Charles Schumer

SU professional and technical writing / via Flickr

A six-year highway funding bill passed by the House of Representatives last week would remove $564 million from New York's current federal transportation funding.

A last-minute amendment to the House bill would move $1.6 billion in funding from seven Northeastern states to a general discretionary fund for use by the entire nation. Current law allows these high density areas to receive the extra funding because they account for half of all transit in the country. Sen. Charles Schumer said the loss of funding for New York is a travesty for the state's transit system.

Entergy/FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant

The future of the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plant is once again up for negotiation. That is a direct reversal from earlier this week when Entergy said it would close the plant and state officials objected -  vowing to fight the company. More than 600 jobs hang in the balance.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

Talks over the future of the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plant in Oswego County  have resumed between Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office and Entergy, which owns the plant. 

Meanwhile, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) said he is in talks with the president of Entergy, about keeping the facility open. Entergy announced this week that it will close Fitzpatrick in about a year due to falling energy prices. They also complained about a lack of state financial assistance for the nuclear industry.


State officials are saying they were caught by surprise Monday when Entergy announced it plans to close the FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant in Oswego County. New York state had been in talks with Entergy, but the company said it didn't get the agreement it was looking for. But, state leaders are saying if the talks are not reopened, they will take matters into their own hands. 

Senate Democrats / Flickr

Local, state, and federal officials are scrambling to figure out ways to stop Entergy from closing the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power plant in Oswego County. The company announced Monday that it will close down the unprofitable plant after the reactor runs out of fuel in late 2016 or early 2017. Among those looking to find ways to keep the plant on the grid, is U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, who intended to make an angry phone call to the CEO of Entergy. 

Schumer says 'zombie debt' is all trick and no treat

Oct 29, 2015
Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is proposing legislation to combat an increasing number of debt collectors who are harassing consumers over debt they no longer owe or have resolved through the bankruptcy process.

In 2014, more than 2,400 upstate New Yorkers, including nearly 200 from central New York, filed complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) about "zombie debt" that is still haunting them. Schumer called the collectors debt scavengers.

Senator Charles Schumer / Flickr

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)is enlisting help from New Yorkers in identifying areas around the state that have poor cell phone reception.

In a conference call, Schumer told reporters that some carriers are misleading residents with maps that promise coverage in certain areas when, in reality, they are "dead zones" that drop calls. That can leave consumers stuck in a contract they signed with a carrier unless they pay a penalty.

Adam W. / Flickr

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is speaking out against Montreal’s plan to dump 2 billion gallons of sewage into the St. Lawrence River next weekend.  Schumer is asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to sit down with the Canadian government.

New York Invasive Species Information

bout half of the National Forest Service’s budget has been spent on fighting wildfires in the West and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) said it is taking funding away from other critical programs.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

There are no issues too small for Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), who is expected to become the next majority leader in the U.S. Senate. Schumer visited central New York Monday to put some heft behind the complaint one small town has against a big corporation.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News file photo

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) will conduct a statewide internet lottery that offers a chance for New Yorkers to see Pope Francis when he comes to Washington D.C. this September.  

Schumer will offer a single ticket to the joint meeting of Congress with the pope, as well as 100 pairs of tickets to the papal audience on the West Lawn of the Capitol.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Central New Yorkers who are opposed to the Iran nuclear deal are urging others who don’t agree with the policy to make some noise.  Randy Potter, of Syracuse, has been calling senators from across the country explaining his position and he wants others to do the same.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says leaders need to go back to the table to renegotiate the Iran deal, making his first public remarks about his decision not to support the agreement during a visit Monday to the Rochester area.

Schumer says the Obama administration's nuclear agreement with Iran has too many flaws. He says a 24-day delay for inspections doesn't offer complete security against nuclear development in Iran, and he's concerned about categorizing the country as a nuclear threshold state in ten years.

Senate Democrats / Flickr

A vote on a cyber security bill is expected soon in the U.S. Senate.

The proposal would overhaul the nation’s cyber security laws, and senate leaders are hoping to move on it before lawmakers leave town for an August recess later this week.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) though has some concerns about the bill, especially how US companies would lose access to certain software that hackers use to break into networks. 

Senate Democrats / Flickr

As the Obama Administration continues its effort to convince Congress to approve its nuclear deal with Iran, both senators from New York have yet to say how they will vote on a September resolution to approve the deal.

Congress is in the midst of a 60-day review period. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand tells reporters she's still studying the agreement.

"I read the whole agreement. I studied it. I have talked to several experts. And I'm assessing the risks."

Andrew Malone / Flickr

As egg prices continue to rise across the country because of the avian flu outbreak, lawmakers are proposing cutting $500 million in research funding from the federal budget that would look into ways to deal with the devastating bird flu. 

Sen. Charles Schumer calls these proposed Agriculture Department cuts mindless.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A central New York Mentorship program that pairs grandparents with first and second graders could become the victim of federal budget cuts.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) says this funding is essential for the grandparents who help in Syracuse classrooms, by way of the Senior Corp Chapter in the city of Syracuse.

Volunteer Colleen Chestnut works with these kids in the Syracuse City School District, and doesn’t want to see the program go away.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

The numbers of synthetic marijuana cases called into the Upstate New York Poison Center continues to be off the charts. Officials say there could be more than 800 by the end of the year if the cases don’t abate.

David Guo / Flickr

U.S Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) says he's worried about proposed legislation that would allow 84-foot-long trucks on highways. Schumer says the excessively long tandem trailer trucks are just too dangerous for the roads.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Federal authorities are ratcheting up terror warnings across the country in advance of this Fourth of July holiday weekend.  

The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI are asking local law enforcement officials to be prepared for any potential terrorist activity. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) says this alert reflects a new kind of radicalization.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

With so-called “swatting” attacks on the rise across the country and central New York, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has introduced a new federal bill to crack down on the practice. Swatting involves deliberate false alarms called into authorities that often cause deployment of a police SWAT team.  

Swatting will become a federal crime Schumer has anything do with it.  

Tim Gee / Flickr

New York politicians are raising concerns that the sale of medical device manufacturer Welch Allyn could put central New York jobs in jeopardy.

When Hill-Rom announced Wednesday morning that it is acquiring Welch Allyn, it did not say that any jobs would be eliminated at the Skaneateles Falls-based company. But that's what was immediately on the mind of the lawmakers who represent the central New York in Washington, D.C.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) told reporters Wednesday he had a “call in” to company representatives to find out more.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Lyme disease has been spreading in upstate New York for the past few years. For example, there were 57 cases in Oswego County in 2014 compared to just five cases in 2009. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has introduced legislation that he says would help prevent the disease and educate the public.

Debi Collins found a bullseye rash on her arm, six weeks after she had been working outside one day. Her doctor told her they didn't have Lyme disease in Madison County.

Clinton County District Attorney's Office

Update at 5:59 p.m.:

New York State Police say a worker at an upstate New York maximum-security prison has been arrested on charges she helped two convicted killers escape.

Fifty-one-year-old Joyce Mitchell was arrested and will be arraigned on charges of first-degree promoting prison contraband and fourth-degree criminal facilitation, state police said.

Mitchell is accused of befriending inmates David Sweat and Richard Matt at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora and giving them contraband.

Earlier Post:

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

New federal rules about the safety of rail cars that carry crude oil through upstate New York towns like Syracuse don’t go far enough according to Sen. Charles Schumer. He says it’s now time for Congress to get involved.

Schumer doesn’t like the long-awaited Department of Transportation regulations meant to improve the safety of the train cars carrying flammable substances, which he calls "TNT on wheels.”

"There are serious holes in the regulations the DOT commissioner put out, and we’re going to fill those holes, and fill them immediately,” said the senator.

Matt Richmond / WSKG News File Photo

Dairy farmers may be able to spread out their insurance payments under a plan proposed to the federal agriculture agency.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is backing the proposal to let dairy cooperatives front individual farmer’s payments and then allow farmers to slowly pay the co-ops back. Right now, farmers pay for a quarter of their U.S.D.A. insurance in February and the rest in June. The change would help farmers deal with dropping milk prices, Schumer says.

Ken Teegardin / Flickr

Sen. Charles Schumer used this year's tax deadline to call for more help for the victims of tax refund fraud, which he said is the most common form of identity fraud.

The New York Democrat told reporters Wednesday that he is pushing legislation that would create a new resource at the Internal Revenue Service for the victims of refund fraud, which he says affected 70,000 New Yorkers and 2.3 million Americans last year.

Courtesy Andy Daddio / Colgate University

Hours after Hillary Clinton formally announced her campaign for president Sunday, several New York officials and fellow Democrats quickly threw their support behind the former Secretary of State, who also served as U.S. senator from New York from 2001-2009. 

Schumer calls for more inspection of railroad bridges

Apr 10, 2015
Alan Kotok / via Flickr

Sen. Charles Schumer says the federal government needs more railroad bridge safety inspectors. The New York Democrat says that while the federal government is responsible for the safety of bridges it owns, many others are owned by private rail companies.

Schumer says while there are 3,000 of those bridges in New York state, there is only one inspector assigned to audit them, in addition to the bridges in 13 other states.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Local police and Sen. Charles Schumer are asking the Secret Service to investigate a rash of counterfeit money that has turned up recently.

A handful of local businesses, from Wegman’s to Empire Brewery have been fooled in the past few weeks by fake bills. In all, law enforcement says 10 businesses in central New York have fallen victim to counterfeit currency in the past month. 

Also victim has been Byrne Dairy, where regional manager James Kehoe says each register has a counterfeit detection pen for employees to use, which he demonstrates on a new $100 bill.