Sen. Gallivan

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 5:34 pm

Press release

The Empire State Apprenticeship Program (ESAP) aims to help lower youth unemployment, close the middle-skills gap, provide trained workers for expanding and emerging workforces and generally develop a more competitive New York State workforce.  

On Tuesday, Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) joined Assemblyman Harry B. Bronson (D-Rochester/Chili/Henrietta) and Kevin Stump, Northeast Regional Director of Young Invincibles, in support of the program. Both Bronson and Gallivan championed the ESAP in the 2017-18 state budget.

“One of the challenges facing today’s employers is finding skilled workers, especially in advanced manufacturing and information technology fields,” Gallivan said. “By incentivizing manufacturers and other businesses to establish apprenticeship programs, we can create opportunities, close the skills gap, train workers for successful careers, reduce unemployment and help businesses grow. This program wisely invests in the future of New York’s economy and workforce.”

The Empire State Apprenticeship Program will help employers tap into more than 300,000 16- to 24-year-olds across the state who are not in school or employed. It connects businesses with apprentices who can become skilled workers in fields including but not limited to nursing, agriculture, advanced manufacturing, photonics, health care, and information technology. The cost of training these new employees will be offset through tax credits, which increase in value for each year of training an apprentice completes. Additional tax credits are available for employers who also mentor their apprentices in ways to overcome barriers to gainful employment. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 12:13 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, Sen. Gallivan, government, crime.

Press release

The New York State Senate has approved eight bills aimed at tackling the heroin, opioid, and synthetic drug crisis. The measures address the evolving challenges presented by fentanyl, synthetic, and designer drugs, and help increase coordination among health care personnel to prevent future opioid overdoses and abuse. 
“One of our priorities this legislative session is to tackle the state’s heroin crisis,” said Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma). “No community and no family is immune from the devastating impact caused by heroin and opioid abuse. These bills, combined with the $214 million secured in this year’s budget, will support law enforcement efforts to combat the spread of these drugs and enhance programs designed to keep New Yorkers healthy and safe.”

Six bills target the increased use of synthetic and “designer” drug combinations that escape criminality through loopholes in existing laws. Gallivan co-sponsored the first five of the six bills, which include: 

    • Bill S933 adds new derivatives of fentanyl to the controlled substance schedule and increases criminal penalties for the sale of an opiate containing a fentanyl derivative. Fentanyl is a strong pain medication that is often combined with anesthesia to prevent surgery-related pain. However, it is increasingly being mixed with heroin and other drugs to produce a cheaper and more lethal product.

    • Bill S816 designates Alpha-PVP, also known as “Flakka” or “Gravel” as a controlled substance. Similar to bath salts and methamphetamine, use of this designer drug has been known to cause violent behavior, with side effects including nausea, vomiting, paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, suicidal thoughts, seizures, chest pains, and increased blood pressure and heart rate.

    • Bill S3518 classifies synthetic marijuana like K2, Spike 99, Spice, Yucatan Fire, Genie, Zohai and many others, as Schedule I controlled substances. These legal herb-like products are laced with a synthetic cannabinoid to produce a high similar to existing controlled substances, but with more dangerous side effects. Not only does the bill provide for the imposition of criminal sanctions on synthetic pot, but also makes it a felony to sell such products to a minor or on school grounds.

    • Bill S2722 bans the analog substances of scheduled controlled substances. By expanding the state’s ability to ban analog substances, state drug and law enforcement agencies are given another tool to combat the quickly moving world of designer drugs that simply “tweak” an existing scheduled substance in order to avoid criminal prohibitions.

    • Bill S658 adds a new synthetic opiate, U-47700 and commonly referred to as "Pink" to the schedule I opiate list. This inexpensive drug has spread in popularity across the United States and is reportedly eight times more powerful than heroin.
    • Bill S300 would designate Xylazine as a controlled substance due to recent instances of this veterinary drug being used to lace heroin. It has emerged as a new threat in the state's battle against the heroin epidemic because the heroin-Xylazine combination is so potent that it can take multiple doses of naloxone to revive an overdose victim, and even this regime is not guaranteed to be effective. Dealers are using this dangerous drug to “enhance” their products, but risks include a dangerous depression of the central nervous system, causing individuals to drift in and out of consciousness, as well as negatively affecting heart function.

Two other measures passed by the Senate will help promote information sharing to prevent the abuse of prescription and other drugs, among other benefits of health care coordination. 

They include:

    • Bill S2639 requires hospital and emergency room physicians to notify a patient's prescriber when a patient is being treated for a controlled substance overdose. The measure enhances the effectiveness of the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) Registry when prescribing controlled substances by ensuring that vital medical information is shared among health care practitioners. The bill requires an emergency room or hospital practitioner treating a patient with an opioid overdose to consult the PMP registry and notify the patient's prescriber of the overdose. Without such notification of the overdose, it is very possible that the prescriber/practitioner would not know that the patient had suffered an overdose of the opioid.
    • Bill S2248 helps facilitate the exchange of health care information with hospitals, office-based surgery practices, and health care providers who accept walk-in patients not regularly seen by the provider. These practitioners would use and maintain an electronic health records system that connects to the local regional health information organization, aiding in the prevention of drug abuse by giving these clinics and urgent care centers the ability to see patient records and whether there is a history of drug use or prescriptions. Additionally, these clinics would add details of the visit to the patient’s records for any future medical treatment, thereby ensuring the patient receives appropriate care.

Monday, March 27, 2017 at 5:07 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, government, announcements, Sen. Gallivan.

Press release:

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) says the Senate has once again approved a bill that would require New York State to notify a local municipality when a sex offender is transferred from a state facility to a community program or residence. The Senate also passed the legislation (S.2132) in 2015 and 2016, but it failed in the Assembly.

The bill sponsored by Gallivan would amend the mental hygiene law to require the Commissioner of the Office of People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to notify the chief executive officer of any municipality where a sex offender is transferred. The superintendent of schools in which the facility is located would also have to be notified.

"The state has an obligation to notify local leaders whenever the transfer of a potentially dangerous sex offender into a residential or community program occurs,” Gallivan said.  “Too often, community leaders learn of the transfer after the fact and don’t have adequate time to properly address public concerns and potential security issues.”

The legislation would require the commissioner of OPWDD to notify local officials no later than 10 calendar days prior to the transfer taking place.    

In the past, the state has placed developmentally disabled sex offenders at state-owned group homes in Western New York and across the state, catching many communities off guard and raising concerns about public safety.

The bill has been sent to the Assembly. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 7:03 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, announcements, government, Sen. Gallivan.

Press release:

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C- I, Elma) says the New York State Senate has passed a 2017-18 budget plan that creates more economic opportunity through targeted investments in infrastructure, tax reductions, and continued fiscal discipline. The Senate proposal continues a record of restrained state spending without new taxes. Additionally, it makes sensible and important changes to a number of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposals that should serve as a blueprint to a final, on-time budget.

“The Senate’s budget controls the size and cost of government while at the same time helping hardworking, middle class families and businesses,” Gallivan said. “The spending plan supports economic development, provides much needed tax relief, invests in education, promotes agriculture and provides more funding for roads and bridges. It also keeps the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center in West Seneca.”

Reducing property taxes

The Senate’s budget proposal advances several measures to protect the significant savings provided by the School Tax Relief (STAR) program and would help small businesses save on their property taxes. 

The measures include:

    • Making small businesses with less than $350,000 in net business income and less than 20 employees eligible to receive the STAR benefit on their primary business property, saving $370 million when fully phased in;

    • Rejecting the executive budget proposal to cap the growth of the STAR benefit, saving taxpayers an estimated $272 million over the next three years alone;

    • Reversing changes made last year to the STAR Personal Income Tax Credit Program from reimbursements back to an up-front exemption effective for the 2018 – 2019 school year;

    • Addressing the significant delays of STAR payments by the state to taxpayers that occurred this year by requiring the state to postmark all advance payment STAR checks by Sept. 15, requiring the state to pay interest if they are mailed late, and reimbursing taxpayers for penalties or interest due to late school tax bill payments; and

    • Making permanent the state’s property tax cap.

Promoting economic development

The Senate budget rejects a number of onerous tax and fee increases proposed by Cuomo, including new DMV fees, new taxes on Internet purchases and a new surcharge on prepaid cell phones. In addition, to help avoid future tax increases, the Senate’s resolution imposes a statutory cap on state spending.

The Senate requires more transparency in the operations of Regional Economic Development Councils to further ensure accountability and prevent conflicts of interest in the awarding of billions of dollars in statewide economic development funds. The resolution rejects the rebranding of START-Up NY and closes the door to new applicants as of April 1, 2018, followed by an assessment to measure the program’s effectiveness.

Tax relief for businesses

In addition to creating the STAR benefit for small businesses, the Senate proposal would:

    • Expand the existing Personal Income Tax exemption for small businesses and small farms and reduce the Corporate Franchise Tax business income tax rate from 6.5 percent to 2.5 percent over a two-year period, saving a total of $466 million;

    • Increase the Manufacturer’s Real Property Tax Credit from 20 percent to 50 percent of any annual property taxes paid during the year for property owned or leased by the manufacturer and used during for manufacturing, saving businesses $150 million; and

    • Increase the MTA Payroll Tax exemption for sole proprietors from $50,000 to $250,000. 

Reforms to workers’ compensation 

The Senate has advanced a number of sensible workers’ compensation reforms, such as updates to duration caps and schedule loss of use awards. To improve the overall system, changes would be put into place to reduce frictional costs, streamline forms, improve independent medical examinations and require implementation of a prescription drug formulary by Dec. 31.

Expanding ride-sharing

The resolution provides ride-sharing companies with the ability to expand operations outside of New York City and enable new jobs to be created by offering more safe, reliable transportation options to communities and visitors Upstate and on Long Island.

Promoting workforce development

The Senate’s Task Force on Workforce Development is continuing to improve employee readiness; better meet the workforce needs of private sector employers; connect job seekers with potential employers; retrain those who have lost jobs; and help make New York State’s overall economy more robust, dynamic and resilient. 

This budget helps implement those goals by including:

    • $4 million for the Workforce Development Institute (WDI);

    • $3 million for the WDI Manufacturing Initiative;

    • $980,000 for the Chamber On-the-Job Training Program;

    • $600,000 for Statewide Youth Build programs; and

    • Increasing the current salary cap for BOCES to attract and retain qualified and skilled teachers for career and tech programs.

Keeps Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center (WNYCPC) in West Seneca

The Senate plan includes language advanced by Gallivan requiring WNYCPC be maintained in Erie County as a separate and distinct entity, both organizationally and physically. It also requires that $14 million be used to rehabilitate the existing West Seneca facility.

Supporting local infrastructure

Historic state investment of nearly $8 billion in clean water

The Senate makes an investment of nearly $8 billion to ensure all New Yorkers have access to clean, safe drinking water by addressing extensive water quality issues and infrastructure needs. 

The measures include:

    • Creation of a new $5 billion Clean Water Bond Act;

    • Support for the proposed $2 billion for clean water infrastructure;

    • Establishment of a new Drinking Water Quality Institute;

    • Creation of the Emerging Contamination Monitoring Act;

    • $300 million for the Environmental Protection Fund;

    • $175 million in continued funding for the Water Quality Infrastructure Investment Program; and

    • $275 million in continued funding for Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds.

Increased support for local roads and bridges

The budget proposal continues the Senate’s commitment to parity with the Department of Transportation and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) capital plans, and ensures long-term regional balance in how transportation projects are funded. It helps local governments make necessary infrastructure improvements and create jobs by adding:

    • $91 million in non MTA capital, for a total $175.5 million;

    • $75 million for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Program (CHIPS), for a total $513 million;

    • $50 million for the Local BRIDGE NY program, for a total $150 million;

    • $11.5 million to increase the reimbursement rate to cities for maintaining State highways;

    • $11.3 million in non-MTA downstate and upstate transit systems, and $5 million – including a $4 million executive budget restoration – for rural transportation systems; and

    • $27.5 million for the Aviation Capital Grant Program, for a total $40 million, and $2 million to provide the full state match to federal funds for aviation, totaling $6 million.

Improving higher education access and affordability

Enhanced Tuition Assistance Program (E-TAP):

The Senate improves upon the higher education proposals in the executive budget by making more middle-class families eligible for more financial aid, and giving students greater flexibility in school choice to promotes success.

The Senate invests $109 million in a new E-TAP initiative that helps students in public and independent schools by increasing the minimum TAP award from $500 to $3,000 and the maximum to $5,500. Income thresholds would also be increased to $100,000 in 2017-18; $110,000 in 2018-19; and $125,000 in 2019- 20. To be eligible for E-TAP, students would need a 3.0 grade-point average by the start of their junior year and take 30 credits over each academic year – which is a more flexible option for students unable to take a 15-credit semester as required in the executive budget proposal. 

The Senate budget proposal also includes:

    • $10 million to expand TAP to include part-time community college students; and

    • $2 million in new funding for Graduate TAP, to help students who are in combined undergraduate/graduate degree programs.

College affordability:

The Senate budget establishes a new Task Force on College Affordability; requires private colleges to develop college affordability plans with the goal of lowering costs; and creates the New York State Tax Advantage Student Loan Repayment Program. This innovative measure acts like a 401K for student debt – enabling employees to put up to $2,500 pre-tax each year into an account specifically set up by an employer to help pay student loan debt. The employer would then match the employee’s contribution and receive a tax deduction. 

The Senate also:

    • expands the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) scholarship to include private institutions;

    • increases the tuition tax credit to a maximum of $2,500 and the deduction to a maximum of $50,000 of allowable college tuition expenses, over 10 years;

    • provides $2 million in funding to support child care on SUNY and CUNY campuses to give access to students in need of care while pursuing a degree; and

    • provides a maintenance of effort provision that requires the state to fund SUNY and CUNY (State University of and City University of) at no less than the prior year’s funding level.

Making New York more affordable

Supporting fair wages for direct care professionals

The Senate provides $45 million annually to compensate direct care professionals for the important work they do to support individuals with disabilities. It addresses a lack of funding in the executive budget to help appropriately adjust salaries at nonprofits that employ workers who provide state services for individuals with autism, serious brain injury, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and other developmental disabilities.

Expanding the Child Care Tax Credit:

The Senate provides an additional $95 million on top of the executive budget’s child care proposals to help more low- and middle-income families qualify for the state’s child care tax credits. Families making less than $50,000 would have their credits increase by 50 percent over existing amounts. In addition, the current cap on child care expenses would rise from $6,000 to a maximum of $9,000 (depending on the number of children) for families with up to five children.

Increasing the safety and availability of child care

To help working parents find affordable child care, and give them peace of mind about their child’s safety, the Senate included several budget provisions to:

    •  Increase child care subsidy funding from traditional sources to maintain the current level of $806 million;

    • Add $5.3 million to restore child care facilitated enrollment programs that help increase access to child care financial assistance, especially for moderate income families, in Monroe, Erie, Onondaga and Oneida counties, the Capital District, and New York City;

    • Require the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to conduct a comprehensive study of the availability of child care for low-income working parents in the State; and

    •  Enhance the safety of child day care programs by giving OCFS greater ability to suspend or limit a license or registration to operate when public health or safety is at risk and to assess fines for violations.

This legislation also creates a comprehensive online registry of child care providers in the State that will include inspection and violation history for each.

Savings on Retirement Income:

To help more seniors save money and choose to stay in New York during retirement, the Senate increases the private pension and retirement income exclusion from $20,000 to $40,000 for single taxpayers and to $80,000 for married taxpayers, over three years. This would be the first increase to the exempt amount of private pensions and retirement since 1981 and save retirees approximately $315 million.

Supporting learning opportunities for all children

Significant education funding increases

The Senate’s education budget includes a five percent increase in school aid funding over last year, for a total of $1.2 billion, bringing the total investment in schools to a record level of $25.4 billion. 

Other highlights include:

    • Doubling the governor’s Foundation Aid proposal with $478 million in additional funding, for a total increase of more than $906 million since 2016-17;

    •  Rejecting the executive budget’s changes to the Foundation Aid formula and instead provides flexible operating aid to districts for operating expenses, which may include creation or expansion of dual language programs, after school programs, mental health services, and personnel within schools;

    • Removing a cap on charter schools and placing surrendered charters back into the pool of eligible charters;

    • Increasing facilities funding for New York City charter schools;

    • Providing statewide building aid for charters;

    • Including significant funding increases over the executive budget for non-public schools: an additional $34 million for reimbursable security costs; $15 million for non-public school safety grants;

    • increasing by $7 million above the executive budget proposal for mandated services aid; $25 million for non-public school STEM programs; $3 million to expand eligibility for STEM college scholarships to students at non-public schools; and $7.7 million for non-public school immunization compliance.

Protecting public health

Investments in battling substance abuse

The Senate’s budget proposal includes $206 million for the state’s heroin and opioid-related initiatives. This is an increase of $32 million over last year’s enacted budget, and above the approximately $200 million announced in the executive budget.

The Senate would also expand upon an initiative first proposed as a recommendation by the Senate’s Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction to help teens battling substance abuse. The measure increases the proposed number of Recovery High Schools from two to three – enabling more youth to find a secure learning environment to help them on their way to overcoming addiction.

Transforming health care delivery statewide

The Senate includes $300 million above the executive budget’s proposal for a total of $800 million for the Health Care Facility Transformation Program. The funding is included subject to additional details to be further outlined in the budget process to ensure appropriate regional disbursement, and appropriate disbursement among community based providers and all facilities. Further, before making the allocation, the remaining capital from last year’s budget of $195 million should be awarded.

Promoting agriculture

Restoring $12 million in agriculture support

The Senate commits significant resources to promoting and supporting agriculture in the state, including $12 million in restorations to more than 30 programs throughout the state that were cut in the executive budget. 

In addition, the budget resolution:

    • Makes the Investment Tax Credit refundable for farmers.

    • Enacts the Farm-to-Food Bank proposal that allows farmers to claim a tax credit to for produce and other farm product donations to food banks or other emergency food programs.

    • Modifies the executive proposal for state fair funding to include $10 million for local fair capital costs;

    • Adds $5 million for a competitive grant program for animal shelters; and

    • Doubles the Farm Workforce Retention Credit Upstate and further increase the credit for farms that are located in Nassau, Suffolk, or Westchester counties due to the accelerated minimum wage schedule in those counties.

Supporting veterans

The Senate budget includes a number of measures to provide valuable assistance and support to New York’s veterans, including:

    • $3.2 million for the Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Peer to Peer Program;

    • $1 million to implement a veterans treatment court peer-to-peer service grant program;

    • $700,000 for the New York State Defenders’ Association Veterans’ Defense Program;

    • $400,000 for the NLP Research and Recognition Project for PTSD research treatments;

    • $350,000 for Legal Services of the Hudson Valley’s Veterans and Military Families Advocacy project;

    • $100,000 to expand Legal Services of the Hudson Valley’s Veterans and Military Families Advocacy project into Westchester County;

    • $250,000 for Nassau Suffolk Law Services Committee’s Veterans’ Rights Project;

    • $250,000 in additional funding for the Veterans Outreach Center in Monroe County; and

    • $300,000 for Warrior Salute.

Protecting seniors

The Senate restores cuts and adds additional resources to help seniors continue to receive long-term services and supports, such as home care, transportation and meals, and initiatives to prevent elder abuse.

Measures include:

    • Adding $5 million for the Community Services for the Elderly Program (CSE) for transportation, case management and other supports;

    • Restoring $3.35 million in the executive budget for the New York Connects program that provides free comprehensive services and supports for seniors and caregivers;

    • Providing $10 million to establish a statewide central register of elder abuse and maltreatment;

    • Restoring $700,000 for the establishment of multidisciplinary investigative teams for reports of suspected elder abuse or maltreatment, as well as including legislation that creates those teams; and

    • Adding $49,000 for a total of $951,000 for the Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs) and/or Neighborhood NORCs.

Friday, February 3, 2017 at 3:40 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, drugs, children, health, Sen. Gallivan, news.

Press release:

The Senate has recently passed two bills to help save the lives of abused children who may otherwise slip through the cracks of Child Protective Services (CPS). The bills require testing young children for drugs if their guardian is arrested on drug charges, and they restrict high caseloads from jeopardizing the investigation of child abuse or maltreatment.

Bill S137 would require hair follicle testing of an infant or toddler under the age of 3 who is in the vicinity of parent or guardian who is arrested on a drug charge. 

The legislation, known as Kayleigh Mae's Law, is named after a 13-month-old child in Washington County who died in 2015 after being given heroin and cocaine for 10 months after birth. 

For children who are not yet old enough to speak, the hair follicle test would give a new tool for child protective investigations to help determine if a child’s health is at risk from illegal drug exposure.

“The goal of this legislation is to protect the lives of our most vulnerable citizens, our children,” said Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma). “We must also ensure that the caseworkers charged with the responsibility of keeping children and families safe are not overburdened and unable to perform their jobs effectively.” 

Bill S3146 establishes a statewide standard of no more than 15 cases per month per full-time child protective caseworker. The state Office of Children and Family Services recommends a CPS caseload size of 12 active reports per month. However, average caseloads are higher in many counties throughout the state. 

The bills have been sent to the Assembly.

Friday, February 3, 2017 at 12:42 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, news, Sen. Gallivan, government.

Press release

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan, (R-C-I, Elma) issued the 2016 report of the New York State Senate Standing Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction.  

Gallivan serves as chairman of the committee, which has legislative oversight of proposals pertaining to Correction, Penal and Executive Laws. In 2016, the committee reviewed a total of 57 bills and approved the nomination of Lt. Col. George P. Beach II as superintendent of the New York State Police. 

“One of the most important responsibilities of government is to help ensure the safety of our citizens and our communities,” said Gallivan, a former State Trooper and Sheriff of Erie County.  “I want to thank the members of the committee for their work in reviewing legislation dealing with various aspects of our criminal justice system.” 

Of the 57 bills reported to the committee, 13 passed both the Senate and Assembly, and eight were signed into law.  

These include:

    • Legislation requiring the Division of Criminal Justice Services to notify local law enforcement within 48 hours of learning that a convicted sex offender has had a change of address;

    • Legislation allowing prior statements made by crime victims to be provided to the Board of Parole for consideration at each board appearance.  The law protects victims from reliving such a traumatic experience every time a parole hearing is held; and

    • Legislation ensuring due process of inmates who require a translator at parole board hearings. 

Also during the 2016 session, the committee approved the nomination of Beach as the 15th superintendent of the New York State Police. He now commands more than 5,000 troopers, investigators and civilian support staff who provide policing and public safety services to New Yorkers and other police agencies across the state. 

 A full copy of the committee report is available here

Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at 4:00 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, announcements, taxes, Sen. Gallivan, government.

Press release:

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) recently joined colleagues in the New York State Senate in passing legislation to make the property tax cap permanent. This would ensure the continuation of a measure that has already saved taxpayers more than $15.5 billion.  

The bill (S1207), sponsored by Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan (R-C-I, East Northport), would make the property tax cap permanent statewide, except in New York City where no cap is currently in place.

“The property tax cap has been very successful in putting an end to skyrocketing taxes in communities across the state,” Gallivan said. “New York property owners pay some of the highest taxes in the country and the only way to limit spending and get property taxes under control is to make the tax cap permanent.”

Growth in property taxes soared by more than 73 percent for New York school districts between 2001 and 2011, and 53 percent in counties. The property tax cap was first enacted in 2011 due to Senate Republican efforts to reduce New Yorkers’ tax burden. When the cap was created, it included a commitment to increase support to school districts and has resulted in a total of $4.9 billion – 26 percent – in school aid increases over the last five years.

The cap limits the annual growth of property taxes levied by local governments and school districts to 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. By keeping within the cap, taxpayers statewide – except in New York City – have saved $15.5 billion over the last five years, and will save more than $66.4 billion cumulatively over the first 10 years of its implementation.

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.

Friday, January 20, 2017 at 1:43 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, news, Sen. Gallivan, government, crime.


Press release:

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan, (R-C-I, Elma) has been reappointed to serve as chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections. Not only has he held the position since 2013, his is also a former New York State Trooper, Sheriff of Erie County, and member of the State Board of Parole.

Additionally, he will serve as a member of twelve additional Senate committees this Legislative session including vice chair of the Senate Committee on Education.

“I am honored to serve in leadership roles on two very important Senate committees,” Gallivan said. “Beyond the public safety of our citizens, there is perhaps no more important issue for the state than to ensure a quality education for our children. I look forward to working with my colleagues in reviewing legislation and budgets pertaining to criminal justice and education matters.” 

As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which plays a critical role in the state’s budget process, his goal is to help ensure adoption of a state budget that controls the size and cost of government, as well as provides a fair distribution of resources.

Other committees which Gallivan is a member include: Agriculture, Transportation, Infrastructure and Capital Investment, Codes, Elections, Higher Education, Housing, Labor, and Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business. 

He also serves as a member of State Native American Relations Select Committee and the Science, Technology, Incubation and Entrepreneurship Select Committee.

Senate committee assignments for 2017 were announced at the start of the new Legislative session.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016 at 10:48 am

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C- I, Elma) says measures to help New Yorkers battling heroin and opioid addiction, ensure access to benefits that help veterans and infants, protect consumers, and increase government transparency are among the new laws that take effect in January. 

Other changes being enacted in the New Year include several road safety measures, new and extended tax cuts, and measures to increase breast cancer screenings and organ donation registration.

“This important legislation will benefit consumers, assist our veterans, support New York’s farmers and better protect public health and safety,” Gallivan said. “Changes in New York tax law will also benefit small business and make it easier for families to save for college.”

Protecting public health

Tackling heroin and opioid addiction: Most of the provisions of the legislation passed to address the state’s ongoing heroin and opioid abuse crisis took effect when signed into law in June. However, several important provisions of the laws will become effective with health insurance policies and contracts issued, renewed, modified, altered or amended on or after Jan. 1, including:

    • S8139 – Ending prior insurance authorization for immediate access to inpatient treatment services; co-sponsored by Gallivan;

    • S8137  – Using consistent criteria to determine the medical necessity of treatments; co-sponsored by Gallivan;

    • S8137 – Authorizing emergency substance use disorder medication coverage by requiring insurance coverage, without prior authorization, for an emergency five-day supply of medications for treating a substance use disorder when emergency conditions exist;

    • S8137 – Expanding access to naloxone/opioid reversal medication coverage by requiring insurance coverage for the overdose reversal medication, whether it is prescribed to a person who is addicted to opioids or their family member covered under the same insurance plan;

  • Improving infant coverage under Child Health Plus (CHP): S6421A – A new law updates the state’s Public Health Law to ensure that newborns are covered retroactively under the CHP program. Newborns were not eligible under the previous requirements of CHP for periods lasting up to 30 days after enrollment. Starting in January, newborns will be covered going back to the first day of their birth month;
  • Encouraging New Yorkers to Become Organ Donors: S6952A – Starting Jan. 1, New Yorkers will be offered an additional opportunity to document their decision to enroll as an organ and tissue donor. All applicants for health insurance offered through the state health benefit exchange will be provided space during the application process to register for the Donate Life Registry for organ, eye, and tissue donations;
  • Promoting Breast Cancer Screening: S8093 – To further encourage and ensure access to regular screening and early detection, a new law allows New York City public employees to take up to four hours of excused leave per year for breast cancer screening. This will give them the same opportunity to get screened as public employees in the rest of the state. 

Support for veterans

    • Hire-A-Vet tax credit: The 2016-17 budget extended the tax credit from Jan. 1 to Jan. 1, 2019. The period of eligible employment for qualified veterans is also extended from Jan. 1, 2016 to Jan. 1, 2018. 

The credit is provided to any business that hires a veteran, on a full-time basis for at least one year, returning home from military service. It is equal to 10 percent of wages paid, with a maximum of $5,000 per veteran. The credit increases to 15 percent of wages if the veteran is also disabled, with a maximum of $15,000 per disabled veteran.

    • S7983B – Ensuring veterans receive the benefits to which they’re entitled: Legislation was enacted to require local Social Services districts and not-for-profit agencies that receive state funding to ask as to whether a person, or any member of his or her family, has served in the U.S. military, when applying for Social Services. If so, they would be provided with contract information for the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs in order to ensure that the individual is receiving all of the benefits to which he or she is entitled. 

Support for farmers

Farm Workforce Retention tax credit: The 2016-17 budget included provisions to allow eligible farm employers to claim a refundable tax credit for each farm employee that is employed for 500 or more hours each year for tax years beginning on Jan. 1. The credit is equal to $250 per employee in 2017.

Increasing government transparency

Board of Regents meetings: S6503 – A new law that took effect Dec. 8, requires the Board of Regents to give notice of the time, place, and agenda of all public meetings of the Board and any committee, subcommittee, task force or other subgroup seven days before a scheduled meeting. This will allow the stakeholders on several educational issues the appropriate time to respond and discuss the issues. Additionally, it would encourage more involvement from the public and would foster an improved dialogue between both the Board of Regents and other stakeholders in education. 

Reforming the regulatory process: Two new laws taking effect Jan. 1 help make the state’s regulation process more transparent:

    • S7097 requires a proposed or revised rule or another regulatory document’s full text to be posted on the applicable state agency’s website. No web posting is currently required for a revised rule – even if the text has been extensively revised – or for regulatory impact statements, job impact statements, or flexibility analyses for small businesses, local governments, or rural areas; and

    • S7098 requires the full text of every emergency rule to be readily available to the public, either through publication in the State Register or posting on the applicable state agency’s website. It is particularly important for regulated parties and the public to obtain timely access to rules that require immediate adoption through an emergency rulemaking process.

Consumer protections and assistance

New insurance rate reductions for homeowners: A new law enacted as part of the 2016-17 budget allows homeowners to receive a rate reduction for fire insurance, homeowners’ insurance, or property/casual premiums for residential property. The law applies if the owner completes a homeowner course in natural disaster preparedness, home safety, and loss prevention.

Fish labeling accuracy: S6842B – A new law requires that any fish sold as “white tuna” must be from an albacore tuna, long fin tuna, or from a tuna species. Beginning on Jan. 7, oilfish or escolar will no longer be permitted to be labeled as “white tuna.” 

Consumer notification about auto repairs paid by insurance companies: S5639A – A new law that takes effect Jan. 17 requires insurance companies to include a disclosure in repair estimates that informs insured motorists of the right to have their vehicle repaired in a shop of their choice. 

Consumer notification about real estate transactions: S7248 – A new law promotes consumer protection by requiring real estate licensees to, upon the licensee’s initial renewal, have two hours of instruction particularly relating to the law of agency. Thereafter, such license renewal would require at least one hour of instruction in the law of agency, providing real estate professionals with continuing education to help ensure a full understanding by the consumer of the roles agency relationships play in real estate transactions. 

Preventing “zombie” homes: S8159 – Part Q of this law takes effect Dec. 20 and requires certain banks that originate or own mortgages to secure and maintain one- to four-family residential properties which are deemed to be vacant and abandoned. This part requires the Department of Financial Services to maintain a statewide vacant and abandoned property registry for the tracking of such properties. This part also requires banks to provide to homeowners a clear notice of a homeowners’ rights during the foreclosure process. 

Improving road safety:

Move-Over Law expansion: S7938 – Starting Jan. 17, the Move-Over Law includes more types of emergency vehicles. The law requires motorists to slow down and move over when passing authorized emergency vehicles pulled over on the side of the road. To increase safety, the law now includes any vehicle displaying a blue or green light, such as volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance workers involved in roadside emergency operations. 

Window tint compliance: S6034A – Starting Jan. 1, the state will require vehicles’ window tint to be examined during a yearly New York State safety inspection. If the glass on a vehicle is tinted beyond 30 percent of light transmittance, then that vehicle would not pass the inspection. The window tint would have to be removed or altered for the vehicle to pass. The new law is a more proactive approach intended to protect law enforcement and other drivers, as darkly tinted windows hinder their ability to see inside the vehicle. 

Tax changes

Business tax cut: In 2014, the Senate succeeded in overhauling and simplifying the State Corporate Franchise Tax, which incorporated banks into the new combined code. As part of that reform, the capital base calculation rate for manufacturers will be reduced to 0.085 percent, and other corporate franchise tax payers will be reduced to 0.1 percent starting Jan. 1.

Clean heating fuel tax credit: The 2016-17 budget extended the Clean Heating Fuel Tax Credit from Jan. 1 until Jan. 1, 2020. It also requires that beginning in 2017, to qualify for the credit, each gallon of clean heating fuel must be at least 6 percent biodiesel. The credit is equal to $0.01 per percent of biodiesel mixed into home heating oil, not to exceed $0.20 per gallon.

Making It Easier to Save For College: S6942 – Taxpayers can elect to contribute all or a portion of a personal income tax refund to a 529 college savings account starting Jan. 1. Under existing law, individuals wishing to invest funds into a New York State 529 College Savings Program can deposit funds via electronic bank transfer, check, payroll deduction if available, or by a rollover from another college savings account. Allowing taxpayers to directly deposit a minimum of $25 from their income tax refunds into such accounts will increase opportunities for taxpayers to invest in existing savings plans and help defray the ever increasing costs associated with higher education. 

Permanent Extension of the Non-Custodial Parent Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): The Non- Custodial Parent EITC was set to expire Dec. 31 but this year’s budget extended it permanently. In order to qualify for this refundable credit, the non-custodial parent must: be over the age of 18, have a court order to make child support payments, and be current on those child support payments. In addition, the enhanced EITC is only authorized for noncustodial parents who meet the income threshold for a single taxpayer with no children.

Extension of the Tax Credit for Companies Who Provide Transportation to Individuals with Disabilities: This year’s budget extended the credit for companies who provide transportation to individuals with disabilities from Jan. 1 until Jan. 1, 2022. The credit is equal to the incremental cost to upgrade or purchase a taxicab or livery vehicle that is handicap accessible, up to $10,000 per vehicle.

Tax Return Due Date Changes: The state budget conformed New York State tax filing dates for corporations and partnerships to federal tax law, which was recently amended. The corporate tax return deadline will be moved from Mar. 15 to Apr. 15 and the partnership information statement deadline will be moved from Apr. 15 to Mar. 15. These provisions take effect for taxable years beginning on or after Jan. 1.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at 12:44 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, government, Sen. Gallivan, police.

Press release:

New York State is investing approximately $322,000 in equipment required for reality-based training for police officers. The equipment is designed to improve the safety of interactions between police and civilians. 

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C- I, Elma) is applauding the state’s decision to provide police academies and agencies across the state with equipment for enhanced training of officers and recruits. 

“We have an obligation to ensure our brave police officers have the equipment, training and resources to perform their duties, enhance their safety and protect the public,” Gallivan said. “As a former State Trooper and Sheriff of Erie County, I know officers often have to make split-second decisions. This type of training will better prepare them for the challenging situations they will face on the job.”

Thirty-three police academies and agencies across the state will receive equipment and training, including the Erie County Law Enforcement Training Academy, Finger Lakes Law Enforcement Academy, Monroe County Public Safety Training Center, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Police Academy, and NYS Parks and Recreation.

Reality-based training requires officers to participate in scenarios they are likely to experience on patrol, from routine encounters with people on the street to high-risk situations with the potential for deadly violence. As part of the training, instructors work with officers to review and evaluate their performance with a goal of improving decision-making skills and responses.

The state Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) purchased special training equipment, which includes non-lethal firearms, helmets, face masks, neck guards, chest protectors, and gloves.

The DCJS is responsible for coordinating police training and provides staff to the state’s Municipal Police Training Council, which sets minimum training standards for police recruits and first-line police supervisors. The Council has endorsed reality-based training as the standard for police training. Additionally, within the next year, it will be part of the state’s Basic Course for Police Officers, which all police recruits must successfully complete.

Monday, November 28, 2016 at 2:46 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, government, mental health, Sen. Gallivan.



Press release, photos submitted.

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) and Assemblyman Michael Kearns (D, West Seneca) joined members of the Western New York (WNY) State Legislature Delegation in calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Office of Mental Health (OMH) to keep the WNY Children’s Psychiatric Center at its current location in West Seneca. Despite bipartisan objections from members of the WNY delegation and families served by the center, the OMH is moving ahead with its plans to close the facility and transfer adolescent patients to the Buffalo Psychiatric Center.   

Gallivan and Kearns have learned the state is prepared to issue a request for proposals (RFP) to move forward with its relocation plans. The legislators are urging residents to call the OMH and the governor’s office to voice opposition to the project.

"Efforts by the Office of Mental Health to close this center and move these patients to an adult oriented facility like the Buffalo Psychiatric Center make no sense,” Gallivan said. “I have worked with families of patients, mental health experts and others who believe such a move will jeopardize the mental health and well being of children who receive care at the West Seneca location. These adolescent patients deserve and require special treatment in an environment that allows them and their families to feel safe and comfortable.”

The Buffalo Psychiatric Center stopped treating children more than 40 years ago when doctors determined that adolescents have specific and special needs when it comes to mental health treatment. That is why the WNY Children’s Psychiatric Center was built. The West Seneca facility opened in 1970 and serves patients from at least 17 New York counties, including Wyoming County. 

“It is not a difficult decision to permanently keep this facility in West Seneca,” Kearns said. “On virtually every metric this institution excels and exceeds other similar institutions in New York State. WNYCPC has the lowest 30 and 90 day readmission rates in all of New York State. This is important from a long-term cost perspective because readmissions for mental health case over the course of a lifetime can result in many thousands of dollars for the treatment of a single person. The savings to New York State are long term and real. Not keeping the facility in this setting is pennywise and pound foolish, because it overlooks the long-term savings and the input and voices of those treated by the state and surroundings.”  

During a 2015 public hearing on the proposed move, parents, former patients, family members of patients, workers, community activists and academics spoke out against plans presented by the OMH. Many said the tranquil surrounding provided at the West Seneca campus is important for the children who are undergoing significant mental trauma and the families desperately trying to protect these children from danger.

Support for keeping the West Seneca facility open is strong among members of the WNY delegation and other local officials.

“Western New York Children’s campus is a tranquil environment where children receive the individualized, wrap-around services required to treat complicated adolescent challenges,” said Sen. Rob Ortt, chairman of the Senate Committee on Mental Health. “Buffalo Psychiatric Center is an entirely separate institution – in its layout and its mission – so we are alarmed over the prospect of comingling children with an adult population. Our foremost concern is, and must remain, children facing severe emotional, psychological, and physical trauma. I will continue to fight alongside my state colleagues in support of keeping these vulnerable children where they belong – in a safe environment surrounded by their peers and out of an adult psychiatric facility.”   

“To say we are disappointed, frustrated and extremely concerned with the unfortunate planning that is underway would be an understatement,” said West Seneca Supervisor Sheila Meegan. “Time and time again Albany officials continue to make decisions that impact Western New York without truly understanding the impact it will have on so many families. The timing of this RFP couldn’t have been more insensitive.”

Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 5:11 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, government, Sen. Gallivan.

Press release

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) is once again being recognized by Unshackle Upstate for his record of supporting efforts to cut taxes and create jobs. The pro-taxpayer, pro-business advocacy organization reviews how Senators and Assemblymen vote on legislation, the budget and issues of concern to upstate residents. Through its political action committee, UPAC, Unshackle Upstate is endorsing Gallivan for re-election in November.

“When I talk with constituents and business owners throughout the district, the issues I hear the most about are taxes and jobs,” Gallivan said. “While we have made some progress in reducing taxes for residents and businesses and helping companies maintain and create jobs, there is more work to be done. I am grateful for the support of Unshackle Upstate and their strong advocacy on these issues.” 

Gallivan is among 11 senators and 22 assemblymen to receive the support of Unshackle Upstate this year. 

“Voters across Upstate are concerned about sluggish job growth and the overall health of the economy. The 33 candidates that we’ve endorsed will fight for a pro-growth agenda that includes tax relief, sensible regulatory reforms, a better business climate and a brighter future for Upstate New York,” said Unshackle Upstate Executive Director Greg Biryla. “We’re proud to support these candidates and encourage Upstate voters to support them with us on election day.”

Since taking office in 2011, Gallivan has supported a cap on state spending, a 2-percent property tax cap and dozens of tax cuts. As a result, New York’s middle class tax rate is the lowest since 1948 while the manufacturing tax rate is the lowest since 1917. According to the Department of Labor, more than 800,000 jobs have been created in New York over the past six years. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at 8:16 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, drugs, legislation, Sen. Gallivan.

Press release:

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) has introduced legislation (S-8190) to add “designer drugs” to the penal law, essentially codifying the definition under the federal Controlled Substances Act. The amendment would give law enforcement agencies the tools necessary to crackdown on the use of such drugs across New York State. 

One such drug is butyryl fentanyl, which is an analogue of fentanyl. This synthetic opioid analgesic is estimated to be substantially more potent than heroin and about 80 times the potency of morphine. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, butyryl fentanyl caused at least 38 deaths in the state in 2015. However, because of the strict identification of drugs listed under the schedules of controlled substances, this and other “designer drugs” do not fall within the confines of existing state law.

“Designer drugs have become a menace in communities across the state and endanger public health and safety,” Gallivan said. “These dangerous analogue drugs currently do not fall under existing state law and are not listed as controlled substances, making it difficult for police to go after users and dealers. This legislation will change that.”

The bill also defines the term “knowingly” with respect to offenses related to the sale or possession of a controlled substance analogue. Under the legislation, the defendant is not required to have knowledge of the chemical structure of the drug, but rather, the intended effect the substance could have on an individual.

The Senate will consider the bill when it returns to session in January.

Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 9:21 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, government, Sen. Gallivan.

Press release:

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) has been appointed to the Senate Majority Task Force on Counterterrorism and Public Protection. Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan announced the creation of the Task Force, which will analyze current counterterrorism and public protection measures that have occurred since Sept. 11, 2001. The group will also make recommendations for future legislative and administrative actions that will promote the improved public safety of all New Yorkers.

“I am honored to serve as a member of this important task force,” Gallivan said. “As Sheriff of Erie County at the time, I assisted investigators at Ground Zero in the days after 9/11 and will never forget the devastation caused by the attacks on our state and our country. We know that terrorists can strike anywhere, at anytime, but we also realize that New York remains a real target. That’s why we must remain vigilant in preventing future attacks and keeping our citizens safe from terrorist’s activities. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to review New York’s counterterrorism efforts.”

The senator also serves as Chair of the Senate’s Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee.

The Task Force will focus on the prevention, response, and recovery responsibilities of the state and will include: emergency preparedness plans; critical infrastructure protection; cyber security; state/local counterterrorism; school, electrical power grid, telecommunication, and coastal waterway/port security; epidemic response; police capital support; and financial recovery response.

Joining Gallivan on the Task Force are senators, Thomas Croci (R, Sayville), Andrew Lanza (R-C-I, Staten Island), Martin Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn), Simcha Felder (D, Brooklyn), Kemp Hannon (R-C-I, Nassau), Joseph Griffo (R-C-I, Rome), and Joseph Robach (R-C-I, Rochester).

Following its initial reviews of counterterrorism and public protection activity over the last 15 years, the Task Force will perform research, visit critical infrastructure and public protection sites, conduct private interviews, and hold public roundtables and meetings to examine what has worked and what can be done better.

A final report with findings, conclusions, and legislative and administrative recommendations will also be published.

Thursday, August 25, 2016 at 12:34 pm



It was five years in the making. The culmination of a challenge presented by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the vision of the county’s Board of Supervisors, an investment by Jim Rutowski, grants, and countless hours of manpower.

While the building has been occupied for a few months now, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Tuesday officially opening the Agriculture and Business Center on Center Street in Warsaw. 

“The Wyoming County Ag and Business Center is the result of the challenge Governor Cuomo issued to the Ag producers in New York State four years ago to increase milk production in order to accommodate the raw product demands of the flourishing yogurt industry in our state,” said Wyoming County Board of Supervisors Chairman Doug Berwanger. “The Center also fits the governor’s quest to consolidate services to provide more efficient delivery of the needs of not only agribusiness but all types of business in Wyoming County in a cost-effective way.”

The Center is occupied by more than a dozen government and other agencies that serve not only the agricultural businesses in the county, but all businesses, including tourism. Not only will the space house a plethora of agencies, it also has the largest meeting space in the county, capable of holding 300 to 400 people.

"Supporting our local agriculture community is one of the critical elements of Governor Cuomo's commitment to rebuilding Upstate's economy and moving the Finger Lakes forward,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul. “The new Agriculture Business Center of Excellence will streamline services Wyoming County's farmers need to compete on a state-wide and national basis. This is New York's top agriculture producing county, and it now has the facility it needs to maintain and expand its success."

The Ag and Business Center was once the home of the Brown Knitting Mill, then later, Zeches used the building as a warehouse. The structure was refurbished with new plumbing, air conditioning and electrical equipment, the “massive lumber” flooring was refinished, and the use of “reclaimed” lumber was also used to delineate some spaces.

The more than 30,000-square-foot office complex is a $4.3-million project funded through the efforts and aid of Rutowski. The converted knitting mill is situated on a 4-acre plot of land in the Village close to the Wyoming County Government Center. The one-stop resource for farmers aims to promote the efficiency, interagency cooperation and synergy necessary to stimulate the expansion of the dairy industry.

“Wyoming County is a leader in the agriculture industry and the state’s investment in this new facility will ensure that farmers and other agribusinesses have the resources they need to grow and create jobs,” said Sen. Patrick Gallivan. “The center brings like-minded agencies and businesses under one roof so that they can work together for the good of the entire county.” 

In a statement released by Sen. Charles Schumer: “For Wyoming County’s dairies, farmers, and businesses the completion of the Wyoming County Agriculture and Business Center of Excellence is a win-win. It is not only breathing new life into a former vacant, derelict building to add new economic development vibrancy in the heart of Warsaw, but it’s providing a convenient one-stop-shop for our agricultural industry to better conduct business and access resources they need to grow and compete. I was glad to push the USDA last year to secure their approval so that the Center’s construction stayed on track and so the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) could move into the new center. Now that the FSA is under one roof alongside various other agencies, I look forward to seeing the Center help make Wyoming County’s business and agricultural community even stronger.”

The center is supported by a $500,000 grant from Empire State Development, a $200,000 New York State Energy Research and Development Authority grant and a $200,000 contribution from the 2014 state budget. New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) provide economic development grant assistance to help offset electric infrastructure costs related to this project.

In a statement released by Gov. Cuomo: “Wyoming County is the state’s leading milk producer and one of the top producers in the nation. This new business center is a one-stop shop that puts all the resources for individuals and businesses looking to succeed in this industry under one roof. Agriculture remains a critical component of the state’s economy, and we look forward to investing in new agribusinesses as they continue to generate significant growth in their communities.”

See related: New Wyoming County Business Center is nearing completion










Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at 1:57 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, government, Warsaw, Sen. Gallivan.



As Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul put it, the cost of maintaining a hospital was strangling the county and affected its ability to provide basic services and take care of roads and more long-term capital projects.

However, at the March 8 Board of Supervisors meeting, it was announced that the county secured a $20 million grant for Wyoming County Community Hospital (WCCH) – an amount that would just about eliminate the facility’s debt.

“It is exactly what Wyoming County needed -- a county of 42,000 people. They deserve the same quality health care services as you would in a big city and that hospital reflects that. It also reflects the governor’s recognition that it’s tough for these small areas,” Hochul said during her visit to the hospital yesterday.

Hochul, Sen. Patrick Gallivan, Board of Supervisors Chairman Douglas Berwanger, along with other county officials toured WCCH to see its improvements.

“It’s tough for a county to be able to manage a high-quality medical institution. So we stepped up this past spring after a lot of conversations with Chairman Berwanger and Senator Gallivan, and the Board of Supervisors, understanding how important it was that the State would be there to help alleviate the burden that is placed on the county taxpayers.”

The total of WCCH’s debt was approximately $22 million: $17 million for the renovation/construction project; $1.73 million for the energy efficiency transformation loan; $1.34 million for the purchase; and renovation of the Physician Office building; and $1.8 million for equipment bond anticipation notes.

“I understood the severity of the hospital’s situation back when I was in Congress," Hochul said. "I had visited back when I represented this area as a member of Congress. I brought experts from Washington here for rural health care roundtables, I brought a lot of support. This money, I knew for years, was desperately needed.”

The grant is the largest infusion of money from state or federal government in the county’s history.

“I wanted to come on behalf of the Governor and see what that looks like," Hochul said. "They’re providing exceptional services that the county should be very proud of.”

The county made a $31 million investment in the hospital. It has developed a management relationship with University of Rochester Strong Memorial Hospital to provide emergency room; obstetrician and gynecological (OB/GYN); cardiac; ear, nose and throat; and financial services to the hospital. There is a new orthopedic group, OB/GYN, and general surgeon.

WCCH provides acute inpatient, emergency room, ambulatory surgery, maternity, clinic, in-patient behavioral health, and skilled nursing services. The facility, located in Warsaw, is the only hospital in the county. The nearest hospitals are 22 miles to the north, 32 miles to the southeast, and 39 miles to the southwest.

Not only does the hospital serve the approximate 44,000 people of Wyoming County, it also serves parts of southern Genesee, northwestern Livingston, and northern Allegany and Cattaraugus counties. Additionally, WCCH has the only in-patient behavioral health facility within a 50-plus mile radius and the hospital to the southwest does not provide maternity services.

Furthermore, WCCH is one of only two contracted hospital service providers to the New York State Department of Corrections with a locked unit. The unit provides services to five prisons in Western New York. Finally, WCCH employs 497 full-time equivalent employees – 75 percent are from Wyoming County.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced earlier this year, $95.8 million in grant awards for 10 projects that would dramatically transform and improve the delivery of health care in the Finger Lakes Region. This funding is a portion of a $1.5 billion commitment made by New York State to help health care providers statewide fund critical capital and infrastructure improvements, as well as integrate and further develop health systems.

See related: County hospital in Warsaw to get $20 million state grant, will nearly wipe out its debt





Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 10:00 am

Press release

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) says a bill passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor will help prevent home foreclosures and protect communities from the threat of so-called zombie properties. The legislation provides state assistance to homeowners facing mortgage foreclosure and combats the blight of vacant and abandoned properties by expediting the rehabilitation and repair of these properties

"High foreclosure rates over the past several years have resulted in too many neglected and abandoned properties in Western New York and across the state,” Gallivan said. “These zombie homes bring blight to once prosperous neighborhoods, drive down property values and have a negative impact on the quality of life. By making it easier for homeowners to fight foreclosures and speeding up the process for already vacant and abandoned properties that owners no longer want, we can better protect our residents and build stronger communities. I am proud to support this legislation.”

The legislation not only includes measures to assist homeowners facing foreclosure, but also establishes mandatory settlement conferences, creates an expedited foreclosure process for vacant and abandoned properties, establishes an electronic vacant property registry, and creates a Consumer Bill of Rights. 

Specifically, the legislation will: 

    • Enhance the effectiveness of mandatory settlement conferences by prescribing the rights and duties of the parties and clarifying how the process should work to best protect homeowners contesting foreclosures and prevent them from losing their homes;

    • Establish a Consumer Bill of Rights informing property owners of their rights in foreclosure proceedings to prevent people from losing their homes. Some homeowners vacate their homes early in the foreclosure process because they are unclear about their rights or face pressure to vacate;

    • Create the Community Restoration Fund (CRF), a new tool for the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) to assist homeowners facing mortgage foreclosure. CRF will purchase defaulted mortgage notes from other lenders and offer favorable mortgage modifications to keep homeowners in their residences;   

    • Impose a pre-foreclosure duty on the banks and services to maintain vacant and abandoned properties. This legislation places the maintenance obligation on a mortgagee when the mortgagee becomes or should have become aware of the vacancy. Under this law, the bank has a duty to maintain and secure a residential property where there is a reasonable basis to believe it is vacant and abandoned, and faces civil penalties up to $500 per violation, per property, per day for failing to do so;

    • Expedite foreclosure for vacant and abandoned properties by offering plaintiffs an option for an expedited foreclosure process on vacant and abandoned properties that homeowners no longer want. The legislation requires a foreclosing party to move to auction within 90 days of obtaining a foreclosure judgment; and

    • Establish an electronic registry of vacant and abandoned properties to promote communication between local governments and mortgagees responsible for property maintenance.

Monday, June 27, 2016 at 12:48 pm

Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) recently announced the Senate has passed bill S.7640A that would amend state law in relation to the sale of raffle tickets for bona fide charitable organizations. The Charitable Gaming Act of 2016 will allow nonprofit groups to sell raffle tickets via the Internet and provide for additional payment options for raffles and other fund-raising activities.

"Charitable organizations such as volunteer fire departments, veterans groups and others have long relied on raffles as a way to support the services and programs they provide in the community,” Gallivan said. “The changes will allow these groups to take advantage of the latest technology to promote and sell raffle tickets online and to accept checks and other forms of payment in order to reach their fund-raising goals, which in the end benefits the entire community.”

The senator sponsored the bill in the Senate after learning that outdated regulations limited organizations when it came to raffles, 50/50 prizes and other games of chance. Under existing rules, online sales, check payments and off-premises raffles are prohibited.

The bill passed the Senate 59-3. It has already passed the New York State Assembly and will be sent to the governor. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 2:50 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, Sen. Gallivan, government.


Wyoming County Free Press file photo: Amber Lantern Brewing Company.

Press release:

Legislation cosponsored by Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma), would allow restaurants and bars to serve alcohol earlier on Sundays. It also reduces fees for wineries, distilleries, breweries and cideries statewide. The legislation supports an agreement to modernize New York’s Alcohol Beverage Control Law.  

“Reform of the state’s blue laws is long overdue,” Gallivan said. “This legislation is part of my ongoing effort to cut red tape and burdensome regulations in order to make New York a better place to do business. These commonsense changes are good news for consumers and will benefit restaurants, wineries and other small businesses while encouraging growth in the beverage and hospitality industries.” 

Under the agreement, restaurants and bars are authorized to serve alcohol starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday instead of the current noon. The legislation also allows licensees to apply for a permit – up to 12 times per year – to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises on Sundays between 8 and 10 a.m. in areas outside New York City.

The legislation also:

    • Authorizes craft manufacturers to obtain multiple craft licenses on one application.  The change eliminates paperwork by combining craft manufacturing licenses into one application;
    • Authorizes the sale of wine in growlers (half-gallon jugs). Current law requires that wine sold at retail for off premises consumption to be kept in their original concealed containers. The agreement also authorizes wineries to allow customers to take home a partially finished bottle of wine;
    • Reduces fees for craft beverage salespeople. The current law requires any salesperson employed by a manufacturer or wholesales to obtain a solicitor’s permit in addition to a bond. The agreement eliminates the fee and removes the bond requirement;
    • Reduces fees for small wholesalers. Under current law, small wholesales must pay the same amount for their license as their larger counterparts. The agreement would create a low-cost importer’s license for wholesales that sell only to other wholesales;
    • Authorizes gift wrapping. The agreement allows liquor stores to sell gift wrapping and gift bags to their customers; and
    • Authorizes the governor in the case of a vacancy of the chairman of the State Liquor Authority (SLA) to appoint one of the two remaining commissioners as acting chairman. The authorization is for a period not to exceed six months or the nomination and confirmation of a new chairman, whichever occurs earlier. If the governor nominates a new chairman within the six-month period, the powers of the acting chairman extend for another 90 days or until the new chairman is confirmed, whichever is earlier.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at 5:31 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, crime, government, Sen. Gallivan.

Press release:

The State Senate has passed legislation (S3463C) that would establish a New York State terrorist registry. It would provide for sharing of terrorist information between the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. The registry is modeled after Megan’s Law which requires convicted sex offenders to register with the state.      

“Nothing is more important than the protection of our citizens,” said Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma). “By creating a registry, law enforcement agencies and the public will have a powerful new tool to better track and monitor individuals who would do us harm. No community is immune from acts of terrorism and we must do all we can to discourage and prevent such attacks in New York State.” 

The legislation, cosponsored by Gallivan, was approved by the Senate on today. The registry would contain information on convicted terrorists who live, work or attend school in New York State. It would also include personal, biographical and forensic information. It would be assembled and administered by the DCJS.

Persons would be added to the registry only after their past conduct resulted in a conviction for the crime of terrorism or a federal action against them for committing a verifiable act of terrorism. Registrants could only have their names removed from the registry if a court finds the circumstances justify the removal. 

The bill was approved by the Senate in 2015, but died in the Assembly. The legislation is being sent back to the Assembly for consideration.


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