Monday, March 22, 2010

A Great Day for OCF and NY State

A Community Rallied And the Senate Listened

The people of Ogdensburg have been heard here in the Senate and I am pleased to say that the Senate rejects the closure of Ogdensburg Correctional Facility. The case was clear and we will continue working to make the case for this well run, efficient facility. The community, the families and the 300 employees came together to get us this far and we will continue working together.

Join me on the steps of the Capitol at 2:30 PM to rally in support of the prison.
We took a major step today, and now we need to go the last mile. I will continue to fight for this community and tomorrow, the Governor and the Assembly will hear our voices loud and clear.

I will continue drawing on the community's support to ensure the Senate's language is adopted.

A Budget I can vote "Yes" on!

Voting 'no' is not an option for saving this facility. We need to pass a budget that includes specific language preventing the commissioner from closing Ogdensburg Correctional now or in the future. That's what we have proposed here in the Senate and I will continue working to ensure that the final budget reflects this priority. We've cleared a major hurdle today and we are moving in the right direction. We must continue to work together and stand up for our community until this budget is passed and signed into law.

With more than 97 percent of its staffed beds occupied, a staff that operates the facility under budget each year, inmate incident rates at just a fraction of what downstate facilities endure, and overtime budgets less than half of what most other facilities pay, Ogdensburg Correctional Facility is a model of efficiency. In fact, the largest expense is payroll, which when distributed among 287 workers in a community of around 11,000 provides a significant economic impact. The ripple effect of losing this facility would likely cause the loss of close to 1,000 jobs in the community.

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