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michael ranzenhofer

July 6, 2018 - 10:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, education, 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," Ranzenhofer said. "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 read all summer long by participating in the Summer Reading Program."

The theme of this year’s program is Libraries Rock! Students and parents can participate by visiting Senator Ranzenhofer’s website, ranzenhofer.nysenate.gov.

Evidence shows that children who stop reading over the summer often fall behind when they return to class in September. More than 2.2 million students participated in summer reading at New York libraries last year.

June 18, 2018 - 11:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, news.

Press release:

On Thursday, June 14th, the New York State Senate passed legislation (S7815), sponsored by Senator Michael Ranzenhofer (R-C-I-REF, Amherst), to expand New York’s Child and Dependent Tax Credit by doubling the current cap on child care expenses across the board. 

“Child care is one of the largest costs facing parents," Ranzenhofer said. "As more households rely on dual incomes to support their family, childcare is an increasingly necessary part of life in today’s economy. This legislation would be a step in the right direction and make childcare more affordable in New York State.

"I urge the Assembly to bring this important legislation to a vote this session. The proposed expanded tax credit is estimated to provide $225 million in new relief for middle-class families. Most families are estimated to receive a new average credit of $750, an increase of $375 from last year."

Under existing law, taxpayers are eligible to claim the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to help offset the costs of caring for a child under the age of 13, a disabled spouse or a disabled dependent. The expense amount allowed toward the credit is limited at various levels depending on the number of children.

Identical legislation in the Assembly, A10265, is currently in the Assembly Ways and Means Committee.

If enacted, taxpayers would be able to take advantage of the increased limits starting in 2019.

June 15, 2018 - 9:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, Western OTB, michael ranzenhofer, batavia, business.

Press release:

The New York State Senate passed Senate bill S7397-A, establishing a more equitable tax rate for Batavia Downs Gaming.  Senator Michael Ranzenhofer, the sponsor of the legislation, issued the following statement:

“Today the Senate passed legislation to help level the playing field for Batavia Downs. Lowering the tax rate not only protects the future viability of Batavia Downs but returns more revenue to taxpayers across Western New York. I am hopeful that the Assembly will take action on this important legislation.”

Batavia Downs Gaming, operated by Western Region OTB (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.

May 15, 2018 - 12:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in infrastructure, michael ranzenhofer, news.

Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has announced today that a record level of state funding will continue to help local governments rehabilitate area highways, roads and bridges.

“Western New York will be getting its fair share of state transportation dollars again this year," Ranzenhofer said. "With winter finally over, local highway crews will start to put these dollars to work by fixing our infrastructure.

"This state funding will help to provide safe and reliable transportation for motorists and their families,” 

A total of $603 million in statewide funding will help municipalities with infrastructure improvement projects. The 2018-19 New York State 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.

Genesee County

Municipality

2018-19 Budget ($)

City of Batavia

426,205

Town of Alabama

121,831

Town of Alexander

126,163

Town of Batavia

146,171

Town of Bergen

69,838

Town of Bethany

110,065

Town of Byron

136,777

Town of Darien

149,398

Town of Elba

108,980

Town of LeRoy

141,781

Town of Oakfield

71,370

Town of Pavilion

146,205

Town of Pembroke

135,045

Town of Stafford

134,751

Village of Alexander

12,491

Village of Bergen

27,404

Village of Corfu

18,936

Village of Elba

12,436

Village of Le Roy

105,209

Village of Oakfield

39,559

County of Genesee

2,295,315

May 9, 2018 - 10:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, outdoors, news.

Press release:

The New York State Senate has passed legislation (S3025)– introduced by Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer– to protect the privacy of sportsmen.

The bill prevents the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) from disclosing sensitive information listed on hunting, fishing and trapping licenses and permit applications.

Existing law does not contain restrictions on the release of information for holders of licenses and permits. The bill would also require the DEC to establish procedures to further ensure information is protected from disclosure.

“Data breaches are truly the dark side of the electronic age, and the unauthorized release of a sportsman’s sensitive personal details is a violation of privacy that can have terrible consequences.

This legislation prevents sensitive financial information from being exposed by requiring the Department of Environmental Conservation to take proactive steps to ensure sportsmen’s information is protected,” Ranzenhofer said.

DEC installed a new database system to maintain information on sporting licenses and permits. The system includes sensitive personal details, including: individual’s first and last name, date of birth, height, eye color, driver’s license number, mailing address, telephone number, and whether the licensee is permanent 40-percent military disabled.

The bill will be sent to the State Assembly. Assemblywoman Aileen M. Gunther is sponsoring the bill in the State Assembly. If enacted, the bill would take effect immediately.

May 9, 2018 - 9:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, Pavilion, news.

Press release:

New York State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has announced today $325,000 in state funding to support a Water Storage Tank Improvement Project in the Town of Pavilion. 

“Clean drinking water isn’t a luxury for our families, it’s essential. I am pleased to secure state funding to ensure safe drinking water for residents in the Town of Pavilion. This landmark investment will make it possible to extend water services to over 200 households that don’t have access now,” Ranzenhofer said. 

The project will expand access to public water for 232 households in the Town of Pavilion. The project will also provide additional water storage tank protection during emergency conditions to 90 homes already connected to public water along Asbury, Walker, York, Perry, and South Street Roads in the Town of Pavilion.

“Senator Ranzenhofer is working to make water service possible for many homes desperately in need of a safe, reliable water supply, and this state funding will help to make our Town’s water improvement project a reality,” said Town of Pavilion Supervisor Dean Davis. 

The Town of Pavilion Water Storage Tank Improvement Project consists of replacing and relocating an existing water storage tank that has deteriorated beyond repair. The new water storage tank will have an estimated capacity of approximately 300,000 gallons. It will be located on York Road in the Town of Pavilion. 

The Town of Pavilion will host a public hearing today at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall, 1 Woodrow Drive, to provide more information about the project to residents.

May 2, 2018 - 10:37am

Press release:

Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has recognized Cornell Cooperative Extension Executive Director Beverly L. Mancuso, as a Woman of Distinction at the 21st annual ceremony, for her outstanding contributions in enriching the quality of life for the community and beyond.

“Beverly has been widely recognized as an effective leader and a connector for community-based organizations to other partners and volunteers. This is a well-deserved honor to recognize Beverly’s efforts in our community, as well as her positive impact in the lives of so many residents. I wish her all the best in retirement,” Ranzenhofer said.

Mancuso has served at the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Genesee County for 16 years, 13 years as executive director. She is responsible for the overall leadership of the organization, including programming for Leadership Genesee, 4-H Youth Development, Master Gardener Program and Agriculture. 

Mancuso started her career working in finance and physician practice management at two hospitals, then furthered her education at the Rochester Institute of Technology. For five years, Mancuso worked to enhance the experience of patients at the Genesee County Health Department.

Mancuso is expected to retire from the Cornell Cooperative Extension in June.

“I am honored to be recognized by Senator Ranzenhofer. I learned the importance of listening at an early age, and this skill has helped me during my career in both the public and not-for-profit sectors,” Mancuso said. “I am looking forward to the next great adventure.” 

Mancuso was a member of the inaugural class of Leadership Genesee in 2001, and she was recognized as an Outstanding Alumna years later.

She is currently a proud member of the Muriel H. Marshall Fund Planning Team. Mancuso has been actively involved in the community for years, including Kiwanis, Boy Scouts, Genesee Country Village, Parish Councils, and Office for the Aging Advisory Committee.

March 23, 2018 - 2:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, michael ranzenhofer, business, agribusiness.

Press release:

Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer today announced his support for the 2018 “Growing Strong” Plan. The “Growing Strong” plan will help strengthen agribusiness and create new jobs in the agriculture industry by expanding markets, reducing production costs, and investing in the state’s leading industry.

“Family farms are a major contributor to our state and local economies. Implementing these initiatives will help the agriculture industry thrive and expand a workforce of more than 100,000 men and women. This new plan will help make it more affordable for New York’s 35,000 farms,” Ranzenhofer said.

The comprehensive legislative package of initiatives includes:

• Examine burdensome regulations: Direct state regulators to study existing state regulations that are harmful to farming, unnecessarily increase costs, and prevent farm success.
• Repeal the Highway Use Tax for farm-registered trucks, and exempt farmers from any proposal to add new “tolling” to enter New York City, as a way to bring more New York-grown products into the nation’s largest consumer market. New York is one of just four states that still imposes such a tax.
• Help farmers invest in facilities and buy equipment: S7851 provides a tax credit for dairy farmers to encourage investment in facilities and equipment that will allow them to take advantage of a growing demand for “value-added” dairy products, like flavored drinks, yogurts, and other products that can satisfy existing demand.
• Help farmers by giving them access to IDAs: S2388 authorizes industrial development agencies (IDAs) to provide technical and financial assistance to agricultural producers that grow, harvest, or produce agricultural products in this state. 
• Create a “Lifeline Dairy Energy Assistance Program” for dairy farmers struggling with a prolonged slump in milk prices, directing $10 million in existing NYSERDA funds to install high-efficiency lighting, pumping and cooling equipment, and to promote investment in energy-producing biomass generators and digesters. 
• Expand agricultural P-Tech education programs that help prepare students for increasing technology demands of farming careers, restore funding for Beginning Farmer Grants that was cut from the Executive Budget, and increase support to establish new chapters of school-based Future Farmers of America programs in response to growing interest in agriculture. In addition, the proposal expands opportunities for success in agriculture by creating a specialized education certificate to acknowledge student achievement and training in the field.
• Encouraging more women to pursue farming careers: S7843 authorizes the Department of Agriculture and Markets to conduct a study to identify obstacles and impediments that prevent more women from pursuing agricultural careers. Attracting new farmers to pursue farming careers in New York is critical, and continuing to focus the state’s efforts on encouraging growing sectors of the agricultural economy, like women-owned farm businesses, is a very important step in that direction.

February 28, 2018 - 11:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, news.

Press release:

Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer (R-C-I, Amherst) has introduced legislation (S7815) today in the State Senate to expand New York’s Child and Dependent Tax Credit by doubling the current cap on child care expenses across the board. 

“Child care costs continue to rise for parents," Ranzenhofer said. "These high costs are a major burden for families, even among households with both parents working.

"This legislation would make it a little easier for hard-working parents by doubling the child tax credit. This new proposal makes it more affordable to raise a family in New York State."

The proposed expanded tax credit is estimated to provide $225 million in new relief for middle-class families. Most families are estimated to receive a new average credit of $750, an increase of $375 from last year.

Under existing law, taxpayers are eligible to claim the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to help offset the costs of caring for a child under the age of 13, a disabled spouse or a disabled dependent.

The expense amount allowed toward the credit is limited at various levels depending on the number of children.

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, ranzenhofer.nysenate.gov. 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

35

del Lago Resort & Casino

70.18

Vernon Downs

41

Hamburg Gaming

41

*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 visitingranzenhofer.nysenate.gov. 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 ranzenhofer.nysenate.gov, 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.”

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