Written for the Press-Republican on July 25, 2020

Repsannounce rural development funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. — North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville), and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) recently announced U.S. Department of Agriculture rural developmentthat included grants and loans for North Country towns.

According to a press release, the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program awarded $202,000 to the Town of Burke and $209,000 to the Town of Constable so they can each purchase a new plow truck.

“This rural development funding will play an important role in assisting our communities with their investments and projects, and I look forward to seeing the impact it has,” Stefanik said in a statement.

“Modernizing equipment and infrastructure is critical for public safety, and this federal funding will allow towns and villages across Upstate New York to improve their ability to deliver state-of-the-art community services from plowing to garbage removal to pedestrian safety,” Schumer said.

“This critical investment will bring much needed infrastructure development to our rural community centers,” Gillibrand added.

Jones says SLA guidance punishes responsible businesses

CHATEAUGAY LAKE — Assemblyman D. Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay Lake) recently came out against new State Liquor Authority guidelines that contained new restrictions on bars and restaurants.

The guidelinessaythose establishments can only serve alcoholic beverages to patrons who also purchase food, and limits bar top service to customers who are seated and are either socially distanced or separated by barriers.

Jones said the guidelines point to why a more regional COVID-19 response is needed.

“Responsible businesses across the North Country are being punished for businesses in other regions of New York that are not following social distancing guidelines,” he continued.

Data show the North Country has the lowest infection rate in the state and the highest number of hospital beds available, Jones said.

“It is unfair to place these restrictions statewide when regions like the North Country are proving that businesses can reopen responsibly, and I will continue to advocate for a regional approach that recognizes our district’s needs.”

Stefanik cosponsors the American Farms, Food Banks and Families Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) recently announced that she is an original cosponsor of the American Farms, Food Banks and Families Act.

If passed, the legislation would create the position of “Agriculture Supply Chain Administrator” within the U.S. Department of Agriculture with the aim of empowering farmers and ranchers to more easily donate food to enhance food security and the strength of the food supply chain, a press release said.

The administrator would develop efficiencies and address the key challenges within the domestic agriculture food supply chain.

In a statement, Stefanik said the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many gaps along the food supply chain to light, and that farmers and food banks had risen to the challenge to provide for communities.

“Still, there are roadblocks that hinder our producers’ abilities to donate their products,” she continued.

“This legislation will help USDA identify regulations and statutes that hinder this process, and more easily link our producers to food distribution organizations.”

Schumer supports U.S. Postal Service funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On July 19, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he would fight for $25 billion in funding for the U.S. Postal Service to help post offices keep their doors open and purchase personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies.

“All across Upstate New York, from Western and Central New York, to the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Capital District, Hudson Valley or beyond, the USPS performs a lifeline service for countless Americans and the people of New York that must continue amid and beyond this pandemic,” Schumer said in a statement.

“The fact is, the coronavirus has severely crippled USPS operations and their funds. Despite that, they have kept the doors open, the mail — and really the economy — moving, and now they need the help to sustain their pace.”

According to a press release, the USPS is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation.

It receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, relying on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations, according to USPS.

Stefanik supports NDAA for Fiscal Year 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On July 20, North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) spoke on the House floor in support of theNational Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021.

She said in a statement that, as the representative and advocate for Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division, force protection and the safety of servicemembers are her first priority.

“This bill supports our force protection and military intelligence capabilities to ensure our servicemembers have the tools they need to mitigate hostile actions while they continue their important missions abroad,” Stefanik continued.

“I am proud to work in a bipartisan fashion to secure significant NDAA wins for the North Country and for our nation’s defense as a whole, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on the passage of the FY21 NDAA through the House.”

On Tuesday, Stefanik voted for the NDAA, which passed the House.

Stefanik advocates for state, local funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On July 20, U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) co-signed a letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) urging him to provide funding to state and local governments in the next COVID-19 relief packages.

The letter points out that New York has been severely impacted by a loss in revenue stream, causing strain on state and local governments and threatening budget cuts for services.

“While the CARES Act provided significant funding to support state budgets, there is still critical need for further funds,” Stefanik said in a statement.

“I have repeatedly called on our leaders in the House and the Senate to include essential funding for state and local governments in any forthcoming COVID-19 relief package.

“It is crucial that we deliver direct aid to local municipalities, who have been severely impacted by revenue loss, especially in our more rural communities.”

Stefanik cosponsors Women’s Suffrage Resolution

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On July 21, U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik’s (R-Schuylerville) office announced that she has cosponsored a House resolution acknowledging the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, and the centennial of the amendment becoming part of the U.S. Constitution.

The resolution designates August as National Women’s Suffrage Month.

In a statement, Stefanik spoke of the Women’s Suffrage Movement’s deep ties to the North Country and upstate New York.

“I am proud to represent a district that is home of the birthplace of Elizabeth Cady Stanton in Johnstown and Susan B. Anthony’s home in Greenwich,” she continued.

“These women were essential voices of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, and I am proud to honor their legacy in a number of ways, including this resolution.

“I continue to advocate for programs and funding to help educate future generations about the importance of the Women’s Movement and the ratification of the 19th Amendment, as they are pivotal moments in our nation’s history.”

Stefanik cosponsors Defend COVID Research from Hackers Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On July 22, North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik’s (R-Schuylerville) announced that she is a cosponsor of theDefend COVID Research from Hackers Act.

The legislation aims to help protect American advancements toward the development of a COVID-19 vaccine from hackers and hold anyone who attempts to commit those cyber crimes accountable, according to a press release.

In a statement, Stefanik said China and other countries have tried to illegally hack and access information regarding U.S. development of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“It is essential that we protect our nation’s researchers as they work tirelessly to develop a vaccine for the world,” she continued.

“The United States refuses to be exploited by China, Russia, or any other hackers who attempt to manipulate this process.”

Stefanik announces grant for CVPH

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On July 23, U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) announced that University of Vermont Health Network, Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital was awarded a $250,000 grant through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’Rural Health Care Coordination Network Program.

“Our rural health systems provide critical care and services to North Country residents, and they have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Stefanik said in a statement.

“I am proud to announce this funding for Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital as they continue their important work of serving Plattsburgh area residents.”

Stefanik announces funding for Adirondack Regional Airport

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On July 23, North CountryCongresswoman Elise Stefanik(R-Schuylerville)announced that the Adirondack Regional Airport in Saranac Lake will be receiving $2,712,047 in Airport Improvement Funding through the Federal Aviation Administration.

The funding will go towards rehabilitation of their runway.

“The Saranac Lake area and the rest of the Adirondacks are a major tourist destination for people across the country, and projects like these help with infrastructure improvements to keep attracting people back to the area,” Stefanik said in a statement.

“I look forward to witnessing the positive impact this funding has on the area, and I will continue to deliver results like this to our North Country communities.”

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