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Seward unveils 2018 legislative priorities

This morning in Herkimer, state Sen. James Seward unveiled his 2018 legislative agenda.

Posted: Jan 10, 2018 12:04 PM

This morning in Herkimer, state Sen. James Seward unveiled his 2018 legislative agenda.

Seward’s outline of issues he plans to tackle this year range from creating a task force on Lyme and tick-borne disease, to starting a heroin task force, to investing in jobs within his district.

Seward also stressed broad-based tax relief, the elimination of outdated mandates and regulations, and an extension to STAR tax relieve. He also talked about eliminating or freezing school taxes for seniors.

Broadband in rural areas is also an absolute necessity, he said.

Here is an outline of Seward’s 2018 priorities provided by Seward’s office:

Increasing Economic Opportunities
Recent initiatives to reduce energy taxes, invest in major economic development and transportation projects, and expand job-training programs are all having a positive effect on New York State’s economy. Last year the senate successfully led the fight for the most significant workers’ compensation reform in a decade and expanded ride-sharing throughout the state. Moving forward, additional broad-based tax relief programs and regulatory reforms are needed to ensure job growth.

Senator Seward’s economic development priorities include:
· Broad-based tax relief programs to lower the cost of doing business;
· Elimination of outdated and unnecessary state regulations;
· Extension of the STAR property tax relief program to small business owners;
· Greater workforce training – connecting educators with employers;
· Broadband expansion to rural areas.

A More Affordable New York
A record middle class income tax cut took effect on January 1, 2018. The measure, authored by the state senate, reduces personal income tax rates for more than 4.4 million New Yorkers and tens of thousands of small businesses. For middle class taxpayers, savings will average approximately $250 in 2018 and grow to $700 annually. State government has also employed fiscally conservative principles to keep spending in check. Additional measures, and an end to unfunded state mandates, will also help stop the exodus from New York.

Senator Seward’s affordability priorities include:
· A two-percent state spending cap;
· Permanent property tax levy cap;
· 25 percent increase in property tax rebate checks;
· Eliminate the 2 percent gross receipts tax on energy;
· Freeze and eliminate school taxes for senior citizens;
· Double the exemption on retirement income.

Education - Supporting our Future
Education aid is consistently one of the largest portions of the state budget. The 2017-18 state budget included a record level of school aid funding of approximately $26 billion – a 4.4 percent increase from the previous year. Additional steps are needed to further help schools in low wealth areas of the state. Programs to ensure students are properly trained for tech jobs and assistance to help families and students afford a college education will also be a leading priority.

Lyme Task Force
Senator Seward was recently appointed to the Senate Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases (TBDs). The Task Force is charged with improving prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of these diseases to better protect the health of New Yorkers and their families.

Senator Seward is co-sponsoring newly introduced legislation (S.6926) to create specific protocol to notify individuals of their diagnoses related to Lyme and other TBDs. The senate bill would require the Commissioner of Health to work with health care providers to develop a standard protocol and patient notification for the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme and TBDs.

Heroin Task Force
As a member of the Senate’s Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction since its inception in 2014, Senator Seward has been a leader in enacting new laws focused on addressing the heroin crisis.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2387008

Reported Deaths: 55028
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings31854810735
Queens30563110146
Suffolk2276353517
Nassau2067113252
Bronx2018546691
New York1615874604
Westchester1407802328
Erie990691882
Richmond857101904
Monroe780511156
Orange54508887
Rockland50893769
Onondaga45853714
Dutchess33770484
Albany28439368
Oneida25802548
Niagara22135383
Broome21773385
Saratoga18419191
Ulster16344271
Schenectady15293216
Rensselaer13319154
Putnam1184496
Chautauqua10940156
Oswego9623101
Chemung9069146
St. Lawrence8908116
Ontario854097
Steuben8394159
Cayuga7926101
Sullivan780781
Jefferson748971
Wayne697378
Cattaraugus672897
Genesee6067130
Herkimer6013117
Tompkins594659
Clinton567434
Madison540197
Fulton531097
Livingston518666
Montgomery5094133
Cortland482470
Warren470576
Columbia4655108
Tioga440067
Chenango419086
Otsego417451
Allegany401993
Greene395383
Washington394562
Wyoming391254
Orleans364584
Franklin353216
Lewis320736
Delaware307040
Seneca248059
Schoharie207620
Essex193929
Yates139926
Schuyler128416
Hamilton4083
Unassigned13542
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