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Will Barclay

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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.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Is weather detection system necessary? Spend budget surplus on Upstate infrastructure, too

Here in central New York, our municipal budgets are often stretched during time of high snowfall because of snow removal costs. If anything, $18 million would be better used to provide our municipalities assistance with these costs as opposed to using the $18 million on a duplicative weather detection system.

Volunteers make holiday efforts possible

This time of year, there are a number of foot soldiers out there working to make someone’s holiday special. Whether it’s adopting a family to make sure they have presents under the tree or working at a local community dinner to ensure that people have a warm holiday meal in good company, many volunteer their time to give back to their community.

State offers scholarships, assistance with higher ed

Fall is the time of year when many graduating high school seniors start to look toward the future. According to the New York State Education Department, in 2010, 82 percent of high school graduates in New York entered postsecondary education which includes either two- or four-year institutions.

One energy tax eliminated, others still heavy hitting

My office receives a lot of inquiries from constituents who wonder why their energy bills are so high. These inquiries are well founded, as New Yorkers pay some of the highest residential energy costs in the nation. In fact, New York’s energy costs rank in the top five highest in the country. We pay on average 19.56 cents per kilowatt hour - significantly higher than what customers pay in other states.

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