State Senator Sue Serino | WAMC

State Senator Sue Serino

Courtesy of the NYS Department of Health

A New York state senator from the Hudson Valley is calling for the state budget to include funding for Lyme and tick-borne diseases research, education and prevention initiatives. It comes as other lawmakers and advocates share her hope that the COVID-19 pandemic is not distracting from other health issues, like Lyme.

Colleen Laico, from Kingston, NY, a medical professional at the ER at Kingston Hospital, receives her COVID-19 vaccination at MidHudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie, December 18, 2020
Courtesy of the Office of Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan

Several lawmakers in the Hudson Valley are urging New York state officials to set up joint COVID-19 vaccine distribution sites closer to home. Local leaders in the region have repeatedly said traveling to the closest state sites is too far for many mid-Hudson region residents. 

Ulster County timeline for vaccine administration given current supply, as of Feb. 18, 2021
Courtesy of Ulster County government

The Ulster County executive is calling on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to activate a joint state- and county-run COVID-19 vaccination site in Kingston. He says the site has the capacity, and the closest state sites are not close at all. As WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne reports, others are echoing the call.

The New York State Capitol in Albany
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Criticism continues over New York Governor Andrew Cuomo administration’s handling of nursing home death data during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two state Senators from the Hudson Valley are dissatisfied with different aspects, and both want to see the governor’s emergency powers diminished.

Jessica Bugbee, Army veteran, during virtual press conference on Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Support Program funding, Feb. 12, 2021
Courtesy of the Hudson Valley National Center for Veteran Reintegration

State and local lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are calling for New York to release funding to veterans organizations for a peer support program. Every year, they press for the funding, and every year, the funding is released. This year’s plea comes with a request that the funding become a permanent part of the budget.

The Falcon, Marlboro, NY
Courtesy of The Falcon, Marlboro, NY

A New York state senator from the Hudson Valley wants to ensure smaller stages are part of the governor’s plan to revitalize the state’s arts industry.

A nursing home
U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Gary Ward, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

With COVID-19 cases on the rise, a lawmaker from the Hudson Valley is urging New York state to develop a plan to more effectively protect residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

The New York State Capitol
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

A number of New York state Senate races in the Hudson Valley have not been decided. It could be weeks before constituents know who will represent them next year.

Karen Smythe, NYS Senate District 41 candidate
Courtesy of Karen Smythe

One of the Hudson Valley’s New York state Senate races is a rematch from 2018. Democrat Karen Smythe is running against incumbent Republican Sue Serino in the 41st district. Smythe spoke with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne about her campaign approach and platform.

Courtesy of Tompkins Excavating

A New York state senator is launching a virtual initiative to spark interest among local teens in the trades.

unemployment application

Two New York state lawmakers from the Hudson Valley say they’ve introduced legislation to protect people whose personal information was leaked after applying for unemployment benefits.

Petition Urges NYS To Fix Unemployment System

May 16, 2020
Courtesy of NYS Senator Sue Serino

With New York’s backlog of claims from the COVID-19 pandemic, a state senator from the Hudson Valley has joined six of her Republican colleagues in launching a petition urging New York to fix its unemployment system.

Dutchess Launches Donation Drive For Childcare Centers

Apr 25, 2020
Courtesy of Dutchess County government

A New York state Senator and the Dutchess County executive have launched a donation drive to support those caring for the children of first responders, healthcare workers and other essential employees.

Courtesy of the office of NYS Senator Sue Serino

Lawmakers from the Hudson Valley are among those calling for funding in the New York state budget for a veterans peer support program. They want to sustain the program in the counties where it already exists, and expand it elsewhere in the state.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

State lawmakers and others stood outside the New York state Bridge Authority headquarters at the Mid-Hudson Bridge Thursday to speak out against a proposed merger with the state Thruway Authority. They say such a merger would negatively impact the five Bridge Authority crossings. Thruway Authority officials, however, see it differently.

HV Lawmakers Urge Changes To Bail Reform

Jan 8, 2020
Jail cell

Some New York state lawmakers in the Hudson Valley are calling for changes to criminal justice reforms that took effect January 1. There is bipartisan support to pass legislation that would allow judges to consider how dangerous a defendant is when determining pre-trial detention.

Photo by Scott Bauer (USDA ARS)

In the final hours of New York’s legislative session, funding was secured to help combat Lyme and tick-borne diseases. But it’s less than initially requested.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

With New York state budget negotiations ratcheting up in the final days, myriad groups are advocating for their funding needs — including advocates who want money for fighting Lyme disease.

NYS Senator Wants Voters To Have A Say On Pay Hikes

Dec 18, 2018
Courtesy of Sue Serino

A New York state senator from the Hudson Valley has introduced a bill that would bring voters into the mix regarding any legislative pay raises.

Courtesy of Rhinebeck at Home

Candidates in New York state’s 41st Senate District will participate in a discussion Tuesday about aging in place and home care.

This is a picture of a school desk
Courtesy of EduBirdie

Just in time for the start of the academic year, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a law that helps keep sex offenders from working in schools.

Courtesy of the NYS Department of Health

Six New York state senators are calling on the state Health Department to act aggressively to stop the spread of the longhorned tick. The species was discovered for the first time in New York earlier this month in Westchester County. A health department official says efforts have already been ramped up.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers delivered a presentation in Poughkeepsie Wednesday to a packed room at a community center. Army Corps officials spoke about six conceptual plans to manage storm risk for an area that includes the Hudson River. Environmental groups are concerned.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

Visitation continued Friday at the DiDonato Funeral Home in Ulster County for New York state Assemblyman Frank Skartados. Several assemblymembers, including Speaker Carl Heastie, were expected. Skartados died Sunday at age 62 from pancreatic cancer. People attending viewing hours Thursday remembered the Hudson Valley Democrat as a most honorable public servant.

Courtesy of Sue Serino

A New York state senator from the Hudson Valley is sponsoring legislation to combat sexual harassment in state government. The bill also would end the use of tax dollars for secret settlements.

The federal government recently informed a housing organization in Dutchess County that it will cut funding for a program that serves homeless veterans by the end of September. The surprise announcement is prompting local officials to band together for a solution. On Tuesday, two members of Congress from New York asked the Department of Veterans Affairs secretary to reverse the decision.

ride-hailing app

Two New York state senators have introduced legislation to fix what they say is a dangerous loophole in recently approved ride-sharing services for outside New York City.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

Two New York state lawmakers from the Hudson Valley have introduced legislation aimed at safeguarding the Hudson River from proposed anchorage sites. Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard has not yet decided how to proceed with the controversial proposal.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

Three state lawmakers from New York’s Hudson Valley gathered in the City of Poughkeepsie earlier this week to call on the Assembly to pass a so-called “punishment fit the crime” bill when it is re-introduced next session. They met at an intersection where a Poughkeepsie couple lost their lives four years ago.

NY Governor Signs Two Lyme Disease Bills

Jul 24, 2016
WAMC / Dave Lucas

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law two bills concerning Lyme and Tick-Borne diseases. The bills were sponsored by Hudson Valley lawmakers.