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chris collins

June 7, 2013 - 9:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, NY-27, chris collins, Future Farmers of America.

With an eye toward drawing more young people into farming, Rep. Chris Collins appeared at the Post Farm in Elba today to announce his support of a bill that would provide aid and support to aspiring young farmers.

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2013 is aimed at providing loans, grants and assistance to new farmers.

“Farming and the agriculture industry play a critical role in the economy of our area, and in communities all around the country,” Collins said. “But the average age of our nation’s farmer is 57 years old. With a large segment of America’s farmers and ranchers at or nearing retirement age, we have to encourage young people to enter this challenging, hard and vitally important line of work so we can sustain this economic engine.”  

Collins appeared with members of Future Farmers of America, New York Farm Bureau President Dean Norton and Genesee County Farm Bureau President Jeff Post.

"This will provide an opportunity for young people to get into farming," Norton said.

The bill would:

  • Enable access to land, credit and technical assistance for new producers;
  • Assist new producers to launch and strengthen new farm and value-added businesses;
  • Help new producers become good land stewards;
  • Provide training, mentoring, and research that beginning farmers and ranchers need to be successful;
  • Conduct outreach on agricultural job opportunities for military veterans.

For more on the bill, click here.

Ivy Reynolds, secretary of the NYS FAA, said the bill will ensure that young people like herself with a passion for farming will stick with farming.

"The engagement of young people in agricutlure is key to ensuring that when current owners and operators of New Yorks farms, dairies, nurseries and vineyards are ready to retire, there's a new generation that's ready, educated and excited about their role as the providers of nutrition," Reynolds said.

Post, Collins and Norton.

Reynolds, and a barn cat who stopped by to check out all of the activity.

May 25, 2013 - 9:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, Memorial Day, NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) honored the late John Chase, a World War II veteran from Batavia today by presenting his family members with the medals he earned in service.

“Today I am proud to pay tribute to John Chase, a man who fought for and defended the freedom of our county so bravely during World War II,” Congressman Collins said. “I am humbled to present his family with the medals he earned during his time in the Army and want to thank him posthumously for his distinguished service.”

Alongside members of the late John Chase’s family and Chairwoman of the Genesee County Legislature Mary Pat Hancock, Congressman Collins shared how John Chase was drafted into the Army, fought in the battle of Rhineland in 1945, and received a Silver Star for his actions.

As John Chase grew increasingly ill, his family reached out to Congressman Collins’ office and asked for help in securing a new medal. In the process, Congressman Collins’ office discovered John Chase also qualified for a Bronze Star, which he had never received.

“I am very proud of the sacrifice my father made to fight for his country. Replacing my father’s Silver Star and finding out that he qualified for a Bronze Star has meant a great deal to our family,” said John Chase’s son, David. “I thank Congressman Collins for helping secure the medals my father earned and for giving us the opportunity to honor his service.”

Congressman Collins honored John Chase on Wednesday by sharing his story on the floor of the House of Representatives, and thanked all of our nation’s veterans for their service.

May 16, 2013 - 8:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, NY-27, chris collins, farm bill.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) voted yesterday to approve the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013 and move it out of the House Agriculture Committee. The bill was passed by a large, bipartisan vote of 36-10.

“I am proud the committee was able to come together and pass a farm bill that will give American farmers the certainty they need to plan for the future,” Congressman Collins said. “Agriculture is critical to the economy of Western New York, and I am proud to have been able to represent the farmers of my district on this important issue.”

Congressman Collins also helped secure additional funding for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI), which provides funding to land grant universities, such as Cornell University, to conduct research on specialty crops. Last year’s Farm Bill, which was not passed on the House floor, included $450 million in funding for the SCRI over 10 years. The FARRM Act of 2013 includes $600 million in mandatory funding for the program, which had expired under the current nine-month extension.

Securing funding for the SCRI was important to Congressman Collins as specialty crops farmers across Western New York have consistently cited how critical the ability to conduct research is to their enterprise and industry as it will pioneer new technologies, advanced plant varieties, and help New York farmers generate higher profits.

“New York Farm Bureau is very appreciative of Congressman Chris Collins’ commitment to New York’s farmers. His support in committee of the 2013 Farm Bill sets the stage to provide a stronger safety net for our dairy and specialty crop farmers who help support their local economies,” said Dean Norton, president of New York Farm Bureau.

The legislation also contained major reforms to current U.S. dairy policy. The Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program and Dairy Product Price Support Program have been replaced with a new margin protection program that will better reflect a dairy farmer’s real costs by now equating the cost of feed. This program will ensure Western New York dairy farmers get the support they need to meet the market demands.

The program known as the Dairy Market Stabilization Plan or “supply management,” which would dictate how much a dairy farmer could produce, was also included in the bill. Congressman Collins supported an amendment that would strike this program after hearing near unanimous opinion from his Agriculture Advisory Board that “supply management” would inflate prices for consumers, restrict dairy industry growth, and burden farmers with additional government intervention.

Similar legislation was completed on Tuesday in the Senate Committee on Agriculture. The Farm Bill will now need to be debated on the House floor.

"I am proud of the Committee's effort to advance a farm bill with significant savings and reforms. We achieve nearly $40 billion in savings by eliminating outdated government programs and reforming others. No other committee in Congress is voluntarily cutting money, in a bipartisan way, from its jurisdiction to reduce the size and scope of the federal government. I appreciate the efforts of my colleagues and the bipartisan nature in which this legislation was written and approved. I look forward to debating the bill on the House floor this summer," said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (OK-3).

Highlights include:

-- FARRM saves nearly $40 billion in mandatory funds, including the immediate sequestration of $6 billion;
-- FARRM repeals or consolidates more than 100 programs;
-- FARRM eliminates direct payments, which farmers received regardless of market conditions;
-- FARRM streamlines and reforms commodity policy while also giving producers a choice in how best to manage risk;
-- FARRM includes the first reforms to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) since the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, saving more than $20 billion;
-- FARRM consolidates 23 conservation programs into 13, improving program delivery to producers and saving more than $6 billion;
-- FARRM builds on previous investments to fruit and vegetable production, farmers markets, and local food systems;
-- FARRM includes several regulatory relief measures to help mitigate burdens farmers, ranchers, and rural communities face;

May 15, 2013 - 8:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Outraged over recent revelations that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) singled out and targeted conservative political groups, Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) has signed a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew voicing concern and demanding answers.

Drafted by Congressman Jim Bridenstine (OK-1), the letter calls for an explanation regarding reports that Lois Lerner, the IRS head for tax-exempt groups, admitted that the IRS treated conservative political groups unfairly by screening organizations with “tea party” or “patriot” in tax-exempt status applications, and violated IRS policy by asking these groups for donor lists.

“The actions of the IRS are inexcusable. The American people have questions and Secretary Lew, with the ultimate authority over the IRS, must provide answers,” said Congressman Collins. “I am one of many members of Congress, on either side of the aisle, who continues to seek more information.”

This letter is a first step in calling for the responsible individuals to be held accountable, and requests assurance from Secretary Lew that the targeted groups are notified, among other actions.

The full text of the letter can be found here.

May 9, 2013 - 1:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins, health insurance.

Press release:

House Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology Chairman Chris Collins (NY-27) today led a hearing to examine the economic effects of the upcoming health care law’s insurance tax on small businesses. Beginning in 2014, the health care law imposes a new tax on the health insurance policies that most small businesses purchase. The amount of the tax will be $8 billion in 2014, increasing to $14.3 billion in 2018, and increase based on premium trend thereafter.

Among today’s witnesses was Dean Norton, an Elba resident and president of the New York State Farm Bureau. Norton testified about the impact of the tax on farmers.

“The health care law is a massive piece of legislation that is making a major impact on our lives and the economy overall,” Chairman Collins said. “The numerous mandates, requirements and taxes, such as the health insurance tax (HIT), are driving up the cost for small businesses to provide health insurance for their employees. This assessment is not a partisan attack. This is a fact, substantiated by independent studies. Both the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office, among others, have said they expect a very large portion of this tax to be passed through to the purchasers of insurance in the form of higher premiums, driving up the cost of insurance for families and small businesses.”

“Although the law exempts self-funded insurance plans, small businesses typically do not qualify to self-insure, leaving them to pay higher premiums in a fully funded group plan,” continued Collins. “This law is bad for our economy. Without any relief in sight, it appears that the law will continue to be an anchor holding down small businesses.”

A recent NFIB Research Foundation study estimated that the tax will raise the cost of employer-sponsored insurance by 2 percent to 3 percent, imposing a cost of nearly $5,000 per family by 2020. The study also projects the price increases caused by the tax will reduce private sector employment by up to 262,000 jobs by 2020, with 59 percent of the losses falling in the small business sector.

A 2011 report by actuarial firm Oliver Wyman provided national estimates of the impact of the tax on health insurance premiums. The report found the insurance tax alone “will increase premiums in the insured market on average by 1.9 percent to 2.3 percent in 2014” and by 2023 “will increase premiums by 2.8 percent to 3.7 percent.”

Materials for the hearing are posted on the House Small Business Committee’s Web site HERE.

Notable Quotes:

Dean Norton, president of New York Farm Bureau in Elba, NY, said, “…health insurance costs for small businesses are already rapidly trending higher, increasing 103 percent since 2000. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, the HIT tax will further increase family premiums by $400 or 2.5 percent in the year 2016, making it even harder for farmers to purchase coverage for themselves, their families and their employees.”

William Dennis Jr., senior research fellow at NFIB Foundation in Washington, DC, said, “The health insurance premium tax was one of the largest revenue components included in the original law to offset the budgetary costs posed by PPACA. Formally structured as a fee on health insurers, this tax was intended to raise more than $100 billion over a decade beginning in 2014. However, both government and independent analysts believe that the tax will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher health insurance premiums.

“The tax falls almost exclusively on small businesses. Their larger competitors have no equivalent obligation. Small businesses, therefore, are asked to absorb a significant share of the financial load of the program while placing them in a less competitive position to do so.”

Ryan P. Thorn, of Ryan P. Thorn Insurance Planning in South Jordan, Utah, said, “The new national health insurance fee that will be imposed on all individual and fully insured group health insurance policies sold in this country from 2014 and forward will impact about 45 percent of all insured residents in Utah. These are the people who are covered by individual, private Medicare and group policies that are fully insured. This means that all risk for the policies is borne by the insurance company. These are the only type of policies that are impacted by the new tax, which means that the Americans who work for and own small businesses around the country are disproportionately affected.”

May 3, 2013 - 9:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) pushed the Main Street Revival Act (H.R. 952) in Batavia today. The bipartisan legislation will help promote economic growth and fill vacancies along America’s main streets. Collins is the lead Republican cosponsor of the legislation in the House.

“If Washington is serious about getting our economy back on track, we need to get serious about supporting American small business,” Collins said. “Encouraging and incentivizing new small businesses, particularly in struggling areas, will be critical to rebuilding our economy and this legislation does just that.”

The Main Street Revival Act would allow a small business to defer payment of payroll taxes for one year after it hires its first employee. The taxes will be paid back in equal installments over the subsequent four years. The deferment would hopefully provide meaningful relief to a new small business, or one which is just at the beginning stages of growth, which is traditionally a hard time for my small business owners.

“The ability to defer payroll taxes for one year may be just enough of a break to help a new small business owner hire one more person or purchase a new piece of equipment,” said Collins. “This legislation represents the practical, commonsense solutions Washington needs to take to nurture small business development, create jobs, and spur real economic development in our communities.”

To encourage growth in hard-hit areas, the legislation provides the tax deferral incentive to businesses located in a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZones) as defined by the Small Business Administration. In NY-27, sections of Batavia, Depew, Lancaster, Lockport, Medina, and Livingston County are designated as HUBZones.

The bill is also limited to true small businesses, those which expect to hire no more than 25 people during the year period for which payroll taxes can be deferred. Lastly, the H.R. 952 makes clear that nothing in the bill will reduce the Social Security or Medicare trust funds.

Collins was joined by Genesee County Chamber of Commerce President Lynn Freeman who praised the legislation.

Collins is partnering with Congressman Eric Swalwell, Democrat of California, on the legislation. “Good ideas that help our small businesses know no political party,” Swalwell said. “I welcome Rep. Collins of New York as the lead Republican cosponsor of the Main Street Revival Act. This bill was inspired by walking the Main Streets of my district and talking with business owners – Republicans and Democrats – about ways the federal government can help them get off the ground, hire employees and succeed. This is sensible legislation to speed up local economic development in the neighborhoods that need it most.”

May 1, 2013 - 4:06pm

Roger Parkhurst provided Rep. Chris Collins with a tour of the Alpina Foods plant in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park today.

Parkhurst, left, gave Collins, who sits on the House Agriculture Committee, an overview of Alpina's history, the Greek yogurt market in the United States and the process Alpina uses to make yogurt locally.

The plant started production in October and Parkhurst said the operation has already grown to what it projected for its second year of business. There are 55 permanent employees with Alpina locally, and to help meet production demands, the plant uses up to 100 temporary employees at times.

There are already plans on the drawing board to expand the plant.

April 27, 2013 - 12:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, GO ART!, NY-27, chris collins.

Rep. Chris Collins was at Seymore Place today to announce the winners of the annual congressional art contest. Students from throughout the NY-27 submitted artworks, which were displayed at Go ART! and judged by local artists.

The winner, above with Collins, was Mitchell R. Krumm, of Clarence High School. Second place, bottom photo, was Judith Brennan, also of Clarence.

The awards were presented by Collins and Diana Kasten (second photo with Collins), a member of the GO ART! Board of Directors.

March 14, 2013 - 10:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) issued the following statement after voting for legislation preserving work requirements for Welfare recipients (H.R. 890, the Preserving Work Requirements for Welfare Programs Act of 2013):

“Requiring work for people receiving payments from certain Welfare programs has proven to be an extremely successful approach since it became law as part of the historic and bipartisan reform of Welfare back in 1996. That is why many were stunned last summer when the Obama Administration announced it would allow states to waive work requirements for people receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) payments.

The Legislation passed in the House prevents the Obama administration from issuing work requirement waivers. These work requirements have a proven history of helping to lift people out of poverty.  It is now my hope that the Senate will address this important issue and that Washington leaders will work together to find more ways to break the cycle of government dependency.”

According to the House Ways and Means Committee report issued last year, between 1996 and 2000, employment of single mothers increased by 15 percent; earnings for female-headed households remained higher in 2009 than in 1996 despite shifting economic conditions; TANF caseloads decreased by 57 percent through December 2011; and child poverty has decreased dramatically and continues below the levels in the 1990s.

March 8, 2013 - 12:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, agriculture, chris collins.

Rep. Chris Collins met with a group of more than 30 farmers from throughout the NY-27 today at Farm Credit East.

The farmers comprise an advisory panel for Collins, who sits on the House Agriculture Committee.

The group was set up to advise Collins on issues pertinent to the industry, such as immigration, the new five-year Farm Bill, and regulations affecting dairy, vegetable, fruit and grain farmers.

This afternoon, Collins will also attend the Genesee County Economic Development Center's annual meeting at Genesee Community College.

March 5, 2013 - 1:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, art, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) is encouraging local high school students to participate in this year's Congressional Art Competition. The winning artist from New York's 27th Congressional District will travel to Washington, D.C., and have their artwork displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year.

"Each day, members of Congress and hundreds of visitors to the Capitol walk by the award winning artwork submitted by high school students from around the country," Collins said. "I look forward to great participation from NY-27 schools this year and the opportunity to welcome our wining artist to Washington this summer."

Now in its 31st year, the Congressional Art Competition is open to all high school students in New York's 27th Congressional District. Local submissions are due by April 19 and will be judged by the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council.

Collins' office has notified local high schools regarding contest rules and submission guidelines. Interested students should see their art teacher for details or contact Emily Knight from Congressman Collins' office at (585) 519-4002.

February 25, 2013 - 6:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

The President insisted that these devastating, across-the-board spending cuts become law as part of the debt negotiations back in 2011. Now four days away from these cuts taking effect, he is telling the American people the only way to avoid the pain is to raise taxes – again.

I am very disappointed the President is not working with us to find a solution. The House first passed legislation 290 days ago to replace the President’s sequester with smarter, more responsible spending cuts. The Senate and the President never addressed those bills.

The President is now threatening an apocalypse if he doesn’t get a second tax hike in eight weeks. There are smarter, more bipartisan ways to replace President Obama’s sequester than higher taxes on hardworking Americans.

January 24, 2013 - 1:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

As the House Agriculture Committee held its first meeting of the 113th Congress, the committee’s chairman appointed Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) to the following subcommittees: General Farm Commodities and Risk Management

Jurisdiction: Program and markets related to cotton, cottonseed, wheat, feed grains, soybeans, oil seeds, rice, dry beans, peas, lentils, the Commodity Credit Corporation, risk management, including crop insurance, commodity exchanges, and specialty crops.

Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture

Jurisdiction: Fruits and vegetables, honey and bees, marketing and promotion orders, plan pesticides, quarantine, adulteration of seeds and insect pests, and organic agriculture, research, education and extension, biotechnology, and foreign agriculture assistance, and trade promotion programs, generally.

“I am excited to hit the ground running and get to work on the issues that matter to our farmers,” Collins said. “Agriculture is a primary economic driver in NY-27 and the issues debated and decided on by the House Agriculture Committee and its various subcommittees directly impact not only our local farmers and their families, but our entire region. Our primary goal must be to pass a comprehensive five-year Farm Bill to give our farmers the support and long-term stability they deserve.”

Earlier this month, Collins met with about 40 farmers in Batavia to discuss agriculture issues and hear what they most want to see as part of a new Farm Bill. In the near future, Collins will establish a formal and active Agriculture Advisory Committee.

January 7, 2013 - 5:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, agriculture, NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

On his first full week on the job, Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) met with approximately 40 local farmers this afternoon to talk about what they want to see as part of a new farm bill. Congress is set to debate a new five-year farm bill over the coming months. As a member of the Agriculture Committee, Collins has made it a top priority to work with his colleagues to pass a new farm bill as soon as possible. The current legislation expired and Congress passed a short-term extension at the end of 2012.

“America’s farmers need their federal government to act and pass a comprehensive, long-term farm bill,” Collins said. “Congress must come together to give our agricultural community the support and long-term stability it needs.”

Held in Batavia, today’s meeting participants included dairy and crop farmers from the various counties that make-up New York’s 27th Congressional District. Dean Norton, president of the New York Farm Bureau, also participated. Today’s informal meeting gave Collins an opportunity to hear directly from local farmers in advance of his first Agriculture Committee meeting in Washington. In the near future, Collins’ office will establish a formal Agriculture Advisory Committee.

A new farm bill would establish farm commodity, conservation, trade and nutritional programs for the next five-year period.

“Hardworking farmers cannot be left in limbo while Washington partisans remain deadlocked on the major issues of the day,” Collins said. “A new farm bill is too important to agricultural interests not only in our own community, but all across this country. We all rely on the hard work of America’s farmers and now the federal government needs to do its job.”

January 5, 2013 - 5:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, genesee county, Gary Maha, NY-27, chris collins.

Elected officials from national, state and county government were at the Old Courthouse today for both a ceremonial and official swearing in for office.

For Rep. Chris Collins, State Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer and Assemblyman Steve Hawley, taking the oath in Batavia today was ceremonial. But for Sheriff Gary Maha, Treasurer Scott German, coroners Donald Coleman and Karen Lang, along with Undersheriff William Sheron and Deputy Treasurer Matt Landers, the oath was official.

Collins spoke briefly about his commitment to representing the people of the 27th Congressional District, hearing the concerns of voters, especially in Genesee County, and working in Congress to help control spending and bring down the deficit.

"My job in representing this district is that we stand up for our children and grandchildren to get spending under control, to get our deficits down to zero in some reasonable time, like 10 years, and grow the economy," Collins said.

He promised that the people of Genesee County will see him frequently in the county.

Prior to the ceremony, Collins took his wife, Mary, daughter, Caitlin, son, Cameron, and staff members to a no-media lunch at the Pok-A-Dot. Collins has referred to the Pok-A-Dot as a good-luck charm, dining there on election day for the primary and general elections, but when he showed up today, he reportedly told people there that he wanted a chance to enjoy lunch with his family without cameras around.

Sheriff Gary Maha takes the oath, administered by Assemblyman Steve Hawley, as wife Susan Maha holds the Bible.

Above, Coroner Donald Coleman, who has served in the position for 21 years, takes the oath of office.

To purchase prints of the photos in the slide show, click the link in the upper left of the slide show.

January 4, 2013 - 1:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Press release:

“Today, the House of Representatives took action on the first of two aid packages to help people devastated by Superstorm Sandy in October. I am pleased that one of my first acts as a member of Congress was to cosponsor and vote in favor of this bill, which will provide nearly $10 billion to FEMA so it can cover flood insurance claims.

It is important that Congress come together to do its part and provide the necessary aid to help the millions of people impacted by this natural disaster. Too many families have had their entire lives turned upside down. It is only right that the federal government help those impacted on the East Coast recover and begin to rebuild not only their homes, but their lives.”

January 3, 2013 - 3:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, chris collins.

Statement from Rep. Chris Collins:

“Today, as I took the official oath of office, I thought of the faith and trust the hardworking residents of New York's 27th Congressional District have placed in me. I am humbled by the opportunity to be their representative and their voice in the United States House of Representatives.

As a new member of Congress, I look forward to serving on both the Agriculture and Small Business committees. These committee assignments are a natural fit for both my experience as a small business owner and the incredibly important role agriculture plays in NY-27. In addition to fighting every day for what is best for the families of NY-27, I pledge to be a strong advocate and champion for farmers and small business owners, and their employees, not only in our own community, but all across this country.

I begin my time in Congress at a very critical moment in our country. It is my hope that the new Congress can come together to seriously address the issues facing our nation. I look forward to being a part of the discussion, and most importantly, a part of the solutions that are necessary to curb our nation's unsustainable spending and reduce our crushing national debt. Members of Congress must start making decisions based not on political expediency, but on commonsense fiscal policy focused on ensuring prosperity of our children, grandchildren and future generations.”

Collins will take a ceremonial oath of office at 1 p.m., Saturday, at the Genesee County Courthouse.

December 13, 2012 - 4:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, agriculture, chris collins.

Press release:

Congressman-elect Chris Collins (NY-27) will serve on both the Agriculture and Small Business committees in the 113th Congress beginning in January. Collins was appointed to the posts by House leadership. The committee assignments are a natural fit for both Collins’ background as a small business owner and the incredibly important role agriculture plays in New York’s 27th Congressional District.

“These two committee assignments make perfect sense as I look to bring my real-world experience to Washington and represent the needs and concerns of New York’s 27th Congressional District,” Collins said. “Agriculture plays an extremely critical role in this district in terms of both the economy and the way of life for many families.

"Throughout the campaign, I visited with dozens of crop and dairy farmers who shared with me their daily struggles of trying to run efficient, profitable farms despite the regulations and burdensome bureaucracy coming out of Washington. One of my very top goals as a member of Congress will be to help farmers have a legal and reliable labor force by pushing for much needed improvements to our nation’s guest worker program.”

Collins is also eager to put his business and job creation background to use as a member of the House Small Business committee.

“Being a member of Congress may be new to me, but I’ve spent my entire adult life in the small business world,” Collins said. “After a 35-year career in the private sector, I am all too familiar with the hurdles the federal government places in the way of small business owners. Small business is the backbone of our economy and as this country continues to climb out of the devastating recession, the federal government needs to focus on making it easier for small businesses to grow and thrive, instead of harder.”

“In addition to fighting every day for what is best for the hardworking families of NY-27, I look forward to being an advocate and a voice for small business owners and farmers not only in our own community, but all across this country,” Collins said.

Collins has traveled to Washington since being elected last month to participate in new member orientation and other important forums for incoming members of Congress. Collins will take the official oath of office on Jan. 3.

November 7, 2012 - 9:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in kathy hochul, NY-27, chris collins.

Press release from Kathy Hochul:

“Early this morning I called Chris Collins and congratulated him on being elected to Congress. I encouraged him to work across the aisle and offered to assist him in any way I can. I also volunteered to help him make a smooth transition in January to ensure our constituents are well served. Congress can do better, and the people of this country deserve better than what Washington has given them.”

November 6, 2012 - 1:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Pok-A-Dot, NY-27, chris collins.

Calling it an Election Day tradition, Chris Collins drove to Batavia today for lunch at the Pok-A-Dot. Collins had lunch at the Dot the day of the GOP primary when he beat David Bellavia.

The Pok-A-Dot, he said, is kind of like a lucky charm.

Collins had no other campaign stops to make today with the race now in the hands of the voters of the NY-27. 

While Collins said he feels good about his chances against incumbent Kathy Hochul, he is short of predicting victory, knowing it's likely to be a close vote.

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