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Column: Assemblyman Phil Palmesano

Outlining his goals and priorities for the 2016 Legislative Session

ALBANY, Jan. 9 -- On Wednesday January 13th, Governor Cuomo will present his annual State of the State/Budget Address to highlight his priorities for the upcoming 2016 Legislative Session. While we certainly have many challenges facing our state, I also believe we have many opportunities to help improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers.

While I know that the governor will be presenting his agenda, I believe the points highlighted below are a blueprint, and a step in the right direction, for turning around our economy and improving the lives of hardworking New Yorkers.

--Tax and Regulatory Relief: We need a broad, bold and aggressive tax and regulatory relief package for families, small businesses, farmers and manufacturers that will encourage much needed private sector investment, economic development and job creation.

--Local Roads and Bridges: Parity should be established for upstate and downstate transportation and infrastructure needs, particularly increased CHIPS funding that will help local municipalities repair our local roads, bridges and culverts.

--Unfunded mandate relief: Mandate relief for our local governments and school districts will help cut costs for municipalities and school districts, savings that can be passed on to the local property taxpayer.

--Education Funding: We need restoration of the funds that were cut from our school districts in 2010, known as the gap elimination adjustment (GEA). Although we have made progress to restore these cuts, this year it must be our priority to finally eliminate the GEA.

--High Stakes Standardized Testing: Definitive action is needed on eliminating the overemphasis on high stakes, Common Core standardized testing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If we want to truly reform our education system to provide our children with a world-class education, we need to treat our parents as partners, teachers as professionals and ensure our children’s self-worth isn’t measured by how they do on a high stakes standardized test.

--Direct care/Human service workers: We must provide support for those who work for nonprofit agencies providing critical quality of life services for our most vulnerable New Yorkers -- the developmentally disabled.

--Ethics Reform: Real public ethics reform starts with stripping the pensions of public officials who violate the public trust, term limits for legislative leaders and committee chairs, and greater transparency and limits on outside income and campaign contributions.

Although this will be a challenging year, I believe by working together, we have the opportunity to make a difference for New Yorkers across our state. I look forward to working with the governor and my legislative colleagues to craft a budget and a legislative agenda that improves the quality of life for all New Yorkers.

Photo in text: Assemblyman Phil Palmesano


Schuyler County Officials

Legislature Members:

Top row (from left): Dennis Fagan, Jim Howell, Michael Lausell, Van Harp

Bottom row: Carl Blower, Barbara Halpin, Phil Barnes. Not pictured: Mark Rondinaro.


Legislature Chairman

Dennis Fagan, Tyrone 607-292-3687

Legislature Members:

Carl Blowers

Van Harp

Jim Howell

Barbara Halpin, 594-3683

Michael Lausell

Phil Barnes, Watkins Glen, 481-0482

Mark Rondinaro

County Clerk: Linda Compton, 535-8133

Sheriff: William Yessman, 535-8222

Undersheriff: Breck Spaulding, 535-8222

County Treasurer: Harriett Vickio, 535-8181

District Attorney: Joseph Fazzary, 535-8383


State, Federal Officials for Schuyler County

Sen. Charles E. Schumer

United States Senate
313 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-3201
DC Phone: 202-224-6542
DC Fax: 202-228-3027
Email Address:

Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand

United States Senate
478 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
DC Phone: 202-224-4451

State Senator Tom O'Mara -- Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Yates, western Tompkins, Enfield, Ithaca (Town and City), Newfield, Ulysses(Trumansburg)

Room 812, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-2091
Fax: (518) 426-6976

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano-- Steuben, Schuyler, Yates
Room 723, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12248
Phone: (518) 455-5791


© The Odessa File 2016
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869