Our Week in Review: Introducing the Safe Water Infrastructure Action Program & MORE!
Posted on February 14, 2021
I’ve got a Valentine’s for Seniors update for you: we’re on track to deliver close to 2,000 cards this year! Not bad for our first annual office initiative!
Along our journey to retrieve Valentine’s from participating schools, we paid a visit to Clayton A. Bouton High School in Voorheesville where we met the students who contributed to the effort and who crafted some of the most creative and thoughtful cards we’ve ever seen!
My team and I are gearing up to deliver all of our Valentine’s by week’s end and we are so grateful to the schools, families, and individuals across the 46th District who made this a genuine community effort.
Keep reading to learn about some BIG LEGISLATIVE NEWSon water infrastructure in our communities, how you can sign up for one-on-one constituent services through our Virtual Office Hours (which start next week!), and much more.
As always, we want to hear from you! Send your thoughts, questions, and concerns our way by calling our office at (845) 331-3810 or sending me an email.
Introducing the Safe Water Infrastructure Action Program
In many of our communities, access to clean water is threatened by aging, and, in some cases crumbling decades-old infrastructure. What does that tell you? It’s well past time for an upgrade.
But maintaining our water systems can be incredibly expensive, which is why our municipalities need a dedicated funding stream that will help pay for upgrades and repairs to keep our drinking water safe and our sanitary sewer and stormwater infrastructure functioning.
This week, I introduced the bipartisan Safe Water Infrastructure Action Program (SWAP) bill, which is designed to finance these projects through the annual State Budget process. This is smart, steady, critical investment to keep our local water resources clean and safe. I’ll be fighting to get it passed this session.
Improving Resources and Support in Higher Education
The future of higher education should focus on creating pathways that make college more accessible and affordable for all who choose to pursue it. This week in the State Senate, we passed a bill package to address the college affordability crisis and help our state and distinguished SUNY institutions — like SUNY Albany and Ulster County Community College in our district — better serve students who have historically faced barriers to completing their degrees, including our veterans who would benefit from enhanced on-campus supports to help reach their college and career goals. Here are a few of the bills we advanced:
Helping College Veterans (S2291): This bill would allow SUNY, CUNY, and the legislature to study what services and programs are currently provided to support veteran students and where resources may be directed in the future to enhance these services.
Extending SUNY/CUNY Veteran Credits (S2680A): This bill clarifies that SUNY and CUNY institutions must recognize and award academic credit for courses that were part of a veteran’s military training or service if the courses meet the standards of the American Council on Education or equivalent standards.
Standing up for Borrowers and Creating the Student Loan Refinance Task Force (S2767): This bill would establish the private student loan refinance task force to recommend ways lending institutions can offer New York graduates the opportunity to refinance their student loans and provide borrowers with more flexibility with reducing monthly payments
Helping Returning Students and Updating TAP Award Amounts (S2764/S2765): These two bills would update the tuition assistance program (TAP) to increase award amounts to current day rates for dependent and independent students at degree-granting colleges in the state. This will incentivize students to continue their education.
Diapers, toothpaste, soap, and period products. For individuals and families experiencing homelessness or escaping an abusive situation, these are some of the toiletry items most needed but less often talked about.
Our Agriculture Listening Tour is fast approaching!
Join me and my fellow Ag Committee members LIVEon my Facebook page as we hear from farmers, workers, and agribusiness owners about their priorities and how we can help strengthen our agricultural sector, which is tremendously important for maintaining our regional food supply, preserving our environment, and sustaining our local economies.
Upcoming sessions will take place on:
Tuesday, February 16, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Wednesday February 24, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Upcoming Virtual Office Hours
Don’t forget! This coming week, our Constituent Services Team will begin Virtual Office Hours. This is a great way to receive one-on-one support via Zoom video conference so you can ask questions, discuss local issues, and get the information and assistance you may need.
Registration is required and a complete list of upcoming office hours can be found below.
ULSTER COUNTY When: Tuesday, February 16, 2021 • 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm REGISTER HERE
Please Note: Below, you will find resources that will allow you to opt in to receiving vaccine-related communications from your county. Please be advised that the following resources will NOT enable you to pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.
Albany County Residents of Albany County can fill out this form to receive COVID-19 vaccine-related communications from the county, including information on where you can register to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the future.
Greene County Residents of Greene County can fill out this form to receive email updates from the county detailing when you may be eligible to receive the vaccine, including details on how to register for a future appointment as supply becomes available.