Tedisco Unveils New “Truth in Spending” Bill to See “Who Ordered the Pork?”

Assemblyman announces legislation to help the public follow the money and bring sunlight to state spending in the shadows; Citizens Union, Empire Center, League of Women Voters and NYPIRG applaud Tedisco’s leadership in introducing new bill

 

Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) today announced new anti-corruption “Truth in Spending” legislation that has the support of 40 sponsors so far, and which will require the executive and legislature to fully disclose how any public funds they allocate are spent and where the money comes from.

 

A new report “Spending in the Shadows” by Citizens Union found “$2.4 billion in opaque funds in 80 ‘lump sum’ pots in the state budget” which allow spending decisions to be made without an appropriate level of transparency, scrutiny and review after the budget has passed. Dick Dadey, Executive Director of Citizens Union, and Tim Hoefer, Executive Director of the Empire Center, were present at the event to show to support for Assemblyman Tedisco’s leadership in bringing greater transparency to state spending decisions. Barbara Bartoletti, from the League of Women Voters, and Blair Horner, from NYPIRG, also are offering their support for Tedisco’s efforts.

 

The “Truth in Spending” legislation (bill # pending) is a response to the numerous public corruption scandals that have rocked the state Capitol to its core over recent months through lack of transparency in budget allocations, due to shadow spending where some leaders and members gamed the system. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, “If you want to prevent corruption, don’t enable it. If you want to deter corrupt members, don’t become their willing accomplices.” 

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Tedisco, Amedore, Boyle Call for “Kirby & Quigley’s Law” to Bring Justice for Dogs Executed During Burglary

State legislators call on Assembly to vote on bill that passed Senate 59-1 to make it a Buster’s Law felony punishable by up to 2 years in jail to harm pets during the commission of another felony

 

Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville), Senator George Amedore (R,C,I-Rotterdam) and Senator Phil Boyle (R,C,I-Suffolk County) today called for justice for “Kirby & Quigley,” two Montgomery County dogs (see attached photos) that were shot and killed during a burglary last week, by announcing “Kirby & Quigley’s Law” to make it a Buster’s Law felony punishable with 2 years in jail and a $5,000 fine for harming a companion animal during the commission of another felony. 

 

On the evening of February 17th, Denise Krohn returned to her Florida home, after being out for two hours, to find her house was broken into and the horror of seeing her family’s two beloved Goldendoodle dogs, “Kirby” and “Quigley,” lying on the floor in pools of blood from gun shot wounds.

 

Curtis Lumber has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of any suspect(s).  If you have any information that can solve this case, please call the Montgomery County Sheriff at 518-853-5500.

 

“Whoever broke into the Krohn’s home and executed Kirby and Quigley is a cold-blooded killer who should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. It is by the Grace of God that another member of the Krohn family was not present when this occurred as there’s no question in my mind that whoever would commit such a violent crime against a pet would not hesitate to harm a human,” said Tedisco, who was the driving force behind passage of the landmark Buster’s animal cruelty felony law and the Assembly Chair of NYS Animal Advocacy Day. “Thanks to the entire Krohn family who have allowed us to name the bill after Kirby and Quigley and turn their tragedy into something positive to raise money for our animal shelters and help other families in the future by increasing penalties for those who would commit such violent acts.”

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Tedisco, McLaughlin Join Mayor Madden, Supervisor Barrett to Seek New Safe Water Action Program to S.W.A.P. Out Aging Infrastructure

Assembly members call on the Governor and Legislature to create a CHIPS-like state program for towns & cities to protect infrastructure & save tax dollars

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(Photo from Times Union)

Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) and Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C,I-Schaghticoke) are joining with Troy Mayor Patrick Madden and Clifton Park Town Supervisor Phil Barrett in seeking a new state program in the budget to repair and maintain vital local water and sewer infrastructure.

 

The new CHIPS-style drinking water, storm water and sanitary sewer infrastructure program (S.W.A.P. – Safe Water Action Program) would provide annual funding to all municipalities to swap out old, deteriorating pipes and water mains to better maintain the state’s infrastructure. Tedisco and McLaughlin have written to the Governor, Assembly Speaker and Senate Majority Leader (see attached) seeking inclusion of S.W.A.P. in the 2016-17 state budget.

 

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Tedisco: “Crickets Chirp, Chirp, Chirp in Assembly Chamber as the Majority “Reform Caucus” Remains Silent for Over a Year

Assemblyman delivers letter to leader of so-called Assembly Majority “Reform Caucus”

 asking where in the world are the reforms that were promised?

 

Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) and 25 of his colleagues today delivered a letter (see attached) to Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh (D-Manhattan), who is a leader of the Assembly Majority’s so-called “Reform Caucus” asking where in the world are the reforms that the Majority Conference promised over one year ago.

 

Last year, the Assembly Majority "Reform Caucus" sent a letter to all members of the Democratic Conference to ask them to sign on to several reforms. The letter asked its membership the following questions:

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Tedisco Launches “Spirit of ‘76” Petition Drive for Rank & File Revolt to Win the War on Government Corruption

Assemblyman creates www.Spiritof76NY.com and “Spirit of ’76” Facebook page to rally support for legislation to curb power of legislative leaders and empower rank and file members

 

Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) today launched a new front in the war to end corruption at the state Capitol, a new petition drive and social media campaign to support passage of his “Spirit of ‘76” legislation for a rank and file revolt against the accumulation of power by legislative leaders. 

 

The Facebook page, and new website, www.Spiritof76NY.com, have an online petition where New Yorkers can sign and support Tedisco’s “Spirit of ’76” bill and tell legislative leaders that they “believe in real democracy where the voice of the people is louder than that of partisan politicians!”

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Janice Grieshaber-Geddes, a Warrior for Reform, Joins Tedisco, McLaughlin, Lopez & Avella to support “Spirit of ‘76” Revolt

Advocate who got “Jenna’s Law” passed said Legislature must curb power of leaders, enable legislation that has a majority of members as sponsors to be debated and voted on

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Today at the New York State Capitol, Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville), Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C,I-Schaghticoke), Assemblyman Pete Lopez (R,C,I-Schoharie), and Senator Tony Avella (D-Queens) called for passage of their “Spirit of ‘76” legislation for a rank and file revolt against the accumulation of power by legislative leaders.  The Assembly members were joined by Janice Grieshaber-Geddes, a Manlius mother, who discussed the tragic story of “Jenna’s Law” and how one powerful leader can defy the will of the majority and hold up important legislation.

 

Grieshaber-Geddes advocated for passage of “Jenna’s Law” to end parole for first time violent felons after her daughter, Jenna Grieshaber, was murdered by a parolee in Albany.  Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver held “Jenna’s Law” from moving to the Floor despite it being supported and sponsored by 130 out of 150 Assembly members.

 

The “Spirit of ‘76” bill (A.8658/S.6475) allows for a piece of legislation that has garnered the sponsorship of 76 members of the Assembly and 32 members in the Senate -- regardless of party affiliation -- to bypass committee and move to the Floor for a debate and up or down vote. Senator Avella has introduced the bill in the state Senate.

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“Who Ordered the Pork?”

 

Tedisco: Smash Legislative Leaders’ Slush Fund Piggy Banks

With Total Transparency in Spending and Budget Allocations

Assemblyman is 1st Capital Region Lawmaker to sign “Clean Conscience Pledge”; introduces new legislation to seek full disclosure in how legislative leaders allocate tax dollars

 

Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) today announced he will be introducing new anti-corruption legislation to require legislative leaders fully disclose how any public funds they allocate are spent and where the money came from. Tedisco’s bill would require all legislative earmarks to be clearly outlined within the state budget for members, the public and media to review before being voted on and that they be notified when the funds are distributed.

 

This would allow legislators, the public and media to weigh-in on the appropriateness of these allocations before the budget is passed to better engage citizens in this representative democracy.

 

Tedisco also became the first Capital Region lawmaker to sign the “Clean Conscience Pledge” (photo attached) sponsored by Common Cause NY to support real ethics reform that includes closing the LLC Loophole for campaign finance reform, full disclosure in how legislative leaders spend tax dollars, and limiting outside income for legislators to reduce conflicts of interest.

 

“The taxpayer’s dollars and the state budget is not the leader’s own personal piggy bank. This truth in spending law is the hammer to smash open that piggy bank and create total transparency to see where the money comes from as allocated in the state budget and how it’s being spent. When it comes to legislative earmarks, taxpayers have a right to be able to follow the money and know who ordered the pork,” said Tedisco.

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Tedisco, McLaughlin, Lopez & Manlius Mother Who Got “Jenna’s Law” Passed Call for Rank and File Revolt to Clean Up Albany

Assembly Members to intro “Spirit of ‘76” bill to curb power of leaders and enable legislation that has a majority of members as sponsors to be debated and voted on

 

Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville), Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C,I-Schaghticoke), and Assemblyman Pete Lopez (R,C,I-Schoharie) today called for a “Spirit of ‘76” revolt by rank and file state legislators to clean up corruption and break the stranglehold on the Capitol that’s been exerted by powerful leaders who time after time have prevented common sense reforms from becoming law in New York.

 

The legislators are being joined in their reform efforts by Janice Grieshaber-Geddes, a Manlius mother who successfully advocated for passage of “Jenna’s Law” to end parole for first time violent felons after her daughter, Jenna Grieshaber, was murdered by a parolee in Albany.  Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver held “Jenna’s Law” from moving to the Floor despite it being supported and sponsored by 130 out of 150 Assembly members.

 

Tedisco, McLaughlin and Lopez are introducing the new “Spirit of ’76” bill to allow for a piece of legislation that has garnered the sponsorship of 76 members of the Assembly and 32 members in the Senate -- regardless of party affiliation -- to bypass committee and move to the Floor for a debate and up or down vote.  The “Spirit of ‘76” bill, which is attached, is being circulated for sponsorship among members and will have a bill number in January when session resumes.

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Tedisco Statement on Common Core Task Force Report

Statement from Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville)

 

“The Common Core Task Force Report has 21 common sense recommendations we’ve been seeking for several years including reducing the amount of testing and testing anxiety, making sure curriculum and exams are age appropriate and not placing such a heavy emphasis on teacher evaluations and student performance on the standardized test scores.”  

 

“Intentions are fine, fulfilling those goals is what’s most important. For that reason, there should be a a 22nd recommendation to ensure if parents believe the state hasn’t lived up to the intent of the Task Force’s 21 recommendations then schools must notify them of their right to opt their children out of the grade 3-8 standardized tests without fear of reprisal to the students, teachers or schools as I have called for in my Common Core Parental Refusal Act (A.6025/S.4161).”

 

“Certainly, the Task Force’s recommendations are a better Holiday present than the lump of coal that was shoved in the stockings of students and educators this past spring when the Governor and the Majority doubled down on Common Core testing and the overemphasis on standardized testing for teacher evaluations.”

 

“It’s easy to issue a snazzy report and talk the talk in December to grab some headlines. Let’s see if the Governor and Leaders will actually walk the walk next year and pass the legislation to actually send Common Core and its culture of over-testing to the dustbin of history.”

 

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Tedisco Testimony to Common Core Task Force

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As a former public school special education and resource room teacher, I’m not opposed to higher standards and standardized testing.

 

But standardized tests must be developmentally appropriate for the age of the students taking them and the tests should be just one of a myriad of diagnostic tools to measure teacher effectiveness and a child’s academic performance, and not the Holy Grail for determining success.

 

Any standardized test should be integrated holistically into a school’s curriculum with input from New York teachers, administrators and parents, along with several other measures that influence how and if children learn.

 

The Common Core’s heightened emphasis on standardized testing is forcing teachers to spend too much time teaching to the test rather than engaging children in true learning. The tests are too long as well as developmentally inappropriate for the grades of the children taking them.

 

Tests and how they are weighted in evaluating teachers and schools do not take into account the socio-economic and developmental factors that play a major role in how students learn. Nor do they factor in the different needs of students from high-need, low-wealth districts that don’t have the same resources as more affluent schools.

 

This past April, 20 percent of New York parents with children in grades 3-8 exercised their constitutional rights to express their displeasure with Common Core tests and how the standards are being implemented by refusing to have their kids take the exams.

 

The Governor and state education leaders are still coming to grips with how to respond to the growing opt-out movement and the frustration felt by many students, parents and educators about the tests and Common Core curriculum.

 

Renaming and rebranding Common Core as some have proposed is not going to solve the problem.

 

It makes one mindful of the analogy of putting lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig. A new name is not going to make Common Core any prettier, effective or acceptable to students, parents, educators and school administrators.

 

Don Draper from the TV show “Mad Men” couldn’t devise a marketing plan to make the way Common Core doesn’t work now more palatable.   

 

While this new Common Core panel has some educators as members, there is no sizable representation from any of the parent/teacher groups who have been critical of the standards and tests. Nor is there a task force member from the Assembly who also has real world experience as an educator.

 

If this task force is serious it will recommend, and the administration, Regents, and our State Education Department will implement, a real overhaul of Common Core that does more than just change its name but actually respects educators and encourages students’ love of learning.

 

We need high standards and appropriate testing primarily as a diagnostic tool. However, our state’s leaders must understand that the solution to having children meet those standards does not lie solely on what’s going on in the brick and mortar of our school buildings but in the socio-economic environment of the homes and communities where they live.  

 

Until those needs are addressed, Common Core, or whatever name they call it, will experience little success at best and continue to be as the Governor declared, a “failure.”

 

Sincerely,

            Assemblyman Jim Tedisco

            112th Assembly District



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