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Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 6:21 pm

Ranzenhofer releases statement on budget resolution

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Press release:

The New York State Senate has passed its one-house budget resolution. State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has issued the following statement:

“Today, the New York State Senate took the next step in getting a budget done on time. The Senate budget restores $15 million for Roswell Park Cancer Institute after the Governor proposed cutting state funding for the Institute by 15 percent. I remain committed to working with my colleagues in the Western New York Delegation to ensure this funding restoration is included in the final budget. The one-house resolution also proposes the most property tax relief in state history, a $200 million small business package and elimination of the energy tax surcharge. It ends the notorious Gap Elimination Adjustment and its devastating impact on our local school districts. Overall, the Senate budget is a responsible fiscal plan that makes investments for a brighter future for Western New Yorkers.”

Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 1:13 pm

Ranzenhofer named deputy majority leader for economic development

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Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has been named Deputy Majority Leader for Economic Development as part of the Senate Republican Majority’s Leadership Team. The new leadership position involves more responsibilities to develop economic development policies.

“As a member of the Senate Republican Conference, we have made some progress in strengthening our state’s financial health, and its economy, over the past few years. This new leadership position is an opportunity to advocate for creating more jobs and growing our economy, particularly in Upstate and Western New York,” Ranzenhofer said. “I look forward to working on policy issues, such as tax relief for businesses and repealing burdensome regulations, to attain these important goals.”

Senator Ranzenhofer also serves as Chairman of the Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee. He is a member of six Senate Standing Committees, including Agriculture, Education, Finance, Judiciary, Racing, Gaming & Wagering, and Transportation. Senator Ranzenhofer is a member of the Senate Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, as well as the Select Committee for Science, Technology, Incubation & Entrepreneurship. 

The 61st Senate District encompasses the towns of Amherst, Clarence and Newstead and the villages of Akron and Williamsville in Erie County; all of Genesee County; and the towns of Chili and Riga, the Village of Churchville and part of the City of Rochester in Monroe County.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 2:04 pm

There is a Choice for Senate in the 61st

In the 61st State Senate District we have a choice on election day. Elaine Altman is running against incumbent Michael Ranzenhoffer. Ms. Altman is a teacher who understands that our state government is broken. She is an advocate for kids, teachers, and families who is committed to working for us to pass the Women’s Equality Act, fighting for property tax relief, ensuring that our schools receive their fair share of state funding, increasing the minimum wage, and implementing tax incentives for job creation. Elaine is a teacher with more than 20-years experience. She supports students, learning, and teachers without the increase in testing that we have seen with the implementation of Common Core. Elaine believes that current mandates take power away from local schools and she will fight to give that power back! She is very familiar with the inequities in state funding for our schools and how that affects everything from the academics of our students to funding for our local sports. She grew up working for her father in his small business and knows how important local business is for the economy, as well as how difficult an increase in minimum wage could be for such businesses. I have had the distinct pleasure to spend some time with her over the last few weeks and have found that she is very down to earth, intelligent, accessible, and present. She is not afraid to speak her mind and to stand up for what she believes in. One thing I have heard her say over and over is that “one size fits all approaches do not work”. She strongly feels that representing us is a full time job and pledges to treat it as such. Elaine is endorsed by NYSUT, Working Families, CWA, UFCW, UAW, NARAL, Empire State Pride Agenda, NYS AFL-CIO and RGV AFL-CIO, NALC, Local Teamsters 449, OPEIU local 153, Northern Regional Council of Carpenters, Amalgamated Transition Union Local Union 1342, Eleanor’s Legacy, and the New York State Democratic Committee as well as the Genesee County Democratic Committee. Instead of just talking about it on November 4th YOU have an opportunity to SUPPORT CHANGE by voting for Elaine Altman for State Senate!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Ranzenhofer to host public forum for Heroin and Opioid Addiction Task Force in Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer

Press release:

Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer will host a public forum for the Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction this Friday, May 23, from 10 a.m. to noon at Batavia City Hall, One Batavia City Centre. Members of the public are invited to attend and participate in the discussion.

The forum is one of 17 statewide to solicit input on the rise of heroin and opioids and to develop legislative recommendations for treating and preventing addiction and its consequences.

“Heroin and opioid addiction is a very serious issue facing communities all across the State. That is why I have invited the Task Force to discuss the impact heroin and opioid use has on our local community,” Ranzenhofer said. “I look forward to this important discussion with community stakeholders.”

The Task Force is chaired by Senator Phil Boyle (R-C-I, Suffolk County), chairman of the Senate Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.

"The numbers are staggering. Every day we hear of one heroin-related tragedy after another in our state," Boyle said. "I applaud Senator Ranzenhofer for his leadership in our statewide fight against heroin and opioid addiction."

Participating panelists are experts in the fields of education, law enforcement, mental health and substance abuse, civic groups and individuals directly affected by opioid abuse, including: 

• Gary Maha -- Sheriff, Genesee County
• Shawn Heubusch -- Chief of Police, Batavia Police Department
• Timothy Lynch -- Assistant U.S. Attorney Western District, Chief of Narcotics and Violent Crime Division
• Dr. Michael Merrill -- Vice President of Medical Affairs, United Memorial Medical Center
• Lisa Glow -- Program Director, Horizon Health Services
• Colleen Babcock -- Parent & Family Support Coordinator, Horizon Health Services
• John Bennett -- Executive Director, GCASA
• Dr. Bruce Baker -- Medical Director, GCASA
• Augusta Welsh -- Director of Community Services, Genesee County Mental Health Services
• Donna Sherman -- Substance Abuse Treatment Program Manager, VA Western New York Healthcare System
Heroin’s deadly effects are well established, and overdoses are on the rise across the State. In February, The New York Times reported that the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) heroin seizures in New York State increased 67 percent over the prior four years. The Buffalo News reported that 29 people died of heroin overdoses in Erie County in 2013, “almost a third more than the year before.”

The 2014-2015 State Budget included $2.45 million for initiatives to provide prevention, treatment and addiction services to address the increased prevalence of heroin and opioid abuse.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at 10:52 pm

Bill making yogurt official state snack advances in Senate

post by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, michael ranzenhofer

Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has announced today that the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee has approved Senate Bill No. S6695. The legislation, authored by Senator Ranzenhofer, would designate yogurt as the official State snack.

A Byron-Bergen fourth-grade class, while studying the history and government of New York State, wrote to Senator Ranzenhofer to suggest the idea for the bill.

“I am pleased to report that this bill is on the move, and New York is one step closer to designating yogurt as its official State snack,” Ranzenhofer said. “It’s not just a nutritious, delicious food. It is also a major economic driver locally and all across the State. I am hopeful that we will be able to pass this legislation so that it may become law this year.”

New York is the number one processor of yogurt in the United States. Increasing demand for milk, the primary component in yogurt, has helped to support and grow the State’s dairy industry. New York is now fifth in the nation in milk production, producing over 13 billion pounds in 2012, in part fueled by the demand from yogurt processors.

Senator Ranzenhofer introduced the legislation on Feb. 28.

Friday, November 1, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Ranzenhofer says 3K people have signed petition against public assistance cards being used for beer, smokes

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Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has announced today that his new petition drive, encouraging the State Assembly to pass the Public Assistance Integrity Act, has garnered more than 3,300 signatures since launching the campaign one week ago.

“Thousands of Western New York residents have added their voice to mine in calling on the State Assembly to pass a bill that protects our tax dollars,” Ranzenhofer said. “We are sending a powerful message to the State Assembly: a fraud prevention measure is needed to prohibit welfare benefits from being spent on alcohol, cigarettes and other non-essential items.”

Senator Ranzenhofer launched the online petition on Oct. 25. 

“I hope that residents will consider adding their voice to the thousands who have already expressed their support for passing the Public Assistance Integrity Act. It is not too late to sign my online petition, and I encourage residents to join our campaign to protect taxpayer dollars,” Ranzenhofer said.

Residents can still sign the petition by visiting ranzenhofer.nysenate.gov.

The Public Assistance Integrity Act (S.966) would prohibit using EBT cards for tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets, and ATM cash withdrawals at liquor stores and casinos.  Senator Ranzenhofer is a co-sponsor of the legislation. The bill passed the State Senate on June 18. The State Assembly has not taken action on the bill.

EBT cards work like a debit card for public assistance recipients, containing both a Food Stamp and Cash Assistance component. Strict regulations already guide what can be purchased for Food Stamps. Cash assistance is intended to pay for items not covered by Food Stamps, such as soap, toothpaste, school supplies and toiletries. Currently, there are no restrictions on the use of Cash Assistance.

Federal aid received by New York may be at risk if the State Assembly does not pass the bill. The federal government has mandated that states implement a fraud prevention system by February 2014. If New York State does not act accordingly, the Federal government will penalize the State by cutting federal funding for Cash Assistance by 5 percent or $120 million.

Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 8:54 am

Ranzenhofer's statement on the state mandating $1 million in new county expense at jail

post by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Jail, michael ranzenhofer

We requested a statement from Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer about the unelected NYS Corrections Commission requiring Genesee County to add $1 million annually to the county budget to fund 10 more jail guards.

Here's Sen. Ranzenhofer's statement:

I have recently had an opportunity to speak with Genesee County Officials about the Commission’s report concerning the county jail. Our office will be happy to work with the Sheriff’s Office and members of the Genesee County Legislature in the event they believe we can be of assistance to them.

Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 8:03 am

Ranzenhofer's bill to reform laws for nonprofits passes Senate

post by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer

Press release:

The New York State Senate yesterday passed the Nonprofit Revitalization Act (S5845), sponsored by Senator Michael Ranzenhofer (R-C-I, Amherst), that would – for the first time in 40 years – overhaul state laws that govern charities and other not-for-profit organizations.

“The state laws that apply to not-for-profits were enacted in 1969 and, since that time, there has been no comprehensive review and update --until now,” Senator Ranzenhofer said. “Millions of New Yorkers depend on not-for-profits to respond in times of emergency, provide health care, and offer vital community assistance, among many other services.

In listening to the concerns of these organizations and officials across the state, we have developed comprehensive legislation that will help the not-for-profit sector continue to fulfill its essential mission in a streamlined and cost-effective way, while also reducing the opportunities for fraud and financial abuse.”

More after the jump. Click on the headline to read more:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Ranzenhofer announces committee assignments for new term

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Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer (R, C, I – Amherst) has been appointed to serve as chairman of the Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee for another legislative session.

“As chair of the Corporations Committee, over 25 defunct, inactive commissions have been dissolved, and 45 other good government bills have been enacted into law to positively impact authorities and commissions, as well as private corporations all across the state. I look forward to 2013 to continue the important work of this committee,” Ranzenhofer said.

Senate Republican Conference Leader Dean Skelos said "Senator Ranzenhofer has a strong sense of fiscal responsibility that has helped us reduce state spending in two consecutive budgets. He is a very strong advocate for a state spending cap and has fought to consolidate and shrink the government bureaucracy. I am confident that he will continue his excellent service as chair of the Corporations Committee and as a new member of the Senate Finance Committee."

Senator Ranzenhofer has also been appointed to the following Senate Standing Committees: Agriculture, Banks, Education, Finance, Judiciary, Racing, Gaming and Wagering, and Transportation.

“One of my top priorities has been to cut state spending,” Ranzenhofer said. “While the last two budgets have reduced overall expenditures, more work needs to be done to ensure the state spends within its means. As a member of the Finance Committee, I’ll be able to go over the fiscal impact of legislation with a fine-tooth comb.”

An official list of legislative meetings for Senate Standing Committees is available at nysenate.gov/committees.

The 61st Senate District encompasses: the towns of Amherst, Clarence, and Newstead and the villages of Akron and Williamsville in Erie County; all of Genesee County; and the towns of Chili and Riga, the Village of Churchville and part of the City of Rochester in Monroe County.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Hawley, Ranzenhofer react to governor's state-of-the-state message

post by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, steve hawley

Statement by Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

The Governor’s State of the State address detailed his personal agenda for the 2013 legislative session. His plans to promote Upstate New York’s economy and invest in programs that will put the state on the cutting edge of high-tech innovation will provide a much-needed boost for our region. However, his presentation lacked any plans to address unfunded mandate relief, one of the biggest issues facing state government this year. No legislative agenda can be considered complete without a substantive plan to free our schools, towns and taxpayers from the burden of unfunded mandates.

Statement by State Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer (R, C, I- Amherst) has issued the following statement in response to Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Address:

“Over the last two years, the State Legislature has been able to work together – unlike the gridlock and partisanship in Washington, D.C.– to pass two on-time budgets that reduced overall spending, lowered middle-class tax rates to the lowest levels in 58 years and realigned investments toward job-creation initiatives, such as ReCharge NY and Regional Economic Development Councils. Despite our fiscal house being put back in order, difficult choices remain ahead since the State still faces a $1 billion budget gap.

The ultimate goal must continue to be making New York more business friendly and improving our State’s economy so that the private sector can create jobs. The Governor’s proposals to reform workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance programs and his commitment to avoid taxes as a way to balance the budget will further help companies lower the costs of operating a business in New York. I am also pleased that, after announcing a billion dollars in economic development incentives for the Buffalo region last year, the Governor has again recommended a series of initiatives to revitalize Upstate New York’s economy.

The private sector created more than 210,000 jobs in New York State alone during the last two years, and I am hopeful that the State Legislature will be able to move New York’s economy in an even stronger direction by making the right investments and taking the right actions in the 2013 Legislative Session.”

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