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.Read more
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.Read more
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.”
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.”
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco
112th Assembly District
Assemblyman calls on Governor to make it a high priority in state budget to provide consistent care for people with developmental disabilities by including funding to recruit and retain skilled workers so they don’t find other jobs that pay more
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) today is calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to prevent a staffing crisis by using some of the expected state budgetary windfall to help provide the highest level of care for thousands of New Yorkers with developmental disabilities by increasing services for clients and support for the professionals who directly care for them.
Tedisco, who helped lead the effort two years ago to restore $90 million in state funding the Governor cut for the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), has written Cuomo (see attached) asking that the state give a high priority to recruit and retain a skilled workforce to care for the disabled who are facing increasing pressure to find work in other jobs that pay more.
Tedisco Demands Justice for Abused Dog, Removal of Judge Who Gave “Get Out of Jail Free Card” to Convicted Animal Torturer
Assemblyman who was the driving force behind passage of Buster’s animal cruelty felony law renews call for passage of state animal abuser offender list to protect people and pets
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville), the driving force behind passage of the landmark Buster’s felony animal cruelty law to protect people and pets, today is blasting the shocking decision by Nassau County Supreme Court Judge Angelo Delligatti to free a convicted animal torturer potentially putting public safety and the well being of companion animals at risk.
Tedisco also says this incident underscores the need for passage of his statewide animal abuse offender list to ensure convicted abusers can never own a pet again.
In a case that has stunned and outraged people across the state, a 34-year-old kennel worker in Nassau County with no medical training or experience, cut off the ears and leg without anesthetic of a puppy named “Miss Harper.” The man plead guilty to three felonies and two misdemeanors.Read more
Tedisco, Veterans Call for New
Legislative Internship to Jobs Program for Veterans
Legislation to enable wounded warriors to participate in
New York’s annual state legislative internship program
BALLSTON--In advance of Veteran’s Day, Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) joined with veterans and advocates at the Guardian House, shelter for homeless female veterans in Ballston to call on the New York State legislature to pass G.I.V.E. Back NY (Giving Internships for Veterans not fully Employed) legislation (A.3477/S.2182) to enable disabled veterans to participate in the chamber’s annual paid legislative internship program that could help lead them to future employment.
Tedisco proposes setting aside 10 percent of the current legislative internship program positions in the Assembly and Senate for veterans to see the inner workings of the representative democracy they put their lives on the line for to the extent that some now have a life-long disability.
“Let’s not just talk the talk, let’s walk the walk and give back to our veterans and wounded warriors by truly thanking them for everything we hold dear as Americans and as New Yorkers by offering them a birds eye view of the government they sacrificed their blood, sweat and tears and nearly their own lives to protect,” said Tedisco. “As our veterans learn about state government, my colleagues and I and our college interns will learn from them about honor, duty, courage, and perseverance, lessons that our leaders in state government probably need now, more than ever.Read more
Tedisco: Cat Found Nailed to Tree in Schenectady Eerily Similar to Case that Inspired Buster’s Law & Torture of Railroad Puppies Hudson & Pearl
Tedisco: Cat Found Nailed to Tree in Schenectady Eerily Similar to Case that Inspired Buster’s Law & Torture of Railroad Puppies Hudson & Pearl
Assemblyman who was the driving force behind passage of Buster’s animal cruelty felony law calls for passage of state animal abuser offender list to protect people and pets
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) today said the disturbing incident of animal cruelty of a cat found nailed to a tree in Steinmetz Park in Schenectady underscores the need for the state legislature to pass his legislation to create animal abuser offender list (A.2484/S.2935) and prevent abusers from owning an animal ever again.
“Whoever did this to this cat needs to be found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This is very disturbing and eerily similar to the original case that inspired the creation of Buster’s Law, where a teen in Schenectady doused a cat with kerosene and set it on fire. It’s also similar to the incident a few years ago when an abuser nailed railroad puppies Hudson and Pearl to railroad tracks in Albany,” said Tedisco.
In 1999, Tedisco led a statewide effort to collect over 118,000 signatures to pass the landmark Buster’s Law creating the felony category of "aggravated cruelty to animals," punishable by up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.Read more
One-day count shows 1,417 homeless adults and 193 children in Capital Region; 349 adults and 24 children in Schenectady; 282 adults, 6 children in Saratoga Region
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) today announced that he met with Stephanie Ford Kreis (pictured in photo with Tedisco) of the Capital Region Coalition to End Homelessness and was briefed on the “State of Homelessness in the Capital Region.”
When the Coalition held a one-night census in January of this year, it was found that there were 1,417 homeless adults and 193 homeless children in the Capital Region (349 adults and 24 children in Schenectady County and 282 adults and 6 children in the Saratoga/Glens Falls/Washington/Warren/Hamilton Counties region).Read more
Assemblyman says Common Core Parental Refusal Act needed now more than ever to protect students, parents, educators and schools from “vindictive” state bureaucrats
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) today is calling on New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia to stop intimidating New York parents and school districts with threats of pulling funding from schools with high percentages of students who opt out of grades 3-8 Common Core standardized tests -- in essence, telling them to stop trying to “kill the messenger” for their introduction of a flawed system.
On Wednesday, the State Education Department released the results of this year’s Common Core Math and ELA tests and revealed that 20 percent of eligible students statewide refused the tests. In the Capital Region, close to 27.5 percent of students opted out.
“Commissioner Elia should stop bullying New York’s parents and schools because huge numbers of students are opting out of the flawed, developmentally inappropriate Common Core standardized tests. Unless there are real changes made to Common Core, these opt-out numbers will only grow exponentially next year,” said Tedisco.Read more