Absentee voters have a choice to make
SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — The Sullivan County Board of Elections wants voters to know about a recent change in New York State election law that may …
SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — The Sullivan County Board of Elections wants voters to know about a recent change in New York State election law that may influence their decision about casting a ballot as an absentee voter.
In the past, absentee voters could change their minds and instead vote in person on a voting machine either during early voting or on election day. With the new law, any absentee voter—including permanent absentees who have been issued an absentee ballot—will no longer be able to vote in person on a machine. If an absentee voter wishes to vote in person, it will be by affidavit ballot only.
HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania State Senate approved two bills on April 13 that sponsors say is intended to safeguard the integrity of Pennsylvania’s elections.
Senate Bill 1200 would require mail-in ballots that are not returned in the mail to be returned only to the County Board of Elections office, effectively eliminating drop boxes in Pennsylvania. Senate Bill 982 (sponsored in part by Sen. Lisa Baker, representative for Wayne and Pike counties among others) would ban any state employee or county from accepting money from outside groups to pay for the administration of elections in Pennsylvania.
HARRISBURG, PA — To further protect Pennsylvania’s $7.1 billion poultry industry from the threat of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), PA Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced a temporary quarantine order on April 14 banning the exhibition of poultry and eggs at county and local fairs in Pennsylvania. The ban takes effect Saturday, April 16 and will last for 60 days or until the department rescinds the order.
Pennsylvania has not had a confirmed case of HPAI in commercial or backyard poultry since an outbreak in 1983-1984. As of April 12, infected birds in commercial and backyard poultry flocks had been confirmed in 26 states, including most states surrounding Pennsylvania. For more information, see story, page 9.
HARRISBURG, PA — On April 11 and 13, the Pennsylvania State House voted in favor of three bills championed by Rep. Jonathan Fritz (R-111) aimed at lessening oversight from environmental protection agencies.
House Bill 604 aims to improve the DEP permit approval process, a process that Fritz calls “unacceptably slow.” DEP permit applications would be deemed to be administratively complete if accompanied by a professional engineer’s affidavit attesting to the sufficiency of the application.
House Bills 2450 and 2451 would look to reverse the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) ban on fracking in the Delaware River Basin. House Bill 2450 would amend Pennsylvania’s version of the Delaware River Basin Compact to reapportion the voting rights within the DRBC based on the amount of the basin territory that is within each state, giving Pennsylvania a plurality of votes. House Bill 2451 would amend Pennsylvania’s version of the Delaware River Basin Compact to make it clear that it is not within the DRBC’s authority to ban fracking.
ALBANY, NY — Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D-100) and Sen. Mike Martucci (R-42) have released statements responding to the recent passage of the New York State budget.
“As with every state budget, there are some positives and some negatives,” said Gunther. “Of course, I am happy to see the strong investments we’re making in education and childcare. This budget also puts money back into people’s pockets by accelerating the middle-class tax cuts, enacting a property tax rebate, and suspending the state’s gas tax. It addresses the issues that people are facing across this state. However, I could not in good conscience vote for a capital budget that uses taxpayer money to fund a stadium for billionaires in Buffalo. The idea that this state could afford to spend so carelessly while families continue to struggle with inflation, high gas prices and property taxes is shameful.”
Martucci voted in favor of the revenue budget bill, saying that “The hardworking families and small businesses in my district need immediate relief from the unsustainable costs of living and doing business here. This bill provides it in spades, including through proposals of my own, and I am proud to support its passage.” He criticized the portions of the budget that involved bail reform, saying, “The criminal justice reforms proposed in this budget, and specifically the changes to bail reform, are designed to make us feel safer but do not actually make us safer.”
He also criticized the deal with the Buffalo Bills. ”This is a bad backroom deal where we overpaid, as the sponsor seemed to admit, to prevent the Bills from going to another city.”
MONTICELLO, NY — According to published reports, James Snowden was appointed Monticello village manager at a reorganizational meeting on April 6. Snowden had formerly served as Monticello’s building inspector and code enforcement officer; he was fired from the latter position in 2016, following an indictment on charges that were dismissed the following year.
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