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February 22, 2018 - 10:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, news.

Press release:

With the State Legislature reconvening for this year’s legislative session and the 2018-19 State Budget process underway, Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer is asking for constituents’ opinions on issues impacting New York State and the Western New York community.

“Many important issues will be discussed and debated at the State Capitol in the days, weeks and months ahead,” Ranzenhofer said. “As your State Senator, I value the concerns and priorities of constituents in the 61st Senate District.

"I encourage residents to share their opinions with me by completing the 2018 Legislative Questionnaire. As always, I will be listening to all of my constituents as this year’s legislative session progresses.”

Residents can complete the survey by visiting Senator Ranzenhofer’s website, The 16-question survey covers a wide variety of legislative issues, including the local economy, quality of local public schools, and bills introduced in the State Assembly and State Senate.

February 15, 2018 - 2:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, news, business.

Press release:

New York State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has announced his support today for a broad-based 2018 Jobs and Opportunity Agenda. The plan focuses on regulatory and economic development reforms, as well as comprehensive tax relief, to help make New York more competitive and foster job growth.

“Families, individuals, homeowners, seniors, veterans, local leaders, small businesses and manufacturers continue to tell me that New York’s overly burdensome regulatory practices and high taxes hinder job creation. The Jobs and Opportunity Agenda will help to make the state more competitive and business-friendly. Enacting this plan will create jobs and opportunities for all of our residents and jumpstart our state and local economies,” Ranzenhofer said.

According to the State Department of Labor, in 2017, the Rochester area lost 3,500 jobs, while the Buffalo-Niagara region lost 4,600 jobs. The entire state lost a total of 500 jobs, for the period December 2016 through the end of last year.

The Jobs and Opportunity Agenda includes:

Cutting Tax Rates on Small Businesses:

  • New Tax Relief for Businesses -- $495 million: Reduce the amount small businesses and farms must pay in taxes by increasing the corporate tax threshold from $390,000 to $500,000 and lowering the rate to 2.5 percent. The proposal also expands the small business exemption to all businesses filing the personal income tax regardless of whether they have employees; increases the threshold to $500,000; and increases the exemption to 15 percent (additional 5 percent for farmers).
  • Tax Relief to Boost Manufacturing -- $90 million: This proposal would extend the zero percent Corporate Franchise Tax parity to all manufacturers in New York regardless of how they are organized. Currently, only approximately 25 percent of manufacturers – those organized as C corps – can receive the zero percent rate on business income.
  • Reduce Energy Taxes -- $280 million: Eliminate the 2-percent Gross Receipts Tax on utility bills, ($190 million) and terminate the 18A assessment tax ($90 million).
  • Create STAR for Small Businesses - $275 million: Allow real property owned by a small business (100 or less employees) to be eligible for the STAR property tax savings program.

Reducing Red Tape and Overregulation: 

  • Prevent Regulatory Steamrolling: Curtail state agency overuse of the emergency regulation process to ensure it is only used when necessary to protect public health and safety. This proposal also includes allowing the Administrative Regulations Review Commission to delay the adoption of new rules by 90 days. This will help when businesses raise concerns about possible rulemaking inconsistencies with statutory authority or legislative intent, or could potentially burden taxpayers or local governments.
  • Improve the State Rulemaking Process: Reform the regulatory, licensing, and permitting processes to make them easier to understand, more responsive to businesses’ concerns, increase transparency, improve consistency, and reduce overly burdensome or unnecessary requirements.
  • Remove Speedbumps to Development: Create a new statutory “Fast-Track” process for certain economic development projects.
  • Advocate for Small Businesses: Make the state an advocate, not an adversary, by creating a small business liaison to help startups navigate the state agency bureaucracy. The advocate would hear concerns, advocate within an agency on behalf of small businesses, and increase education of and outreach to entrepreneurs.

Revamping Economic Development Programs: Several of New York’s economic development programs and strategies are not producing the results that taxpayers expect and lack the transparency needed to help the state be more fair and competitive: 

Shut down START-UP NY: The Governor’s program has failed to produce the job-creating results that were promised. This proposal would stop the state from accepting new applications for the program at the end of 2018.

Improve Transparency with a Database of Deals: Ensure greater transparency and accountability in state contracting by creating a searchable database of all state subsidy and economic development benefits so that individuals, businesses, and public officials can monitor how taxpayer dollars are spent.

Promote Additional Oversight: Create an Independent Oversight Panel for all large public work projects and state procurements of $50 million or more.

Strengthen In-School Training Programs: Expand and make permanent the P-Tech School Programs that prepare thousands of New York students for highly-skilled jobs in technology, manufacturing, healthcare and finance.

Promote Practical Skills and Experiences: Allow academic credit for high school students who participate in internships and other practical experiences and encourage schools to promote apprenticeship participation.

Use Better Metrics: Enhance outreach, education, and reporting by the state Department of Labor on employment and training programs.

January 17, 2018 - 12:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, farm workers, agriculture, news, business.

Press release:

State Supreme Court Judge Richard J. McNally Jr. has dismissed a New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) lawsuit, filed in May, regarding rights for farm workers. Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer (R-C-I, Amherst) was the first outspoken State Legislator to criticize the NYCLU’s actions.

Senator Ranzenhofer has issued the following statement:

“The NYCLU’s attempt to bypass the State Legislature and push increased regulations on our agriculture industry has failed. These burdensome regulations would have had a devastating impact on our family farms.

"I applaud the judge’s decision, and I commend the New York Farm Bureau for defending our 35,000 farms all across our state. As New York State’s number one industry, agriculture is the backbone of our rural communities, and this is a major victory for our family farms.” 

January 12, 2018 - 2:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, business, michael ranzenhofer.

Press release:

Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer (R-C-I, Amherst) has introduced legislation (S7397) today in the State Senate to establish tax parity between Batavia Downs and other gaming facilities in New York State.

“New York State imposes one of the highest tax rates on Batavia Downs, and it’s one of the smallest gaming facilities in our region,” Ranzenhofer said. “This regressive rate deprives taxpayers across 15 counties an equitable portion of revenues.

"Lowering the tax rate will make Batavia Downs more competitive with other gaming facilities while ensuring a fairer share of revenues are returned to taxpayers through our local governments.”

In 2015, the facility had a total economic impact of $83.4 million, generating $21.5 million for state education funding, and $3.4 million to participating municipalities.

“We applaud Senator Ranzenhofer’s legislative efforts to level the playing field for Batavia Downs Gaming. This bill will allow us to return more resources to our member communities,” said Western Region Off-Track Betting Corporation (WROTB) Board of Directors Chairman Richard Bianchi.

The legislation would lower Batavia Down’s taxes paid to New York State by increasing the facility’s portion of net winnings from 35 percent to 41 percent. If enacted, the act would take effect on April 1, 2019.

Under existing state law, the oldest nighttime harness track in the country pays one of the highest effective tax rates among gaming centers in the region.


Gaming Operation

Facility’s Portion of Net Winnings* (%)

Batavia Downs


del Lago Resort & Casino


Vernon Downs


Hamburg Gaming


*2017-18 Fiscal Year

Batavia Downs Gaming, operated by WROTB, is a standardbred racetrack and gaming facility. WROTB is a public benefit corporation – owned by 15 Western New York counties, including Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, and Wyoming, as well as the cities of Rochester and Buffalo. Since its inception, WROTB has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in operating and surcharge revenues to the residents of those participating municipalities.
January 6, 2018 - 5:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in kathy hochul, steve hawley, michael ranzenhofer, news, notify.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pursuing ethics reform that would bar state legislators from holding jobs or owning businesses and would establish the expectation -- though not necessarily the pay -- that they are full-time elected officials.

It's the kind of reform that could potentially force Assemblyman Steve Hawley and State Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer to either quit the Legislature or give up their outside business interests.

During her visit to Batavia yesterday, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said the proposal isn't specifically directed at any current elected officials, including Hawley and Ranzenhofer, but she supports the reform.

When elected officials earn income from sources other than their government jobs, it creates an inherent conflict of interest, she said.

"If you want to serve the people of your state, and this is the highest privilege there is no matter what your level of elective office, you need to respect it and not try to serve two masters," Hochul said. 

"We want legislators focused on them (their constituents) and not their outside income," Hochul added.

These proposals have come along before, Hawley said, and he thinks the idea of a full-time legislature misses the advantages of elected officials living a life outside of politics.

He said one of the problems in this country is we've gotten away from the idea of citizen legislators.

"When a representative's only source of income is being an elected official they lose touch with the reality of everyday life and what real people go through," Hawley said. "No outside income diminishes their grasp on reality.

"When being an elected official is your only source of income, you look at it as an occupation and not an avocation," Hawley said. "That means more conflicts of interest and you need to keep your jobs no matter the legislation and the conflict is greater 100 times over because when that's all you do and it's your only source of income, you will say or do anything to keep that job."

Ranzenhofer, an attorney, agreed with Hawley's main objection to the proposed reform.

"Having outside business interests, whether it's insurance, or being an attorney, or a doctor, or whatever, brings a much more diverse Legislature," Ranzenhofer said. "It means people with real-world experience are serving. I cannot imagine a world where every single member of the legislature is a professional legislator, where that's all they did is legislation and politics."

Hochul said the reform isn't aimed specifically at Hawley or Ranzenhofer, and perhaps for existing members of the Legislature, there could be some sort of grandfather clause that would allow current members to continue to serve.

"I'm not talking about them individually," Hochul said. "I'm talking about the system as a whole. The people of the state deserve to have full-time (legislators)."

Ranzenhofer served on the Senate's judiciary committee and he said his up-to-date, real-work experience working in courts helps inform the debates.

"It's helpful to have people who are engaged in these issues in the real world so we can advise people on how legislation could affect people," Ranzenhofer said.

Hawley has been both an elected official and an insurance company owner, going back to his days on the County Legislature, for 39 years. He said he has consistently handled potential conflicts this way for four decades: he seeks the advice of legal counsel for the elected body.

"There have been a number of occasions where I've asked legal counsel about something we were voting on, whether there was an issue," Hawley said. "There has never been any finding of a conflict that has come to the fore."

If the insurance industry has ever thought they had it in the bag with Hawley, that simply hasn't been the case, he said. He has on several occasions, he said, voted against the lobbying requests of the insurance industry. One example he raised was legislation that would have required agents to disclose to new clients that they were earning a commission from the sale of a policy. The agents' association opposed the legislation and Hawley voted in favor of the reform.

"I think probably 99 percent of the people understand that, but even if just 1 percent don't understand it, then I don't have a problem (with the disclosure)," Hawley said.

Though he keeps busy with attending public events and meeting with constituents, Hawley said he isn't convinced there is enough work in Albany to sustain a full-time Legislature.

January 3, 2018 - 11:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, steve hawley, michael ranzenhofer, chris collins, NY-27.

Press release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

“Although I am glad that the governor did not continue his game of political hide-and-seek with the legislature as we saw last year, wasting large sums of taxpayer money to present over 20 ideas with unsubstantiated legislative backing or confirmed funding sources amounts to little more than an expensive taxpayer-funded speech.

“I am glad to be back in Albany continuing to work hard for the residents of Genesee, Orleans and Monroe counties with my focus on lowing our families’ tax burden, making New York more business-friendly, fully funding our infrastructure and continuing to reform our charitable gaming laws.”

Press release from State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer:

“This year, the state of New York is facing a deficit in the billions. The budget must be balanced by restraining spending and not by more taxes for a state that has one of the highest burdens in the nation. It’s time to remove the barriers that inhibit growth in our Upstate economy and enact policies that stem the consistent loss of population of past decades, such as enacting comprehensive regulatory reforms and cutting energy taxes. 

“We should also seriously consider eliminating expenditures for the state’s economic development programs that are not creating jobs, including Start-Up NY and the tens of millions of dollars being spent on television advertising by the Executive.

“By getting our fiscal house in order, we can continue investments in improvements to our community’s transportation infrastructure and water quality, combating the heroin and opioid crisis and ensuring Western New York gets its fair share of state funding for our schools.”

Press release from Congressman Chris Collins:

"The Governor's speech was a pathetic attempt to rile his base, although even they have realized that his political empire is crumbling judging from the fact that the loudest round of applause came when he mentioned the Buffalo Bills. Republicans under President Trump have lowered taxes, rolled back regulations, and are seeing explosive economic growth. In comparison, under Andrew Cuomo, New York is facing a $4 billion deficit, the New York City subway is crumbling, and the FBI has opened an investigation into his hiring practices. New Yorkers deserve better."

October 10, 2017 - 3:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stafford, Le Roy, Alabama, fire services, michael ranzenhofer, news.

Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer today has announced $415,000 in state funding for three fire departments in Genesee County. 

“Today’s announced state investment will assist local fire departments and defray a major portion of expenses for important capital projects, while preventing a higher property tax burden for local homeowners,” Ranzenhofer said.

Oct. 8th marks the start of Fire Prevention Week. This year’s theme is "Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!"

“Our volunteer firefighters are dedicated, and they are working tirelessly to protect and serve our communities each and every day,” Ranzenhofer said. “This financial support will ensure that life-saving services will continue to be available for Genesee County residents, businesses and visitors.”

Fire departments receiving grants include:

Alabama Fire Department: $165,000
The Alabama Fire Department will use the funds for a major capital project to upgrade the fire hall and build an addition for storage requirements. The project includes structure repairs, new insulation and windows, replacing a 31-year-old furnace, upgrading outdated plumbing and reworking electrical systems. 

The upgrades will make the department compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and National Fire Prevention Association recommendations for personal protection equipment storage. The improvements are estimated to save thousands of dollars per year due to lower energy bills and maintenance expenses.

“Our Fire Department faces challenges – from potential emergencies from the ever increasing trucks carrying chemicals, gasoline, and ethanol through our area to anticipated growth from the WNY STAMP Project. Senator Ranzenhofer’s grant will help to update our aging infrastructure. This state funding allows our volunteer firefighters to be better prepared, without passing additional costs to local property taxpayers,” said Alabama Fire Department President Robert Crossen.

The total cost is projected to be $236,000. A groundbreaking is tentatively planned for January. The project should be completed in six months.

Stafford Volunteer Fire Department: $150,000
The funding will be used for facility upgrades at Stafford Fire Department, including:

• Replacement of the original fire station roof;

• Improvements to damaged blacktop; and

• New energy-saving LED exterior lighting.

“Stafford Fire Department is very appreciative of the efforts of Senator Ranzenhofer in securing these much needed funds. We have been a financially secure organization for many decades with low town taxes due to our very successful antique car raffle. Supposed changes to the enforcement of charitable gaming laws have brought that to an abrupt end, burdening our local taxpayers. These funds will help our organization’s ability to respond at peak levels,” said Stafford Fire Department President James Call

The project is expected to start in April and be completed by next September. The project’s total cost is estimated at $225,000. 

Le Roy Fire District: $100,000
The Le Roy Fire District is planning to acquire land to expand parking and storage areas for fire safety equipment. The existing fire station – located at the intersection of routes 5 and 19 in the Village of Le Roy– is virtually landlocked, limiting the District’s capabilities. The existing parking area lacks enough spaces for firefighters to park their personal vehicles during an emergency response call.

“By acquiring property, the opportunity for future expansion will be assured, while meeting the immediate safety needs by providing zones for both emergency personnel accessing apparatus and the general public during operations from the station. Receiving this grant will allow us to complete the preliminary work and provide the needed additional financing to extend a purchase offer on the property,” said Le Roy Fire District Commissioner Gerald Diskin.

September 14, 2017 - 11:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in outdoors, news, michael ranzenhofer.

Press release:

New York State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer today has launched a 2017 Hunters and Sportsmen Survey.

“Sportsmen and women share their opinions with me every year about hunting issues, and I believe that it is important to listen to their thoughts,” Ranzenhofer said. “That is why I hope that you will consider answering a quick 10-question survey.” 

Residents can complete the survey online by The legislative survey asks questions about hunting and wildlife management in New York State, including crossbow hunting, antler restrictions, and other issues.

“I would like to know how hunters in the 61st Senate District feel about these issues,” Ranzenhofer said. “It is imperative to promote and expand responsible conservation practices while ensuring that future generations have access to quality hunting experiences. I remain committed to working with sportsmen organizations across our state to expand hunting opportunities.”

Sept. 23rd is recognized as National Hunting and Fishing Day. New York ranks third in the nation– behind only Texas and Florida– with nearly two million sportsmen and women hunting and fishing across the state.

June 24, 2017 - 12:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, news.

Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer is encouraging students to continue growing, learning and developing– even though school is out of session until September– by participating in his Summer Reading Program.

“As the school year comes to an end, students are turning their thoughts away from books to vacation. This program is a great way to promote literacy and keep children’s minds active when they are not in a classroom. I encourage students to indulge in the wonderful world of books by participating in the Summer Reading Program,” Ranzenhofer said.

The theme of this year’s program is "Build A Better World." For more information, students and parents can log on to, create a profile, record reading progress, share books on Facebook and earn a certificate.

Evidence shows that children who stop reading over the summer break often fall behind when they return to class in September. More than 2.1 million students participated in summer reading at New York libraries last year.

June 13, 2017 - 5:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, hunting, outdoors, news.

Press release:

A bill (S5064) continuing the use of rifles for big game hunting in Genesee County indefinitely has passed the State Senate. Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer is the author and sponsor of the measure in the State Senate.

“Use of rifles for big game hunting has proven to be successful throughout the last two years,” Ranzenhofer said. “Many other rural communities across the state have a permanent provision, and this legislation would set it in stone for Genesee County.” 

In 2015, Senator Ranzenhofer spearheaded the effort at the State Capitol to pass a new law (Chapter 68 of the Laws of 2015) that initially allowed the use of rifles in Genesee County. The law expires Oct. 1st of this year. The Genesee County Legislature has requested that the current expiration date be removed.

“Expanding opportunities for sportsmen is important to me. Without legislative action, Genesee County residents would no longer be able to hunt big game with a rifle. I am proud to get the bill approved in the State Senate, and I am hopeful that the State Assembly will follow suit,” Ranzenhofer said.

The bill is currently on the Assembly Agenda. If enacted, the bill would take effect immediately.

In the Fall of 2014, the Genesee County Legislature and Genesee County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs requested the inaugural legislation. Prior to the enactment of the revised statute, environmental conservation law only authorized the use of pistols, shotguns, crossbows, muzzle-loading firearms or long bows when hunting deer from the first Saturday after Nov. 15 through the first Sunday after Dec. 7.

June 6, 2017 - 5:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, ride sharing, news.

Press release:

Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer's bill (S5814) to quicken Western New York access to ride-sharing services has been signed into law by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

Senator Ranzenhofer has issued the following statement:

“It's official: Ride-sharing services will arrive in Western New York before Independence Day. I applaud Governor Cuomo for signing my legislation into law. Access to transportation network companies will positively impact our region by creating new jobs, reducing drunk driving deaths and helping to boost small businesses and tourism spending. Now, this new, safe and reliable transportation option, and its benefits to our community, will be available to residents sooner than expected.”

May 17, 2017 - 4:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in michael ranzenhofer, ride sharing, news.
Press release:
The New York State Senate has passed legislation (S5814) today to quicken access to ride-sharing services in Western New York by 10 days. State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has issued the following statement:
“I am pleased to report that the State Senate approved my bill to bring ride-sharing services to Western New York in time for the Fourth of July. Accelerating this safe, reliable transportation option will make our roads safer and save lives during one of the busiest travel times of the year.
“Today's passage is another sign that the bill continues to gain momentum. It has garnered bi-partisan support from 20 of my Senate colleagues as co-sponsors, and the Assembly Insurance Committee approved it yesterday. I look forward to working with Assemblyman Cahill to get this legislation passed in the State Assembly.”
May 11, 2017 - 8:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, Le Roy, news.
      Randa Williams

Press release:

Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has honored Town of Le Roy resident Randa Williams, as a Woman of Distinction at the 20th annual ceremony, for her involvement with Girl Scouts for more than five decades.

“Randa’s hard work and commitment to the Girl Scouts has introduced the value of community service to thousands of girls, and her efforts have paved the way for many women to serve as firefighters. She exemplifies the true spirit of America as a business executive, citizen and dedicated servant to our community,” Ranzenhofer said.

Williams has participated in every aspect of scouting, from Assistant Den Mother to Day Camp Director and Cookie Manager. The Genesee Valley Girl Scouts has recognized her service with many awards, including Great Scout Award, Green Angel Award, Achievement Award and Honor Award. More recently, she is involved with her granddaughter’s troop.

“I am humbled and grateful for Senator Ranzenhofer's recognition,” Williams said. “I hope to continue to be deserving of it for many years to come.”

In the early 1980s, she decided to join a local volunteer fire department, but her application was denied because of her gender. She sued the town, village and three fire clubs to allow women to serve as firefighters, and her case became national news. She ultimately prevailed.

In the past 10 years, she has rescued many horses from being slaughtered. She currently owns and cares for five horses that she has saved. Additionally, she has also served as lead speaker at the Take Back the Night Program at SUNY Brockport.

From 1982 to 1995, Williams owned and operated Sams Auto Parts; she is current owner of MHL Performance, a speed parts company in the Town of Bergen. She received a Bachelor of Science from SUNY Empire and a master’s degree from SUNY Brockport. She has four children– Trisa, Emma, Thomas, and James– and 14 grandchildren.

May 8, 2017 - 2:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in ride sharing, michael ranzenhofer, news.

Press release:

Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer (R, C, I – Amherst) has announced today that his legislation (S5814) to quicken access to ride-sharing services for Western New York has secured a sponsor in the State Assembly.

The legislation has also garnered bipartisan support from 12 senators, representing regions all across the state, as cosponsors after being written just one week ago.

“The momentum is building to get ride-sharing services up and running in Western New York for the Fourth of July holiday weekend,” Ranzenhofer said. “The legislation is one step closer to a reality with Assemblyman Cahill’s leadership in the State Assembly. I look forward to working with him to get this bill passed by both houses of the State Legislature.”

Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (D – Ulster, Dutchess) has introduced the bill (A7624) in the State Assembly. 

“With full legislative recognition of the unique business model of the ride-hailing industry, it makes sense to move up the authorization a few days to allow for the services to kick off before the 4th of July holiday. I will work to fast track this legislation through the Assembly and I am sure Senator Ranzenhofer will do the same in the Senate. It will then be up to the TNC's to bring their product to market all over Upstate New York,” Cahill said.

The bill amends the effective date for the ride-sharing legislation, Part AAA of Chapter 59 of the laws of 2017 approved as part of the recent state budget, from 90 to 80 days. If enacted, transportation network companies would be available as soon as June 29th. Under existing law, it would not be available until July 9th. 

Senator Ranzenhofer noted that transportation network companies will help to further public safety.

“Every year, we read about accidents and deaths caused by motorists who should not be driving during this holiday weekend. As families and residents celebrate the founding of our nation by watching fireworks all across the region, it is so important for our roads to be as safe as possible. One more safe, reliable transportation option will help to prevent injuries and save lives,” Ranzenhofer said.

May 3, 2017 - 11:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, ride sharing, news.

Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has introduced legislation (S5814) today in the State Senate to quicken access to ride-sharing services for residents and tourists in Western New York for the Fourth of July holiday weekend. 

Senator Ranzenhofer has been a strong supporter of bringing this new transportation option to Upstate New York.

"While ride-sharing services have been given a green light, arriving days after the Fourth of July is too little, too late. Every year, we read about accidents and deaths caused by motorists who should not be driving. This safe, reliable transportation option can help to make our roadways safer," Ranzenhofer said.

The new bill amends the effective date for the ride-sharing legislation -- Part AAA of Chapter 59 of the laws of 2017 approved as part of the recent state budget -- from 90 to 80 days. If enacted, transportation network companies would be available as soon as June 29th. Under existing law, it would not be available until July 9th. 

Senator Ranzenhofer noted the positive benefits for the community from an earlier start to ride-sharing.

"As thousands visit Niagara Falls and area attractions from Buffalo to Rochester, it would be a missed opportunity for our region if ride-sharing services were still not available. Allowing these companies to operate sooner is an opportunity for our region to shine. It will help to drive additional spending by tourists at small businesses and restaurants," Ranzenhofer said.

May 3, 2017 - 11:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, news, agriculture.

Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has announced today that the 2017-18 State Budget restores $10 million in funding reductions, proposed by Governor Cuomo, for agriculture programs and makes a total state investment of $51 million.

“I opposed cuts for agriculture programs from day one. That is why I successfully advocated and delivered major investment for these important programs,” Ranzenhofer said. “Agriculture is New York State’s number one industry and it is also the backbone of our rural communities. Investing in agriculture will help to strengthen the industry and our local economy.”

The new budget also includes $100,000 for the Genesee County Agriculture Academy. Over the last five years, Senator Ranzenhofer has secured a total of $500,000 in state funding to support the Agri-Business Academy at the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership.  

“The Agri-Business Academy is a valuable learning experience for high school seniors from school districts across Genesee County. The one-year program helps to develop and grow the next generation of family farmers by offering students exciting educational opportunities to explore careers in the agribusiness industry,” Ranzenhofer said.

Major programs in cutting-edge research for family farms, environmental stewardship, and protections for plant, animal and public health will receive significant increases:

• $1.5 million (for a total of $1.9 million) for the Farm Viability Institute;
• $1 million (for a total of $9.3 million) for Agribusiness Child Development;
• $1 million (for a total of $5.4 million) for the Cornell Diagnostic Lab;
• $544,000 (for a total of $750,000) for the Apple Growers Association;
• $560,000 (for a total of $610,000) for Cornell Rabies;
• $416,000 (for a total of $800,000) for FarmNet, Farm Family Assistance;
• $378,000 (for a total of $1.2 million) for Pro-Dairy;
• $307,000 (for a total of $1.5 million) for the Wine and Grape Foundation;
• $300,000 (for a total of $842,000) for Future Farmers of America;
• $160,000 (for a total of $200,000) for Cornell Hops and Barley;
Other programs funded in the 2017-18 State Budget include:
• $160,000 for Local Fair Assistance
• $500,000 for the Apple Research and Development Board
• $500,000 for the State’s Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program
• $260,000 for Cornell Berry Research
• $250,000 for Tractor Rollover Prevention Program
• $220,000 for Farm Viability Dairy Profit Teams
• $215,000 for Maple Producers Association
• $200,000 for a “Seeds of Success” award to promote school gardens
• $150,000 for Turfgrass Association
• $125,000 for Christmas Tree Growers
• $125,000 for Cornell Maple Research
• $115,000 for Cornell Veterans to Farms
• $100,000 for Future Agriculture Readiness Marketing (FARM) Camps
• $100,000 for Cornell Vegetable Research
• $75,000 for Corn and Soybean Growers Association
• $60,000 for Berry Growers Association
• $50,000 for Honeybee research at Cornell
• $50,000 for Cornell Onion Research
• $25,000 for Low-Cost Vaccine Program
• $10,000 for NYS Brewers Association
• $10,000 for NYS Cider Association
• $10,000 for NYS Distillers Guild
• $10,000 for Cornell Sheep Farming

May 2, 2017 - 9:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, schools, education, news.

Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has announced today that legislation (S4281),raising the monetary limit to $150,000 for school districts to purchase local produce without approval from the State Department of Education, has passed the New York State Senate unanimously.

Under existing law, a waiver from the State Education Department is required for food purchases above $50,000. The bill, sponsored by Senator Ranzenhofer, would amend state procurement laws to conform with Federal rules.

“Requiring a waiver at current levels creates unnecessary, burdensome paperwork for schools districts, discouraging the purchase of food products from local farmers,” Ranzenhofer said. “This legislation makes it easier for schools to buy more local produce and support the local agriculture economy, while offering healthier options– more fresh fruits and vegetables– to students.”

The New York Farm Bureau supports the initiative. The bill will be sent to the State Assembly. The legislation is sponsored by Assemblywoman Addie Jenne.

The 2017-18 State Budget raised the threshold from $25,000 to $50,000. In 2016, Senator Ranzenhofer successfully worked to establish an initial threshold at $25,000.

April 18, 2017 - 12:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in infrastructure, news, michael ranzenhofer.

Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has announced today that the new budget will help to jump-start more infrastructure improvement projects throughout Western New York. The 2017-18 State Budget allocates $29 billion for transportation funding, representing a nearly $2 billion year-over-year increase.  

“The new budget delivers Upstate New York’s fair share of state transportation dollars and commits a record level of funding for critical projects. This funding boost will help to improve the condition of our infrastructure and strengthen our economy,” Ranzenhofer said.

The new budget increases funding by:
• $1.5 billion to accelerate statewide road and bridge projects;
• $65 million for local infrastructure repair projects; and
• $50 million for the local Bridge NY program.

A total of $603 million in funding will help municipalities with additional infrastructure improvement projects. The budget allocates $438 million for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement program (CHIPS), $100 million for the Pave NY program and $65 million for the Extreme Winter Recovery program.

“A record level of state funding will be going directly to local governments to help with repairs to improve Western New York’s highways, roads and bridges. Our crumbling infrastructure has been rated poor in the past. This funding is desperately needed,” Ranzenhofer said.

Genesee County


2016-17 Budget* ($)


Budget** ($)

Year-over-year Change ($)

Percent Change

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Town of Alabama





Town of Alexander





Town of Batavia





Town of Bergen





Town of Bethany





Town of Byron





Town of Darien





Town of Elba





Town of Le Roy





Town of Oakfield





Town of Pavilion





Town of Pembroke





Town of Stafford





Village of Alexander





Village of Bergen





Village of Corfu





Village of Elba





Village of Le Roy





Village of Oakfield





County of Genesee





April 10, 2017 - 9:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, ride sharing, news.

Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer (R-C-I, Amherst) has issued the following statement:

“I am proud to vote for a State Budget that will finally give a green light to ride-sharing services all across Western New York. For years now, Upstate New Yorkers have been left behind. Many residents have been demanding this new transportation option. It is long overdue.

“I have been leading the charge to bring transportation network companies to our community. I have cosponsored and voted for legislation in the State Senate two years in a row, and I launched a petition last December to encourage Governor Cuomo and the State Assembly to adopt this legislation. 

“Providing access to ride-sharing services will positively impact our community by creating thousands of new jobs, reducing drunk driving deaths and helping to boost small businesses and tourism spending.”

He also released this statement on passage of the budget:

The New York State Senate has approved the remaining bills of the 2017-18 State Budget. State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer (R-C-I, Amherst) has issued the following statement:

“Today's approval of a final budget is a victory for Western New York residents. The plan continues fiscal discipline by limiting spending growth at or below 2 percent for the seventh year in a row and rejecting Governor Cuomo's new tax-and-fee hikes. 

“Numerous efforts are enacted to improve New York's business climate, create more jobs and further strengthen our economy. The new budget approves the most comprehensive workers' compensation reform in a decade, reducing hundreds of millions of dollars in costs for businesses, municipalities, and not-for-profits. Homeowners will benefit from a total of $3 billion in STAR property tax relief. The budget also protects last year's $4.2 billion in income tax cuts for middle-class families and tens of thousands small businesses.

“Most importantly, I am excited that ride-sharing services will finally arrive in Upstate New York. Additionally, the budget delivers our fair share of state transportation dollars, including a $1.5 billion increase to accelerate infrastructure projects and $65 million more for local road and bridge repairs.”

March 3, 2017 - 4:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, news.

Press release:

Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer today called for local student entries for the New York State Senate’s Earth Day Poster Contest, a statewide competition that raises awareness of environmental issues.

“Earth Day celebrates the great strides made in improving our environment, and this poster contest is an opportunity to share that commitment with students. By educating our young minds about protecting the Earth, they can be a part of the many New Yorkers who are already helping to make a difference,” said Ranzenhofer.

The Earth Day poster competition is for children in grades K–6. The theme of the contest is “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” Students are encouraged to be creative and convey a real commitment to making the environment a better place. The focus is to emphasize the importance and encourage the exchange of ideas about recycling and waste reduction, as well as stimulate creative thinking about solutions concerning these issues.

Students wishing to participate in this year’s event must submit their entry by March 24, 2017 via Senator Ranzenhofer’s website. Entries should be photographed and submitted electronically, preferably in a jpeg format

The winning posters will be displayed at Senator Ranzenhofer’s website. All participants will receive a certificate acknowledging their participation.

Since the first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, over 20 million Americans have participated, helping to improve the quality of our air and water. In addition, landmark legislation has been passed to help support this effort, such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act.


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