The Fray: Cuomo signs bill allowing Ulster towns, villages to raise conservation funds – Times Herald-Record

Posted By on December 8, 2019

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill on Friday that enables Ulster County towns and villages to tax property sales and use the proceeds to buy land or development rights as a conservation measure.

The legislation, sponsored by Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, D-Kingston, and Sen. Jen Metzger, D-Rosendale, simply added the word Ulster to a 2007 law that gave towns and villages in Westchester and Putnam counties the ability to create community preservation funds that they replenish with income from real-estate transfer taxes. Voters must approve the tax in a referendum for a municipality to impose it.

This legislation is about giving Ulster communities the tools to safeguard their unique natural, historic, agricultural, and scenic resources for the benefit of current and future generations, Metzger said in a statement after the bill signing. Having worked at the local level in Ulster County for many years to protect open space and support our local farms, I am thrilled to partner with Assemblymember Cahill in providing this important opportunity to local governments for this purpose, and thank the Governor for recognizing the need to protect our irreplaceable Hudson Valley resources.

Cahill called the bill an important step forward in helping our local governments preserve open space, develop the tools needed to make housing more affordable and to responsibly plan for a sustainable future.

The legislation was similar to a proposal Cuomo recently vetoed that applied solely to the Town of Chester in Orange County, and would have given that town the ability to tax property sales for a conservation fund if voters approved. In that case, Cuomo said his objection was the allegation in a federal lawsuit that the bills purpose was to block housing development for Hasidic families.

Maloney says Trump left us no alternative to impeachment

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney said Tuesday that President Trumps misuse of military aid for his own political benefit and his obstruction of lawful investigations of his misconduct had left Congress no choice but to impeach him as a way of holding him accountable.

In a statement after the release of the House Intelligence Committees report on its impeachment hearings, the Cold Spring Democrat expressed respect for people who hoped for better from this president and were skeptical of the unfolding impeachment process, but said he believed the evidence and history will vindicate that course. Maloney serves on the Intelligence Committee and participated in that panels televised questioning of government officials for five days about Trumps suspension of military assistance to Ukraine and two investigations he wanted that countrys president to announce.

Heres Maloneys full statement:

The evidence is as clear as it is heartbreaking: President Trump misused taxpayer-funded military assistance to pressure a foreign government for help with his re-election campaign. He did so over months with a reckless disregard for our national security and that of a key European partner currently at war with Russia. He has obstructed lawful investigations of his misconduct and repeatedly and knowingly lied to the public.

I have had a high bar for impeachment. But the Presidents conduct has left us no alternative. If we are to be faithful to the people we serve and the oath we take to the Constitution, we must hold this president or any president accountable for such misconduct.

I respect those who hoped for better from this president, and who remain skeptical of this constitutional process. It is precisely because of this respect, not in spite of it, that I will act in the best interests of our country. I am confident that over time, and in the light of history, the facts and the evidence compelling these actions will create a broad understanding of their necessity.

I thank the brave national security professionals and career foreign service and military officers who did the right thing by testifying before the Committee and the American public.

Chele Chiavacci Farley, the Republican planning to challenge Maloney in 2020 for New Yorks 18th Congressional District seat, issued a statement Tuesday night condemning the divisive and unproductive impeachment hearings and the party-line vote on the Intelligence Committees report, a split that she said showed no clear mandate to remove a sitting President with less than a year before the next election.

Democrats continue to waste millions of dollars and relentlessly pursue any path they can to continue to fracture our nation, in their brazen attempts to overturn an election, and invalidate the votes of millions of Americans, Farley said.

Schmitt, Hoovler plan public talk in Woodbury on opioid crisis

Assemblyman Colin Schmitt and Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler plan to host a roundtable discussion this week about the opioid epidemic.

The talk is open to the public and will take place from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at the Woodbury Senior Center at 16 County Route 105 in Highland Mills. Schmitts office said speakers will include government and nonprofit representatives, recovering addicts and first responders, and they will talk about the current state of the crisis and potential ways to combat it.

The heroin and opioid epidemic is a public health crisis that impacts each and every one of us directly or indirectly, said Schmitt, R-New Windsor.

Anyone interested in participating should contact Jena Knight at knightjl@nyassembly.gov or 845-469-6929.

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The Fray: Cuomo signs bill allowing Ulster towns, villages to raise conservation funds - Times Herald-Record

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