Dear e-News Reader:
Spring is finally here, although you’d never know it from the recent weather. This month has been extremely busy in Albany as we are working on the state budget. As always, my focus is on what’s best for our community. Once we conclude budget negotiations, my attention will turn toward passing important local and statewide legislation for the remainder of the session which ends in June. As a reminder, if you would like to provide your thoughts on difficult topics we are debating in Albany, you can fill out my 2022 constituent survey here. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my office at 607-723-9047.
Best wishes to all,
As of publication, the budget has not yet been completed. I can report that most of our area’s budget priorities are looking good, in terms of resources for road and bridge repair, support for schools, colleges, home care, child care and more. I continue to advocate for relief for our hospitals and nursing homes, along with businesses affected by crippling increases in unemployment insurance rates. We can also do more to address the looming climate crisis.
Contentious policy matters were inserted into final budget negotiations which stalled our progress. While some matters pertain exclusively to NYC, others directly impact communities Upstate. Changes to criminal justice reforms and the recently announced plans for a new Buffalo Bills stadium are two areas that need thoughtful consideration. Because I have heard from hundreds of constituents on these and other budget related matters, I am doing my best to speak on your behalf.
|EJ Victory Building Announcement|
We recently announced that a $40 million redevelopment is underway at the old Endicott-Johnson Victory Shoe Factory in Johnson City; it will have 156 apartments, along with commercial space. Since the days when the Victory Building produced thousands of pairs of shoes a day, it has become a very visible eyesore and reminder of a bygone era. I am glad we are finally breathing new life into this historic landmark. I’d like to sincerely thank all of the private and public partners, including Paulus Development, who came together to make this a reality. You can learn more about the project here.
Animal Protection Award
I was honored to receive the New York State Animal Protection Federation’s “Companion Animal Champion Award” this year. I was recognized for supporting the Companion Animal Capital Fund which provides grants for animal shelter improvements. The Agriculture Committee that I Chair oversees most matters concerning companion animals, including our recent effort to raise the standard of care for shelters and rescues across NYS. My life has been enriched by the rescue animals we have adopted and I will continue to be a strong advocate on their behalf.
New York and Broome County Support Ukraine
I recently joined hundreds of Broome County residents at Binghamton City Hall for a rally in support of Ukraine. In Albany, Governor Hochul signed an executive order cutting all of the state’s financial ties to the Russian government, and Comptroller DiNapoli announced he is looking to divest all retirement system investments in Russian businesses. NYS is flexing its financial muscle to strongly condemn the action of Vladimir Putin and Russia for their unprovoked attack on the people of Ukraine. We are also letting everyone know that NY will welcome Ukrainian refugees who will be relocated here. If you would like to support efforts to help Ukrainian refugees, you can find options here.
Parade Day Back Again
After missing the St. Patrick’s Day parade last year, it was a joy to come together as a community to celebrate Parade Day. I attended mass at St. Mary of the the Assumption and also marched in the parade where hundreds of people participated. We were fortunate to welcome Congressman Antonio Delgado to Binghamton for his first parade day. Thank you to all of the organizers for their work to make this year’s festivities such a big success.