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chris collins

January 21, 2016 - 1:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Barry Miller, bergen, chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after introducing legislation to rename the currently unnamed post office located at 15 Rochester St., Bergen, New York in honor of Bergen resident Barry Miller. If passed, the legislation would rename the post office the “Barry G. Miller Post Office.”

“Barry Miller was beloved by all who were lucky enough to meet him,” Congressman Collins said. “In order to honor his passion for his community and his commitment to helping others, I am glad to introduce legislation renaming the post office in Bergen after Mr. Miller.”

“Barry enjoyed nothing more than serving his community and he dedicated his life to helping the people of Bergen,” stated Tracy and Loretta Miller, Barry’s parents. “This is a fitting tribute to his service, and we look forward to continuing to work with Rep. Collins to make this a reality.”

Barry Miller was a lifelong Bergen resident, graduating from Byron-Bergen High School in 1983 and serving as a member of the Bergen Volunteer Fire Department for 31 years, including 10 as assistant EMS Chief, before he was tragically killed in the line of duty. In addition to working at the Bergen Volunteer Fire Department, Barry was the Genesee County Coroner, a member of the Bergen Town Board, and owner of Miller's Millworks in Bergen and the Beaver River Lodge in the Adirondacks.

January 12, 2016 - 10:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today issued the following statement after President Obama’s State of the Union address.

“I had hoped President Obama would use tonight’s address to apologize to the American people for his failed policies, which have weakened America’s standing abroad, failed to stop the expansion of ISIS, dramatically increased our national debt, and caused poverty rates across the nation to skyrocket,” said Congressman Collins. “But instead, what I heard was a refusal to own up to any mistakes, and a call to continue on a path that fails to find the solutions working families deserve.

“Americans are demanding a new direction. On the global stage, we need to stand up to our enemies and lead by example. Instead of befriending countries like Iran, who detained U.S. sailors and whose leaders still chant ‘Death to America’ and Cuba, which is holding onto one of our Hellfire missiles, we need to protect allies like Israel.

“When it comes to here at home, the president’s policies have failed to create an economy that can support the middle class. As a result, thousands of Western New Yorkers are still struggling to make ends meet. To get the millions of middle class workers on the sidelines back to work, we need to encourage an environment friendly to job creation through comprehensive tax reform, energy independence, entitlement reform and a patient-centered health care system.

“Unfortunately, the president has stuck his head in the sand, again. Instead of real solutions to the challenges we face, he chose to give us more of his failed rhetoric. America is the greatest country in the world, but if we are to stay the best, we need a leader who will make tough decisions, instead of trying to embellish his legacy.”

January 5, 2016 - 2:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after President Obama issued executive actions which circumvent the Constitution and deny Western New Yorkers their Second Amendment rights.

“A new year and the same dictatorial actions from President Obama,” Congressman Collins said. “President Obama has made it clear that he will not let legal documents like the Constitution stand in his way. Only this president would circumvent the Constitution to punish tens of thousands of law-abiding gun owners across Western New York and millions more throughout the country.

"The president needs to be reminded that it is Congress’s job to write laws. His proposed executive actions will significantly increase burdensome government regulations and infringe on the Second Amendment rights Americans have fought to protect. I have strongly signaled my opposition to these measures and have signed onto legislation to stop these actions in their tracks.”

December 3, 2015 - 3:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, infrastructure, NY-27.

Press release:

“Investing in America’s infrastructure will help grow our economy and improve the day-to-day lives of Western New Yorkers,” Congressman Chris Collins said. “This bipartisan legislation makes tremendous strides in modernizing America’s transportation policy, supports good-paying jobs, and implements vital reforms to jumpstart infrastructure projects in our region.”

Several key provisions of the legislation will benefit Western New York. The bill:

· Provides certainty to states and local governments by funding highway projects for five years;

· Exempts dairy trucks from certain federal trucking weight limits, allowing them to efficiently transport their products;

· Streamlines existing regulatory requirements for transportation projects, increasing efficiency and expediting the process;

· Funds the 5340 High Density States program, which guarantees New York’s mass transit agencies access to the funding they need;

· Reauthorizes the Export-Import Bank, protecting more than 3,700 jobs in Western New York and 25 exporting small businesses in New York’s 27th District; and

· Converts the current Surface Transportation Program (STP) to a block grant program, which will provide states and local governments more flexibility in their transportation spending. Fifty percent of the program’s funding is specifically targeted toward local governments and that grows by 5 percent over the five-year span of the bill.

Full text of the legislation can be read here.

November 6, 2015 - 3:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after President Obama formally rejected the Keystone XL pipeline.

“President Obama once again put politics ahead of American job opportunities and the energy security interests of our country,” Congressman Collins said. “Rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline wastes an opportunity for America to achieve energy independence and create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs.”

July 31, 2015 - 12:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after introducing H.R. 3327, the Kids Before Cons Act, which will block the Obama administration’s plans to use Pell grants to fund college programs for prisoners.

“The Obama administration’s plan to put the cost of a free college education for criminals on the backs of the taxpayers is consistent with their policy of rewarding lawbreakers while penalizing hardworking Americans,” Congressman Collins said. “The Kids Before Cons Act closes the loophole the Obama administration is trying to exploit, and protects taxpayers from footing the bill for criminals’ educations. This legislation ensures that Pell grants will be used for their intended purpose of assisting financially disadvantaged students struggling to attain a college education.”

H.R. 3327 does the following:

·         Upholds the 1994 law that prohibits prisoners from receiving federal Pell grants by forbidding the Department of Education from using its experimental authority to provide funding for higher education for prisoners;

·         Instructs the Department of Education to conduct a study on whether students enrolled in a charter school or in private schools as a result of participation in a voucher program run a higher or lower risk of incarceration than students who attend public school.

Full text of the legislation can be read here.

July 29, 2015 - 11:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, business.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after introducing the Small Business Regulatory Sunset Act, which will reduce excessive regulations hurting small businesses.

“Small business is the economic engine that drives our economy,” Congressman Collins said. “To unleash the good-paying job opportunities and economic benefits small businesses provide for Western New York, we need to reduce burdensome regulations. This common-sense legislation eliminates duplicative regulations, while incentivizing agencies to eliminate rules that hurt small businesses.”

This legislation is the companion bill to S. 846, which was originally introduced by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL).

“Small business is the engine of the American economy, and it is clear that the burden current regulations are placing on business owners is disadvantaging new innovations,” Senator Kirk said. “The Small Business Regulatory Sunset Act will help correct this problem for small businesses across the country so that they can focus on product creation instead of compliance.”

The Small Business Regulatory Sunset Act of 2015 aims to address the lack of accountability federal agencies face under current law. Federal agencies currently must review rules that have a significant economic impact on small businesses, but there is no current enforcement mechanism to ensure that. This legislation works to correct that by:

·         Adding several critical factors that agencies must consider when promulgating a rule, including the complexity of the rule, complaints from small businesses, Small Business Administration comments, and the continued need for the rule.

·         Implementing an enforcement mechanism: if an agency does not properly perform the required reviews as determined by the agency’s Inspector General, the agency would face a 1-percent cut in funds appropriated for the agency’s salaries.

·         Introducing an automatic sunset provision for new covered rules. Seven years after a final rule is published, it will automatically expire, unless an agency takes action to renew the rule through the existing rule-making process.

May 27, 2015 - 2:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in EPA, agriculture, farm bureau, chris collins, NY-27.

From Rep. Chris Collins:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after the Obama Administration finalized its Clean Water Act "Waters of the United States" Rule.

“The Obama Administration's ruling today is a continuation of their regulatory assault on our nation's farmers," Congressman Collins said. "The EPA’s overreach is causing real harm for local farmers and stalling business development. When I visit with local farmers, the heavy burdens under the Clean Water Act come up each and every time. When the bureaucrats at the EPA decide to call a divot in the ground that fills with rain a ‘navigable waterway’ under the CWA, we know our federal government has run amuck. I will continue to do all I can to fight this burdensome and business crushing ruling."

Last May, Congressman Collins led a bipartisan letter, signed by a majority of Congress, to the EPA Administrator asking for the Waters of the United States Rule to be withdrawn. Full text of the letter can be read here. This Congress, Congressman Collins co-sponsored H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015, which would require the Administration to withdraw its Waters of the United States Rule. H.R. 1732 passed the House of Representatives earlier this month.

From Dean Norton, Elba farmer and president of the NYS Farm Bureau:

“Today the Environmental Protection Agency released the final rule on the definition of “Waters of the United States” in the Clean Water Act. New York Farm Bureau members have been strongly opposed to the changes proposed by the EPA because of the potential regulatory overreach that will allow for federal control over land that is typically dry. Clean water has always been a priority and necessity for farmers, but we are concerned that the rule will strip property owners of long-held land rights.

New York Farm Bureau has serious concerns that the EPA has failed to take into consideration the thousands of comments from farmers, business owners, and property owners, who feel this rule would add unnecessary burdens on their land. EPA would have accomplished much more working with farmers than just brushing their legitimate concerns aside. We will be carefully reviewing the final rule, but based on comments from EPA, we remain concerned that the agency did not listen to our nation’s farmers or made significant changes to the rule,” NYSFB President Norton said.

May 9, 2015 - 10:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, vfw, chris collins, steve hawley.

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The VFW Post in Batavia is in a poor state of repair, and Rep. Chris Collins is pushing legislation that could help the post, and veteran's service organizations throughout the country.

Collins highlighted his legislation today with an appearance at the post.

Incoming Post Commander Ronald Jackett gave a tour of the building, with it's stained and missing ceiling tiles, corroded bathrooms and peeling paint.

Jackett estimates repairs -- including a new roof -- will cost $40,000.

To help raise funds for repairs, the post is selling tickets for a Harley-Davidson raffle, but he certainly welcomes the proposal being pushed by Collins to make Community Development Block Grant funds available to the nation's veterans services groups for building repairs and upgrades.

"Many of these organizations, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion are able to fund themselves by offering their facilities for special events such as birthdays and weddings," Collins said. "Their facilities serve as community centers, bringing neighbors and families together for special events. These organizations should have the ability to repair their existing facilities and further ensure the safety of those using them for special occasions and gatherings.

Collins said by using CDBG funds, the program draws from an existing expenditure, rather than creating new spending that would add to the federal budget deficit.

Wherever the money comes from, it would certainly be welcome, Jackett said.

"I don't know how we're going to do on this motorcycle raffle," Jackett said. "It's very slow going. It's very important. If we don't get enough off this motorcycle raffle, we're going to be looking everywhere else we can to try to get funding."

The post hasn't been able to use its kitchen for more than a year. It used to be an important source of revenue, generating as much as $1,000 a week in sales.  

The Harley is routinely on display at Chesley Auto on East Main Street, Batavia, where raffle tickets may be purchased.

The bill sponsored by Collins is similar to one introduced by other members of Congress in previous sessions, but never passed.

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After their appearance at the VFW, Collins and Assemblyman Steve Hawley visited Ken Barrett Chevrolet, which was hosting a recruitment drive for the county's veterans' groups, with WBTA broadcasting from the dealership.

April 29, 2015 - 3:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Mercy Flight, NY-27, chris collins, Mercy EMS.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today announced $103,637 in federal funding for Mercy EMS in Batavia. The grant was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG), which is designed to help first responders improve their capability to respond to fires and emergencies of all types.

“Providing the necessary funding for our first responders is an excellent and prudent use of federal money,” Congressman Collins said. “Our local heroes need the proper resources to do their jobs and protect our communities. Many small fire companies and emergency medical service providers are unable to purchase necessary equipment upgrades due to financial limitations. This funding will help create more efficient and effective first responders, and I am proud I was able to help Mercy EMS secure this money.”

“Mercy EMS is extremely pleased to be awarded a grant through the FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program,” said Bill Schutt, general manager for Mercy EMS. “The grant will allow Mercy EMS to equip all our first-line ambulances with power-lift stretchers and tracked stair-chairs. These two devices will have multiple impacts on our operations. The power stretcher allows a crew to lift a patient with the touch of a button, eliminating manual lifting and the associated risk of injury to crews. Likewise the tracked stair-chair allows a patient to be moved down a flight of stairs with no lifting involved, again reducing the risk of injuries from lifting. The additional impact of the equipment involves increased patient safety and when dealing with larger patients the ability to move them with an increased level of dignity. As a nonprofit agency Mercy EMS could not afford these upgrades without grant assistance.”

April 11, 2015 - 6:50pm
posted by James Burns in batavia, GCC, art, chris collins.

The 2015 Congressional Art Competition winner and honorable mentions were announced today at Genesee Community College in the Roz Steiner gallery.

The competition was open to high school students to enter their visual art. Oil paintings, photographs, works in pencil, paints, pastels and mixed media where hung in the gallery. All created by our very own, very talented, local high school artists. 

The Roz Steiner Gallery at GCC was filled with happy visitors admiring classical and modem works. The gallery had the look and excitement of an opening at MoMA in Manhattan.  The exhibit runs in the gallery April 23 through May 18. If you are at all interested in art you should try and see this impressive exhibit. 

Rep. Chris Collins was on hand to announce winners and congratulate all the students involved. But before the award announcement, Collins also took time to personally and privately tour the exhibit and admire the truly impressive works.

UPDATE: Here are the winners:

Winner -  Mallory Showalter, Clarence High School
1st runner up – Kazuki Kanehira, Clarence High School
Honorable mention – Danielle Saeva, Clarence High School
Honorable mention – Cheyenne Ernst, Batavia High School

During his opening comments Representative Collins renewed his support of the Arts in schools.

The winner’s work will be exhibited with the winners from all of the rest of the congressional districts at the U.S. Capitol for a year. For more information on the Congressional Art Competition please visit: http://www.house.gov/content/educate/art_competition/

To see more picture go to: http://jimburns.org/p694578929#h41e007ef

March 19, 2015 - 11:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) issued the following statement after joining Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) and others in introducing the bipartisan Manufacturing Universities Act.

“As a small business owner who worked in manufacturing for over 35 years, I understand the difficulty in training and finding qualified manufacturing workers,” Congressman Collins said. “To expand manufacturing in Western New York, we need to have a workforce capable of filling these skilled jobs. I am proud to join Rep. Esty in introducing this bipartisan legislation that will provide partnering colleges and universities the resources necessary to equip their students with the skills needed to succeed in manufacturing.”

“I’m proud to join my friend and colleague Rep. Collins in introducing our bipartisan Manufacturing Universities Act,” Congresswoman Esty said. “Manufacturers provide good-paying jobs for our hard-working families, but manufacturers often struggle to find workers with the right skill sets. By providing additional support for manufacturing in engineering programs at colleges and universities, we can prepare the next generation of engineers for exciting — and in-demand — manufacturing jobs.”

“SUNY proudly supports the Manufacturing Universities Act of 2015 as it helps pave the way for the advancement of manufacturing efforts across the country,” SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said. “We thank Representative Collins and Representative Etsy for their leadership recognizing the valuable role public universities play in educating and training students for the 21st Century workforce.”

The bill would establish a Manufacturing Universities program within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. Colleges and universities with existing engineering programs would be eligible to apply for the Manufacturing University designation, which would: include up to $5 million annually for four years to improve engineering programs with an emphasis on manufacturing; increase the number of joint projects with manufacturing firms; and support students who participate in cooperative education and apprenticeships with manufacturers.

The Manufacturing Universities Act has been referred to the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. The bill is bipartisan and bicameral. The other House cosponsors are Reps. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Rodney Davis (R-IL), and Mike Thompson (D-CA). The companion bill in the Senate was introduced by Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).

March 3, 2015 - 7:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) issued the following statement after voting to fund the Department of Homeland Security.

“It is my responsibility to Western New Yorkers to ensure the funding needed to guarantee their security is provided,” Congressman Collins said. “Political theatrics should never endanger Americans’ safety. Today I voted to make sure that did not occur.

“Lurching from one crisis to the next might make for lucrative political fund-raising, but it does not make for good government. It is time we end the political ‘Groundhog Day’ and fulfill the jobs we were elected to do; creating an environment conducive to job creation and addressing the needs of the people who elected us.”

February 26, 2015 - 5:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today issued the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to reclassify the Internet as a Title II utility.

“FCC actions to reclassify the Internet under Title II pose a direct threat to Internet freedom,” Congressman Collins said. “Today’s vote threatens the innovative culture that makes the Internet one of the world’s greatest technologies. I am disturbed by the lack of transparency involved in this decision process, and am afraid it is a foreshadowing of the big government overregulation that will stem from Title II classification. These actions will add further uncertainty to the net neutrality debate chilling vital private sector investment.

“Here in Congress, under Chairmen Thune and Walden, we have proposed draft legislation that would achieve the goal of protecting Internet consumers through the bright-line rules that net neutrality proponents are calling for in a way that limits burdensome regulations from crushing innovation. This fight is far from over and I will be steadfast in my commitment to keeping the Internet free from debilitating government intervention.”

February 21, 2015 - 2:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in art, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins encourages local high school students in New York’s 27th District to participate in this year’s Congressional Art Competition.

“Each day, members of Congress and hundreds of visitors to the Capitol walk by the award winning artwork submitted by high school students from around the country,” Collins said. “I look forward to another year with excellent submissions from NY-27 students and the opportunity to welcome our winning artist to Washington this summer.”

Last year there were more than 80 submissions. The winning artist will receive a round-trip flight to Washington, D.C., to see their artwork displayed in the U.S. Capitol, where it will be on display for one year.

Now in its 33rd year, the Congressional Art Competition is open to all high school students in New York’s 27th Congressional District. Submissions are due to one of Congressman Collins two district offices by Tuesday, April 7.

A reception and award ceremony will be held on Saturday, April 11, at Genesee Community College in Batavia. Local high schools have been notified regarding contest rules and submission guidelines. Interested students should see their art teacher for details or contact Chris Catt from Congressman Collins’ office at (585) 519-4002.

February 19, 2015 - 10:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement regarding his opposition to President Obama’s request for fast-track trade promotion authority.

“I am a firm believer in free trade, but it must also be fair trade,” Congressman Collins said. “The secret executive branch negotiations on massive trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership will hurt American workers and businesses by excluding important provisions to combat currency manipulation. It is because of the hardworking Western New Yorkers struggling for a fair chance at the American Dream that I will oppose granting the president fast-track authority to negotiate free trade agreements.”

February 4, 2015 - 4:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today issued the following statement after FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler released plans to vote on net neutrality rules Feb. 26th.

“Plans to reclassify the Internet under Title II pose a direct threat to Internet freedom,” Congressman Collins said. “The FCC’s actions threaten the innovative culture that makes the Internet one of the world’s greatest technologies. Additionally, these actions will add further uncertainty to the net neutrality debate.

"Here in Congress, under chairmen Thune and Walden, we have proposed draft legislation that would achieve the goal of protecting Internet consumers through the bright-line rules that net neutrality proponents are calling for in a way that limits burdensome regulations from crushing innovation.”

January 29, 2015 - 6:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressmen Chris Collins (NY-27) and Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) today issued the following statement after reintroducing the bipartisan Cider Industry Deserves Equal Regulation (CIDER) Act. The Act, HR 600, would amend the section of the tax code that deals with wine and related beverages, 26 USC § 5041, to support the growing number of craft and entrepreneurial cider makers, and tailor IRS rules to reflect variations in craft ciders across the country.

“I am proud to introduce legislation that will support our nation’s apple growers and cider makers,” Congressman Collins said. “The CIDER Act will help spur growth in these industries by restructuring taxes to fairer rates that take into account the natural variations in the cider-making process. I thank Representative Blumenauer for joining me in this goal to reduce burdens on small businesses and simplify our tax code.”

“Cider making is sometimes closer to an art than a science,” Congressman Blumenauer said. “As the American apple and pear hard cider industry becomes more prominent on the world stage, and cider becomes a beverage choice for more Americans’ developing palettes, we need to ensure that cideries have every opportunity to expand and meet the needs of this growing market without an unfair tax burden.”

During the fermentation process, a variety of factors can lead to small changes in the composition of a cider’s alcohol content and carbonation. Because of the narrow way that hard cider is currently defined in the tax code, these small variations can lead to cider being taxed at a rate 15 times higher than what the statute clearly intended. The Collins-Blumenauer bill would update the tax definitions to greatly reduce the chance that improper taxation could occur. The bill would also broaden the definition to include both pear and apple ciders.

The changes proposed by congressmen Blumenauer and Collins will update the existing federal definition of cider to better reflect the industry and keep American cider competitive in the international marketplace. Production nationally has been robust, more than tripling from 9.4 million gallons in 2011 to 32 million gallons in 2013. Cider revenues in the U.S. have been just as impressive, tripling from $178 million in 2007 to $601 million in 2012.

January 20, 2015 - 10:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

“Once again, President Obama used his annual national address to double down on divisive political rhetoric and unrealistic ideas. Rather than focus on policies that brighten the future of the middle class in a sustainable manner, the President has instead, sabotaged success and pitted Americans against one another. The President continues to advocate class warfare, and divide our country. He has repeatedly demonstrated that his idea of a bipartisan solution is his way or the highway.

“What the President failed to address was that this past election, the country spoke loud and clear about the direction we need to take. The result was the strongest Republican House majority since the 1920s, a Republican Senate majority, and Republican control of 68 out of 98 state legislative chambers. Americans recognize that Republicans are focused on creating an environment friendly to job creation through comprehensive tax reform, energy independence, entitlement reform and a patient centered health care system. The President needs to accept this new reality, and find a way to unify the country as we move forward.”

December 17, 2014 - 1:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement on Governor Cuomo’s decision to ban fracking.

“Governor Cuomo has just denied the people of New York a tremendous economic opportunity in order to appease far-left environmentalists for his own political gain,” Congressman Collins said. “The Governor continues to hide behind Albany bureaucrats and controversial scientific studies to stand against hardworking New Yorkers who deserve the job opportunities and economic growth fracking has clearly produced in other states, including neighboring Pennsylvania. This is a sad day for the future of the economy in Upstate New York.”

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