John DeFrancisco

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) is criticizing Gov. Andrew Cuomo for vetoing bills that DeFrancisco said would help residents in the region. DeFrancisco has been pushing one bill in particular for the past three years.

A universal visitability tax credit would give some reimbursement for residents to retrofit their homes to be more accessible for the elderly and disabled, like adding wheelchair accessible entrances. Tania Anderson, the CEO of Arise, which provides disability services, said local residents are waiting 1-4 years for accessible housing.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Republican candidate running for mayor of Syracuse says if elected, she would hire 50 additional police officers for the city. Laura Lavine blasted the city’s violent crime rate, calling it a bigger sign of Syracuse’s decline.

Standing in front of a bullet-ridden, Skiddy Park police substation, renovated after a deadly riot on Father’s Day last year, Lavine said the station is staffed so sporadically that shooters fire upon it with little fear of getting caught.

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State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) has been publicly considering a challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2018. Could an upstate Republican stand a chance against a downstate Democrat in a state with a 2-to-1 Democratic advantage? DeFransisco joins host Grant Reeher this week to consider how it could be done and what it could mean for New York.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Central New York Republican state Sen. John DeFrancisco has been traveling around upstate meeting with members of his party to discuss the possibility of him running for governor next year. DeFrancisco said there is discontent with Gov. Andrew Cuomo on both sides of the aisle.

New York State had a population loss last year and DeFrancisco said that is one of the main reasons why things need to change and why he is considering a run for governor.

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Central New York state legislators have introduced a bill that would give the state Department of Environmental Conservation more flexibility with issuing deer control permits. This comes after DEC officials determined they were steering too far away from the current law. 

David Skeval of Cornell Coorperative Extension of Onondaga County said after an internal review at the DEC, officials realized their process of issuing deer culling permits is cumbersome, and also not following environmental law.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The future of Interstate 81 through downtown Syracuse hinges on an independent investigation of the options, currently being overseen by the New York State Department of Transportation. In the meantime, champions of different options for the aging highway continue to butt heads.

Senator John A. DeFrancisco Facebook page

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Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The threat from tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease is at an all time high in New York state. At a recent forum sponsored by the New York State Department of Health and state Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse), experts hope more information about prevention of the bacterial disease can reduce the number of people that are infected.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) hopes putting the spotlight on Lyme disease can help prevent it. Experts and victims of the debilitating illness recently met at Ryder Park in DeWitt in an effort to put a personal face on the disease.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

The New York State Legislature finally ended its 2017 session, after the Assembly voted overnight on a privately negotiated omnibus bill, and the Senate finally finished on Thursday afternoon. The messy process drew condemnation from both sides of the aisle.

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The New York state legislative session is drawing to a close, and Democrats and Republicans are digging in on the remaining issues of 2017. Among them is a measure to extend the New York City mayor’s control of the public schools, which has now been linked to a number of diverse issues affecting people in the rest of the state.

Games of chicken are common at the Capitol whenever a deadline like the budget or the end of session draws near. This time, it was the state Senate’s turn to go first.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

With less than two weeks left in the legislative session, some New York lawmakers are pressing for reform of the state’s economic development contracting process in light of a scandal that’s led to federal corruption charges against several former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

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.   

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.

DeFrancisco says state Senate stipends allowed by law

Jun 1, 2017
Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Republican state Sen. John DeFrancisco is weighing in on some big topics facing the Senate before its session ends in June. DeFrancisco said the question of stipends being paid to Democratic and Republican senators has become a huge issue.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Green Party candidates in Syracuse are pushing state Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) to support universal health care in New York. The bill could be close to getting a majority of senators to sign on.

Syracuse mayoral candidate Howie Hawkins said DeFrancisco is the only New York state legislator representing the city that is not in favor of a single-payer system.

“We want John to be a hero for Syracuse, because this bill would solve the city’s fiscal crisis,” Hawkins said.

Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo / via Flickr

The future of the much maligned gondola proposed for the New York State Fair is in flux. It’s a matter of money.

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said it all comes down to priorities. Building an Expo Center that would attract events, especially horse shows, is the most important project stemming from a task force deciding how to spend $70 million in state dollars earmarked for state fair renovations. And Mahoney said initial plans for an 80,000-square-foot facility, were apparently not big enough.

Onasill ~ Bill Badzo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the recently enacted state budget included the majority of the priorities that he named in his January State of the State message, including raising the age for adult criminal responsibility from 16 to 18, providing free public college tuition for some middle-class families and allowing ride-hailing services to operate upstate.

Topics such as ethics reform were left out of the final budget package for a reason, the governor said.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Central New York legislators are split on the recent state budget process. While some see significant gains, others see missed opportunities and purely political motivations.

State Sen. David Valesky with the Independent Democratic Conference said there is a lot to be pleased about in the state's new spending plan.

“By and large I think this was a tremendously successful state budget,” Valesky said.

The budget includes infrastructure investments, college affordability and raising the age of criminal responsibility to 18 years old.

Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo / via Flickr

More renovations will continue at the New York State Fairgrounds now that $70 million was recently approved in the state budget for changes. But not everyone is happy with the proposed ideas.

New York State Senate

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers missed the midnight budget deadline after they failed to solidify deals on state spending and taxation, as well as some unrelated items like permitting ride hailing services outside of New York City.

New York State Senate

State lawmakers are still trying to negotiate a deal, but are heading toward a late budget. The state Senate adjourned for the day Friday about 4 p.m., saying they would come back when there was something to vote on.

There are tentative deals on increasing tuition aid to college students, approving a bond act to protect water infrastructure and allowing ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft to operate outside of New York City.

Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) said the trouble is getting everyone to agree to all of the details at once.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Upstate Medical University has opened its cord blood bank, only the second facility of its kind in the state. Blood from umbilical cords is processed for stem cells, which can treat cancers and other diseases. The bank is open for public and private use.

Nicole Moore is the first mother to donate her son Jackson’s umbilical cord blood to the Upstate Cord Blood Bank.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo brings his State of the State speech across the state this week, with a scheduled stop in Syracuse on Wednesday. He’s expected to use these speeches to outline his agenda for the year, as well as announce local programs and initiatives. But while Cuomo is promoting his agenda, one Senate Republican has ideas of his own.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to take his yearly State of the State address on the road this year, instead of delivering the speech to lawmakers in Albany. That is not sitting well with Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse).

DeFrancisco says traditionally the message is supposed to be given the first full day of the legislative session, which this year would be January 4. Cuomo, though, won’t be offering his view of how New York State is faring to lawmakers that day. Instead he’s taking the legislative message to six regions across the state, starting Jan. 9.

Tinted car windows now must pass NY state inspection

Jan 3, 2017
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A new state law has now gone into effect that will require annual vehicle inspections to test car windows and how much they are tinted. Critics say the law will be burdensome to drivers and auto shops.

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State Department of Transportation officials said it is possible a tunnel could be reconsidered as an option for the I-81 reconstruction project in Syracuse. But I-81 project director Mark Frechette made it very clear at a public meeting why the tunnel option was eliminated.

New York State Senate

One central New York state lawmaker doesn’t want to go into special session in Albany this month to vote on legislative pay raises, at least the way it’s being discussed now.

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) says he’s opposed to voting on any kind of legislative package that links a potential pay raise to some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s pet proposals.

"If there’s a proposal for a legislative pay raise tied into anything else, to me, that’s a perfect example of pay to play,” said DeFrancisco.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Central New Yorkers have one last chance to offer their opinions about the future of Interstate 81 through downtown Syracuse. But the forum being held Wednesday night is not an event put on by the people making the decision.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Advocates for the disabled in central New York aren’t standing still for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s veto of legislation that would have improved the working conditions of the professionals that take care of disabled New Yorkers. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

One top Republican New York state lawmaker doesn’t think there is any kind of new law that will end the public corruption in Albany.

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse), who is deputy Senate majority leader, says he hears all the time from New Yorkers who say state laws should be changed to stop public corruption in Albany. But DeFrancisco notes that recent cases of corruption all involved elected officials or aides breaking the current laws.

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