Assemblyman D. Billy Jones | WAMC

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones

From left: Assemblymen Dan Stec and D. Billy Jones with Senator Betty Little at the North Country Chamber annual legislative breakfast
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The North Country Chamber recently held its annual Legislative Breakfast, bringing in the region’s New York state representatives in Albany to report on actions taken over the past year and forecasts for the region as this session continues.  WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was there.

New York Assemblyman D. Billy Jones meets with North Country law enforcement officials to discuss new bail reform laws
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York state Assemblyman D. Billy Jones met with law enforcement officials in Plattsburgh Friday to discuss potential reforms to the newly implemented discovery and bail reforms.

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones
Assemblyman D. Billy Jones

On January 8th the New York state legislature convenes and Governor Andrew Cuomo will deliver his State of the State address. The executive office has been releasing key proposals of the 2020 State of the State in advance of the Democratic governor’s speech.  115th District Assemblyman D. Billy Jones says he has been reviewing the proposals. The Democrat tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley he is taking a wait and see approach toward the governor’s proposals.

114th district Republican Assemblyman Dan Stec (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The race for the 45th state New York Senate district seat is gearing up after Republican Betty Little’s announcement last week that she would retire. Republican Assemblyman Dan Stec on Wednesday announced that he’s running for the seat.

The panel consisted of (from left) Dave Wolfe, Neal Woodworth, Senator Betty Little and Assemblyman D. Billy Jones with host Thom Hallock
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The importance of getting broadband service into underserved areas of the Adirondacks and North Country region was the focus of a recent forum in Plattsburgh.

Snowplow with salt/sand (file)
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The New York Senate and Assembly members representing the Adirondack region have introduced legislation intended to limit road salt pollution.

From left: Michael Carpenter, Assemblyman D. Billy Jones, John Bernardi and Garry Douglas discuss NY's Recovery Tax Credit program
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The New York state budget includes a new tax incentive program for businesses that hire people in recovery from substance abuse disorders.  The enabling legislation was introduced by North Country Assemblyman D. Billy Jones. He was at the business that motivated his measure on Wednesday as it submitted paperwork to qualify for the program.

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones
Assemblyman D. Billy Jones

New York state Assemblyman D. Billy Jones represents one of the northernmost districts in the state, the 115th. On the eastern border is Lake Champlain. As you travel west and south it includes parts of the Adirondacks and the rolling agricultural lands north to the Canadian border.  During a stop in Plattsburgh shortly after the legislature adjourned earlier this month, the Democrat said some good things were accomplished during the session for the North Country region. Jones also tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley there were a lot of things he disagreed with.

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones
Assemblyman D. Billy Jones

Ever since the New York legislature adopted the new state budget without including a marijuana legalization provision, the prospects for legal pot in the Empire State have been uncertain.  There is word that legalization legislation is still being discussed in conference, but with the session ending in little more than a month, it’s unclear if lawmakers will act this year. On Thursday, 115th District Assemblyman D. Billy Jones was in Plattsburgh. The Democrat tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley while there’s talk about marijuana, the rank-and-file haven’t really delved into the issue since the budget deliberations.

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones announces funding for North Country Veterans Association
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York state Assemblyman D. Billy Jones was at the North Country Veterans Association in the Town of Plattsburgh Thursday afternoon to announce that state funding had been secured in the new budget for its expansion project.

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones
Assemblyman D. Billy Jones

North Country New York state Assemblyman D. Billy Jones was appointed to the General Government and Local Assistance Joint Budget Subcommittee during this year’s budget negotiations. His goal was to not allow local communities to get “lost in the shuffle” as money issues were hashed out.  After final passage of the budget bill, Speaker Carl Heastie noted that he had to “hold his nose” about some of the provisions.  Fellow Democrat Billy Jones tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley he agrees with the Assembly leader about the $175.5 billion plan.

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones
Assemblyman D. Billy Jones

Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his inaugural address at Ellis Island. It was a speech with unsubtle jabs at the Trump administration’s immigration policies versus New York’s melting pot history. Today, lawmakers return to Albany for the new legislative session.
115th District state Assemblyman D. Billy Jones represents Clinton, Franklin and part of St. Lawrence counties. The Democrat tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley the governor had previously outlined his agenda, so the speech offered no real surprises.

Senator Betty Little (left) and Assemblyman D. Billy Jones (right) visit Plattsburgh with state Housing Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas (center)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In January, Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the New York state Health Department to study the impact of legalization of marijuana. Issued in July, the report concluded: “The positive effects of a regulated marijuana market in New York State outweigh the potential negative impacts.” During a visit to Plattsburgh this week the region’s state Senate and Assembly representatives weighed in about the potential for pot legalization.

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones
NYS Assembly

While there is debate in Albany over bringing the state Senate back for a special session, it’s unlikely the Assembly will return.  First-term Democrat D. Billy Jones of the 115th Assembly District does not face a challenger in November. He is traveling the district during the summer recess to gauge constituent issues.  Before he discussed state and regional politics, he provided an update on a wildfire in Clinton County. The nearly 600-acre fire at the Altona Flat Rock, an area of rare jack pine barrens, started a week ago. Jones reports it has now been contained and is about 55 percent controlled.

Senior Planet in Plattsburgh
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York state Assemblyman D. Billy Jones visited a senior technology program in Plattsburgh that serves rural residents of the region to discover how those who use it benefit from the service.

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones
Assemblyman D. Billy Jones

The New York state Legislature is nearing the April 1st deadline to complete its budget. North Country Assemblyman D. Billy Jones, a 115th District Democrat who represents Clinton, Franklin and part of St. Lawrence counties talks about the ongoing negotiations in the Assembly.

Regional representatives discuss state issues during annual legislative forum in Plattsburgh
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Plattsburgh North Country Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Legislative Breakfast today.  It’s an opportunity for the region’s officials and business interests to hear from and question their representatives in Albany. This year, much of the focus was on the proposed state budget.

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones announces funding to SPARCC with members (left to rigth) Connie Wille, John Bernardi, Jones, Michael Carpenter and Peter Trout
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York State Assemblyman D. Billy Jones was in Plattsburgh this morning to announce funding for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Recovery Coalition of Clinton County and new legislation to motivate businesses to hire people in recovery.

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones
Assemblyman D. Billy Jones

Now that Governor Andrew Cuomo has laid out his vision for the 2018 legislative session in Albany, lawmakers around the state are weighing in. New York Assemblyman D. Billy Jones represents the 115th district in northern New York, which includes Clinton and Franklin counties and four towns in St. Lawrence County.  The first-term Democrat says he is still mulling over the speech and wants to see how the proposals mesh with the governor’s upcoming budget proposal, which is due in two weeks.