Gray Speaks at Albany Budget Hearings, Advocates for North Country Needs

Assemblyman Scott Gray (R-Watertown) attended the higher education executive budget hearing as well as the environmental conservation hearing this week. During the higher education hearing, Gray expressed his opinion regarding the importance of making sure state colleges such as Potsdam, which are in a deficit, receive the aid they need to remain open. The videos of the assemblyman asking questions in the hearing can be seen here and here.

In the environmental conservation hearing, Gray brought up several issues such as the invasive species in waterways in northern New York and staffing boat launches to ensure they are operating properly. He also asked why the state’s timeline to convert to heavy-duty electric vehicles is not until 2040, which is well after when schools are required to do so by 2027. A video of the Assemblyman asking these questions can be seen here

The assemblyman also brought into question the expansion of food pantries as well as how communities can apply for the NY SWIMS competitive grant program to get funding for community swimming pools. Another issue brought into question was the contract involving the Office of New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the 34 vessels they are building. Namely, he asked why a New York state bidder that matched a West Coast company’s bid was necessarily disqualified. A video of these questions can be seen here.

“Ensuring that the state is committed to making sure these colleges in a deficit do not fail is essential to our community. Having both a college in distress and a potential prison closure in St. Lawrence and Jefferson counties has caused the community surrounding these organizations, which are responsible for a number of jobs and payroll, to be uncertain and anxious about their future. It is essential the state takes these issues seriously. With that being said, the rejection of a New York company that matched the lowest bid to take the vessel contract in order to accept a bid from a West Coast company is a complete disregard for trying to improve our state. I will continue the fight to improve New York and our 116th district,” said Assemblyman Scott Gray.