This blog is of, by and for the progressive members of our Jefferson County community. Our mission is to provide information about fellow progressives for all to view, to provide a forum for forward looking candidates and to offer other varied items of interest. Your opinion is important to this blog and if you wish to write us an item or send us a picture please email it to THIS BLOG IS NOT AN OFFICIAL BLOG OF THE JEFFERSON COUNTY DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Governor’s Corner

Statement On The Bigger Better Bottle Bill

Governor David A. Paterson today issued the following statement in response to the federal court ruling to restore the Bigger Better Bottle bill, which he signed into law as part of the 2009-2010 Enacted Budget on April 7, 2009.

“As a committed advocate for the Bigger Better Bottle bill for years, and after fighting to get it into the 2009-2010 Enacted Budget, I am delighted that a federal court has seen fit to issue an order that restores major elements of the newly expanded bottle bill. This is a victory not only for our State's environment, but also for the State’s finances. According to the court, soda and beer companies are required to provide 80 percent of the unclaimed nickel deposits to the State. This will provide millions of dollars to our treasury for the full year, much-needed revenue during our current economic climate. New York consumers can also expect to see five cent minimum deposits on bottled water no later than October 22, 2009, subject to further court proceedings scheduled for that day.”

Enhancing Consumer Protections

Governor David Paterson on August 8, 2009 announced that he has signed a law that will provide consumers with additional information when seeking refunds on purchased items or gifts, updating consumer protections that had not been addressed in 30 years. The law requires retailers to more clearly define and post refund policies, including restocking and other fees, and takes effect on December 1, 2009. The bill was developed by the New York State Consumer Protection Board (CPB), and was proposed by the Governor as part of his package of departmental bills, created by the State's executive agencies.

The Clean Energy Economy

Governor David Paterson on August 10, 2009 announced that the New York State Energy Planning Board has prepared a comprehensive draft State Energy Plan, the first step in redefining how the State approaches and satisfies its energy needs. The draft Plan identifies strategies and provides recommendations that once implemented will make energy more reliable, secure and affordable for New Yorkers, address the threat of climate change, and result in a cleaner environment. This will grow New York ’s clean energy economy - a core component of Governor Paterson’s New Economy Jobs Plan -and is expected to create tens of thousands of jobs in New York . The State Energy Planning Board is now soliciting public input on the draft Plan that will aid in the development of the final Plan.

Stimulating Home Sales

Governor David Paterson on August 10, 2009 announced that New York will offer a federal income tax credit to first-time homebuyers to encourage home sales in the State. The New York State Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) will enable first-time homebuyers to claim a tax credit equal to 20% of their annual mortgage interest costs, potentially saving the average homebuyer about $1,500 each year. The program will effectively extend, and in some cases improve upon the federal government’s $8,000 First-Time Homebuyer Credit enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which expires on November 30th.

Preparing Families for the School Year

Governor David Paterson on August 11, 2009 announced a historic collaboration with George Soros and the Open Society Institute (OSI) that will provide one-time, $200 grants, to more than 800,000 children in low-income families across New York State to help purchase school supplies as they prepare to return to class in September. Families who receive public assistance or food stamps can access this one-time Back-To-School Supplement of $200 per school-aged child (ages 3 through 17) starting today. The Governor was joined by Mr. Soros and other elected officials at P.S. 208 in New York City today to make the announcement.

Protecting Health Benefits

Governor David Paterson on August 13, 2009 announced that New York State is cracking down on companies that sell limited benefit health insurance plans that mislead people to believe they have full health insurance coverage. Some New Yorkers who relied on and tried to use such plans have ended up with unexpected medical bills amounting to thousands of dollars.

Protecting Our Children

Governor David Paterson on August 13, 2009 submitted legislation to increase penalties on those who drive while intoxicated (DWI) with children in the car. The Child Passenger Protection Act, submitted for consideration by the Senate and Assembly during their anticipated return this fall, would make it a felony for individuals to drive while drunk or under the influence of drugs with passengers under the age of 16. Currently, such an offense is considered no more than a misdemeanor and may be treated as a traffic infraction.

· Read more

· Watch the Video

From the Attorney General

Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo on August 13, 2009 announced that his office has filed a lawsuit against New York-based American Modification Agency, Inc. (“Amerimod”), one of the largest foreclosure rescue companies in the country, and its owner Salvatore Pane, Jr. for engaging in a wide variety of deceptive business practices and false advertising to induce beleaguered homeowners on the brink of foreclosure to sign up for their services. Today’s lawsuit is part of Cuomo’s ongoing investigation into foreclosure rescue scams that target New York homeowners.

An Update from Comptroller DiNapoli

At the current rate of spending, New York will have $80 billion in unmet infrastructure needs over the next 20 years unless state, federal and local governments work together to improve multi-year capital planning and better fund infrastructure projects, cautioned State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli in a report he released today in Syracuse. DiNapoli’s report estimates the state’s capital needs for repairing roads, bridges, and water and sewer lines will swell to a quarter trillion dollars over the next 20 years.