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.


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.”

WGXC at Hudson Children’s Book Festival

Didi Barrett

WGXC's Kaya Weidman records NY State Senate candidate Didi Barrett at Hudson Children's Book Festival.

Just as WGXC’s Kaya Weidman was about to sit down and interview Fidel Mareno, who was going to talk about Native American rights and the American Indian Pow Wow Aug. 14 in Stephentown, Didi Barrett showed up. We had asked the Democratic candidate for New York State Senate representing Columbia and much of Dutchess counties (a seat held by Republican Steve Saland) to stop by our table in Hudson High’s gym, but everyone arrived at the same moment, and then a recorder failed. Indeed, it was a whirlwind day with so many folks stopping by the WGXC table at the festival, which was even busier then in its first year. Eventually we got another recorder working, and a conversation between Barrett, Mareno, and WGXC staff ensued about absentee voting, Native American rights, and other issues.

Fidel Mareno and Didi Barrett

Fidel Mareno speaks with Didi Barrett at the Hudson Children's Book Festival.

Robert Yellow Fox

WGXC's Kaya Weidman records Robert Yellow Fox at Hudson Children's Book Festival.

Later Weidman sat down with Robert Yellow Fox, and spoke about Eagleton School, a private year-round residential, psycho-educational treatment facility for boys and young men ages nine (9) to twenty-two (22) years, with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Development Disorder, Communication and Cognitive Delays, Behavioral Disorders, Emotional Disorders, and Learning Disabilities. Listen to their discussion here or paste this link:

WGXC’s Emily Bennison also made recordings of children’s authors during the event. Click on the author’s name to listen to mp3 audio interview.

Anne Broyles
Ann Jonas
Barbara Slate
Danielle Joseph
Donald Crews
Ellen Jensen
Gail Carson Levine
Zetta Elliott

Saland will seek another term in State Senate

Republican Senator Steve Saland (R,I,C – Poughkeepsie) announced today that he will be seeking re-election to the State Senate for his 11th term, representing all of Columbia County and much of Dutchess County. “Despite the state of affairs surrounding state government and the failing economy, I find myself more compelled than ever to seek re-election to the State Senate. I have no intention of deserting the ship even though it has taken on an abundance of water,” said Senator Saland. “While I have found this past year to be particularly challenging – constantly battling the tax and spend policies of the current Senate Majority, I know it’s critically important that we restore a balance of power in our State Government so taxpayers outside the city of New York once again have a voice of leadership to protect their interests.” Saland and Congressional hopeful Chris Gibson will both speak at a Tea Party Protest in Otego this Saturday, April 24 from 1 to 4 p.m. at River Valley Ford, which is about halfway between Oneonta and Otego on Route 7. Democrat Didi Barrett already announced her campaign to seek the seat.

Despite local opposition, legislature eases absentee ballot process

Rick Karlin of Capitol Confidential reports that this morning the New York State Senate passed an absentee ballot bill 35-27. The bill, previously passed by the Assembly, will make it easier to cast an absentee ballot, removing requirements to “disclose the special circumstances requiring his absence,” among others. Not surprisingly, Greene and Columbia counties’ Republican legislators are against the bill. Both local Assemblyman, Marc Molinaro in Columbia and Pete Lopez in Greene, voted against the bill. Both Senator Jim Seward (Greene) and Sen. Steve Saland (Columbia) voted against the bill this morning. Recently, Republicans in Columbia County have challenged many absentee ballots, targeting second-home owners as the voting totals have turned from slightly Republican to slightly Democratic in the county.<

Barrett campaign announcement

Didi Barrett announces her campaign for NY State Senate in Poughkeepsie, NY April 7, 2010 in the video above. Later in the day, she also announced her candidacy at the Columbia Courthouse in Hudson, with about 50 onlookers, the Register-Star reported. Barrett so far is the first Democrat to announce a challenge for the 41st New York State Senate seat held by Republican Steve Saland that covers Columbia County, and Dutchess and other nearby area.

Local state legislators report income

The Albany Times-Union asked all New York state legislators to disclose their household incomes. Locally, the Senators did not respond and the Assemblymen disclosed. Below is information from the senators and assemblymen representing Greene and Columbia counties:

James L. Seward, Senate, R-51
Responded: No
Reported 2009 income: Minimum of $94,000
Comments: Lawmaker declined to respond but legislative leader income is public record. Assembly pay of $79,500 plus $14,500 as Vice Chair of Minority Conference.

Tim P. Gordon, Assembly, I-108
Responded: Yes
Reported 2009 income: Up to $158,300
Comments: Assemblyman responded saying he makes his legislative pay of $79,500; $3,000, interest and dividend income of approximately $800. Wife works for Price Chopper in Schenectady for a salary of between $50,000 and $75,000 per year.

Stephen M. Saland, Senate, R-41
Responded: No
Reported 2009 income: Minimum of $92,500
Comments: Lawmaker declined to respond but legislative leader income is public record. Assembly pay of $79,500 plus $13,000 as Assistant Minority Whip.

Marcus J. Molinaro, Assembly, R-103
Responded: Yes
Reported 2009 income: $122,700
Comments: Assembly pay of $79,500 and ranking minority member pay on Election Law Committee of $9,000; $1,500 LILAC Realty Corp. sales referrals; Riding Tide Communications pay of $3,700 as associate publisher; wife is a registered nurse at Health Quest, makes $29,000.

Peter D. Lopez, Assembly, R-127
Responded: Yes
Reported 2009 income: $134,500
Comments: Assembly pay of $79,500 plus $9,000 as ranking Republican on the food, farm and nutrition committee. Spouse makes $46,000 per year as career counselor at SUNY-Cobleskill.