Thursday, June 21, 2018

Assemblywoman Jenne: Park alienation legislation to aid village of Massena sent to Governor Cuomo

Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne, D-Theresa, announced legislation (A8059-C) she sponsored to mitigate some of the concerns raised by neighbors of the village of Massena's Department of Public Works facility on Robinson Road passed the Assembly on Tuesday.

The Massena Village Board voted earlier this year to move its salt and sand piles from the site of the former DPW garage on South Main Street to the Robinson Road property.

Village officials received an offer to purchase the South Main Street property from a company that wants to build a multi-million dollar soybean processing plant on the land. Company officials have said the soybean plant would create more than 30 jobs.

The legislation, which was also passed the state Senate, will allow the village to use 15.4 acres of property that is currently designated as parkland for the DPW in exchange for designating 23.8 acres of neighboring village-owned property as parkland.

"Massena has been hit hard by changes in manufacturing in this country over the past three decades, and the opportunity for an agriculture-related business that could create more than 30 jobs in the community is great news for residents," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

Assemblywoman Jenne said she has been in discussions about this economic development opportunity with Massena Mayor Timmy J. Currier and company officials for the past two years.

She said the mayor had shared the challenges of finding a new site for the DPW materials and asked for the assistance of state lawmakers after the village board decided to move its salt and sand storage facilities to the new site.

"I was also aware of the legitimate concerns being raised by neighbors of the village-owned property that houses the DPW garage and was pleased to work with Mayor Currier and State Sen.Joseph Griffo to take action that could mitigate some of those issues," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

Mayor Currier said he was grateful for Assemblywoman Jenne's support in moving the legislation forward.

"Addie has worked closely with us on this legislation from the beginning, and, with her leadership in the Assembly, we are a big step closer to consolidating our DPW facilities and selling the parcel on South Main Street, which will result in new jobs," he said.

Parkland alienation occurs when a municipality sells, leases or discontinues the use of municipal parkland. To use parkland for another purpose, the municipality needs the state Legislature to pass legislation authorizing the transfer.

Assemblywoman Jenne said the parkland alienation legislation will allow the village to store its salt and bulk materials, as well as organic materials, closer to the DPW garage and use a neighboring parcel recently purchased by the village as a buffer between the DPW storage site and the backyards of neighboring residents.

"The transfer will add more area to the existing greenbelt, allow the village to utilize the adjacent property in an effort to reduce the impact on neighborhood residents and village officials have estimated it will save an estimated 800 man-hours per year by having the storage materials at the same site as the equipment," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

The legislation also passed the state Senate and now goes to the Governor for his approval.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Assemblywoman Jenne: Assembly passes legislation to name Trooper Joel Davis Memorial Bridge in Philadelphia

Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne, D-Theresa, announced the state Assembly approved legislation (A.11054) Wednesday to rename a bridge on Route 11 after New York State Trooper Joel R. Davis, who was shot and killed last summer in the line of duty.

The bridge over the Indian River in Philadelphia will be renamed the “New York State Trooper Joel R. Davis Memorial Bridge” and join other memorials planned in the village.

The bill was sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblywoman Jenne and by state Sen. Patricia A. Patty Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, in the Senate. The legislation has also passed the state Senate.

The legislation will now be sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his approval.

Assemblywoman Jenne launches North Country Passport Program social media campaign

Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne, D-Theresa, announced today she is launching a program that encourages North Country residents and visitors to promote events and places they visit by documenting it on social media.

Participants in the North County Passport Program can mix and match activities or focus on themed travels and experiences to earn different program levels, highlighting their community engagement and marketing the region at the same time. Certificates will be awarded based on each participant’s experience.

"This initiative is a direct result of public meetings I held this spring to discuss steps we could take to improve the maritime and tourism sectors of our local economy," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

"Bringing people back to our waterfront after last year's flooding is at the top of the list and using social media to get people excited about the region is one way to help," she added.

Assemblywoman Jenne noted the Thousand Islands and St. Lawrence River Valley feature vistas and natural resources that are a draw to people from around the nation and world.

Community organizations ranging from chambers of commerce and local businesses to small non-profits host a range of great activities each week during the summer and fall months.

"I’ve launched the North Country Passport Program to help spread the word out about these activities and to help increase awareness about the tremendous entertainment options, events and attractions that are available each week in the North Country," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

The North Country Passport Program can be found at :
"This program will create a centralized location where information about places and events are easily accessible, making it easier to find things to do in and near the River District,” she said.

Participants can find links to activities on the North Country Passport Program Facebook page, but most activities – up to three hours away from Boldt Castle – count.

Participants are encouraged to post their experience on Facebook – either on their own page or on a parent’s page – and encourage their friends and family to participate in the program as well. Participants can also post a description or a photo of their activity and tag the business, location or event on the North Country Passport page and use #LivingintheRD.

Assemblywoman Jenne said certificates will be awarded to program participants and the program through the end of the year.

Direct message the North Country Passport page on Facebook or email 
to learn more about how to participate in the program and when you’re ready to claim your certificate.

There are a number of different stamp categories, including:

• Wise Traveler: Educational activities.

• Thrifty Traveler: Low- or no-cost activities.

•· Fit Traveler: Physical activities.

• EcoTraveler: Natural attractions.

• Pioneer Traveler: Historic sites and traditional cultural events.     
• Cultured Traveler: Music and arts events and venues.

•  Foodie Traveler: Agriculture and food-related activities and dining.

Participants will reach various levels based on the number of events they visit and post about. The levels are:
• Tourist: 1 stamp.

• Traveler: 5 stamps.

• Explorer: 10 stamps.

• Ambassador: 15 stamps.

•  Elite Ambassador: 5 stamps in three or more stamp areas.

• Globe Trotter: Visit Canada to get a stamp for this category.

"I'm excited about this program. I have had conversations with local school and college officials to help us as we launched this marketing initiative. We're putting together a small team of students to support this effort. I’m also partnering with organizations that are already working diligently to promote the many activities in the North Country and beyond," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

"I'm hoping this can bolster our region’s social media marketing. At the very least it provides families and friends with a great way to share and document their summer and fall activities," she said.

"This program could also be a great way for young people to distinguish themselves when they are looking for summer jobs in the region," Assemblywoman Jenne added.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Assemblywoman Jenne: New York Health Act ensures everyone can get medical care

Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne, D-Theresa, announced that she helped pass the New York Health Act, landmark legislation (A.4738-A) establishing a single-payer health insurance plan that would ensure all New Yorkers have quality health care coverage without any co-pays or premiums.

Assemblywoman Jenne has continually been a vocal supporter of the legislation.

“The New York Health Act could mean the difference between life and death for many of our neighbors, loved ones and friends,” Assemblywoman Jenne said.

“People shouldn’t have to choose between having food in the fridge and picking up a prescription. They shouldn’t be forced to forgo critical treatment to keep the lights on at home. We need a single-payer system to protect New Yorkers from skyrocketing premiums and insufficient coverage while ensuring everyone gets the care they need," she said.

The New York Health Act would establish a universal health care system within the state, known as New York Health, that would cover all residents, regardless of wealth, income, age or
pre-existing condition.

Every enrollee would have access to a full range of doctors and services, including inpatient and outpatient care, maternity care, prescription drug costs and dental, vision and hearing care. Out-of-state health care would also be covered.

Care providers and coordinators would be fully paid by New York Health, with no copays, deductibles or other charges to patients.

The system would be publicly funded based on a shared 80/20 employer/employee payroll contribution that would be progressive and based on the amount the employee is paid.

This would relieve employers of the burdensome administration of health plans, Assemblywoman Jenne noted.

The local share of Medicaid would also end, providing New Yorkers with much-needed property tax relief.

"This is a major concern for local government leaders in St. Lawrence and Jefferson counties and eliminating the local share of the Medicaid costs would translate into major reductions in the county's portion of local tax bills," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

Research by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst shows New York could save an estimated $45 billion in the first year alone by implementing a single-payer system and that system would also lower annual health insurance costs for 98 percent of households in the state.

Assemblywoman Jenne co-sponsors legislation calling for establishment of Agriculture and Rural Jobs Fund

Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne, D-Theresa, announced legislation (A.4772-C) she co-sponsored establishing the New York Rural and Agricultural Jobs Act passed both the Assembly and Senate.

The legislation will help agribusinesses and small, family-owned businesses in rural communities grow.

"The challenges facing agribusinesses in the North Country and around the state are not a secret. This legislation would set up a fund farmers and rural businesses could use to access capital funding, a frequent challenge for small businesses and farmers in rural areas like St. Lawrence and Jefferson counties," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

"I have expressed concern in the past that a number of the state's economic development programs are not as effective as they could be in rural areas. I have also called for more aggressive economic development initiatives designed to assist our state's farmers. The creation of this fund would be a step in the right direction in addressing those issues," she noted.

The New York Rural and Agricultural Jobs Act would raise funds from private investors, which could be accessed by small rural businesses that need capital to start or grow their operations.

To encourage investment in rural businesses, the bill will also allow investors to claim a tax credit after the first two years of the program.

The credit is available to investors with corporate income liability, insurance premium liability, or franchise tax liability. A tax credit worth 25 percent of the investment amount can be claimed in the third year of the program, and a tax credit worth 20 percent of the investment amount can be claimed in both the fourth and fifth years of the program.

Tax credit proceeds would be supplemented by private capital investments.

Assemblywoman Jenne, a long-time member of the Assembly's Agriculture Committee, has expressed serious concern about the future of the dairy industry, particularly small and mid-size farms, in the wake of a lengthy stretch of low milk prices.

She has called on the state to institute an incentive program to assist farmers that meet high-quality standards when milk prices are low.

She noted other lawmakers at the state and federal level have also unveiled proposals to assist struggling dairy farmers.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, for example, has proposed legislation that would set a floor level for fluid milk prices adjusted for inflation so it doesn't fall below the cost of production.

"We talk about the challenges facing our dairy farmers year after year. We are asking our farmers to meet today's production costs with revenues for milk sales at levels they were seeing in 1980," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

"It's time for both the state and federal governments to take bold action to support a key component of the North Country economy and protect our nation's food security," she added.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Assemblywoman Jenne: Legislation protecting residents from unnecessary fees for DMV services passes state Assembly

Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne, D-Theresa, announced legislation (A-9017) she sponsored that prohibits the licensing of certain predatory third-party vendors from selling access to vehicle registration services already performed at no additional cost by the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) passed the the Assembly Tuesday afternoon.

The legislation would prevent businesses not engaged in vehicle sales from charging residents for directions on how to register your vehicle, a service already provided by the DMV at no charge.

Assemblywoman Jenne said she introduced the legislation after a complaint was filed with her office by a Watertown-area constituent.

“I was surprised when I learned about these deceptive business practices, and it was clear we needed to take steps to protect our state's residents from paying unnecessary fees. The state should not be condoning a practice that takes advantage of consumers. Paying an additional cost for a service that is offered at no cost by a state agency is a scam,” Assemblywoman Jenne said.

“Today, there’s an even greater need for strong consumer protections to ensure that New Yorkers aren’t preyed upon by misleading and downright dishonest businesses, whether those businesses are brick-and-mortar stores or online entities,” she added.

Assemblywoman Jenne said third-party vendors should not be profiting at the expense of those conducting business with state agencies like the DMV.

"The state should in no way be endorsing those third-party vendors charging constituents a fee for services that are available for free," she stressed.

She said it’s often hard for consumers to determine the legitimacy of online services at a glance.

Websites including or appear to be portals to official DMVwebpages, but, despite the mandatory yet hard to find disclaimer, many people are fooled into paying an unnecessary “finder’s” fee.

For example, the “On-Line Registration” webpage has a banner across the top that reads “New York Motor Vehicles Service Bureau.” The site charges a $45 to $75 “Online Service Bureau” fee for registration renewals (based on “processing time”).

Using an official looking moniker, this website and others like it simultaneously rip off New York State residents and tarnish the image of the DMV, according to the assemblywoman.

"It's simply wrong for businesses like these, which exist only to take money out of the pockets of hard-working state residents attempting to comply with the law, to be licensed by the DMV," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Assemblywoman Jenne introduces legislation calling for Philadelphia bridge be renamed to honor Trooper Joel Davis

Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne, D-Theresa, announced legislation (A.11054) she authored to rename the bridge on Route 11 crossing the Indian River in the village of Philadelphia in Jefferson County the “Trooper Joel R. Davis Memorial Bridge” has moved out of the state Assembly's Transportation Committee and is on the Ways and Means Committee agenda for Wednesday.

New York State Police Trooper Davis was shot and killed on July 9, 2017, after responding to the scene of a domestic dispute with shots fired in the town of Theresa.

Trooper Davis served in the New York State Police for four years, after a 10-year career as a deputy with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.

"There have been a number of efforts over the past year to honor the life of Trooper Davis, and all have merit. I introduced this bill after consultation with many of those close to Joel, as well as seeing the efforts the community is taking to honor his life," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

The village of Philadelphia will be honoring Trooper Davis on municipal property directly adjacent to the bridge, which will be named in Trooper Davis' honor in July.

There will be a flag pole and green space accessible by the nearby pedestrian bridge.

"This is a fitting place to pay tribute to Trooper Davis' life and will complement the efforts of others to honor him in a place of prominence. It will allow us to reflect on the impact he had on our lives and the community that helped shape him into the hero we always knew he was and will always be and ensure that his sacrifice will never be forgotten," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

The father of three was an extremely active volunteer in local youth sports in the area.

Trooper Davis was raised and lived most of his life in Philadelphia. He also spent most of his law enforcement career working here and was assigned to the state police barracks in Philadelphia at the time of his death.

Assemblywoman Jenne, a Philadelphia native, pointed out the bridge is heavily travelled and within sight of the elementary school Trooper Davis attended.

The bill (S.6839-A) is being sponsored by State Sen. Patty Ritchie in the New York State Senate.