Wednesday, the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce hosted a Legislative Luncheon at Ventosa Vineyards.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was the first such event held in person since 2019. On hand was State Senator Tom O’Mara, who will take over representation of Seneca County from Senator Pam Helming due to redistricting, assuming he is re-elected in November. He currently is running unopposed in the 58th District. Also attending were 132nd District Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, who will represent the southern part of the county, and 131st District Assemblyman Jeff Gallahan, who will represent the northern part. Each made an opening statement. Speaking, in order, were O’Mara, Palmesano, and Gallahan.
Next came a question and answer session. Chamber President Jeff Shipley started by asking the lawmakers to comment on the most recent legislative session in Albany. Speaking, in order, were O’Mara, Palmesano, and Gallahan.
The first question from the audience concerned Extended Producer Responsibility, which would place a greater burden on manufacturers of products to see to it that those products are properly recycled. The bill was introduced last month but has not been passed. Speaking, in order, were Gallahan, Palmesano, and O’Mara.
The next question concerned the closure of the Willard Drug Treatment Campus. Assemblyman Palmesano answered the question.
A member of the audience asked why facilities such as Willard were being closed when there are others that are much older and more costly to maintain. Senator O’Mara answered the question.
Lawmakers are being called into special session Thursday in Albany in the wake of the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn New York’s law restricting concealed carry of weapons.
At the conclusion of the luncheon, we spoke with Chamber President Jeff Shipley about the impact of inflation and high fuel prices on businesses and the top priorities of the Chamber and its members.