Saturday, June 19, 2010

Assemblywoman Russell: Our voices were heard in Albany

Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell (D-Theresa) announced the Public Protection and General Government budget bill (A.9700/A.9706) passed in the Assembly today and includes the rejection of the proposed closure of Ogdensburg Correctional Facility. In addition, the Corrections Commissioner, Brian Fischer, has issued a letter promising to rescind the closure notice hinging on the Senate’s passage of the bill. The Assembly also passed the Transportation, Economic Development and Environmental Conservation budget bill (A.9705/A.9709) that consolidates and streamlines layers of government, and creates a small business revolving loan fund for St. Lawrence and Jefferson Counties.

“This just demonstrates that a small community like ours can unite to make our voices heard to affect and shape budget negotiations,” Assemblywoman Russell said. “Today I am so proud to announce that all of our hard work has finally paid off, and OCF will remain open, protecting the 287 jobs at the facility. Whether you are the officer worried about a downstate transfer, or a store owner worried about having 287 less families patronizing your business, we are all fighting to ensure the stability of our communities, and to ensure families can remain here in the community they love. I extend my thanks and congratulations to all of those who have helped in this effort.”

Russell also noted the economic development budget bill includes a $1 million small business revolving loan fund created from NYPA funds dedicated specifically to St. Lawrence and Jefferson Counties. “It is only natural St. Lawrence and Jefferson County businesses benefit from being host to NYPA,” Russell said. “This is the access to capital that our small businesses need to make it through this recession.”

The bills also take significant gap closing measures by cutting millions in state spending as well as achieving $9 million in annual savings by mergers and consolidations to deliver essential services at a lower cost to taxpayers.

“I am committed to putting the state back on sound fiscal footing,” Russell said. “The Assembly has made smart, targeted cuts as well as consolidations where it makes sense, and where it will not affect the services we provide.”

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