Assembly Releases Economic and Revenue Report

Budget negotiations are fully underway here in Albany. As part of our discussions, the Assembly unveiled the annual Economic and Revenue Report for New York State.

The Assembly Economic and Revenue Report projects All Funds revenues at $153.915 billion for SFY 2015-16, an increase of $4.8 billion from the previous year, and $171 million above the Executive's estimates. For SFY 2016-17, the report forecasts All Funds at $153.469 billion, a decline of $445 million from the previous year. The Assembly's forecast for All Funds revenue is $552 million higher than the Executive's forecast.

Thankfully, the Assembly report also forecasts a modest rate of growth for employment in the state for the next fiscal year. The Assembly projects wages to continue to grow at a steady pace this year and the next, reflecting an expectation of a continuing, albeit modest, recovery.

Advocacy for libraries. Advocates for libraries visited this week in support of additional funding for community libraries. Libraries are important "third places" in our neighborhoods – places people gather to get their questions answered and to engage in civic discourse. Library systems are also a model of sharing of municipal resources.

South Mall Expressway to undergo revitalization project. The State announced a $22.4 million project to rehabilitate the South Mall Expressway in downtown Albany will begin this spring. The South Mall Expressway connects Interstate 787, the Dunn Memorial Bridge, the Empire State Plaza and downtown Albany neighborhoods.

Work on the South Mall Expressway, which carries approximately 21,000 vehicles each day, will occur from I-787 to inside the tunnels underneath the Empire State Plaza.

Narcan now available for opiate abuse treatment. Governor Cuomo announced independent pharmacies across the state will now be able to provide naloxone to their customers without a prescription. Naloxone – also known as Narcan – is a medication that reverses opioid overdose. Improved accessibility to the medication will help end opioid abuse in New York State.

In January 2016, the Health Department approved more than 480 CVS pharmacies throughout the State as registered opioid overdose programs, enabling their pharmacists to dispense naloxone without a prescription.

Adirondack Winter Challenge. To promote tourism within New York State, Governor Cuomo invited members of the legislature to participate in the Adirondack Winter Challenge in Lake Placid. My daughter Eileen and I took up cross-country skiing, joined many others in enjoying the Adirondacks during this winter season.

Women’s History Month. Each week during Women's History Month (March), I'll highlight a woman that has made some important contributions in the 109th Assembly District. We are fortunate to have had some amazing women who have lived and spent time in our district.

Katherine G. Stoneman (April 1841 – May 19, 1925) – Kate Stoneman was an early 20th century suffragist and had monumental accomplishments for women in the state. Kate was the first women to be admitted to practice law in New York State. A self-taught practitioner of law and a teacher at the State University of New York at Albany, she passed the bar exam in 1886. At first being rejected to join the Bar Association of New York, she mounted a lobbying campaign and became the first woman to join later that year. Shortly after, she began her studies at Albany Law School, graduating in 1898 and becoming the first woman graduate of the college. She was also known for helping form the Woman's Suffrage Society of Albany, and was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in October of 2009. She witnessed New York women vote for the first time in 1918 as a poll watcher in the Albany City elections. Kate was a pioneer for women’s rights in the state of New York and in the country by setting multiple records in the name of women in the practice of law and education.

Job Opportunities: New York State has setup a new job portal entitled Jobs Express, where thousands of private and public sector jobs are listed. Visit for more information on how to apply for these opportunities.

As always, for the latest news or for upcoming events, please visit my office online, on Facebook , on Twitter , or my Times Union blog. If you would like to reach my office, please feel free to send us a note.

Sincerely ---