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posticon Lansing Schools Say No To Solar Power Purchase Agreement

News | Friday, May 26, 2017 | By Dan Veaner Print
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School Solar

In a rare tie vote the Lansing Board Of Education Monday decided not to accept a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) that may have saved the district about a half million dollars over the course of 25 years.  If it had been approved RER Energy Group, of Reading, PA, would have constructed a 1.5 MW solar array in North Lansing.  The contract would have provided much of the school campus's energy needs, producing approximately 1.5 million kWh per year.  But rising costs and changes to the contract made board members question whether they wanted to tie future boards into such a long term contract.

"My gut feeling is that the school is not really benefiting that much overall," said board member Aziza Benson.  "Other entities are getting more benefit than the school district."

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posticon Preliminary Results Support Veterans' School Tax Exemption

News | Friday, May 26, 2017 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Veteran's School Tax Exemption

Lansing School Superintendent Chris Pettograsso reported Monday that a preliminary analysis of an exit poll at last week's budget vote showed taxpayers would pay more so veterans could pay less.  270 voters took the time to complete the poll.  63% of those said they would support a veteran's exemption.  Pettograsso noted that only 11% of eligible voters actually voted.  She also pointed out that about half the district voters who opposed next school year's budget favored a veteran's exemption.

"We spent a lot of time throughout the day explaining what that was and talking to people," she said.  "196 people said yes to supporting the budget -- 124 of them said yes to supporting the veterans' exemption.  Of the 72 people that said no, 45 said yes to the veteran's exemption."

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posticon Gimme! Coffee Baristas To Vote On Union

News | Friday, May 26, 2017 | By Tompkins County Workers' Center Print
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union GimmeMtgPhoto by Richard Bensinger

Approximately 22 Gimme! Coffee baristas will have the opportunity to vote in a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election on the question of whether or not to organize a union to negotiate a contract in their workplaces on Thursday, May 31st in Ithaca. The election will be for non-managerial baristas at the W. State/MLK Street location (where the election for all 4 stores will be held); the N. Cayuga Street location; the Gates Hall location at Cornell U.; and the Trumansburg location.

Samantha Mason, a barista at the Cayuga Street Gimme! Coffee location and a member of the Workers United Organizing Committee says: "Democracy doesn't just happen every four years. At Gimme! Coffee, my co-workers and I hope to set an example by practicing democracy daily in embracing our collective power to organize at the workplace."

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posticon Helming Co-Sponsors Bill Protecting Police Animals

News | Friday, May 26, 2017 | By Office of NYS Senator Pam Helming Print
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Senator Pam Helming (R, C, I-54th District) is announced her co-sponsored legislation to better protect police work animals passed the State Senate last week. The bill (S.00961), known as Mitchell's Law, would make it a class D felony to kill a police work animal and a class E felony for intentionally injuring a police work animal in the line of duty.

"K-9s and police horses are highly trained to carry out a number of dangerous tasks for law enforcement officials and increase public safety," said Helming. "By increasing the penalties for attacking these important animals, we can better protect them, law enforcement officials and the public they serve."

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posticon Helming Co-Sponsored Highway Bill Passes NYS Senate

News | Friday, May 26, 2017 | By Office of NYS Senator Pam Helming Print
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Senator Pam Helming (R,C,I-Canandaigua) announced her co-sponsored bill (S.5427A) to make New York State's roads and highways safer by banning and removing "X-Lite" Guardrail Systems has been approved by the State Senate. The bill would permanently remove "X-Lite" guardrail products from the list of eligible types of materials used for guardrails, ban "X-Lite" and similarly designed products from being installed in the future, and require that any existing "X-Lite" guardrail products be replaced along all state roadways.

"There have been many cases throughout the country where the X-Lite Guardrail System has failed to protect motorists and in several instances caused serious injury and death," said Helming. "This legislation will ensure that these hazardous guardrails are removed from our state roads."

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posticon Bipartisan Legislation Reintroduced to Assist Family Caregivers

News | Friday, May 26, 2017 | By Office of Congressman Tom Reed Print
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Washington D.C. - Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) and Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-CA), along with U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) reintroduced the bipartisan, bicameral Credit For Caring Act, which would provide working family caregivers with a nonrefundable tax credit up to $3,000 to assist with out-of-pocket expenses related to caregiving.

This bipartisan legislation seeks to aid those balancing full or part-time employment, while also taking on added financial responsibilities as a family caregiver supporting a loved one. This tax credit for caregivers can be used toward expenses such as transportation, home modifications to accommodate a family member, medication management services, and training or education for the caregiver.

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