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December 2016 Column - Legislature presents third consecutive tax rate cut


OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS

We’ve all read the stories in the paper of the countless individuals suffering from the ongoing opioid epidemic. There has been a lot of talk of families being ripped apart by this tragedy, too often we hear talk but see little action.

Legislator Ted Morton joined Senator Patrick M. Gallivan, Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard, Holland Central School Superintendent Cathy Fabiatos and Alden School Superintendent Adam Stoltman to announce continued funding for school resource officers (SRO) in several local districts. The SRO program provides a uniformed officer in schools as a way to promote student safety, conflict resolution and anti-bullying initiatives.


At a Legislative session held on September 21, 2017, Legislator Ted Morton honored Lancaster resident, Dick Young as the September 2017 Citizen of the month.


Today, in response to the County Executive’s offer to work with Legislator Morton to develop a compromise Made in America Act, Legislator Ted Morton wrote to him to begin the process.


Legislator Ted Morton first introduced the Made in America Act in support of local manufacturers and local workers in Erie County. After passing the Legislature by a vote of 9-1, the County Executive vetoed the law after instructing the County Attorney to draft a legal opinion.


Just last week the Legislature approved the 2017 Erie County budget and I’m pleased to report that we were able to fund our key initiatives residents expect and deserve while delivering a small tax rate cut. Since taking office I’ve pledged to fight for a tax cut every year that I’m in office and I’m proud to report that this will be the third year in a row that we’ve been successful in that effort.

Included in this budget is funding for cultural and service organizations throughout our community, including the Lancaster Opera House, Lancaster Senior Center, Cheektowaga Senior Center, Alden Senior Center, the Depew-Lancaster Boys and Girls Club, Plymouth Crossroads, the Hull Family Home and Farmstead, the Cheektowaga Community Symphony Orchestra, Broadway Hope, the Alden Christian Theatre Society, and the Tri-Community Food Pantry. Maintaining a fiscally responsible budget while ensuring the services our residents expect and deserve has been and will continue to be a top priority of mine.

Another item we were able to provide funding for is a partnership with Visit Buffalo Niagara to bring Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing programs to Buffalo. As you may know, ridesharing programs have become extremely popular nationwide but in New York, outside of NYC, it is not allowed. This has been frustrating as Buffalo continues to experience an economic renaissance, yet we are not able to provide adequate, affordable transportation for the many visitors touring our community. This is unacceptable. I am on record in support of ridesharing and will continue to push for Uber and Lyft to be allowed to operate in Buffalo.  This money will be used by Visit Buffalo Niagara to market the need for ridesharing in our community. It is important to note that this money will not be used for lobbyists and that should the state legislature allow ridesharing in Buffalo before the money is spent, the funds will be invested in other tourism initiatives.

On one last note, I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to my third annual food drive. Special thanks to the Cheektowaga Senior Center, Lancaster Senior Center, Alden Town Hall, and the Alden Chamber of Commerce for serving as collection points for this year’s effort. Thanks to your support we were able to deliver a large amount of food products to the Alden-Marilla Food Pantry and the Tri-Community Food Pantry. Thanks again for all of your support and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from my family to yours.

If you ever have any questions or comments, please contact me at 858-8856 or email ted.morton@erie.gov. You can also visit my website at www.erie.gov/legislature/district08