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About this blog

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

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New York's All Electric School Bus Mandate Needs An Overhaul Too

New York's All Electric School Bus Mandate Needs An Overhaul Too

Now that Governor Hochul and Albany’s band of Green New Dealers appear ready to finally begin rethinking their strategy to impose far-reaching energy mandates on all New Yorkers, it will be important for the rest of us to keep highlighting exactly what needs to go back to the drawing board. At the top of any list, in my view, is a concern we spotlighted earlier this year that could very well be the most costly unfunded state mandate ever imposed on New York’s local school districts and scho

Senator Tom O'Mara

Senator Tom O'Mara

NYS Acknowledges Too Far, Too Fast On Energy Mandates

NYS Acknowledges Too Far, Too Fast On Energy Mandates

You’ve heard it and read it time and again over the past several years since the enactment of New York’s far-reaching climate agenda known as the “Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act” (CLCPA): Governor Hochul and her energy czars are moving too far, too fast to impose sweeping clean energy mandates on every state citizen. Since the CLCPA’s approval in 2019, we’ve watched Albany Democrats move at world record speed to pile one unaffordable mandate on top of another unworkable man
Four Million Dollars Later And Still No Answers

Four Million Dollars Later And Still No Answers

In case you missed it – which would be no surprise since its release was largely kept quiet by Governor Hochul -- a long-awaited report on New York State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has finally gone public. It arrives two years and more than four million taxpayer dollars later after the governor first announced its undertaking. Here’s the verdict from the Empire Center for Public Policy: “Hochul had commissioned a $4.3 million after-action review of the crisis, saying she wante
Help Make This Summer A Page Turner

Help Make This Summer A Page Turner

Former First Lady Laura Bush once said, “I have found the most valuable thing in my wallet is my library card." Or recall the words of former President Harry Truman, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” Once again this summer, I am happy to be joining my colleagues in the State Senate, in partnership with the New York State Library – and together with so many local libraries across our region and statewide -- to help promote summer reading. This year’s theme
The Great Outdoors Helps Grow The Economy

The Great Outdoors Helps Grow The Economy

Among other designations, the month of June is recognized as National Great Outdoors Month. That designation is certainly worth some attention here in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, especially at a time like now when we need to keep growing and strengthening every sector of economic opportunity for local communities. According to the latest report released earlier this month from the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), a leading coalition of outdoor recreation association
One Party Rule Of New York Keeps Producing Decline

One Party Rule Of New York Keeps Producing Decline

To kick off the just concluded 2024 regular session of the State Legislature – 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, “We face
Nickel And Diming New Yorkers To The Breaking Point

Nickel And Diming New Yorkers To The Breaking Point

State government’s spending habit has become so addictive that, eventually, every move that everyday citizens make in New York will come attached with another tax or a new fee or a higher cost. Already we find out, directly from Governor Hochul’s own Division of the Budget (DOB), that the cost of the recently enacted, 2024-25 state budget has already increased by at least $2 billion. When legislators voted on the budget in late April, we were told that the new state spending plan would tota
For As Long As We Remember...

For As Long As We Remember...

Throughout generations of Americans on Memorial Day, many words have been shared to honor the memory – and the service and sacrifice – of our fallen heroes. From President Ronald Reagan, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." From President John F. Kennedy, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciati
Pay Attention To Where State's Energy Policies Are Heading

Pay Attention To Where State's Energy Policies Are Heading

We can’t afford to let this one fly under the radar and so it remains worthwhile to warn, once again, as many of us have been warning throughout the past several years, that the Albany Democrat climate agenda currently moving forward across this state is a perfect storm of unaffordability, unfeasibility, and unreliability. It cannot be stressed enough: Since the 2019 enactment of what’s known as the “Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act” (CLCPA), we’ve watched Albany Democrats mo
New Yorkers Keep Losing Hope

New Yorkers Keep Losing Hope

New Yorkers are losing hope and the signs of it are all around us. We lead the nation in population loss thanks in no small part to the fact that we continue to be one of the nation’s highest taxed and most heavily regulated states – in other words, one of America’s most unaffordable places to live, work, and raise a family. The latest statewide polling of registered voters from the Siena College Research Institute showed Governor Hochul having her lowest-ever favorability rating. The
Syracuse Tragedy Continues To Highlight Lawlessness

Syracuse Tragedy Continues To Highlight Lawlessness

In a recent column, I wrote about Chemung County Sheriff’s Investigator Mike Theetge who, while in pursuit of a suspect in a retail theft operation at a Target store in Big Flats, Chemung County, was struck and severely injured by the getaway vehicle being used in the crime. Investigator Theetge is 35 years old. He suffered a skull fracture and brain bleeding. Gratefully -- thanks to his own fortitude and strength, and the incredible care and support he has received -- Investigator Theetge
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

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