eNews: June 2022

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Dear e-News Reader:

It’s hard to believe that June has flown by. After our legislative session ended, I was very happy to be able to attend the many festivals that our community is known for. As always, the food was spectacular. The fireworks at Highland Park, along with the extravaganza and Chicken BBQ were enjoyed by thousands. I will now be turning my attention to special projects that I work on when we’re not in Albany.

Best wishes to all,


1. End of Session RoundupThe end of the legislative session is always very active as legislators try to get their bills passed before we conclude for the year. I successfully passed all my priority legislation which will be announced as the Governor signs them. One bill recognizes a local hero who died in the line of duty, and another pertains to the activation of 2-1-1 during emergencies.

We passed other pieces of legislation including the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, bills to further protect women’s reproductive health, a moratorium on cryptomining in former power plants and a bill to allow individuals the right to repair their own devices without being required to go to the manufacturer. And in response to the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, we raised the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles to 21, expanded the list of people who can file extreme risk protection orders, and banned the purchase of body armor. To read more you can visit here.

2. Legislature Responds to SCOTUS DecisionsThe Governor called the Legislature back in to special session last Thursday to address recent decisions rendered by the US Supreme Court regarding the concealed carrying of firearms, and the repeal of Roe vs.Wade. We passed the Equal Rights Amendment to the NYS Constitution, which would protect a women’s right to choose. This amendment must pass again during our next legislative session in 2023 or 2024 before the voters then get to decide. We also established uniform concealed carry permit regulations; previously each County decided on who could receive such a permit and what training and background checks were needed. The bill also severely restricts where concealed weapons can be carried.
3. Expanded Child Care Assistance Beginning August 1stAfter years of advocacy, we allocated an historic $7 billion for child care in this year’s state budget. This included $2 billion so that more families would be eligible for subsidies by increasing income thresholds. By expanding the eligibility for who can receive assistance, thousands of families across the state can now receive help paying for child care. By making child care more affordable, many will be able to return to the workforce where they are needed. To learn more, and to check your eligibility, you can either call 607-778-8850 or visit the Broome County website.

4. Family and Children’s Society Announce Expansion
Family & Children’s Counseling Services announced that they are building a new mental health and addiction services facility with a $5M NYS Department of Health grant. Due to COVID delays and cost overruns, they needed a little more support to complete the project. Working together with County Executive Jason Garnar and Mayor Jared Kraham, we were each able to allocate $200,000 to help them across the finish line. We are grateful that additional mental heath and addiction services will be available as soon as this expansion is completed

5. Union Center Fire Celebrates 75th Anniversary
In 1947, the Union Center Fire Company was founded with their first station on Union Center Highway. Since then, they now have two stations with dozens of volunteers serving the Town of Union and neighboring areas. To commemorate their 75 years of service, Senator Akshar and I presented a joint resolution to Chief Mark Belensky during their anniversary ceremony. We are very fortunate to have so many volunteer fire companies serving our area. We need to do all we can help them recruit new volunteers which, as you know, is an ongoing challenge.