Saland talks on floor fourth most of all Senators

New York State Senator Steve Saland, R-Poughkeepsie who represents Columbia County, spoke the fourth most on the senate floor according to transcripts of floor proceedings that are now posted online and crunched by NYPIRG’s Bill Mahoney. H/T Capitol Confidential. Saland spoke 9,251 words this term through April 7, while State Sen James Seward ranks 34th with 1,465 words spoken. See Capitol Confidential for complete list.

Seward in Coxsackie Friday

New York State Senator James Seward will join the Greene Business Alliance, members of the business community, and local elected officials at an Empire Merchants North open house at 11 a.m. Friday, May 14 at Empire Merchants North, 16 Houghtaling Rd., West Coxsackie, NY.

Senate, Assembly approve extender budget

From Casey Seiler at Capitol Confidential:

The Senate approved the one-week extender on a straight party-line vote, 32-29 [which means Columbia County’s representative Steve Saland and Greene County’s James Seward both voted against the measure], while the Assembly vote was slightly more mixed: 82-56.

From Rick Karlin and Jimmy Vielkind at the Albany Times-Union:

Assemblyman Tim Gordon told the protesters he would vote against a budget extender. He had been undecided about the vote; by tying the furlough provision to a measure that funds the government, Paterson has jammed several legislators, particularly Capital Region representatives whose constituencies include large numbers of state workers. “If it’s not legal, it’s very difficult to vote for,” said Gordon, I-Bethlehem. “I’ve been deliberating all weekend, and I’ve come to my conclusion: I’m voting no.”

State Senator Seward is a ‘Tenther’

New York State Senator James Seward, a Republican who represents Greene County, is co-sponsoring J4716, a resolution in the State Senate’s Finance Committee to, “Re-Establish our State’s Sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment.” This Legislative Resolution affirms, “the sovereignty of the of the people of the State of New York pursuant to the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.” The resolution requests, “Congress cease and desist from enacting mandates that are beyond the scope of the enumerated powers granted to Congress by the Constitution of the United States.” The legislation also seeks to establish a joint committee on the constitutionality of acts, orders, laws, statutes, regulations and rules of the government of the United States of America in order to protect state sovereignty.” The so-called “Tenthermovement is similar to the pre-Civil War nullification movement (that grew out of the 1832 dispute between the United States and the state of South Carolina over the latter’s attempt to nullify a federal law), and an attempt to make all sorts of programs — Social Security, Medicare, health care reform, etc. — unlawful. H/T The Albany Project.


State Senate Agricultural Committee votes down farmworker bill

On Tuesday the State Senate’s Agriculture Committee voted down the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act. Among features of the bill, farmers would have had to pay over time to laborers who work more than 60 hours a week or 10 hours in a day and farm workers would gain the right to form a union if they work at the state’s largest farms. Some farmers protested that the mandates in the bill would be costly. Six of the committee’s nine senators — Darrel J. Aubertine, Michael H. Ranzenhofer, James L. Seward (who represents Greene County), David J. Valesky, George H. Winner Jr. and Catharine M. Young — voted against the bill. On Seward’s website he says, “Defeating the so-called, farm worker labor bill is a clear victory for our upstate farmers, farm workers and the agriculture industry,” said Senator Seward. “The bill, supported mainly by New York City politicians, would have forced farms to close, while driving up costs for the few survivors.” The bill would have granted collective bargaining rights to farm laborers; required employers of farm laborers to allow at least 24 consecutive hours of rest each week; provided for an 8 hour work day for farm laborers; required overtime rate at one and one-half times normal rate; made provisions of unemployment insurance law applicable to farm laborers; provided a sanitary code that would have applied to all farm and food processing labor camps intended to house migrant workers, regardless of the number of occupants; provided for eligibility of farm laborers for workers’ compensation benefits; required employers of farm laborers to provide such farm laborers with claim forms for workers’ compensation claims under certain conditions; required reporting of injuries to employers of farmworkers.

Gibson, Seward address ‘tea party’ rally Saturday in Otego

From Tom Grace in The Daily Star:

Later Thursday, Chuck Pinkey of Otego said another Tea Party Protest will be held at River Valley New Holland in Otego on Saturday, April 24. Among those to speak that Saturday will be state [New York State] Sen. James Seward (who represents Greene County], R-Milford, and two Republican congressional candidates, Richard Hanna of Barneveld and [Republican Congressional challenger in the NY-20 race against Scott Murphy] Christopher Gibson of Kinderhook, he said.

According to this Daily Star letter to the editor, the protest will be from 1 to 4 p.m. at River Valley Ford, which is about halfway between Oneonta and Otego on Route 7.

Seward backs amendment to opt out of health care


Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I- Oneonta) is proposing a state constitutional amendment that would permit New York residents to opt out of the federally mandated requirement to purchase health insurance. Under Senator Seward’s New York Health Care Freedom Act (senate bill 7374), “individuals would have the right to choose their health care plans, and also be allowed to opt out of coverage. The bill is intended to protect the liberty of New York citizens to control their own medical care, and wouldn’t affect those who want the federal care.” Seward’s staff says similar amendments have already been signed into law in three states and proposed in 36 others. An mp3 audio file from Seward is here:
NY State Sen. James Seward on amendment to opt out of health care.

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