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Ed Rath

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!”

October 29, 2020 - 5:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ed Rath, 61st state senate district, video.
Video Sponsor

Earlier today, we spoke with Ed Rath, running for the 61st State Senate District on Jackson Street in Batavia.

October 8, 2020 - 3:12pm

Statement from NYS Senate Republican candidate Ed Rath regarding Audit of NYS Broadband Program:

“It has been announced that the NYS Comptroller’s Office is conducting an audit of the NYS Broadband Program," Rath said. "I eagerly await the results.

"At the inception of the NYS Broadband Program, $500 million was set aside to bring internet to the most rural parts of New York State. Unfortunately, we still have large areas, not only in rural areas but across many suburbs and cities, without access to broadband.

"This is unacceptable and the issue is only compounded by the current pandemic and the ever-growing need for reliable internet. Again, I look forward to the report from the Comptroller’s Office.”

September 24, 2020 - 4:52pm
posted by Press Release in Ed Rath, 61st senate district, news, broadband.

Statement from Ed Rath, candidate for the 61st State Senate District:

Having access to reliable internet has never been more important. With most households having individuals working from home and students learning virtually, access to internet is critical. Unfortunately, for many in Upstate and Western New York, access to broadband is extremely limited.

For years now, we have heard about the NYS program, Broadband for All. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in improving infrastructure and working to bring high-speed internet access to every mile of NYS, including those without access or underserved.

Sadly, however, there are still over one hundred thousand NY residents, many, right in our communities, without any wired internet options, let alone high speed. During the 2020 Legislative Session, the Senate and Assembly passed a bill that would require the New York State Public Service Commission conduct a study to evaluate broadband access across the State. It has been two months since the passage of this bill. Last week, in the Erie County Legislature, I sponsored a resolution asking the Governor to sign this crucial piece of legislation. I am hopeful that he will realize how important it is to take a closer look at the availability of internet in our State.

We have many relying on internet to make a living, receive an education, and even buy groceries. It is time that we realize having access to reliable internet is a necessity.

September 19, 2020 - 6:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ed Rath, steve hawley, Chris Jacobs, news.


Ed Rath, running for State Senate, Rep. Chris Jacobs, also in the ballot for the NY-27 in November, and Assemblyman Steve Hawley, up for reelection stopped in Corfu this afternoon to check out a group of trailers that have been painted to support President Donald Trump's reelection bid.

The trailers are the project of a group of veterans, business leaders, farmers, truckers, and other community members who came together for many hours of work -- often into the night so a projector could be used to stencil the lettering -- to create the trucks.

Tomorrow at noon, the trailers will be positioned on Route 33 in Corfu, on Route 5 in East Pembroke, and on Route 5 in Bushville.

August 22, 2020 - 2:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ed Rath, 61 Senate District, video.
Video Sponsor

Ed Rath, candidate for the 61st State Senate District, up for election in November, visited Genesee County this week and met with local farmers to find out more about what issues they face in New York.

August 6, 2020 - 2:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ed Rath, 61st senate district, news.

Press release:

Last week, I met with local restaurant owners to discuss the process and the effects the pandemic is having on their businesses.  Despite Upstate New York being in Phase 4, the reopening process continues to be plagued with questions and uncertainty.

Today, I am calling on our state leaders to take action. Guidelines must be streamlined and transparent to ensure everyone knows the rules. It seems as though the Governor is making changes to the regulations every day and is constantly moving the goalposts, even going as far as defining “food."

I understand that the situation is ever-evolving, but it is government's responsibility to develop clear and transparent regulations that restaurants, and all businesses, can understand. Small businesses that are struggling to survive should not be left to interpret new rules on their own.

July 10, 2020 - 11:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ed Rath, 61st senate district, news.

Press release from the campaign of Ed Rath, candidate for 61 State Senate:

New York State and the Department of Health's failure to protect our most vulnerable citizens is extremely troubling. That is why, I launched a petition demanding a transparent investigation into the State’s handling of COVID in nursing homes. Dozens of residents signed my petition and shared their concerns with me. I will continue to call for an independent investigation and work everyday to protect our seniors and keep our community safe. To sign my petition, you can do so here https://edrathforsenate.com/2020/06/03/our-seniors-deserve-justice/.

May 20, 2020 - 6:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ed Rath, 61st senate district, news.

Press release from Ed Rath, candidate for the 61st State Senate District:

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has turned our daily lives upside down and state and local governments face unprecedented shortfalls. Rebuilding our economy and prioritizing funding will be more difficult than ever before. But, as is often the case, with great challenges, comes great opportunity.

Long before COVID-19 reached our state, New York was plagued by years of overspending and inefficient government. Due to decades of mismanagement in Albany residents pay some of the highest taxes in the nation, and excessive regulation drives up the cost of providing goods and services.

As we prepare for the Governor, Budget Director and Legislature to make recommendations on how to balance the budget, I would implore them to first look at state mandates. Reducing the cost drivers will make cuts less painful and reduce long-term costs and spending obligations. We do not need more commissions to “reimagine things,” we need to listen to people who work in their fields every day and see firsthand regulations that are beneficial and ones that only add more cost and paperwork.

There have been endless commissions and studies looking at waste in New York State government, and there are countless binders filled with reports and recommendations that have never been seriously considered. Inefficiencies and duplicative regulations drive billions of dollars in wasteful spending but have little or no impact on service. Before state leaders talk about the tough decisions that need to be made, they should first proactively ask about what can be done to make the situation less painful. 

In the end, we must demand our government do the same thing that residents do every day. When financial situations change, we can’t hope for more money from the bank, instead, we must find ways to save money and reduce costs to make the situation better on our own. Residents deserve to know that their state government is doing the same.

In addition, we must prioritize essential services and public health. Despite local governments facing increasing budget shortfalls and a public health crisis, the recently passed budget mandates upstate counties use $50 million in sales tax revenue to replace state funding cuts. At the same time, the budget created a new taxpayer-funded election system at a cost of $100 million and set aside over $400 million for Hollywood production companies.

To recommend cuts to schools, hospitals, and cost shifts to local governments, while protecting spending for taxpayer-funded elections and subsidies to Hollywood is simply wrong. Similarly, residents already pay some of the highest combined tax rates in the nation and we cannot tax our way out of this problem.

If we need something to reimagine, we should start with New York State government.

April 21, 2020 - 5:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ed Rath, 61st senate district, news.

Statement from Ed Rath, candidate for the 61st State Senate District:

The New York State economy, and particularly the economy of Upstate, has taken a very big hit as a result of coronavirus. Small businesses, farmers, restaurant owners and many others are encountering some of the hardest times they’ve ever faced.

The infection rates and risk factors of each individual region greatly vary throughout the state.

With this in mind, I have called on the Governor to take a regional perspective to reopening and listen to our local medical professionals and those who know the community best.

I am glad that after his stop in Buffalo today, it appears that a regional reopening approach will be pursued.

March 23, 2020 - 6:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ed Rath, 61st senate district, news.

From Ed Rath, candidate for the 61st State Senate District:

The COVID-19 outbreak has been a challenging time for all of us, as our daily lives have changed drastically. While the future remains uncertain, it is important that we come together as a community and do everything we can to get through this unprecedented situation.

Ensuring we have the appropriate funding and resources is of the utmost importance. On Thursday Mar 19th, I voted in favor of allocating $5 million in surplus funds to aid Erie County’s ongoing fight against coronavirus. This is part of an all-hands-on-deck effort with our partners in government. The funding will be used for anything necessary toward stopping the spread of the disease, including: testing, supplies, data management, staffing, and public health coordination. I’m proud to offer this financial support as we navigate through this crisis together. Thank you to all the County administration, health department, and all healthcare officials for their work on the front lines of this epidemic.

This outbreak has also been an incredibly challenging time for all businesses in Upstate and throughout New York. Many have been forced to suspend operations leading to layoffs and lost revenue. Over the past few days, I have been proud to help numerous companies file with NYS as essential services operations. I would encourage you to visit Empire State Development’s website to learn more about this State designation, https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026

I’d like to sincerely thank local restaurant establishments that continue to offer takeout or curbside pickup. I encourage everyone to please consider ordering a meal to go or purchasing a gift card online. Right now, any little bit of support can go a long way.

In these uncertain times, please remember to look out for your health and safety along with the health and safety of your loved ones. In the meantime, it is reassuring to know that we have an incredible community full of individuals willing to help others.

January 22, 2020 - 10:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in budget, news, steve hawley, Ed Rath, NYS Association of Counties.

Yesterday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo released his proposed budget for 2020-2021. His budget press release is too long to put on the home page. You can read it here. Below are reactions we've received to the budget proposal.

From Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

“The governor made a lot of promises Tuesday, specifically to increase funding across the board for every program in the state, including an out-of-control Medicaid program that is the root cause behind a $6 billion deficit. In fiscal year 2018 alone, New York spent more on Medicaid than Texas and Florida combined, despite having around half the population.

“The national economy is booming in almost every metric, yet under one-party leadership in New York, we are facing a massive shortfall. Every indication says we need to roll back reckless spending, but Gov. Cuomo continues his handouts, even blaming counties and local governments for causing the state’s woes.

“As budget negotiations intensify, I will be working diligently to see that the governor sticks to his word of no new taxes and that his deficit does not fall on the backs of hardworking taxpayers. Whether it’s property tax relief, road and bridge repair or school funding, Western New York deserves its fair share of help, and I will continue to be a strong advocate on our behalf as the budget is determined over the coming months."

From Ed Rath, candidate for the 61st State Senate District:

“Faced with a $6.5 billion budget gap, I was hoping the Governor would outline some specifics on how he planned to address that shortfall, particularly as it relates to Medicaid. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with the proposed budget the people of New York State heard today. Medicaid accounts for two-thirds of the projected budget shortfall, but the Governor was woefully short on specifics in how he plans to generate the $2.5 billion in savings needed to offset Medicaid spending.

"Similarly, and equally disappointing, the budget proposal fails to reform the cash bail law. Instead, public safety and judicial discretion are being compromised, and a misguided and dangerous policy remains in effect.

“I was pleased to see a focus on education, and I hope that there is adequate funding for our schools to meet their increased financial needs.”

“However, any measure to address and strengthen our state’s business climate is mixed. On one hand, I was also pleased to see that middle-class tax cuts are expected to generate $4.7 million in savings, and that small corporate business tax cuts will generate an estimated $35 million. This is the sort of approach we need to help spur job creation and retention so that companies and workers can remain in our great Empire State, rather than continue to flee to other states. Unfortunately, the budget proposal also includes $51 million in tax and fee increases, which only serve to continue to shift the burden onto the backs of the hardworking people of New York.

“Overall, it seems that any attempt at a step forward in this budget is coupled with two steps backward or deafening silence on how our elected leaders plan to make New York stronger. The people of New York deserve more.”

The 61st Senate District includes portions of Erie, Genesee, and Monroe Counties.

Rath has served in the Erie County Legislature since first winning election in 2007. His district includes Amherst, Clarence, Akron, and Newstead. In the Legislature, he has been a fierce advocate for the reduction and reform of County government to lower the property tax burden, including co-sponsoring the effort to reduce the size of the Legislature from 15 to the current 11 seats. Throughout his 12 years in office, Rath has never voted in favor of a tax increase, and he voted against Erie County’s 2020 spending plan, due to runaway spending increases and public safety concerns.

New York Farm Bureau:

“Governor Cuomo’s proposed funding of $29 million is integral to the success of a number of important agricultural programs that support research, marketing and promotion of New York farm products. In addition, New York Farm Bureau supports the proposed Environmental Protection Fund that assists with conservation and stewardship programs utilized by farmers across the state.

"This year, Governor Cuomo also is proposing several new budget changes that are among our organization’s biggest priorities for the year. This includes a permanent Refundable Investment Tax Credit for farmers, increasing funding for the Farmworker Housing Program to $15 million and expanding the definition of family that was severely limiting in the recently enacted farm labor law. The budget language will better reflect the reality on farms today as many extended family members also play significant roles on farms and should not be covered under new farm labor regulations. These additions will begin to offset the increased labor costs facing our state’s farms, and we thank Governor Cuomo and his administration for continuing to work with New York Farm Bureau to address these issues.”

From the NYS Association of Counties President John F. (Jack) Marren:

In 1966, the State’s new Medicaid program cost county homeowners and businesses $112 million in local property taxes. Today, that cost is $7.6 billion.

More than 50 years later, in 2013, to address property taxes at the local level, the state capped increases in local Medicaid costs. On behalf of the 62 counties, including the boroughs of New York City, we are grateful to Governor Cuomo and the Legislature for championing the State's cap on local Medicaid cost growth. It has proven to be an historic safeguard against property tax growth.

Once again, counties stand united behind lowering the cost of Medicaid and improving the quality of care for those in need. We will review what is under local control to accomplish this, as well as what parameters are under state control, to insure the integrity of the taxpayer-funded health care program.

As with any organization, today’s health care costs, especially those embedded in Medicaid, are inherently systemic. Right now more than one third of New York’s population is on Medicaid, more and more Baby Boomers are accessing costly long-term care, and other medical coverage—from prescriptions to X-rays to hospital stays.

Counties stand ready to work with a Medicaid Redesign Team to assist the state with reforming its Medicaid Program.

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