Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, D-Round Lake, has announced four town halls in Saratoga and Washington counties during the month of July.
The sessions will allow people to hear about legislation passed during the recently completed session. They will also have an opportunity to share suggestions, concerns and ask questions about issues.
All session will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The schedule is as follows:
- July 15: Hudson Falls Historic Courthouse, Second Floor, at 122 Main St., Hudson Falls;
- July 17: Moreau Community Center, 144 Main St., South Glens Falls;
- July 18: Greenwich Library, Community Room, 148 Main St., Greenwich;
- July 25: Saratoga Springs Library, Dutcher Community Room, 49 Henry St., Saratoga Springs.
Constituents who cannot attend these events but would like to meet with Woerner are invited to call 518-455-5404 to schedule visits at her Saratoga Springs and Albany offices.
Addressing fentanyl trafficking
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., announced the Senate has passed the bipartisan Fentanyl Sanctions Act, which would hold China accountable for illicit trafficking and provide more tools for law enforcement.
The legislation, part of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2020, would require the Chinese government to honor its commitment to enforce new laws declaring fentanyl derivatives illegal. It would require imposition of sanctions on drug manufacturers who knowingly provide synthetic opioids to traffickers; provide new funding to law enforcement and intelligence agencies to combat the foreign trafficking of synthetic opioids; urge the president to begin diplomatic efforts with the U.S. to establish multilateral sanctions; and establish a Commission on Synthetic Opioid Trafficking to report on how to more effectively combat the flow of synthetic opioids from China, Mexico and other countries, according to a news release.
The bill passed 86-8.
“The opioid crisis has claimed tens of thousands of lives and devastated families and communities across the country. In New York State, from November 2017 to 2018, approximately 2,000 people died from an opioid overdose. About 1,500 of those deaths were from synthetic opioids like fentanyl,” Schumer said in a news release. “Our legislation is critical in this fight to shut down the lethal fentanyl mills in China and elsewhere and to save American lives, and I hope to announce soon that this bill will be signed into law.”
Intelligence bill advances
A requirement that the FBI notify the House and Senate Intelligence Committee quarterly if a counterintelligence investigation is opened into a candidate for federal office has been included in the 2019 Intelligence Authorization Act.
U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, had introduced a bill to require that the committee be informed in response to then-FBI Director James Comey testifying that he did follow the protocol to notify Congress when a counterintelligence investigation was started into the 2016 Trump campaign.
Stefanik said in a news release she is pleased that language from her bill was included in the Intelligence Authorization Act.
“The FBI should not be able to circumvent Congress and unilaterally conduct investigations without any congressional oversight due to a loophole in the law, and I’m proud to continue leading the effort for transparency at all levels of the government,” she said in a news release.
GOP blasts tax bill
New state GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy blasted Gov. Andrew Cuomo for signing a bill that could lead to the release of President Donald Trump’s state tax return.
The legislation would allow Cuomo to direct state tax officials to share state returns of certain elected and appointed officials upon written request from the chairpersons of the House Ways and Means, Senate Finance or Joint Committee on Taxation. Trump has refused to make his tax returns public.
“This law is nothing more than presidential harassment. Today, Andrew Cuomo and Albany Democrats are using it to go after President Trump, but tomorrow it could be any New Yorker,” Langworthy said in a news release. “It will never stand up in the courts and they will once again be exposed for wasting precious taxpayer resources on their never-ending partisan witch hunt.”