By State Sen. JIM SEWARD, R-Milford • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ALBANY – While the 2019 state legislative session concluded several weeks ago, discussion continues to swirl around one of the more controversial new measures approved this year – the so-called “Green Light” law.
he new law, which formally takes effect on Dec. 14, 2019, would permit illegal/undocumented immigrants to apply for standard driver’s licenses using forms of foreign identification. The majority of New Yorkers are against the idea and prior to the Senate vote on the bill, I heard from a great number of constituents who voiced strident opposition.
By State Sen. JIM SEWARD • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
Earlier this year the New York City-centric state Senate leadership, for political reasons, blocked Amazon and 25,000 jobs from coming to our state. Now, in the closing hours of the 2019 legislative session, the same group of “leaders” are killing off existing jobs by targeting our state’s number one industry – agriculture.
To be clear, when New York was announced as the winning site for the Amazon HQ2 project, I raised questions. The lack of transparency involved in constructing the deal was concerning. I have stated very clearly that we need more accountability and input when it comes to all of New York’s economic incentive programs.
COOPERSTOWN – The good news is, if you want a job as a registered nurse, retail supervisor of information security analyst around here, you’ve got it.
The bad news is, young people aren’t participating in the workforce as before, and people generally are leaving the area.
Overall, if you really want to work, go into the hospital and healthcare fields.
That was the news Christian Harris, state Department of Labor analyst for the region that includes Otsego County, shared with 70 attendees at a Workforce Summit underway today at The Otesaga, co-sponsored by the Otsego Chamber of Commerce and State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford.
At the first Otsego County Healthy Living Expo today, organizer Mathew Johnson, left, and Julie Dostal, right, look on as Bassett physician Richard Brown briefs state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, on National Take Back Week, an initiative to collect outdated prescriptions. Inset photo, Allistair, left, and Alex Scorzafava, center, present Michael Gardner, Milford, with a brand new bicycle provided by New York Central Mutual; the company will be giving out another 25 bike tomorrow (Saturday), when the Expo resumes from 10 to 4 in Foothills’ Atrium. The event features 40 local organizations providing information on healthy living. Visitors can get information and resources, plus fresh produce courtesy of Pathfinder village. You can pet animals from the Utica Zoo, listen to guest speakers, or have your feet checked for weight distribution. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
‘I Had A Lot Of Fun, Did A Lot Of Good,’ Democrat Says
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Rebounding from her narrow loss in Republican-dominated District 3, Democratic newcomer Cathy Nardi said today she is forming an “exploratory committee” to consider challenging incumbent Jim Seward, R-Milford, in the state Senate’s 51st District next November.
“I really had a lot of fun and I think I did a lot of good,” said Nardi, who came within eight votes of defeating county board Chair Kathy Clark, R-Otego/Laurens. With absent ballots counted today, the final tally was 561-543 for Clark, a lead a mere 10 votes could have shifted.
Inspired by a suggestion from Anne Reis’ fourth-grade class at Cooperstown Central School, state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, has introduced legislation – Senate bill 4288 – to designate baseball as New York’s official state sport.
“Baseball is known as our national pastime but the game has deep roots and a rich history here in New York State,” said Senator Seward.
“From the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in storied Cooperstown, to the Mets and Yankees – the pinnacles of Major League Baseball – to our recently crowned Little League World Series champions from Maine-Endwell, New York State is clearly the epicenter of baseball greatness,” said Seward.
LAURENS – Stopping into classrooms and talking with students were all on the agenda as Senator Jim Seward and MaryEllen Elia, Commissioner of Education, visited Laurens Central School this morning to tour the facilities and to discuss the needs of the teachers and changes in NY State testing standards.
Hartwick College’s internship director Kirsten Oehl, top photo, thanked state Rep. Pete Lopez, R-Schoharie, the congressional candidate, on his support of “experiential learning.” “The gauntlet has been thrown,” she said. She was speaking at this morning’s annual State of the State Breakfast, hosted by the Otsego Chamber of Commerce at The Otesaga. At right, state Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, speaks on importance of high speed broadband internet for the county and the ramifications for a 71 percent phased-in increase in the minimum wage. He also announced he is arranging for the state Senate Task Force on Opioids Addictions to hold another hearing on the problem in the county this spring. “We need to talk about local initiatives and what we can do to solve this heroin problem.” (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.COM)
ONEONTA – At the ribbon cutting at the Oneonta Municipal Airport this afternoon, state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, hailed the work with an announcement that he has secured a $70,000 grant to help complete the job. “First impressions mean a lot,” said Seward. “This terminal tells those who arrive in our community ‘this is a great place to live, to visit and to work.'”
In remarks beforehand, Oneonta Job Corps Director Chris Kuhn praised his students’ work on th terminal. “They did not disappoint. We’ve been involved with a lot of projects over the years, this has been the best so far.”