Newly In Minority, Senator
Vows He’ll Fight For Upstate
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – Otsego County’s state senator, Jim Seward, R-Milford, today announced he has been named ranking Republican member of the Senate Finance Committee by the Republican leader, John Flanagan.
With Seward on the committee, “Our budget priorities will be widely known and well-articulated, and we will stand up for taxpayers at every turn,” Flanagan said in announcing the appointment.
For his part, Seward thanked Flanagan, and said, “I look forward to bringing an Upstate viewpoint to the budget table to make certain that concerns important to those who live and work in our area of the state are well represented in Albany.”
The Senate Finance Committee is the second most influential panel in the senate – tasked with conducting public hearings on the governor’s budget proposal and guiding development of the final plan. In addition, the finance committee is responsible for reviewing nominations sent by the governor for appointments, and moving the nominations to the full Senate.
The Otsego County Republican chairman, Vince Casale, heralded the news. “It’s a huge honor,” he said. “With tax-and-spend Democrats in charge, he is the last line of defense between bad budgets and the taxpayers’ wallets.”
In his 17th term as a state senator and with a reputation for working across the aisle during the decades of Republican control, Seward is “one of the last great statesmen in Albany,” Casale said.
Under the Democrats, Seward said, “out-of-control spending fueled by higher taxes would be disastrous” for the state, and Upstate in particular.
“At a time when our state is losing population and the Upstate economy is in trouble, we need a fiscally sound blueprint that will help make New York more affordable for families and businesses while creating opportunities for future growth,” he said.
“… I will stand up and fight any budget proposals that fit that description. My agenda mirrors the concerns I hear from the people I represent – a permanent property tax cap, education aid for our neediest schools, less red tape for businesses, and support for key programs to aid our farmers, veterans, and senior citizens.”
The Republicans have controlled the state Senate all but two years of Seward’s 32-year tenure. He has served as a member of the senate leadership team and has been the long-time chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee.