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Will Barclay

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FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Vaccines vital to public health

In the Central New York area, there have been two suspected cases of mumps in local schools this winter. These reports have understandably spurred discussions and concerns and accordingly it is important to know about New York’s vaccination requirements, childhood safety, and ways you can help protect your families from diseases that were once thought to be eradicated.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: New health tax included in budget; ethics debate ethics must be had

We have heard a lot from the governor’s office about the success of New York’s health exchange. The exchange was set up pursuant to the Affordable Care Act, which mandates that all Americans obtain health insurance. The exchanges, which are either set up by individual states or by the federal government (when a state decides not to opt into the program), are, in theory, supposed to provide a market for people to purchase health insurance. New York, pursuant to an executive order of the governor, set up its own exchange. Compared to other states and to the federal government’s system, New York’s exchange has had fewer reported problems.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: With new speaker comes opportunity for meaningful reform

It is a tumultuous time in the New York Assembly. Long-time serving Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver has been arrested for public corruption.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Governor’s budget provides starting point for negotiations; overshadowed by Albany controversy

Last week, the governor presented his State of the State address. This annual tradition, much like the president’s State of Union address, is an opportunity for the governor to set forth his priorities for the upcoming state legislative session. The State of the State address is usually in the beginning of January but this year it was appropriately delayed due to the passing of the governor’s father.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Upgraded transmission lines needed to improve energy infrastructure

A 2012 report created by the Energy Highway Task Force, a task force led by key representatives from the fields of energy, environmental conservation and economic development, cited the critical need for improving transmission lines across the state. 

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: New year brings new priorities for New York state

With a new year comes new commitments and renewed hope. Last week, the assembly welcomed new representatives. The swearing-in ceremony reminds all who attend to renew our commitment to public service.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Ag receipts steadily increasing; new policies assisting industry

I am always impressed with the quality and variety of our local producers — cheese, vegetables, wines and breads. The good news is our economy is benefitting more from these local products.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Shining a light on good deeds this season

There are many in our local communities who donate their time and talents to make sure that others do not go without around the holidays. I like reading the news this time of year and finding stories about charities that were helped or how one person can inspire others to give, and even save a life.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Single-payer would limit private options, cost taxpayers

Since the passage of Obamacare, polling consistently has shown people do not view the program favorably. Indeed, as has recently been reported, Dr. Gruber, one of the so-called architects of Obamacare, was recorded as saying that the only reasons the law passed Congress was because of the stupidity of the American voters and that there was a lack of transparency as to how the law was going to be financed. Gruber’s comments notwithstanding, this past election confirmed for many federal legislators who voted for Obamacare that the “stupid” American voter was going to hold them accountable for the passage of this flawed law. This is a sentiment that isn’t just coming from a Republican. Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer in a post-election speech also said as much.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Federal lunch changes cost schools

School lunch purchases are on the decline. According to the New York School Nutrition Association, more than 19 million fewer meals were sold across the state during the 2012-13 school year than the year before. In the 2011-12 school year, 94 million meals were sold, but in 2012-13, only 75 million were sold.

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