WASHINGTON – The House Agriculture Committee passed the farm bill with the support of Congressmen Christopher Gibson (R- 19) and Sean Patrick Maloney (D- 18). The bill contains a number of provisions that will benefit New York's Hudson Valley region.
The bill includes Maloney’s Crop Risk Options Plan (CROP) Act that defends the specialty agriculture economy of the region as well as an amendment to help families and communities with flooding in the black dirt region.
A Democratic New York state senator from the Hudson Valley wants to do something about boosting voter turnout, and has a plan that involves pre-registration.
Senator David Carlucci is trying to make it easier for students to pre-register to vote. He is sponsoring a bill that would allow 16 and 17 year-olds to pre-register at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
ALBANY – New York State, Oneida Nation of Indians, Oneida and Madison counties have signed an agreement settling several long-standing disputes. The agreement would grant the Oneida Nation exclusive rights to casino gaming in Central New York in exchange for sharing a portion of gaming revenues with the state and local governments.
Under New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan for legalized gaming, three casinos would initially be approved, which was going to be carved into six regions.
New York’s Legislative Ethics Commission released a report Wednesday from the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics. The report focuses on sexual harassment allegations against Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez and details a number of charges.
Democrat Didi Barrett represents the 106th Assembly District, which includes portions of Columbia and Dutchess Counties.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has renewed his call for Lopez to resign. Barrett, who has long advocated for women and girls, has other concerns.
Several elected officials have raised concerns over the past few months about a proposed utility merger in the Hudson Valley. Among them is U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. And now top executives of the two companies have responded.
The proposed merger between Canadian energy company Fortis and Poughkeepsie-based CH Energy Group, parent of Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation, has stoked several flames of opposition to and concern about the union. Senator Schumer was in Newburgh and Poughkeepsie earlier this month, urging top brass at both companies to answer questions.
WASHINGTON – If nothing is done by the beginning of July, the college federal student loan rate will double and US Senator Charles Schumer has joined the battle to keep it at its current level.
The Senator said on Wednesday he is in support of the effort to retain the current rate.
“To let the loan rate to go from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent would cost the average student about $3,798 more over their retainment term,” said Schumer. “That’s not chump change; that’s mortgage payments, car payments, and let’s not forget that students have lots of other debt.”
ALBANY – Business leaders in the Hudson Valley, members of the governor’s Regional Economic Development Council, Wednesday mapped out their plans for the third year of program.
Co-chairman Dennis Murray, president of Marist College in Poughkeepsie, said the council plans on capitalizing on the successes of the first two years of the grant program to promote business, economic development growth and jobs.
ALBANY – Legislation proposed by Senator Terry Gipson (D- Rhinebeck) and Assemblywoman Didi Barrett (D- Hudson) would provide Thruway toll tax credits to farmers who use their vehicles to transport their products.
The measure would allow farmers to claim a tax credit equaling 75 percent of Thruway tolls paid for the transport of goods and services during one tax year. The credit would be applicable for travel for the purpose of selling within 150 miles of a taxpayer’s farm, roughly the distance between New York City and Albany, said Barrett.