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July 22, 2018

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Opinion

Residents Are Reminded to Diligently Check for Ticks after Being Outside

In Oswego County, we have seen increased cases of Lyme disease in the past several years. As summer is here and schools are on vacation, people, especially children, will be involved in more outdoor activities. I would like to remind residents to diligently practice tick checks for preventing Lyme disease from ticks. Lyme disease is a bacterial disease transmitted through the saliva of an infected deer tick.

Keeping Unwanted Drugs Out Of The Wrong Hands

Long before I became a State Senator, I was aware of the growing substance abuse problems in our region. In the years since, we have seen illegal drugs not only become a crisis in our communities, but they have greatly affected our families, friends and neighbors. Most of the focus of this drug problem has been on opioids and heroin, and rightly so.

Keeping Up With Summer Reading

Teachers and librarians know that kids do better in school when they read over the summer, even if it is just 10 minutes a day. That is why I am urging families to take part in the New York State Senate’s Summer Reading Program. This year’s theme is “Libraries Rock” and families can register for the Summer Reading Program on my website www.ritchie.nysenate.gov.

Opportunity Zones Provide Chance to Increase Private Investment

Some good news was recently announced that hopefully will help spur private investments in communities that traditionally have had difficulty attracting business investment. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 created an economic development tool known as Opportunity Zones designed to encourage long-term investments in low-income communities.

Continuing New York’s Tradition Of County Fairs

Whether it is the smell of wonderful food or the sound of children laughing as they enjoy midway rides, for many people, local fairs are an annual, summertime tradition. Local fairs in New York State attract millions of people who want to both be entertained and learn more about agriculture, including animals found on the farm, as well as where their food comes from. Local fairs do just that, and highlight New York’s leading industry while also helping people recognize the need to support our hardworking farm families.

Legislature Passes Drug Take Back Bill

At times, a person’s struggle with drug addiction starts with access to unused medication in a home medicine cabinet. In order to help prevent this pathway to addiction and also help the environment, this session the State Legislature passed a measure that, if signed by the Governor, will for the first time in New York require drug manufacturers to assist with the collection of unused drugs.

Working To Fight Insect-Borne Diseases This Summer

Summer is finally here and people are getting back outside to enjoy the warm temperatures and beautiful scenery here in Central and Northern New York. However, the more time we spend outside, the more we have to be on the lookout for certain insects and the diseases they carry. These pests, such as mosquitoes and ticks, continue to threaten the safety of those in our communities.

The Session of Missed Opportunities

The 2018 session has officially ended in Albany. Unfortunately, much of the dialogue in Albany was spent focused on President Trump instead of seizing the opportunities to improve New York. Even before session began, the Governor claimed New York was under assault from the federal government. Due to anticipated cuts in health care funding, he said that New York would face a $4 billion deficit. Further, he claimed that the recent federal tax reform would only widen this gap and harm our state.

Helping Graduates Through Hands-On Experience

It will not be long before thousands of high school students throughout our region put on their caps and gowns and walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. Every student will have his or her eyes on the future, but every student’s future will be different, and filled with new and exciting experiences.

What’s Up With That!

A new Fund Balance Policy has been put into place at the county level; a policy that will control millions of taxpayer dollars. It will control the trigger points of a high and a low point for the county fund balance. Now you as a taxpayer would think that something with that high a priority would have to have the approval of the full Legislative body and that it would be drafted by a bipartisan coalition of equal number of party members.

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