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kirsten gillibrand

June 14, 2016 - 2:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in kirsten gillibrand, veterans, military families.

Press release:

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand issued the following statement today following the Senate’s failure to vote on the bipartisan Military Justice Improvement Act:

“I am deeply upset that the Senate closed the National Defense Authorization Act without even debating military sexual assault and the Military Justice Improvement Act specifically. The bipartisan amendment has previously earned the support of a majority of senators twice before and is widely supported by Veterans Service Organizationsretired military memberssexual violence NGOsmilitary law experts and most importantly military sexual assault survivors.

“When the Department of Defense tells us they estimate there are over 20,000 sexual assaults on service members each year, that nearly eight out of 10 of those attacked do not report the incident and that 62 percent of those brave souls who do report then face retaliation – often from someone in their chain of command who is supposed to protect them – how can it be possible that the Senate refuses to even debate reforming this system?

"The Department of Defense has buried its head in the sand on sexual assault for over 25 years and today the U.S. Senate joined them. Despite evidence uncovered by the Associated Press that the DoD misled members of the Senate on sexual assault cases, this simple reform was blocked from even being considered by this Senate. They used to just filibuster the bill, but now they won’t even debate it – pushing this national scandal to the shadows. I think that sends a shameful message to military sexual assault survivors.

“We know today that the men and women in the military who are sexually assaulted do not get a fair chance to get justice in the current system. Today, I am saddened to say the same appears to be true from the U.S. Senate. Given this abject failure on behalf of Congress, I will again call on President Obama, the Commander of Chief, to fulfill his responsibility to service members and take action to give them a system of justice worthy of their sacrifice.

"In December of 2013 President Obama put the Department of Defense on notice that they had one year to show ‘the kind of progress I expect’ before considering additional reforms. The data does not lie – significant progress has not been made, retaliation remains exactly where it was then and in the case of unrestricted reporting we have actually gone backwards from last year.

“The question for the Senate and the President shouldn’t be, ‘have we done enough to combat military sexual assault?’, but rather, ‘have we done everything we can to fight this epidemic?’ The answer to that question is a resounding 'no', and brave service members pay the price every day for our inaction. In recent surveys and in their countless stories, survivors tell us they lack faith in the command-controlled system. They simply fear that nothing will be done or they will be retaliated against for reporting. I don’t know why the President and members of the Senate refuse to believe them.

“Today is a setback in our fight on survivors’ behalf, but it is no more than that. I will continue to advocate for reform, and I refuse to back down or go away from fighting for survivors on this issue. Whether it is this President and Congress or the next, we will not give up until we can provide service members with a system of justice that is fair.”

May 18, 2011 - 8:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in kirsten gillibrand.

Press release:

Washington, D.C. – With more than 2,300 police and fire departments across New York State that cannot all communicate with each other effectively during times of emergency, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is today calling on the House and Senate to pass legislation that would provide first responders and public safety officials with critical interoperable radio airwaves needed to effectively communicate in the event a major response is needed.

The 9/11 Commission Report identified insufficient interoperability among communications systems used by first responders during the attacks and rescue efforts. Senator Gillibrand is urging Congress to come together before the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and pass the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act, legislation that would create a framework for the deployment of a nationwide, interoperable, wireless broadband network for public safety.

“There is no higher priority than the security of our families and communities,” Senator Gillibrand said. “If we’re going to keep New Yorkers safe, all of our first responders must be able to communicate with each other in real time during emergencies. Nearly ten years after the horror of 9/11, it’s time to bring our first responder technology into the 21st century, and free New York’s emergency personnel from federal bureaucracy to get the job done.”

Data compiled from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, and the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Office of Fire and Prevention Control show that New York State is home to 1,791 fire departments and 568 police departments. Due to an insufficient emergency communications system, these departments cannot all communicate effectively with each other during emergencies.

April 5, 2011 - 4:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, kirsten gillibrand.

Small businesses need help, according to Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, so today she announced a legislative package she believes will help small businesses start and grow.

Her plan would provide more federal grant money for business incubators, tax-free savings accounts for entrepreneurs and tax credits for investment in small businesses.

"The lack of early capital from the poor economy holds us (New York) back," said Gillibrand in a press release. "We need to support budding entrepreneurs, free up the credit they need to get their ideas off the ground, and invest in the kind of research we can turn into cutting-edge businesses and new jobs."

Gillibrand plans to introduce the Early-Stage Business Investment and Incubation Act, legislation to provide federal grants of up to $5 million for business incubators to support the development of early-stage small businesses in targeted, high-growth industries. 

Another legislative proposal, Small Business Savings Account Act, would allow aspiring entrepreneurs to save up to $10,000 tax free to later invest in a new business.

Gillibrand also proposes making from $250,000 to $2.5 million available for clustered science-tech parks to help drive high-tech entrepreneurship and job creation.

Full press release after the jump:

March 1, 2011 - 2:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, agriculture, kirsten gillibrand.

Saying solutions to the state's dairy crisis can't wait until the 2012 Farm Bill, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand today unveiled a comprehensive plan she claims will provide farmers with immediate support.

That can't happen soon enough according to those in the industry. New York State lost nearly a quarter of all its dairies during 2002-07, according to information Gillibrand included in her news release, dropping from nearly 7,400 to about 5,700 five years later.

The number of Genesee County dairies dropped from 98 to 68, a 31-percent decline.

“New York is home to the hardest working farm families and the finest dairy products in the world, but outdated regulations, broken pricing structures and a bad economy are hurting our dairy farmers, and farming communities across the state," Gillibrand said. "We need to act now to support New York’s dairy farms.”

The full specter of the problem was gleaned after the senator held six agricultural "listening sessions" statewide in preparation for next's year farm legislation.

"I appreciate the senator taking the the time to have listening sessions for the dairy industry and for trying to help New York dairy farmers," said Dean Norton, an Elba dairy farmer and president of the New York Farm Bureau. "I look forward to working with her in preparation for the 2012 Farm Bill."

Gillibrand's plan intends to: make dairy pricing more competitive for New York producers; prevent cuts to the MILC program; help boost exports; improve storage reporting standards; and increase trading price stability.

The current pricing system is obscure and the discouraging result often means dairy farmers pay more to produce their products than they get from selling them.

Farmers say the high costs of feed and fuel make even the existing safety net -- Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) -- inadequate. Further cuts would increase the numbers of farmers taking on massive debt to cover their costs or go out of business.

Gillibrand is urging the federal Department of Agriculture to collect and publish data on alternative measures of dairy pricing, such as competitive-pay pricing, "so that everyone can see if this would be a better way to price milk." The current system of end-product pricing has reportedly contributed to more volatility in milk prices for producers.

Under a competitive-pricing scenario, the price of milk would be determined by a survey of prices paid to farmers for the milk used in cheese production in a competitive market wherein there are counties with at least five different milk buyers.

New York is one of only three states with competitive counties today.

In noncompetitive areas, the existing Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) system would take effect, however base prices would still be established by the competitive-pay pricing system.

To both improve America's milk quality and boost exports, the senator wants to lower the most basic measure of milk quality -- known as somatic cell counts -- so milk has "a longer shelf life, better taste and greater cheese yield."

Another area needing reform, according to farmers are the inventory methods for certain types of cheese, which can "significantly influence trading activities on the Chicago Merchantile Exchange."

For example, cold storage facilities are not required to report their inventories of dairy products to the USDA Natural Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), and only do so on a voluntary basis. This purportedly creates an environment of volatility and uncertainty for dairy trading.

Senator Gillibrand is introducing legislation that would make the Cold Storage Report to NASS mandatory, and give the USDA authority to audit warehouse inventories to help bring more stability to dairy trading prices.

She is also introducing the "Democracy for Dairy Producers Act," which would require dairy cooperatives that engage in bloc voting to provide their member farmers with written notices and other information when certain kind of votes occur.

The bill also would establish an information clearinghouse to provide information regarding any proposed milk marketing order reforms. The information would have to be published on a Web site and distributed to producers through a fax list, e-mail distribution list, or U.S. mail list, at the discretion of individual producers.

June 24, 2010 - 2:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in politics, kirsten gillibrand, reform.

On Tuesday, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced her reform agenda to clean up Washington, and make Congress more accountable and responsible.

Here is her news release:

The centerpiece of Senator Gillibrand’s agenda includes new, bipartisan legislation that would require complete transparency for all federal earmark requests. Senator Gillibrand’s plan will also end automatic pay raises for members of Congress, rein in corporate special interest influence on elections, and once and for all ban all senators from placing obstructive, anonymous holds on important Presidential nominations or legislation in the Senate.

“I haven’t been in Washington long, but it doesn’t take long to know exactly what’s wrong with it,” Senator Gillibrand said. “Everyday people are not being heard because too much business is happening behind closed doors. Too often the system only benefits the special interests that have way too much power. My agenda puts the interests of families before all else by making government more transparent and accountable.

May 12, 2010 - 5:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in kirsten gillibrand.

Banks that are pushing customers into paperless statements shouldn't charge higher fees to customers that don't want to or can't do business electronically, says Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

“Thousands of seniors and families in this area do not have adequate access to the Internet or thousands more are simply not comfortable reviewing their finances electronically,” Sen. Gillibrand said in a statement.

“These New Yorkers shouldn’t be punished for wanting to receive their bank statements in the mail. My legislation will make sure that financial institutions cannot take advantage of seniors or struggling families by imposing more fees.”

Gillibrand has introduced an amendment to a banking bill that would ban fees for paper statements.

Out of the 22,700 households in Genesee County, 7,203 don't have internet access, according to Gillibrand.

In her press release, Gillibrand also cites national survey figures that say two-thirds of Americans prefer paper bank statements and writing checks for bills.

April 22, 2010 - 7:54pm
posted by Bea McManis in kirsten gillibrand, Blogs.

Every mom knows we deserve more than just one day a year when we have someone on our side, working for us.Well, for moms in New York, we do: Kirsten Gillibrand. Sign up to be a MOM FOR GILIBRAND at:  http://kirstengillibrand.com/moms. After you sign up, we’ll send you our limited edition Moms for Gillibrand decal!   Here are some reasons why Mom’s are supporting Kirsten:

 
  •  Kirsten starts each day dropping off 6-year-old Theo and 1-year-old Henry at school and day care, and then goes to work for us and our children, and fights for them as if they were her own.
  •  She wrote legislation to keep BPA and other harmful chemicals out of our children’s toys, to keep tainted foods out of our supermarkets and off our kitchen tables, and to keep our drinking water safe and chemical free.
  •  She fought to insure 11 million young children, and to allow grown children to stay on their parents' insurance plans through the age of 26.
  •  Every day, Kirsten finds new ways to give our children better opportunities to stay safe, healthy and on a path to achieve their full potential.
 
Let’s keep this passion and commitment going by signing up thousands of Moms for Kirsten by this Mother’s Day, May 9. Sign yourself up, then spread the word about Kirsten. Please forward this to your own networks and sign up moms in your community at http://kirstengillibrand.com/moms. Every Mom that signs up will receive a limited edition Moms for Gillibrand decal.
January 5, 2010 - 11:12am
posted by Billie Owens in jobs, kirsten gillibrand.

This is from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's office.

National Grid USA is considering outsourcing much of its Northeast operations that would result in significant job losses across New York. Gillibrand is urging National Grid to reconsider its plans and keep jobs in New York.

The company is considering outsourcing much of its information-services work, including software programming, computer networking and other functions. One request for proposals (RFP) for outside vendors has already been issued, with possibly three more in the works. The plan could send as many as 1,200 jobs in New York and New England overseas.

Yet National Grid USA made nearly $1.5 billion in profits last year, due in large part to the quality American workforce it relies on.

In a letter to National Grid President Tom King, Gillibrand wrote:

“In this economic time, it is very disconcerting to hear that any company would consider outsourcing its jobs to overseas businesses when we have a competent and capable workforce here in the United States. A workforce that you have been utilizing since 2002.  It is even more upsetting to know that a company who made $1.43 billion in profits last year would look for ways to cut costs by reducing it employees.”

The senator is working with businesses in all sectors in all regions of the state to keep their workforces in New York, and she is working on new legislation that would encourage businesses to start hiring again – putting New Yorkers back to work.

November 10, 2009 - 6:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, business, kirsten gillibrand.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand used her weekly call with the media today to make a different kind of pitch -- rather than promoting some bill she's signed on to, Gillibrand made an appeal to New York's employers: Hire a veteran.

On the day before Veteran's Day, the senator is reminding businesses that there are tax credits available when they hire military -- especially war -- veterans.

Unemployment among veterans is 14.6 percent, Gillibrand said.

She also announced legislation to help veterans become entrepreneurs. The Veterans Business Center Act of 2009 would help veterans gain access to capital and federal grant money to start new businesses or expand existing ones.

“Too many veterans are coming home to a very bad job market and unable to find work,” Gillibrand said in a statement. “They fulfilled their duty to our country, and now it’s time for us to fulfill our duty to them by making sure they have access to a good-paying job.

"The tax breaks we put in place earlier this year are a win-win for businesses and veterans, but we need to make sure businesses know they are available and take advantage of them by hiring more veterans. I'm making a personal pitch to the business owners I meet to hire a vet and take advantage of the tax credit.”

Full press release after the jump:

October 13, 2009 - 1:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, food, kirsten gillibrand.

Food safety has been in the news recently, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who sits on the Senate Agriculture Committee, has a plan to improve food inspections, recall response and public education.

Gillibrand said she is calling for:

  • Improving testing of ground beef
  • Improving regulation of all other food, with a focus on prevention, more oversight and higher quality lab testing
  • Increasing FDA resources
  • Improving the safety of imported food
  • Making recalls of contaminated food mandatory
  • Improving public education

“In America, in 2009, it is unconscionable that food is still going straight to our kitchens, school cafeterias and restaurants without being properly tested to ensure its safety,” Sen. Gillibrand said. “It’s spreading too many diseases and costing too many lives. We need to do a better job of catching contaminated food before it ever comes close to a kitchen table. My plan addresses the gaps in the inspection process and improves recalls and public education, so parents have access to the information to keep their families safe.”

The New York Times recently ran an interesting investigative piece about ongoing issues with E. coli in ground beef.

Full press release after the jump:

October 7, 2009 - 11:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, kirsten gillibrand.

Continuing a tradition started by Hillary Clinton, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is hosting New York Farm Day in Washington, D.C. today.

Dairy and produce from throughout the state will be available to more than the 1,000 people expected to attend.

“I’m proud to continue the Farm Day tradition in Washington, DC, where we will highlight the fantastic produce and foods from across New York State,” said Sen. Gillibrand in a press release. “New York’s farmers are a critical part of our economy and we must ensure their success. Strengthening our agricultural sector and promoting good nutrition for New Yorkers are essential to our long-term health and economic growth.”

Unfortunately, Western New York is rather under represented in the event, but if you read the press release below, there is an impressive amount of agriculture in New York (and this is just the part represented).  I'm sure most people in the country don't think of New York as an agriculture state. 

Full press release after the jump:

September 18, 2009 - 10:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, schools, localism, kirsten gillibrand, locovore.

New York's apple growers have won approval to provide cleaned, sliced and bagged apples to area schools.

The USDA has eased restrictions on what "processed food" means for the purpose of distributing locally grown agriculture products to local school children.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, in a press release this morning, said she lobbied the USDA for the change.

“We have to let our farmers do what they do best, and that’s deliver fresh fruits and vegetable to local communities,” said Senator Gillibrand.  “New York farmers produce some of the highest quality, fresh produce in the country. The Farm Bill was supposed to make it easier for farmers to sell produce directly to New York schools, and this USDA ruling will finally ensure that our students will have healthy New York produce and our farmers can earn the extra income that comes from providing value-added products such as pre-cut apples. During difficult economic times, we need this new market to create jobs.”

Full press release after the jump:

August 24, 2009 - 6:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, kirsten gillibrand.

A U.S. Senate hearing on dairy prices is scheduled Thursday at 2 p.m at GCC.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who is chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Domestic and Foreign Marketing, Inspection, and Plant & Animal Health, called the hearing to gather testimony on dairy prices and how government regulations impact pricing and what changes may need to be made.

This is a formal Senate hearing and only invited panelists will be given an opportunity to speak and ask questions, but any member of the public can attend the session. RSVP by contacting Gillibrand's office (see below). Also, anyone can submit written testimony to be included in the official record if received within five days of the hearing.

The panelists providing testimony represent producers, processors and economists.

A letter from Sen. Gillibrand's office lists the panelists:

August 5, 2009 - 3:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in kirsten gillibrand, Emerald Ash Borer.

New York's junior senator must have noticed the purple boxes hanging from trees along the State's highways. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is now taking up the cause of solving the Emerald Ash Borer problem, even though there are as yet no confirmed findings of the pest in the state.

Gillibrand's office issued a press release today noting that the senator urging approval of an agriculture appropriations bill with $39.7 million in ash borer spending.

“The Emerald Ash Borer has the potential to devastate New York’s more than 900 million ash trees,” said Senator Gillibrand. “We must help our communities with the funds to manage this problem and protect the environment.”

Update: Contrary to Sen. Gillibran's press release, and what we believed to be true when we posted this, the ash borer has been found in New York. (hat tip, Brian Schollard).

UPDATE II: Bethany Lesser of Sen. Gillibrand's office called to say "we know it's been found in New York."  She clarified that Sen. Gillibrand is asking that NY be added to the funding list.

Full press release after the jump:

August 2, 2009 - 11:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, Chris Lee, kirsten gillibrand, Dairy Farms.

With dairy prices at a 30-year low, Genesee County dairy farmers may find some relief in new USDA price supports.

The government is essentially agreeing to pay above-market prices for some dairy products as part of the Dairy Product Price Support Program. In this 60-year-old program, the government buys dry milk, butter, and cheese and stores these products until they can be sold on the open market or donated to domestic or international charitable programs.

From a Rep. Chris Lee press release:

The increase, announced this morning by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, will raise the price paid for nonfat dry milk from $0.80 per pound to $0.92 per pound, the price paid for cheddar blocks from $1.13 per pound to $1.31 per pound, and the price of cheddar barrels from $1.10 per pound to $1.28 per pound. Temporarily raising the price of these dairy products increases the price that dairy farmers receive for their milk.

The price increase will be in effect for three months. It is expected to boost dairy revenue by $243 million.

January 26, 2009 - 4:24pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in politics, Democrats, kirsten gillibrand, state senate.

From the Democratic committees in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties:

"We congratulate Senator Gillibrand on her appointment as our new Senator, and we commend Governor David Paterson on making sure that the unique interests of upstate New York are reflected at the highest levels of government.  The position of Senator is of special importance to residents of the GLOW region (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming Counties).  Unfortunately, since almost all of our residents have no representation in the majority of the Assembly, State Senate, or House of Representatives, our federal Senators are our only majority representatives.  Therefore, we are especially pleased that Senator Gillibrand comes from an upstate, rural Congressional district that is similar to our own.  We are delighted to have a Senator so attuned to our issues.

"These are very difficult times for everyone, but the GLOW region faces particular challenges.  We are pleased that Senator Gillibrand has asked to serve on the Agriculture Committee (as she did in Congress) and mentioned 'the dairy farmers of western New York' as the first group she recognized in her remarks upon her appointment.  We invite her to visit us at her earliest possible convenience and are eager to introduce our region and to work with her on its issues.  Many of our leaders were privileged to meet and hear then-Congresswoman Gillibrand at last year's New York Democratic Rural Conference.  We know she will be a strong advocate for the GLOW counties.  Senator Gillibrand has also pledged to continue her policy of accessibility and transparency for which she has been renowned in Congress, so we are confident her "Congress on Our Corners" program will come to our communities soon.  We are pleased that Governor Paterson has appointed someone who will be an upstate leader for New York."

January 25, 2009 - 6:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in kirsten gillibrand.

Brian Mann says the appointment of Kirsten Gillibrand to replace Hillary Clinton as New York Senator re-exposes the Urban-Rural divide in New York.

Within the Five Boroughs, the reaction to her red-state tendencies has been fierce. Before she had been officially named, Gillibrand had liberal opponents lining up to dethrone her.

I'll admit it: I was taken aback. I thought the obvious backing of New York's Democratic elite -- Schumer, Paterson, Clinton, Lowey, etc. -- would be enough to establish her progressive credentials.

Not so. The liberal blogs have issued a collective shriek of rage.

The main issue, according to Mann, is gun control.

Unfortunately, he links to no urban/progressive blogs to support his statements. I'm not sure if he's fairly characterizing the position of urban bloggers.  It wouldn't surprise if it were true, but I'd like to see some links.

Do you agree with his basic proposition, that urban progressives see Gillibrand as a rural rube, a gun-toting hick? Do you care?

(via The Rural Blog)

January 23, 2009 - 11:20am
posted by Philip Anselmo in congress, politics, governor Paterson, senate, kirsten gillibrand.

Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand will leave Congress to take the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton, who took the position of Secretary of State in the new administration. News of Gillibrands appointment spread quickly this morning, and most of you have already at least read a little bit about this two-term Democratic Congresswoman. So, what do you think?

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