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chris collins

February 11, 2017 - 4:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire services, Town of Batavia Fire, batavia, chris collins, NY-27, news.

collinstobfdfeb112017.jpg

Research released last year concluded that firefighters suffer incidents of cancer at a higher rate than the general population and Congressman Chris Collins thinks more data needs to be gathered to help researchers figure out why.

Collins is sponsoring legislation that will task the Department of Health and Human Services with creating a nationwide database to track and retain information on the emergency responses of firefighters, both career and volunteer. 

"I like to call this good common-sense legislation," Collins said during an announcement event at the Town of Batavia Fire Hall on Lewiston Road. "We know Congress is very divided these days, but this is a piece of legislation that will be bipartisan. There is no difficulty whatsoever in getting both Republicans and Democrats to step forward something that is very commonsense and very low cost."

The legislation is backed by firefighter groups both in New York and across the nation. It is in response to a CDC report (pdf) based on a study of 30,000 career firefighters in three large metro departments who served from 1950 to 2010 as well as data from 18,000 current firefighters. The six-year study found a greater number of cancer diagnoses and more cancer-related deaths among the cohort. These were mostly digestive, oral, respiratory, and urinary cancers. Firefighters may also be exposed more frequently to asbestos, increasing the rate of malignant mesothelioma.

Firefighters tend to respond to many instances where not only asbestos might be present, but a whole range of hazardous materials.

Dan Coffey, Town of Batavia's fire chief, said helping HHS gather the data may not be much of a burden on volunteer chiefs. Currently, every firefighter who responds on every call is logged and if there is suspected exposure to something hazardous, that is also logged and kept on file forever. If there are additional data points HHS requires, that may mean a little more work, but he said he would just have to wait and see about any additional burden, if any. 

He thinks the effort is worth it, he said. 

"It is very important and something that hits near and dear to us," Coffey said. "There has been a lot of discussion about higher cancer rates in this profession and certainly that would lead to a little more comfort knowing why we have higher rates and hopefully that leads to better equipment and protection and reduces the rate among firefighters."

February 1, 2017 - 7:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) released the following statement regarding President Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court:

“President Trump showed America his commitment to conservative principles with tonight’s Supreme Court nomination,” Congressman Collins said. “Judge Neil Gorsuch will be a strong voice on the Court for years to come.

"I fully anticipate that he will continue interpreting laws as they are written and defend the constitutionally protected rights all Americans hold dear. I urge my Democrat colleagues in the Senate to recognize the clear message American voters sent on Election Day and quickly confirm Judge Gorsuch.”

January 30, 2017 - 12:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) released the following statement addressing President Trump’s Executive Order on immigration.

“Nothing is more important than the safety and security of our communities here in Western New York,” Congressman Collins said. “Temporarily suspending the admittance of refugees and individuals from high-risk countries until we can guarantee they are properly vetted is a common-sense measure focused on protecting Americans. President Trump promised to make America safe again and his executive order aims to ensure we know who is entering our country.”

January 23, 2017 - 4:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) released the following statement after President Trump signed an executive order withdrawing from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

“Americans across the country are witnessing President Trump deliver on his promise to put America first and take back our stolen jobs,” said Congressman Collins. “Western New Yorkers know all too well the failures of poorly negotiated free trade agreements.

"Our shuttered factories and decimated population are daily reminders that there is a vast difference between free trade and fair trade. Western New York’s middle class is rejoicing that we now have a president who backs up his rhetoric with actions to protect American jobs.”

January 13, 2017 - 1:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) released the following after reintroducing three legislative items to help improve our nation’s Medicaid system. The legislative items include the Prioritizing the Most Vulnerable Americans Act (formerly H.R. 6462), Better Accounting for Medicaid Costs Act of 2017 (formerly H.R. 5021), and the Improving Oversight and Accountability in Medicaid Non-DSH Supplemental Payments Act (formerly H.R. 2151). These bills will lower costs, increase oversight, and give patients better access to Medicaid coverage.

“We need to improve Medicaid in order to expand coverage for those who need it most and lower costs that are increasing at an unsustainable rate,” Congressman Collins said. “These legislative items will raise accountability standards and ensure Medicaid supports the most vulnerable Americans, which is what it was designed to accomplish.”

Prioritizing the Most Vulnerable Americans Act (formerly H.R. 6462)

Requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), in approving Medicaid demonstration projects to:

  • Prioritize projects that have been proven effective in improving care and outcomes with respect to uninsured, Medicaid-eligible, or low-income individuals;
  • Require participating states to make publicly available data regarding the health outcomes for individuals it serves;
  • Ensure that projects are not duplicative of any federal program or funding opportunity;
  • Require participating states to make publicly available an analysis of the degree to which such projects preclude private and charitable sector efforts to improve care and outcomes with respect to uninsured, Medicaid-eligible, or low-income individuals.

Better Accounting for Medicaid Costs Act of 2017 (formerly H.R. 5021)

  • Requires CMS to follow regular notice and comment rulemaking procedures when issuing sub-regulatory guidance that is estimated to cost the federal government more than $100 million or states more than $50 million.

Improving Oversight and Accountability in Medicaid Non-DSH Supplemental Payments Act (formerly H.R. 2151)

Requires the Secretary of HHS to:

  • Establish annual reporting requirements for non-DSH supplemental Medicaid payments to providers;
  • Issue guidance to states that identifies permissible methods for calculation of non-DSH supplemental payments;
  • Establish requirements for state making non-DSH supplemental payments to conduct an annual independent audit of these payments.

Each of these legislative items is cosponsored by members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Medicaid Task Force. The Task Force was established during the 114th Congress by former Chairman Fred Upton and is led by Congressman Brett Guthrie. Members of the Task Force were charged with devising ways to strengthen and sustain Medicaid for the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.

January 11, 2017 - 3:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, business, news, chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (NY-21) have introduced the Family Farm Relief Act of 2017, legislation to move the H-2A Agricultural Visa program from the Department of Labor to the Department of Agriculture to better meet the unique labor needs of farmers and agricultural businesses.

“The last thing our farmers need is for the federal government to make it harder for them to make ends meet,” Congressman Collins said. “Access to a willing and available labor force is absolutely critical for Western New York’s agriculture community, particularly our dairy farmers. I am proud to join my colleague Congresswoman Stefanik in introducing this common-sense legislation to streamline and improve the H-2A visa program.”

“Agriculture is the backbone of our North Country economy and I am pleased to introduce this important bill to address the labor shortages facing our farmers,” Congresswoman Stefanik said. “When I travel the district speaking with our farmers, I often hear about how unnecessary delays in worker visas lead to difficulty meeting production goals. This common-sense legislation simply puts the H-2A agricultural visa program in the hands of those who best understand the specific needs of our farms.”

“Immigration reform that allows for both seasonal and year-round farm labor has been a longtime priority for New York Farm Bureau. For too long, the federal H2A guest visa program has been cumbersome, prone to delays and too rigid to fit the needs of both farmers and their employees. We thank Congresswoman Stefanik for taking the lead on The Family Farm Relief Act that will provide real reform and address a critical issue in New York's diverse agricultural community,” said David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau president.

The Family Farm Relief Act of 2017 takes practical measures such as allowing visa applicants to fill out H-2A applications on paper or online, requiring a user-friendly online system, and ending burdensome requirements on advertising and prevailing practice surveys.

The current H-2A visa program is unworkable, especially for the dairy farms across our nation. The H-2A visa program does not currently provide a category for year-round livestock workers, including dairy. This has caused difficulties for dairy farms that need employees year-round. This legislation addresses this oversight, by creating an H-2A category for these workers.

Additionally, the legislation also allows farm cooperatives and other agricultural associations to apply for workers for their members, makes the program more workable for dairy and other livestock operations, and requires reporting to Congress if delays occur in the H-2A visa application process.

November 15, 2016 - 12:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after Speaker Paul Ryan announced Congressman Collins will serve as Congressional Liaison to the Trump Administration’s transition team.

“I am honored and humbled to serve President-elect Trump in this capacity,” Congressman Collins said. “Throughout the campaign I have worked very closely with President-elect Trump and Speaker Ryan, and I look forward to continuing that work as we look to put forth an agenda that will make America great again for all Americans.”

In his role as Congressional Liaison, Congressman Collins will work with the Republican Conference membership and relay their ideas on legislation, staffing and any additional concerns to the Trump transition team. Congressman Collins was the first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump for President and was recently named as a member of the Presidential Transition Team Executive Committee. 

November 11, 2016 - 2:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news.

Rep. Chris Collins, who was the first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump for president, has been named to the executive committee of the Trump transition team, according to NBC journalist Frank Thorp.

Thorp posted a screen shot of a memo on Twitter.

The team is comprised of elected officials, business leaders and family members.

October 25, 2016 - 2:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after reports found that premiums for Obamacare’s benchmark plans are set to increase by an average of 25 percent. Additionally, consumers' coverage choices will be drastically reduced in many areas.

“The implosion of this failed law was to be expected,” Collins said. “Congressional Democrats and President Obama forced this program into law, despite knowing full and well that the initial rates were artificially low and unsustainable for insurers. Families must now either find 25 percent more income to pay for these increased premiums or opt for significantly reduced health coverage for their loved ones.

“Unfortunately, this latest price increase is another slap in the face to hardworking New Yorkers that Obamacare has failed time and again. Last year, more than 200,000 New Yorkers were kicked off their health care plans after Health Republic overpromised benefits to its consumers, and left New York taxpayers with the double whammy of having to pay for the its $265 million in losses.”

Since passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, premiums and deductibles have increased substantially, the largest private health insurers in the nation have attempted to merge due to crippling losses, and more Americans are on taxpayer-funded Medicaid than ever before, according to Collins.

The collapse of CO-OPs across a variety of states has cost taxpayers more than $1.2 billion. Congressional Republicans have repeatedly proposed and voted to keep certain safeguards of the Affordable Care Act, while increasing plan flexibility and making insurance more affordable and accessible for all Americans.

Congressman Collins has been an outspoken advocate against this failed healthcare program since being elected to Congress. He currently serves on the Health Subcommittee for the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over many aspects of Obamacare and has continuously worked to replace this flawed law.

October 20, 2016 - 4:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Diana Kastenbaum, chris collins, NY-27, politics, news.

Press release:

Diana Kastenbaum, the Democratic Congressional Candidate for NY-27, has called upon Rep. Chris Collins to step forward and declaratively disavow Trump’s recent statements that the election is rigged. As a an elected official himself, Mr. Collins should persuade Mr. Trump that he should accept the outcome of the election if Secretary Clinton wins. That is what we know in this country as a peaceful transfer of power. That “peaceful” transfer of power is the very essence of what a democracy is all about.

“There used to be civility amongst opponents running for public office. However, the tone the Trump campaign and all of its surrogates have set forth, including Mr. Collins, is anything but civil. The time has come for all patriotic Republicans to speak out against this unprecedented attack on our core beliefs and our fair election process.”

October 11, 2016 - 6:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news.

Press release:

The eight Democratic county chairs of New York's 27th Congressional District unite to denounce Donald Trump's demonstrated sexist and vulgar attitudes toward women and Rep. Chris Collins' continued support of Trump's candidacy in the face of blatant proof that Trump's attitudes are demeaning and derogatory toward 51 percent of this country and this district.

While Republican leaders and elected officials throughout the nation are abandoning Trump in droves, Chris Collins has asserted, "There is no change in my support of Mr. Trump as our nominee."

To be clear, Mr. Trump bragged about repeatedly committing sexual assault without consequence because he was a "star." That Collins did not join his colleagues who have concluded that Trump is unfit and unqualified to be president casts grave doubt on Collins' judgment and ability to represent all of the voters, especially the women, of the 27th District.

We hope that the many people offended by Mr. Collins' lack of spine in standing up to his party's nominee will join us in supporting Diana Kastenbaum for Congress.

Jeremy Zellner
Erie County Democratic Chair

Nick Forster
Niagara County Democratic Chair

Jeanne Crane
Orleans County Democratic Chair

Michael Plitt
Genesee County Democratic Chair

Cynthia Appleton
Wyoming County Democratic Chair

Judith Hunter
Livingston County Democratic Chair

Jamie Romeo
Monroe County Democratic Chair

John Hurley
Ontario County Democratic Chair

October 9, 2016 - 10:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, Diana Kastenbaum, NY-27, news.

Press release:

I write this letter to you, your readers and your viewers because I am sickened by the comments that have been made by Donald Trump regarding women. They have also been reinforced by his surrogates who continue to defend him and his misogynistic old boys’ club. Even my opponent, Rep. Chris Collins (R), stands by his man.

There is a particular type of ugliness when women are made fun of, degraded and dismissed. However, we shouldn’t be surprised because we’ve seen it before throughout Donald Trump’s campaign. What is most disturbing though is the merry band of men and women who support him and echo his words. Some may not say it out loud, but their very support of him speaks volumes.

He crossed the line years ago when he accused President Obama of not being a U.S. citizen. He crossed the line when he called Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers. He crossed the line when he mocked a disabled reporter. He crossed the line when he said John McCain was not a hero and that POWs were not heroes because they allowed themselves to be captured. He crossed the line when he disparaged a Gold Star family. And yet, his defenders tried to tell us how we misinterpreted or misread his statements. We waited patiently for the press and media to question him, call him out on his bigotry and prejudices, but the lies kept coming and his surrogates kept getting their sound bites.

Now the attack is on all women -- our daughters, our mothers, our grandmothers. Finally people are getting angry and saying they have crossed the line for the last time. But have they? Mr. Collins has not. In spite of the now growing list of Republicans saying they cannot support a President who says such things, Mr. Collins has said “there is no change in my support of Mr. Trump as our nominee."

This latest degradation of women should offend everyone, even Chris Collins, and it is amongst a long list of abusive behavior. I am a Mom who has a daughter. My instinct is to immediately try and shield her from these horrible comments, just as my Mother would have done for me and my grandmother before her. I ask myself, “who brought this man up? Who raises these people to hate women so?"

Mr. Trump and Mr. Collins, women are 51 percent of the population and we vote. We are married to men who respect their wives, their mothers, their daughters and they vote. We have sons and daughters whom we have brought up to be fair, open, non-prejudiced, wonderful human beings who want a better world without bullies, bigots and misogynists and they vote, too.

The time has come for all the voters in NY-27 to take a long, hard and unbiased look at the candidates and when you cast your vote I hope you take into consideration the kind of country you want to leave to your children. It has to be about issues, but it must also be about a person’s character as well. We should all keep in mind the words of Billy Graham, “when wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.”

August 25, 2016 - 10:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, agriculture, business, batavia.

collinsagaug242016.jpg

Rep. Chris Collins hosted members of his Agriculture Advisory Committee -- local farmers and people involved in the local ag industry -- at Genesee Community College yesterday for a briefing on issues at the federal level affecting agriculture.

Collins noted that while he's not on the Ag Committee in Congress, he is on a committee with key oversight of a number of issues that affect agriculture.

"I am on Energy and Commerce, a more powerful committee, with oversight over the EPA and FDA," Collins said. "It’s certainly a good place to be."

Collins also addressed the issue of immigration, an important issue to farmers who, in recent years, have struggled to fill their farm labor force.

The NY-27th's representative is one of the few members of Congress to endorse Donald Trump for president and until this past week, Trump was calling for the deportation of 11 million immigrants who may have entered the country illegally. In the past week, Trump modified his position and is no longer promising to deport migrant workers living in the United States peacefully. 

Collins said the shift reflects Trump growing into the job of presidential candidate and one who is open to discussion.

"We will secure the borders and make sure the workforce that many of you have do have legal work papers and can figure out visas and other things that might ensure you’re not short of help," Collins said. "I think that’s a positive."

collinsagaug242016-3.jpg

collinsagaug242016-4.jpg

Mark Zittel, from Erie County, who brought samples of some of the produce he grows.

collinsagaug242016-5.jpg

Collins staff member Jeff Freeland.

August 11, 2016 - 7:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Diana Kastenbaum, chris collins, NY-27, news.

Press release:

In a rally yesterday in Wilmington, N.C., Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump insinuated that “Second Amendment people,” take violent action against Hillary Clinton if they disliked her Supreme Court nomination. This remark came after Trump made claims that Clinton believes in abolishing the Second Amendment and would nominate a judge who would do so.

This isn’t the only time Trump and his supporters have advocated violence against Secretary Clinton as chants of “lock her up” pervade at all of his rallies.

Diana Kastenbaum, the Democratic candidate for NY­27, says, “The amount of violence Mr. Trump incites seems to know no bounds. Trump’s remarks were not only hateful, but insulting as he reduced gun owners to no better than murderers.

"I'm sure Chris Collins is waiting in the wings for his next appearance on the networks and cable today to tell us how the liberal media and Democrats have once again misconstrued Mr. Trump’s statements. However, this is no joking matter and blatant threats, such as this, should be taken seriously.”

August 9, 2016 - 12:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, Genesee County Airport, business.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today announced $184,871 in federal funding from the Federal Aviation Administration for the Genesee County Airport, located in Batavia. The grant will assist the Genesee County Airport in funding the full reconstruction and rehabilitation of 3,400 feet of existing runway.

“Utilizing grant funding to support our local governments is a smart investment and a responsible use of federal tax dollars,” said Congressman Collins. “Investing in infrastructure projects like the Genesee County Airport’s runway rehabilitation will significantly improve the quality, efficiency and safety of its daily operations. These efforts will allow the Genesee County Airport to continue to grow and positively impact our local economy for years to come.”

“This important federal funding will help ensure the future of the Genesee County Airport,” said Ray Cianfrini, chairman of the Genesee County Legislature.The grant will fund the full depth reconstruction of 3,400 feet of the existing runway 10/28 pavement that has reached the end of its useful life. We look forward to continuing to work with Congressman Collins to improve local transportation infrastructure and support job growth throughout Genesee County.”

The Congressman’s office remains available to assist any local government pursuing a federal grant.

August 1, 2016 - 8:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Diana Kastenbaum, chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

Mr. Collins’ appearance today on MSNBC was insensitive to the Khan family and self-serving. As the representative of the people of NY-27 and a so-called advocate for Veterans it was even more thoughtless and uncaring.

Diana Kastenbaum said, “Collins continued to be Trump’s surrogate by reiterating the insults to the Khan family in his interview. To have a talking point, which he used not once but twice, saying that it happened 12 years ago made it seem somehow irrelevant. My response to Mr. Collins is - the loss of a child has no expiration date for one’s grief. Collins also stated that Mr. Khan is not immune from anything as he has entered the political fray; therefore he leaves himself open to condemnation and criticism. I would ask Mr. Collins, is that how we treat the memory of our heroes and Gold Star Mothers among us?”

Mr. Collin’s defense of the Trump attacks on the Khan family was another opportunity for him to stand by the Republican nominee and the divisiveness that he is inflicting on our country. 

UPDATE: Democratic leaders from the 27th District have also put out a statement:

The Democratic chairs of the eight counties that comprise New York's 27th District condemn in the strongest terms Rep. Chris Collin's outrageous statement on MSNBC this afternoon. As he desperately attempted to defend his chosen candidate's criticism of the Kahns, the Gold Star family who criticized Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslim immigrants since it would have prevented their son who died heroically in the service of our nation from even entering the United States, Rep. Collins went way over the line.

Incredibly, he accused Mr. Kahn of using his dead son as a "shield" from criticism and suggested he deserved anything he got, since he had dared to enter the fray.

Veterans and their families make up a proud part of this congressional district. All of them understand better than Mr. Trump or Rep. Collins what sacrifice actually means. Capt. Khan died defending his men and our nation. His family deserves our thanks and our compassion.

Rep. Collins brags about his role as a surrogate for Mr. Trump, even saying a few weeks ago that he had appeared on cable television for Mr. Trump's campaign over 100 times. We have to wonder how much he is even concerned with New York's 27th district, in the midst of this whirlwind of activity. We understand that Rep. Collins desperately wants his candidate to become president, since, as he admits, he hopes to be named

Secretary of Commerce. Today's comments prove there are no depths to which Mr. Trump can sink that he will not gladly follow. The voters of NY 27 deserve a representative who has as his priority the people of the district, not his own advancement. The many veterans and service families of NY 27 also deserve someone who understands and appreciates the sacrifices they made and continue to make. Rep. Collins clearly does not. 

Jeremy Zellner, Erie County Democratic Chair
Nick Forster, Niagara County Democratic Chair
Jeanne Crane, Orleans County Chair
Lorie Longhany, Genesee County Democratic Chair
Harold Bush, Wyoming County Democratic Chair
Judith Hunter, Livingston County Democratic Chair
Jamie Romeo, Monroe County Democratic Chair
John Hurley, Ontario County Democratic Chair

Lorie Longhany, the Genesee County chair, when sending over the press release, also included two relevant links:

July 14, 2016 - 1:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) released the following statement after being announced as a speaker at the upcoming Republican National Convention.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to carry Western New York’s message on behalf of Donald Trump. We need a Chief Executive who will put America first, defend our nation's security, secure our borders and put an end to the devastating trade deals that have sent American jobs overseas for far too long. Now is the time for our party to unite and focus our efforts on defeating Hillary Clinton and making America great again for all Americans.”

Congressman Collins was the first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump. He is Co-Chair of Donald Trump’s Congressional Leadership Committee, Honorary Co-Chair of Trump New York, and has made countless media appearances as a surrogate for Donald Trump.

July 9, 2016 - 6:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pok-A-Dot, batavia, chris collins, NY-27, news.

collinsatdotjuly92016.jpg

Rep. Chris Collins was in town today for a meeting at the VFW and we caught up with him afterward at the Pok-A-Dot. Collins often stops at the Dot for breakfast, but hadn't tried the Dot's famous beef-on-weck before today*.

We asked Collins for his thoughts on the tragic events of the past week and what Congress might be able to do about events like these.

He said these are complex issues that, unfortunately, too many people want to politicize or try to solve with simplistic suggestions.

"If you’re going to talk about tragedies, the shootings, the murders, what we need to do is come together as a nation, address the root cause of our problems and hope people can come together," Collins said. "That doesn’t mean it's solved overnight, but that’s the direction we go, with a conversation together, identifying root causes, finding the solutions."

Collins, who is supporting Donald Trump for president, doesn't think the present administration is up to the task.

"The biggest problem we have is we have is a president who isn’t interested in that (finding common ground)," Collins said. "He politicizes every tragedy. He tries to make political points out of every tragedy, and in doing so he’s divided our country like it’s never been divided before."

Collins hopes the next administration will do better.

“The next president, whoever that is, has to bring our nation together," Collins said.

As for root causes, there are many, Collins said, such as mental health, terrorism and racism.

"Unfortunately, the country is just not working together," Collins said. "We’re finger pointing. We’re pointing fingers where maybe they don’t belong and very simplistically and very shamefully, suggesting simplistic insulting solutions as if that’s the solution when it’s not. This is tough stuff, whether it’s mental health, whether there are racial issues or not in that police department or not or this individual situation or another. It’s not simplistic, broad-brush stuff. It’s hard work."

CORRECTION: An aide says I'm wrong about the beef-on-weck. All three of us, he said, had a beef-on-weck together on the day of the primary election in 2012 and they've been "hooked" ever since. 

Photos: Local businessman Louis Andolora snaps a picture of Collins to add to his "Cyber Pok-A-Dot" page and then poses for a picture with the congressman.

collinsatdotjuly92016-2.jpg

April 25, 2016 - 4:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, chris collins, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement recognizing United States Navy Veteran, Kenneth A. Dehm, of Batavia, as New York 27th Congressional District’s April "Veteran of the Month." The "Veteran of the Month" is a new program established by Congressman Collins’ office to recognize the dedication and service of NY-27’s veterans.

“I was honored to have the opportunity to meet with Ken and his family and hear him share memories of his time in the service,” Congressman Collins said. “To have so many of Ken’s family members and friends in attendance to see Ken receive this honor was truly special.

"We are all very grateful for his service. My office will continue to recognize a local ‘Veteran of the Month’ as a small thank you to the thousands of Western New York veterans who have selflessly served our country.”

Kenneth Dehm served in the United States Navy from 1942-1946. During his years of service, Kenneth served aboard the U.S.S. Barnegat. Congressman Collins joined Ken’s children, grandchildren and other family and friends at a ceremony where he presented Kenneth with a Congressional Certificate of Commendation and a flag flown over the United States Capitol Building.

Mr. Dehm was presented this recognition at a ceremony at the Glenn S. Loomis VFW Post 332 on Saturday, April 23rd. A certificate from Assemblyman Steve Hawley was also presented at the ceremony.

Each month, Congressman Chris Collins will recognize a local "Veteran of the Month" with an American flag that was flown over the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., and a Congressional Commendation Certificate.

April 21, 2016 - 6:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after introducing H.R. 5021, the Better Accounting for Medicaid Costs Act. The legislation will focus on reducing costs associated with Medicaid information requirements.

“States and the federal government currently spend over $500 billion a year on Medicaid,”Congressman Collins said. “If we are serious about tackling our nation’s budgetary challenges, we must confront this massive and out-of-control expense.

“Through common-sense measures, we can easily save taxpayer dollars, while improving transparency and accountability within the Administration. This legislation will protect states and the federal governments from unknowingly footing the bill for overly expensive Medicaid policy clarifications. Requiring the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide notice and comment rulemaking on sub-regulatory guidance that will cost states over $50 million or the federal government over $100 million in one year is simply smart policy.”

Lately, CMS has issued expensive Medicaid policy clarifications and interpretations through informal guidance such as letters to State Medicaid Directors, Informational Bulletins, and Frequently Asked Questions. Sub-regulatory guidance makes sense for certain updates and changes, given the Federal-State nature of the Medicaid program. However, some of these “clarifications” can actually present states and the federal government with high and unexpected costs.

This legislation requires CMS to go through notice and comment rulemaking if the Secretary of HHS determines that Medicaid sub-regulatory guidance will cost states more than $50 million or the federal government more than $100 million in one year, increasing transparency and accountability within the entitlement program.

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