June 2013


June 30, 2013                                                                                    


2013 Session Accomplishments


1.    Restored $90 million for services to the developmentally disabled (A.6692-C)


2.    Established the START-UP NY Program, which provides specified tax benefits to eligible businesses locating on certain SUNY, CUNY, private college campuses and vacant state assets (A.8113)


3.    Slowed the growth of the tax burden on agricultural lands by decreasing the cap on agricultural assessment value from ten percent to two percent (S.1952)


4.    Enacted the Veterans Employment Act, directing  all state agencies to make all temporary hires from the Veteran temporary hiring list, to the extent possible (S.5504-A)


5. An on-time State Budget for the 3rd successful year which holds the line on spending this year to under 1%


6. Extended the Middle Class Income Tax Cut until 2018


7. Provided $20.8 billion in total School Aid, a $936.6 million increase   


8.    Included $4 million increase in library aid from last year


9.    Created the Hire-A-Vet Tax Credit for businesses that hire veterans


10.  Increased CHIPS funding by $75 million over last year to support local roads


11. Passed legislation to allow citzens to have the ability to vote for or against legalizing casino gambling in New York State 


2013 Session Negatives


1.    Enacted the SAFE Act, which infringes on the Second Amendment Rights of Law abiding gun owners (Chapter 1)


2.    Increased taxes and fees by $661 million this year and by more than $11.3 billion over the next five years


3.    Increased the state minimum wage above the federal level, creating a competitive disadvantage for New York businesses with other states


4. Continued for four more years, the temporary 18-A energy tax, set to expire this year, costing families and businesses another $1.7 billion - My bill A.0382 would repeal this onerous tax on all New Yorkers.  


5.    Extended the Millionaires Tax, set to expire in 2015, until 2018


6.    Extended the 6% Nursing Home Assessment, scheduled to expire this year until 2015


7.    Passed the Farmworker's Fair Labor Practices Act that  would be a costly burden to family farms (A1792-A, Passed Assembly Only - THANK GOD!)


8.    Passed a bill allowing for early voting in New York State, another unfunded mandate on local governments (A.689-A, Passed Assembly Only - THANK GOD!)


9.  Passed the New York State Dream Act, which grants undocumented illegal immigrants access to financial assistance, awards, and scholarships (A.2597, Passed Assembly Only - THANK GOD!

10.    Failed to enact any anti-corruption legislation such as the comprehensive Public Officer's Accountability Act offered by my Assembly Minority Conference including term limits for legislative leaders and pension forfeiture for convicted officials (A.7393)


11.    Failed to enact Nine individual bills to promote Women's Equality in New York State


12.    No broad based mandate relief provided for our localities or school districts to reduce the crippling property tax burden


13.    Failed to create a Real Economic Development Plan for New York State that cuts burdensome taxes and regulations


14.    No reform to restrict the use of Public Assistance Benefits for the purchase of alcohol, tobacco, and lottery tickets or the ATM withdrawal of benefits at casinos, liquor stores or strip clubs (A.2386)


15.    Did not enact Brittany's Law to create a registry of violent offenders, which is designed to protect the safety of children, families and communities (A.2686-A)


16.    Failed to merge the day-to-day operations of the Thruway Authority with the Department of Transportation (A.2088)


June 17, 2013                                                                                    


OPWDD Funding Restored

Since April I have been supporting an effort to restore funding to the OPWDD (Office for People With Developmental Disabilities).  Many of the individuals who receive assistance through these programs are among the most vulnerable in our society, and we have a responsibility to provide them with the care and support they need.  During the budget process, I spoke out against these cuts and I cosponsored legislation which could have restored the funds by reallocating the $90 million from a program providing tax credits for movies and tv shows that are produced in New York.  After this initial proposal, I received a phone call from a Hollywood producer who voiced his support and agreement with my plan to restore this funding.

I also co-sponsored a bipartisan piece of legislation to restore the $90 million.  On June 17th the Assembly and Senate brought that bill to the floor and voted in favor of it.  This marks a tremendous victory for the families, organizations and individuals whose top priority has always been to protect and support developmentally disabled New Yorkers.


June 14, 2013                                                                                    

Niagara Wine Trail Expansion

Legislation has passed both the Assembly and Senate, to improve tourism of the Niagara Wine Trail by expanding the trail to bring new wineries into the fold. The expansion will accompany a re-branding of the Niagara Wine Trail which will be renamed the "Niagara Wine Trail Ridge" and the
"Niagara Wine Trail Lake". Under the new designation, Route 390 in Monroe County will be named the "Niagara Wine Trail Ridge". Bringing in tourists through our communities year-round will be a major boost for local wineries. With this expansion eastward and re-branding the wine trail, we can continue to bring in new wineries. Since its inception, the wine trail has been a boon not just for the wineries but also the hundreds of communities that the trail passes though. This expansion will only serve to increase this success.

June 6, 2013                                                                                    


Chase Bank Closure

I am tremendously disappointed over Chase Bank's decision to close its Albion call center. This closure is a disastrous blow to our local economy. Over a period of time countless efforts were made to accommodate the bank's needs and preserve its employment opportunities. In the recent weeks, I made multiple attempts to contact CEO Jaime Dimon. The calls went unanswered. The center will close on September 3rd, with 150 positions offered in the Rochester office, leaving 250 people looking for new employment opportunities. The community has gone through great lengths to support Chase Bank and keep the jobs that are critical to so many residents and families; its closure is nothing short of heartbreaking. My heart goes out to all of the men and women who are now searching for work in this bleak economy. I am committed to working with state and local officials to provide assistance for those residents and to grow businesses that are truly engaged in and committed to this community.


Bernz-O-Matic Closure

The loss of 174 jobs at Bernz-O-Matic which has announced its closure of the manufacturing plant in Medina is another devastating blow to Orleans County. Worthington Industries has decided to offer local employees the opportunity to transfer to their plant in Wisconsin. I have reached out to Worthington Industries CEO John McConnell to discuss the best ways to mitigate the economic damage in Medina. Our immediate priority must be to help those affected find new work here in our community as quickly as possible. I offer my deepest regrets to all of Bernz-O-Matic's employees and pledge my full support in working through this difficult time.

The out-of -touch lawmakers at the Capitol have once again forced job-killing policies on Western New York. How many more local jobs must be lost? How many more local families have to suffer before the Capitol lawmakers see the destruction that New York's anti-business climate causes? Runaway taxes, over regulation, and regressive policies have run countless job creators out of our community, yet legislative leaders continue to repeat the mistakes of old that have left our hardworking families out in the cold. It's time to open our eyes and change our courses before Western New York's families are forced to watch another company take their jobs across state lines.



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