There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the governor’s decision to convene a wage board for the purposes of considering increasing the minimum wage for fast food workers to $15 an hour.
Joyce Mitchell, the woman who confessed to assisting two convicted murderers escape from Clinton Correctional Facility, will still collect a public pension thanks to Albany’s failure to pass a widely supported reform measure. In her retirement years, whether spent in prison or elsewhere, we can rest assured that she’ll be able to cash her pension checks.
Two bills in particular which passed the State Legislature could help both seniors and visually-impaired residents if signed into law by the governor. I supported each in the Assembly and both passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.
Fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, eggs, honey, wine and cheese are all out in abundance this time of year throughout the region and will be for the next few months at local farmers’ markets. Farmers’ markets provide an opportunity to buy local and give farmers a chance to provide home-grown produce straight to the consumer. The markets are located throughout the region, and we’re fortunate to have as much fresh and homegrown produce as we do in our area.
The 2015 legislative session has ended. There were many accomplishments but the list of what did not get done for Upstate is longer. Instead, the end of session was dominated by New York City issues like rent control, property tax exemptions for NYC (421a) and discussions on the control of New York City schools.
Now that the school year has ended, a great way for children to retain the vocabulary and knowledge they’ve acquired this school year is to encourage them to read each day over the summer. Studies show that reading just 15 minutes a day helps prevent learning loss.
The legislature recently passed a bill that, if signed by the governor, would reform the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) and expedite the process for those in search of public records. The measure passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both the senate and the assembly. I am urging the governor to sign the bill into law and make this change effective immediately. Its unanimous passage shows there is overwhelming public support for a more open government. Any legislation that cuts through the many layers of bureaucracy the public has to deal with in order to get public information is good legislation.
It is not a secret that New York is a challenging state in which to do business because of our high taxes and oppressive regulatory scheme. Some, but not all, of these policies originate out of New York City which faces different demographics and economic conditions than we do in Upstate New York.
FROM THE ASSEMBLY: New York needs more doctors, better policies to encourage more med students to stay
Access to quality healthcare is a necessary component for a thriving community and we are fortunate to have great healthcare facilities and providers in Central New York. That being said, our healthcare system is under stress because we continue to face shortages of healthcare professionals in New York state — particularly in rural areas. These shortages are particularly acute for primary care doctors and nurses, but extend to specialty practices and other healthcare providers.
Locally, our community has stepped up in honor of those who are bravely fighting cancer which requires multiple blood and platelet transfusions.