Albany, NY, Mar 10, 2011 — New York's Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would make the Power For Jobs program permanent. The newly named "Recharge NY" program would double in size by using electricity that had been allocated to small residential energy bill discounts. It would still offer low-cost power to hundreds of companies across the state in return for job commitments. The new version of the program would also set aside $8 million to offer power discounts for farmers. The now goes before the state Assembly.
Republican Joe Griffo says the bill is one success in what he calls a "very hectic" session. Griffo says lawmakers are scrambling to finish budget bills while trying to avoid the "three-men-in-a-room" process that's given Albany such a bad name. "To debate these issues in public between both houses and hopefully arrive on a consensus so we can have an on-time budget," Griffo says. "I think everybody is trying to work together and do the best we can despite our philosophic differences."
Those differences include how much to cut education spending and how to make redistricting less partisan.
Griffo represents the 47th Senate district, which stretches from Utica in the south, though Lewis County and the eastern half of St. Lawrence County to Massena. He told David Sommerstein making the popular Power For Jobs program permanent is an important step forward. Go to full article
Albany, NY, Jun 19, 2009 — (TEXT ONLY) The fight for control of the state Senate enter its 12th day today. There were negotiations behind closed doors yesterday. And the Republicans-plus-one coalition members convened in the Senate, but didn't have the quorum necessary to do business. That briefly focused a bright light of speculation on North Country Democrat Darrel Aubertine.
Rules of the chamber require a quorum of 32 Senators. But the Democratic and Republican-dominated voting blocs are evenly split, 31-31. And Democrats have refused to physically enter the Senate chamber since the coalition "coup" last week.
Yesterday, it appeared Aubertine would enter the chamber. Republican leader Dean Skelos says Aubertine asked the coalition to vote on renewing "Power for Jobs." The program ensures low-cost electricity for companies employing large numbers of workers in the North Country.
Speaking with reporters yesterday afternoon, Skelos said he asked Aubertine to join them in the chamber, "but he's opted not to."
Aubertine confirmed to the Albany Times Union that he was prepared to work with Republicans in order to renew "Power for Jobs." Spokesman Drew Mangione says that action was contingent on a bipartisan power agreement only. He said Aubertine was never considering becoming part of a Dean Skelos- or Pedro Espada-led coalition.
Yesterday afternoon, Aubertine issued a statement calling Democrat Espada's leadership role "unacceptable" and demanded that his title be revoked. Go to full article