Before Session Ends, Some NY Legislators Hope To Pass Flood Relief

Jun 2, 2017

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - State legislators from central New York are sounding off on what they would like to see the Legislature accomplish before the legislative session ends in June. One item includes funding for damages incurred from flooding along Lake Ontario and other New York waterways.   

Credit Karen DeWitt

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) is sponsoring a companion piece to the Senate’s flood relief bill that would include expanding funding for properties damaged along Seneca Lake, Seneca River, Oswego River, Oneida River and Cross Lake.

“Some people’s houses are underwater, including the basements," DeFrancisco said. "It’s just important for us to get some kind of relief for our people for damages that exceed whatever the insurance coverage might be.”

The Senate’s bill, which passed unanimously, also includes help for flooding along Lake Erie and Lake Champlain. But some in the Assembly and Gov. Andrew Cuomo may be looking to narrow the focus to just Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

Procurement reform

DeFrancisco said another item he would like to see pass is procurement reform so the state comptroller can review the contracts of the state’s economic development projects before they are signed.

“You ought to be able to make certain that there is truly a good review before money goes out the door,” DeFrancisco said.

Some projects have led to federal corruption charges against associates of Cuomo. DeFrancisco said this bill would provide a check and balance over economic development.

Maddox's Law

He is also again pushing for Maddox’s Law, named after the 21-month-old girl who went missing in Syracuse and was killed by her father in 2016. DeFrancisco said the bill makes the murder of a child a first-degree offense with the maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.

"We passed that bill last year in the Senate, the Assembly didn't take it up," DeFrancisco said. "We're going to pass it before the end of session, and we're going to try to see if the Assembly will pass it because we think the bill is a no-brainer and a crime that heinous should be dealt with in that fashion."