Tag Archives: Governor Andrew Cuomo

Barclay calls Hollywood gun amendment a ‘joke’

by Andrew Henderson

Governor Andrew Cuomo made the first amendment to the controversial NY SAFE Act last week. It was an amendment that Assemblyman Will Barclay called a “joke.”

The governor’s first amendment to the controversial gun-control legislation allows Hollywood productions to continue using the weapons banned by the legislation.

Barclay has expressed concern that the first amendment to this ill-conceived measure failed to address the restrictions banning law enforcement officers from entering school property as well as the legitimate concerns of law-abiding sportsmen and gun owners.

“(Last week), we saw nearly 10,000 law-abiding sportsmen, law enforcement officers and law-abiding gun owners rally together for their right to bear arms,” Barclay said about Thursday’s rally in Albany. “Rather than address their concerns and the many flaws in the NY SAFE Act, the governor has decided that the needs of Hollywood producers supersedes the needs of our residents and law enforcement officers.

“It’s more evident with each passing day that the NY SAFE Act needs to be repealed,” Barclay added. “I urge the governor to take action and eliminate this measure that does little to address the root causes of violence and illegal firearm use, while infringing on the constitutional right of all responsible New Yorkers.”

Recently, members of the Oswego County Legislature approved a resolution urging the state to repeal its recently adopted NY Safe Act.

Oswego County was one of 50 counties to have proposed or passed resolutions seeking its repeal.

The new law requires criminal background checks on the sale of ammunition, requires five-year renewals on pistol permits, and changes mental health reporting requirements.

Those mandates will be costly to the county, the legislators claim in their memorializing resolution. The legislation outlines a stricter definition of assault weapons and implements an immediate ban of defined assault weapons.

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Large crowd takes aim at NY SAFE Act

A crowd gathered at the Oswego Armory to hear about the NY SAFE Act. Many responsible gun owners were concerned that the law stifled their Second Amendment rights. The audience was able to ask specific questions about the law and voice their concerns and displeasure. Those with unanswered questions were directed to call the NY SAFE Act hotline at 1-855-LAW-GUNS.
A crowd gathered at the Oswego Armory to hear about the NY SAFE Act. Many responsible gun owners were concerned that the law stifled their Second Amendment rights. The audience was able to ask specific questions about the law and voice their concerns and displeasure. Those with unanswered questions were directed to call the NY SAFE Act hotline at 1-855-LAW-GUNS.

by Nicole Reitz

The Oswego Armory hosted a public meeting Wednesday where officials from two state agencies answered questions about the new NY Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (NY SAFE Act).

Michael C. Green, executive deputy commissioner of the Division of Criminal Justice Services, and Steve Hogan, first deputy counsel for the state police, came prepared to explain what is covered under the NY SAFE ACT, which was recently signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The presentation began with a definition of an assault weapon, as defined by the state legislature in the legislation. Any pump, lever or bolt action shotgun or rifle by definition can not be an assault weapon, and does not be registered.

“The vast majority of guns do not constitute as assault weapons under this statue,” said Green.

An assault rifle is classified as a semi-automatic rifle able to accept a detachable magazine. It also needs to have one or more of these characteristics: a folding or telescoping stock, a second hand grip or protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand, a bayonet mount, or a threaded barrel capable of accommodating a flash suppressor, muzzle break or muzzle compensator.

For a shotgun or pistol to be considered an assault weapon, it needs to again be semiautomatic and an have an ability to accept a detachable magazine.

Green explained how the law affects current owners of these weapons.

“If you have a weapon that is classified as an assault weapon under this statue, if you lawfully owned that weapon the day before the statue was passed, you can keep that gun,” said Green. “This law doesn’t say that you have to give that gun up.

“If you want to keep the assault weapon, you need to register it,” he added. “Once you register, you are still lawfully in possession of that gun”

The free registration process is through the State Police, beginning in mid March. Registration is available online and there is also a paper option. Assault weapons possessed before Jan. 15 must be registered within in a year and re-certified every five years.

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Ritchie: Budget is a boost to state agriculture

by Andrew Henderson

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed executive budget, presented earlier this week, includes funding for several agricultural program, according to Senator Patty Ritchie.

“Here in New York State our hardworking farmers are the backbone of our workforce and agriculture is the cornerstone of our economy,” said Ritchie.

“I am pleased that Governor Cuomo is recognizing the important — and critical — role  agriculture plays,” she added. “His funding of agriculture in the executive budget proposal sends a message that this industry is a key part of our efforts to revitalize New York State’s economy.”

The  agriculture portion of the governor’s spending plan includes funding for the following programs:

• Pro Dairy:  $822,000

• FreshConnect Farmers Market Program: $450,000

• Farm Viability Institute:  $400,000

• Farm Family Assistance: $384,000

• New York Wine and Grape Foundation: $713,000

• Apple Growers Association: $206,000

• Future Farmers of America: $192,000

• Cornell Rabies Program, which also serves Northern New York: $50,000

• Program to  increase availability for locally grown hops to support growing craft brew industry: $40,000.

The $40,000 allocated to help increase the availability for locally grown hops builds on Ritchie’s efforts to foster the growth of New York State’s craft brewery industry, she said.

Recently, Ritchie sponsored legislation that recognizes “Farm Breweries” and cuts taxes and red tape to help create jobs and give New York an edge in this growing industry. The governor also unveiled funding for several proposals to help market New York food products, including his “Taste-NY” initiative, which will create duty-free “Taste-NY” stores across the state.

Sheriff Todd responds to new gun law

by Carol Thompson

“What is it?” Oswego County Sheriff Reuel “Moe” Todd asked when how he felt about the new gun control legislation signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo just after 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Todd, as with other sheriffs around the state, are baffled by the vagueness of the law and what it will mean for their departments.

“Nobody seems to know exactly what this (law) means,” he said.

Citing one section of the law that refers to semi-automatic weapons, but not the clips, Todd asked, “Can you sell the clips that you have?”

New York State passed the toughest gun control law in the nation. State lawmakers passed the law just two days after Cuomo issued an order suspending the three-day public review period.

Todd said as far as he is aware, the law does not address how residents will register with the police.

The sheriff noted it could be one more cost passed down from the state onto local governments.

“Is that just going to be one more thing that we get shoved at us that we have to pay for?” he asked. “That’s going to be a lot of work.”

Todd said state representatives passed the legislation without seeking opinions of those they should.

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Reaction to governor’s State of the State address

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo delivers his State of the State Address in Albany Wednesday. The governor said there will be no new taxes this year.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo delivers his State of the State Address in Albany Wednesday. The governor said there will be no new taxes this year.

by Andrew Henderson

Local representatives in state government responded to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address with the same theme: jobs, jobs, and more jobs.

Cuomo delivered the 2013 State of the State address Wednesday, outlining an agenda that builds on the progress of the past two years.

In addition, the governor said there will be no new taxes this year.

“New York is on its way, coming back stronger than ever before, rising to meet some of the biggest challenges in our history, remaining as a progressive beacon of light to the rest of the nation, and standing out as a model of effective government,” Cuomo said.

“Gone are the anti-business, obstructionist, tax capital, and gridlock mentalities, replaced with an entrepreneurial government that collaboratively works together for the people and partners with the private sector to create jobs and get the economy back on track,” he added. “Our accomplishments over the past two years show us that one thing is clear: We can defy the odds and deny the naysayers, and we can accomplish anything together.”

Senator Patty Ritchie applauded Cuomo’s call for building on the progress of the past two years.

“In 2013, my focus is jobs and I was thrilled to hear that Governor Cuomo is making that one of his priorities as well,” said Ritchie.

“We have made some great strides recently when it comes to getting our state’s economy back on track, but there’s a lot more we can do,” she added. “I’m eager to get to work and continue to collaborate with the governor and my fellow colleagues in an effort to put more New Yorkers back to work.”

In his address, the governor laid out plans to focus on upstate economic development with “Market NY,” a new multifaceted marketing plan to bolster upstate growth.

“I’m excited to join with the governor in promoting products that are unique to New York — specifically, Upstate New York,” said Ritchie, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee. “Farming is the cornerstone of our state’s economy and anything we can do to help grow this industry and support our hardworking farmers will certainly benefit our state as a whole.”

Assemblyman Will Barclay said he was happy that the governor talked about the needs of Upstate New York.

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Legislators continue to whittle county budget

by Carol Thompson

Oswego County Legislature Chairman Fred Beardsley made it clear during Thursday’s meeting of the legislature’s Finance and Personnel Committee that the county’s budget woes are due to the burdensome unfunded mandates that the state continues to pass down to local governments.

Department heads offered small cuts that brought the budget under the mandated property tax cap by approximately $58,000, however, without more cuts there will be a property tax increase.

“None of us are having a real good time with this,” Beardsley said, adding that the county has been strapped with $4.8 million in additional costs passed down from the state. “Additional is the key word.”

In the last four years, the state has passed down from $12 to $15 million in additional costs, Beardsley noted. The chairman added that the fiscal position the county is in is not self-inflicted.

Beardsley said it is not the fault of the department heads and that no one should think they are not doing the best they can. It is the unfunded state mandates that have created the financial problems for the county, he stressed.

Legislators have passed a number of resolutions requesting state representatives ease the burden of the unfunded mandates. The resolutions were delivered to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Patty Ritchie and the four assembly representatives.

The county received no response or assistance, legislators claim, leaving them to cope with the additional costs.

A public hearing will be scheduled during tomorrow’s meeting of the full legislature and special committee meetings will be held later this month so that legislators can further work on the budget.

Currently, property owners will see a tax increase under two percent, however, the goal is to have no tax increase.

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Legislators look to revamp ethics laws

by Carol Thompson

The New York State’s Legislature recently made major sweeps to the state’s ethics laws.

Local municipalities can add to, but not subtract from, the state laws. Currently, the Oswego County Legislature is considering an update to its own ethics laws.

“We’ve got to get in line with the state and make changes to it,” Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler said. “It’s the perfect opportunity.”

Under state executive law, a joint commission of public ethics was formed last year. Oswego County currently has a three-member ethics board and the legislature’s Strategic Planning and Government Committee has been in discussion in regard to adding more members. Many counties have five or seven member boards.

 

The committee has also discussed changes to the financial disclosure form that is required to be completed by all elected and appointed officials.

Governor Andrew Cuomo made it a campaign promise to end government secrecy by adding stronger language to the ethics law, more penalties and more transparency.

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