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Ed Rath

June 11, 2021 - 11:40am
posted by Press Release in Ed Rath, news, 61st state senate district.

Press release:

“The 2021 Legislative Session came to an end on June 10th, said Sen. Ed Rath. "Unfortunately, the session fell short in many ways and did little to help the struggling residents and small businesses of New York State. 

“The state has faced an extremely tough year and at a time when New York could have been a leader in COVID reopening and recovery, we saw confusion and misplaced priorities. Changing mandates, new taxes, increased spending were the common themes of the year.  

“While this session fell short in many ways, I was happy to be able to serve the residents of the 61st Senate District and to be able to get legislation passed to help our local communities. I look forward to returning to Albany, for hopefully a more ‘normal’ session.”

June 9, 2021 - 11:09am
posted by Press Release in Ed Rath, agriculture, news, 61st state senate district.

Press release:

“The legislation that passed the Senate today, S.699b, is detrimental for our farming community and a clear disregard to their knowledge and expertise.  

“I have heard from many farmers from my district, as well as statewide organizations, such as the Farm Bureau, the New York State Turfgrass Association, and the New York State Corn, Soybean and Vegetable Growers, who have voiced their extreme concern with this legislation. This legislation will tie their hands and prohibit them from protecting their crops.

“Unfortunately, this is just another example of a Downstate politician proposing legislation from a conference room that will negatively impact the agricultural community without taking the time to understand the effects.  Farmers take great care in assuring their crops and products are safe and healthy, while also having an obvious vested interest in the environmental impacts.

“I would encourage the agricultural community to contact Assembly leadership to share their opposition to this dangerous legislation.”

May 26, 2021 - 10:59am
posted by Press Release in Ed Rath, pembroke, Route 77, 61st state senate district, news.

Press release:

Today, May 25th, Senator Ed Rath’s first bill passed the New York State Senate (S.6105). The bill will designate state Route 77 between Pembroke Town Park and the intersection of Indian Falls Road in the Town of Pembroke, County of Genesee, as the "Specialist Four (SP4) Clarence 'C. Jay' Hall Memorial Highway."

“I am extremely happy to announce the passage of my first bill," said Senator Rath. "I am immensely proud of this legislation, highlighting a local hero. It is also fitting that this bill passes just days before Memorial Day. Specialist Hall gave the ultimate sacrifice and to be able to honor him is very humbling."

Specialist Hall served as a rifleman in the Army in Binh Duong, Vietnam. He was mortally wounded on Oct. 7, 1969, during an intense attack by enemy forces.

Specialist Hall earned: the NYS Conspicuous Service Cross; the National Defense Service Medal; the Vietnam Service Medal with One Bronze Star; Vietnam Campaign Ribbon; Combat Infantryman Badge; and the Silver Star, which is the nation's third-highest award for valor.

The Veterans Outreach Club and the Government classes of the Pembroke Jr. /Sr. High School requested this legislation.

The bill passed the Senate and is currently in the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means for consideration.

May 20, 2021 - 5:55pm
posted by Press Release in covid-19, coronavirus, news, Ed Rath, 61st senate district.

Statement from Sen. Ed Rath:

“Another day, another executive order. The latest being children aged 2 and up must wear masks at daycare facilities. This is outrageous. From the very start of the pandemic, we saw the State create arbitrary rules and guidelines without listening to the science. 

“For the past year and a half, younger children in daycare settings were not required to wear masks, as the CDC and NYS loosen these requirements, now suddenly this younger age group is forced into mask-wearing. 

“If the Governor does not act to resolve this, the Legislature must.”

May 17, 2021 - 6:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ed Rath, steve hawley, 9-1-1, news, video.
Video Sponsor

Press release:

Today, Senator Ed Rath called on the Department of Budget (DOB) to release critical funding grants for emergency services. Senator Rath was joined by Assemblyman Steve Hawley, Genesee County Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein, Undersheriff Brad Mazur, Genesee County Director of Emergency Communications Steven Sharpe, members of the Genesee County Legislature and members of the 911 Advisory Board.

“The delay in the release of this funding for our communities is extremely damaging," Senator Rath said. "As ranking member on the Senate Local Government’s Committee, I know the extreme duress many of our counties are under as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the State to be delaying the release of this funding, with no end in sight, is completely unacceptable.

"We need to be working with our counties and local governments, not adding unnecessary burdens. Unfortunately, this seems to be all too typical for our State. I am calling on the Department of Budget to release these grants (2020-21) and inform our counties when they will be able to apply for the current fiscal year’s grants (2021-22)."

Assemblyman Hawley said: "Our heroes of healthcare have been working dutifully throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure emergency services were not overwhelmed or interrupted during the highly contested time. To see that our 9-1-1 services are now under threat of being underfunded is unacceptable, and the State needs to take immediate action to ensure that our emergency telecommunications are not stifled."

"County governments must work alongside the State to ensure the funding needs are met for these important emergency services," said Genesee County Legislator Gregg Torrey, Human Services chair. “I want to thank Senator Rath and Assemblyman Hawley for fighting to secure our fair share of critical 9-1-1 funding which is needed to support our County Public Safety operations."

Genesee County Legislator Gary Maha, Public Service chair, said: "We have been fighting this battle for years through the New York State Sheriffs’ Association, the New York State 911 Coordinators Association and the New York State Association of Counties. It is time the Governor stops using these funds for other purposes than 9-1-1 services."

"The delay in releasing already collected 9-1-1 surcharge revenue money could cost Genesee County over $500k in the 2021 budget," said L. Matthew Landers, Genesee County manager, budget officer. "While we have long been advocating that a greater share of the collected surcharge go to the intended recipients, namely emergency communications operations such as the Genesee County Dispatch Center, this recent delay in funding is unexplainable and undermines emergency communications operations across the State."

Emergency Communications Director Sharpe, of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, and NYS 911 Coordinators Legislative Committee chair, said: “Over the past year, our first responder community needed to address the pandemic while continuing to provide emergency services to the public.

"Our friends at the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communications (DHSES/OIEC) have been excellent partners by assisting local communities setting up communications for testing sites, emergency clinics, and now mass vaccination sites. DHSES/OIEC also hosted teleconferences for local and county partners to discuss best practices during the pandemic.

"Unfortunately, the State of New York has not honored their commitments regarding grant funding. Counties provide a majority of public safety answering point (9-1-1 center) services throughout the State and also administer a majority of public safety communications systems. During this pandemic, the State has inexplicably halted and delayed grant funding despite the funding stream for those grants increasing during the pandemic. 

"We are asking our partners at the State to honor their words, obey the laws of the State of New York, execute the law in a timely manner, and release the grant funding that is now above a year overdue."

The State has yet to release the 2020-21 grant funding or the application information for 2021-22.

May 8, 2021 - 1:25pm
posted by Press Release in Ed Rath, 61st senate district, news, unemployment.

Press release: 

“I am happy that Comptroller (Thomas) DiNapoli will be auditing the New York State Unemployment system for fraud," said Sen. Ed Rath (NYS-61). While this is a critical first step, I believe that a full and comprehensive audit of the system needs to be done.

"From the very start of the pandemic, the unemployment system in our State has been an absolute mess and the lack of transparency has been very concerning. Between residents being unable to receive the benefits they are due, to long wait times to overpayments and blatant fraud, there has been nonstop issues.

"My office has heard from hundreds of residents regarding their unemployment problems, and I am proud to say we have been able to work to resolve many of their issues.

"Unfortunately, until the fundamental challenges with the unemployment system are addressed, these problems will continue to occur, and we will continue to see fraud and waste in the system. I am hopeful that this audit will bring some much-needed transparency to the process.”

April 15, 2021 - 3:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, Ed Rath, veterans, news, video.
Video Sponsor

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley was joined today at the Genesee County Veterans Service Agency by Senator Ed Rath, Genesee County Legislator Gary Maha, Genesee County Veterans Services Director Bill Joyce, and Chris Kreiger and Lynn Magistrale of WNY Heroes, the organization that operates the Dwyer program in Genesee County, to discuss funding of the Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Peer Support Program and the impact the program has on local veterans. 

The final enacted budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year included $4,505,000 for the Dwyer Program across New York State, with $185,000 allocated for Niagara County, $185,000 for Monroe County, and $185,000 for Orleans, Genesee and Wyoming counties. This funding was secured even as Governor Cuomo proposed eliminating it entirely in his executive budget proposal.

“As a member of the Assembly Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and being a veteran myself, I am proud to have secured this funding for our service members after yet another attempt by the governor to eliminate it from our state budget,” Hawley said. “This funding saves lives, and operating programs such as the Dwyer program is the least we can do for those that risk their lives to defend our liberties.”

"I was pleased that the Dwyer Program funding was included in the final 2021-22 budget,” Senator Rath said. “The services that the Dwyer Program provides to our veteran community are critical. The State has continuously tried to cut or delay this funding, so I am happy that it was included in full."

“We are honored to take care of veterans and assist their families,” said Chris Kreiger, president of WNY Heroes and Iraq War veteran. “Our programs are about providing a hand up, not a handout. It takes more strength to ask for help and even more strength to accept it.

"Here at WNYHeroes, we are no different than you, the veteran. We don’t dress in fancy clothing, we don’t drive fancy cars, we simply just want nothing more than to provide support while sustaining your dignity at the same time.”

April 6, 2021 - 10:44am
posted by Press Release in Ed Rath, 61st senate district, news.

Press release:

The final budget bill includes the Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) aid for the City of Batavia, Town of Batavia, and Genesee County in the amount of $800,000. Originally left out of the Senate One-House Budget, Senator Ed Rath was vocal in his opposition to the elimination of this critical aid.

“I am pleased to see this aid restored," Senator Rath said. "Many of our communities are beginning to recover from COVID and the financial implications, to cut their funding at such a critical time would be detrimental.

"To think that the only areas that were exempt from the VLT aid were areas represented by Republican senators was troubling. This cut would have been detrimental, and I am glad that the aid was restored."

The VLT funding was included in part KK of the Public Protections and General Government Budget Bill (S.2505-C).

March 23, 2021 - 11:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ed Rath, 61st senate district, news.

Press release:

Senator Rath conducted a survey focusing on hunting issues contained in the Governor’s Executive Budget Proposal.

“Hearing from residents and knowing where they stand on proposals is extremely important to me. We received input from thousands of residents, from all over New York State. Thank you to all those who took the time to share their views with me. With this information, I am able to better represent my constituents,” said Senator Ed Rath.

“Thank you to Senator Rath for asking these questions. We appreciate the Senator involving the hunting community in these conversations,” Jeff Jondle, president of the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Club. 

The survey results indicated that residents overwhelmingly support lowering the hunting age (76 percent of respondents) and expanding the crossbow season (74 percent of respondents). Both proposals were included in the Governor’s Executive Budget Proposal.

Senator Rath was elected in 2020 and represents the towns of Amherst, Clarence, and Newstead and the villages of Akron and Williamsville in Erie County; the towns of Chili and Riga, the Village of Churchville and part of the City of Rochester in Monroe County; and all of Genesee County. The Senator is also a member of the New York State Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus.

March 17, 2021 - 2:56pm
posted by Press Release in covid-19, coronavirus, news, Ed Rath, 61st senate district.

Press release:

Senator Ed Rath has introduced legislation, S.5718, that would permit school districts to open to students for in-person instruction if the school can always maintain at least 3 feet between students. 

“Getting our children safely back into schools is critical," Rath said. "For the past year, children have had their daily routines completely upended. While virtual learning was necessary early in the pandemic, schools have proven that they can safely bring children back.

"I continue to hear from parents who share their concerns about their children falling behind academically and greatly missing the social aspect of in-person learning. Now that teachers have been prioritized for vaccination, allowing the three feet of social distancing would be another tool in helping get children back in the classroom.

“While some counties and school districts have made spacing adjustments on their own, a unified approach is necessary.  Additionally, it has been seen in other areas of the United States that bringing back students does not contribute to significant community spread.

"I have also met with the New York State American Academy of Pediatrics, who shared their support of this measure. I am hopeful that this bill will help get our children back into the classroom and allow schools to focus on educating our children."

The bill, S.5718, was introduced on March 16th and was referred to the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs for consideration.

March 1, 2021 - 2:10pm
posted by Press Release in Ed Rath, news, 2021 constituent survey.

From Sen. Ed Rath:, NY 61st Senate District:

Since being elected, I have heard from thousands of residents on numerous topics. It is critical to me to hear from those I represent on important issues. As budget discussions continue, many topics are being discussed. 

From mandatory COVID-19 vaccines to legalizing marijuana, your opinion on issues facing New York and our communities is extremely important to me. That is why I have launched a 2021 Legislative Questionnaire.

Click here to complete the 2021 Constituent Survey.

I look forward to hearing from the community on these issues and I will be listening as the legislative session continues. 

Thank you in advance for taking the time to fill out the questionnaire. I look forward to hearing your feedback.

February 12, 2021 - 5:57pm
posted by Press Release in covid-19, coronavirus, news, Ed Rath, 61st senate district.

Press release:

Senator Rath has called for a full, independent investigation into the Cuomo Administration, the Department of Health, and any other government official complicit with covering up information.

“What we are seeing regarding the reporting of deaths in nursing homes is extremely disturbing," Rath said. "Questions surrounding the number of deaths in nursing homes have swirled since March and for almost a year, the Governor and the DOH have ignored the cries for clarity.

"We need all the facts and that is why an investigation is critical. We need to know who knew what and when, and if the information was kept from the Department of Justice.

“In an ironic shift, Senate Majority members are now calling for the Governor’s executive powers to be revoked. After months of my colleagues and I (calling) for the repeal of the powers and being accused, by the Majority, of playing games and being political, now they see the true effects of centralized control.

“Furthermore, after members of the majority dismissed our conference’s calls for transparency as political, it now appears we were correct and that there was a coordinated effort to cover up facts for political gain.

“It is extremely troubling to me if the public cannot trust our top elected officials during a public health crisis."

February 10, 2021 - 12:30pm
posted by Press Release in Ed Rath, 61st senate district, news.

Press release:

Senator Rath has introduced his first bill as a new member of the New York State Senate. 

The bill, S.4691, would establish the “save our small businesses grant program” which would aid small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Aiding small businesses and helping our communities come back stronger is critically important.  This bill will help provide much needed financial support for our struggling businesses and economy,” said Senator Ed Rath.

The State’s Regional Economic Development Councils will provide the funds and help facilitate the implementation and roll-out of the “save our small businesses grant program.”

“As COVID-19 restrictions begin to lift, this becomes even more important.  We must assure that our businesses have the means to reopen and rehire to ensure financial stability.  It is crucial that our Regional Economic Development Councils shift their attention to supporting our existing businesses.  We owe it to them to offer any assistance we can during these trying times, especially because many are suffering as a result of state mandates,” said Senator Ed Rath.

The bill was submitted to the State Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business for consideration.

February 3, 2021 - 4:59pm
posted by Press Release in covid-19, coronavirus, news, Ed Rath, 61st senate district.

Press release:

“It is completely unacceptable that the scheduled Department of Health (DOH) COVID-19 hearing was canceled. I joined my colleagues this morning in a press conference to demand answers and I believe that Senator (Thomas) O’Mara’s subpoena of Howard Zucker (NYS commissioner of Health) is critical. We need a full investigation into this nursing home data coverup.

“The DOH is fully aware that there are many answers that the public needs. Unfortunately, they are trying to avoid answering tough questions by postponing the hearing until the end of the month. We need to hold them accountable.

"Between the flawed rollout of the vaccine distribution to the cover-up of nursing home deaths, to say there is a lot that needs to be discussed is an understatement. The public deserves answers and accountability and what we are seeing is far from that.”

January 28, 2021 - 1:06pm
posted by Press Release in Ed Rath, 61st senate district, news.

Press release:

Senator Rath has launched a four question Hunter’s Poll.

“Hearing from residents on important topics is critical to me," Rath said. "There are a few proposals that have been included in the Governor’s 2021-22 Budget that would affect the hunting community. Learning the residents’ perspective on these issues will allow me to better represent the district. That is why I hope you will take a moment to complete the poll.”

Residents can complete the survey here. The poll focuses on two long-debated proposals that will affect hunters in New York State. These proposals were recommended by the Department of Environmental Conservation and included in the Governor’s budget. 

January 26, 2021 - 3:18pm
posted by Press Release in Ed Rath, 61st senate district, news.

Statement State Sen. Ed Rath:

My comments and intention of reaching out to our local Board of Elections Commissioners, both Democrat, and Republican, is not in relation to the presidential election. New York State has the only unresolved congressional race in the nation, which is extremely concerning. In addition, there were several local elections that were not decided until weeks after Election Day. I have heard concerns raised in the days and weeks after Election Day of long lines, understaffed and underfunded Board of Elections. I am simply looking to do an analysis and decide what can be improved upon or what is already working well. The hearing I reference in my original statement is a bipartisan hearing, being headed by a Democratic Senator. Having input from our local experts has been and continues to be my main concern.  

Previously: Rath calling on election commissioners to ensure systems are secure

January 25, 2021 - 4:54pm
posted by Press Release in Ed Rath, 61st senate district, news.

Press release:

Senator Rath, ranking member on the State Senate Elections Committee, wrote to every Election Commissioner in the State encouraging them to share their suggestions and input on how the elections system can be improved and assure that voters have confidence in the system.

“It is critical that we look at the 2020 election and see what went right and what went wrong. From there we can make informed decisions about what needs to be changed or enhanced.

"Our Elections Commissioners know firsthand and their insight is crucial to the success of our future elections. Equally as important, is assuring that the public has the utmost faith and respect in our elections system. 

"This is only the beginning of the conversation and I look forward to hearing what our Commissioners have to share,” said Senator Rath.

Senator Rath will also be attending the Elections Committee’s virtual public hearing on Friday, Jan. 29.

UPDATE: Rath clarifies statement about commissioners reviewing election process

January 11, 2021 - 11:45am
posted by Press Release in Ed Rath, news, senate committees.

Press release:

Senator Ed Rath has been appointed as a member of the following New York State Senate committees: Budget and Revenue, Cities 2, Health, and Labor. Additionally, Senator Rath will be the ranking member on the Elections and Local Government committees.

“I am looking forward to being an active member of all of my committees," Rath said. "Working on behalf of the residents of the district to represent Upstate is extremely important. Being included on these committees will allow me to make our voice heard. I am eager to get to work on these committees."

A complete list of Senate Standing committees is available at nysenate.gov/committees.

January 7, 2021 - 3:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ed Rath, news, 61st senate district.

Statement from State Senator Ed Rath:

"The brutality we saw yesterday that unfolded inside our nation’s capitol is unacceptable and deeply disturbing. While the right to peacefully protest is part of the foundation of our country, what we saw yesterday cannot and will not be tolerated. We must have respect for each other, no matter what political party, and we must have respect for our law enforcement and the rule of law."

November 19, 2020 - 9:49pm
posted by Press Release in press release, news, 61 Senate District, Ed Rath.

Press release:

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me and my State Senate campaign!"  Running this year was a vastly different experience but I am proud of our effort and humbled by this victory," said Ed Rath, of his victorious bid for the 61 State Senate seat. "I would also like to wish my opponent well following a spirited campaign.

"It has been an honor getting to know the residents of the 61st District and I am deeply grateful for the trust they are placing in me. I am looking forward to bringing our Upstate values to Albany and providing a strong voice for families, taxpayers and businesses throughout the 61st District. You have my word that I will tirelessly fight to continue our strong representation of WNY!”

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