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About this blog

Senator Tom O'Mara's ( R- NY 58th ) weekly column. 

Entries in this blog

The Plague Of Lawlessness Keeps Spreading Statewide

The Plague Of Lawlessness Keeps Spreading Statewide

On the evening of Friday, March 30, Chemung County Sheriff’s Investigator Mike Theetge, in pursuit of a suspect in a retail theft operation at a Target store in Big Flats, just two miles from my home, was struck and thrown by the getaway vehicle being used in the crime. Investigator Theetge, 35 years old, suffered a skull fracture and brain bleeding. As of this writing, he remains hospitalized in critical condition. First and foremost, please keep Mike and his family in your prayers. The ou
New York's COVID-19 Response Still Clouded In Secrecy

New York's COVID-19 Response Still Clouded In Secrecy

On the fourth anniversary of ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo’s now infamous March 25, 2020 executive order forcing New York’s nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients back into their facilities — a move that many believe directly contributed to the COVID-related deaths of more than 15,000 seniors in long-term care facilities — I joined legislative colleagues and “Voices for Seniors” advocates at the Capitol last week to remember one of the most terrible chapters in this state’s history. The
Welcome To New York's Climate Crisis

Welcome To New York's Climate Crisis

It was back to the races for Senate Democrats at the Capitol last week – the race, that is, to see who can be first to inflict yet another energy mandate on New Yorkers. In fact, since the 2019 enactment of what’s known as the “Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act,” we’ve watched the one-party control of the Albany Democrats move at world record speed trying to pile one unaffordable mandate on top of another unworkable mandate on top of the next unrealistic mandate in their race
New Budget Must Address Economic, Public Safety, Affordability

New Budget Must Address Economic, Public Safety, Affordability

The April 1 deadline for enacting a new state budget is fast approaching and the Democrat majorities in the Senate and Assembly are adopting their respective “one-house budget resolutions” to highlight the priorities they will bring to the negotiating table. It’s a crucial step in the process. Most importantly, it gives the public a chance to see where state leaders want to take New York. Remember that Governor Hochul kicked off this budget season by proposing an Executive Budget total
Pumping The Brakes On NY's All Electric School Bus Mandate

Pumping The Brakes On NY's All Electric School Bus Mandate

The more this state keeps blindly moving ahead to impose outrageous energy mandates on all New Yorkers, the clearer it becomes that the current plan is not affordable, feasible, or reliable. To say nothing of realistic. Let’s focus on the impact on school districts and school property taxpayers coming down the line in the very near future -- because that’s the latest debacle coming to light and it’s getting more expensive by the minute. In 2022, Albany Democrats enacted a new law mandating
Nomination Processes Underway To Honor Local Citizens

Nomination Processes Underway To Honor Local Citizens

There are two nomination processes underway across the Senate district I represent that I’d like to bring to your attention and encourage your participation. As a reminder, the 58th Senate District encompasses Chemung, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, and Yates counties, and part of Allegany County (the towns of Alfred, Almond, Amity, Andover, Birdsall, Burns, Grove, Independence, Scio, Ward, Wellsville, and Willing). The first process will help select our region’s 2024 inductee into
A Budget Disguised As Fiscal Discipline Threatens Local Schools

A Budget Disguised As Fiscal Discipline Threatens Local Schools

One of the most controversial actions of Governor Kathy Hochul’s proposed 2024-2025 state budget is her move to cut education aid to more than half of New York State’s school districts outside of New York City. If enacted, the governor’s proposed education cuts would fall most heavily on certain regions, including many small, largely rural school districts across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes. Here's a few of the most staggering cuts to schools in the 58th Senate District: Hammondsport
Tune In To State Budget Adoption Process

Tune In To State Budget Adoption Process

Budget adoption season is underway at the State Capitol, which means, first, that joint Senate-Assembly public hearings on Governor Kathy Hochul’s 2024-2025 Executive Budget proposal have started and will remain underway until mid-February. Conducted jointly by the Senate Finance Committee, and the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, these forums examine and critique the governor’s proposal in detail and solicit testimony from state agency officials, public policy and fiscal experts, local g
A New Hope For The Empire State

A New Hope For The Empire State

Now it’s our turn. Over the past few weeks, Governor Hochul has had her say and put forth her priorities for New York in both a State of the State message and, most recently, in last week’s unveiling of her proposed 2024-2025 executive budget. Ultimately, she will undertake negotiations with her Democrat counterparts in the Senate and Assembly leadership to put in place a final state budget that will carry New Yorkers forth into the ongoing, all-Democrat vision for New York’s future –
Rescuing New York Now More Urgent Than Ever

Rescuing New York Now More Urgent Than Ever

To kick off the 2023 legislative session – one that we believed represented a pivotal session with New York at a crossroads in so many areas – the Senate Republican Conference put forth a comprehensive set of goals to help rebuild and strengthen local and state economies, focus on the financial challenges facing many middle-class families and small business owners, and make public safety a top priority. At that time back in early January, I said, “New Yorkers across the Southern Tier and Fi

Senator Tom O'Mara

Senator Tom O'Mara

Welcome To New York's Border Crisis

Welcome To New York's Border Crisis

For all of us, the crisis at the nation’s southern border is no longer just a story on the nightly news. And if you still don’t think the migrant crisis could be headed our way across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, it’s time to take off the blindfolds. “New York is now a border state,” Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt said last week at a Capitol news conference, where we gathered to propose steps to counteract its potential impact on communities statewide. He’s right. For

Senator Tom O'Mara

Senator Tom O'Mara

A State Budget Process That Blindfolds The Public

A State Budget Process That Blindfolds The Public

Early last week, when it became increasingly clear that Governor Hochul and the Legislature’s Democrat leaders were not going to stick around at the State Capitol to enact a budget now a month overdue, we renewed our call for desperately needed accountability in this process. While the governor stepped out on her own Friday night to announce a “conceptual” agreement with legislative leaders on a final budget, as of this writing it remains a Governor Hochul “take my word for it” budget. Ther
Is There A Place For Common Sense In This Government?

Is There A Place For Common Sense In This Government?

The last time New York’s farmers and agricultural leaders warned Governor Hochul that a misguided, politically motivated state action risked undermining farming as a way of life and a foundation of so many local economies, she effectively covered her ears and turned her back. That was last October, when the governor gave the final go-ahead to a recommendation from the state’s Farm Wage Board, established under a 2019 law known as the “Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act,” to lower the mand

Senator Tom O'Mara

Senator Tom O'Mara

Are The Lights Coming Back On In Albany?

Are The Lights Coming Back On In Albany?

Four years ago, when then-Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Democrat majorities in the Senate and Assembly enacted what’s known as the “Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act” (CLCPA), many of us started warning that Albany Democrats are pushing ahead with a radical agenda of energy mandates that ignores the cost to all New Yorkers.  New York State has been a leader in clean energy and reducing emissions and we should continue our advancement. Here's just a few facts highlighting that

Senator Tom O'Mara

Senator Tom O'Mara

It's A Progressive Free For All In New York State

It's A Progressive Free For All In New York State

With Governor Hochul and the Legislature’s Democrat majorities starting negotiations over a new state budget, the battle lines are drawn and alarms are sounding throughout the halls of the State Capitol.  From criminal justice to health care to workforce development, advocacy groups and their legislative supporters make it clear that they are all-in – forget the consequences – on moving New York State in an extremely liberal, often radical, big spending, high taxing, so-called “progressive”

Senator Tom O'Mara

Senator Tom O'Mara

Local Roads Are Essential

Local Roads Are Essential

Approaching final negotiations over a new state budget, it’s critical to begin stressing that this year’s budget must address the right priorities – and one of the top priorities, in my view, is the future of our local roads and bridges.  It’s a priority that I and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano have long worked to strengthen. Since 2013, in fact, we have stood together with New York’s county and town highway superintendents, and many other local leaders, to do everything we can to raise awaren

Senator Tom O'Mara

Senator Tom O'Mara

Rescuing New York Must Be The Highest Priority

Rescuing New York Must Be The Highest Priority

To kick off the 2023 session of the State Legislature – one that we believe finds New York at unprecedented crossroads in so many critical areas – the Senate Republican Conference put forth a comprehensive set of goals to help rebuild and strengthen local and state economies, focus on the affordability challenges facing everyday New Yorkers and their families, and make public safety a top priority. We’re calling it “Rescue New York” which, in our view, undeniably defines where we find ourse

Senator Tom O'Mara

Senator Tom O'Mara

Tune In To State Budget Adoption Process

Tune In To State Budget Adoption Process

Budget adoption season is underway at the State Capitol, which means, first, that joint Senate-Assembly public hearings on Governor Kathy Hochul’s 2023-2024 Executive Budget proposal have started and will remain underway until March 1.  Conducted jointly by the Senate Finance Committee, and the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, these forums examine and critique the governor’s proposal in detail and solicit testimony from state agency officials, public policy and fiscal experts, local gover

Senator Tom O'Mara

Senator Tom O'Mara

Keeping Us In The Dark On Energy Future

Keeping Us In The Dark On Energy Future

A recent joint Senate-Assembly public hearing helped make it clear where New York State is headed on a radical remaking of our energy landscape: nobody truly knows.   Remember that last December, the state’s Climate Action Council released final recommendations to implement far-reaching renewable energy mandates for all New Yorkers. These mandates were set in motion four years ago by the “Climate Leadership and Climate Protection Act” (CLCPA) signed into law by then-Governor Andrew Cuomo an

Senator Tom O'Mara

Senator Tom O'Mara

 

Our "Rescue New York" Plan Focuses On Overlooked Priorities

Governor Hochul delivered her State of the State message to the Legislature last week. Now we wait and see how she plans to pay for it. Those answers start to arrive later this month when she unveils her proposed 2023-2024 state budget. My initial reaction to the governor’s broad outline of her priorities for New York’s future is this: Governor Hochul highlighted the affordability crisis facing all New Yorkers, but every agenda item she spoke of will only make New York a more expensive plac

Senator Tom O'Mara

Senator Tom O'Mara

Approaching The New Year With Renewal Of Hope

Approaching The New Year With Renewal Of Hope

Above all else this week, I hope that this column will find you and your families, friends, and neighbors well and doing your best to have a memorable and meaningful holiday season.  Approaching the start of another new year in New York State government, we could focus on looking ahead to the debates that always await the governor and legislators in ordinary times -- traditionally difficult challenges on education, economic development, environmental protection, fiscal policies, infrastruct

Senator Tom O'Mara

Senator Tom O'Mara

New York Moves To Turn off The Power At The Start Of Winter

New York Moves To Turn off The Power At The Start Of Winter

It’s fitting this week that New York’s ongoing leap into the energy unknown arrives on winter’s doorstep.   On December 19, the state’s “Climate Action Council” plans to release final recommendations to implement far-reaching renewable energy mandates for all New Yorkers. Winter officially starts two days later, although some might argue that it’s been winter in New York for several years now.   Remember that these mandates were set in motion in 2019 by the “Climate Leadership and Clim

Senator Tom O'Mara

Senator Tom O'Mara

 

Renewing The Fight For More Responsible Government

Approaching a new legislative session in January, we unfortunately continue to face the same set of challenges and crises that many of us fought to address at the beginning of 2022.  In other words, the agenda remains the same. We must stay committed to a comprehensive set of goals to help grow local and state economies, focus on the financial burdens facing middle-class families and small business owners, and make public safety an urgent priority.  From combating crime to job creation

Senator Tom O'Mara

Senator Tom O'Mara

New Yorkers Know What Albany Ignores: We're Not Safe

New Yorkers Know What Albany Ignores: We're Not Safe

It’s been an unrelenting reality for the past two years: New York is not safe.  Yet Albany’s powers that be still don’t get it.  Public opinion polls keep sending the message: Too many New Yorkers, in too many places throughout this state, do not feel safe where they live, work, and raise their families.  Albany ignores it.  New York’s citizens blame state government policies for creating a pervasive climate of lawlessness and for emboldening society’s violent, out-of-control

Senator Tom O'Mara

Senator Tom O'Mara

Governor Hochul Ignores New York Agriculture

Governor Hochul Ignores New York Agriculture

It wasn’t long ago in this column -- in early September in fact – that I asked the question, “Will Governor Hochul turn her back on farmers?”  I asked it after a New York State Wage Board, established under a 2019 law known as the “Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act,” finalized its recommendation to lower the mandatory overtime pay threshold for farm workers from the current 60 hours to 40 hours.   Following the Wage Board’s action, Governor Hochul was given 45 days to send down the

Senator Tom O'Mara

Senator Tom O'Mara

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