s equality. Protecting domestic violence victims, stopping sexual harassment in the workplace and ensuring equal pay for equal work are important reforms that passed the senate with bipartisan support.
“Casino expansion is another topic which has been at the forefront for some time. The public will make the final call, something I have advocated for throughout the discussion. Should full-scale casinos come to New York, upstate communities that welcome the economic tool will be first in line.
“Overall, the accomplishments during the 2013 legislative session are another signal that New York is making real strides to address the needs of our diverse state, advance real concerns, and tap our full potential.”
For additional information regarding the 2013 legislative session - click here.