Mannion highlights 2022 bills, from ‘Green CHIPS’ to special education funding | Politics

State Sen. John Mannion was the lead sponsor on nearly 50 bills that passed the state Senate, 29 of which received final legislative approval and are headed to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s desk for review.

Mannion, D-Geddes, highlighted his 2022 record after the end of the legislative session earlier this month. His bills covered a variety of subjects, from economic development to issues affecting individuals with disabilities.

Among the bills Mannion ushered through the state Legislature is a measure he co-sponsored to make Green CHIPS projects, such as attracting semiconductor plants to central New York, eligible for the state’s Excelsior Jobs tax credit program. He also authored bills that would direct the State Office of People With Developmental Disabilities to create a voluntary training and certification program for employers that signed the EmployAbility pledge and expands state procurement efforts to create new jobs for people with disabilities.

The local government-related bills Mannion sponsored include a mandate that the Upstate Flood Mitigation Task Force holds quarterly meetings, appoints an executive director and issues a report on flooding affecting the Cross Lake and Seneca River area. A separate bill, if signed by Hochul would allow local governments to determine whether to participate in the Holiday Hunt initiative.

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One of the bills Mannion sponsored to help those with disabilities would create a public awareness campaign to “combat the stigma and stereotyping of individuals with developmental disabilities.”

He also sponsored bills to ensure that special education programs have the necessary funding to provide services to students. One measure would allow special education providers to retain unused funds from the current state budget in the next school year. Another bill would approve the regional rate and tuition reimbursement for special education services with an 11% growth factor. The rate would be reevaluated annually.

“I was elected to make sure the people and businesses of the 50th Senate District – and the regional priorities for all of central New York – had a fierce advocate in Albany,” Mannion said. “I’m proud to be the loudest voice in the room on behalf of central New York and my legislative record reflects my dedication to the needs of my constituents and to the place I’ve lived my entire life.

“My bills will create jobs and support high-tech manufacturing, make our community safer, begin to tackle the problem of upstate flooding, invest in teachers and schools, and provide unprecedented support for our family, friends and neighbors with disabilities.”

Not all of Mannion’s bills cleared both houses. He sponsored legislation to set minimum staffing levels at local election boards, but the bill did not receive a vote in the state Assembly. Similarly, a bill to ease regulations of surveys – legislation he says would increase affordability and access to broadband – did not get a vote in the Assembly.

Mannion also pushed for tolls along the Thruway in the Syracuse area to be paused during the construction of the new Interstate 81, but it did not receive legislative approval.

“I will continue my work to fortify staffing levels at local boards of elections, expand access to broadband and provide toll relief for commuters impacted by the reconstruction of I-81,” he said.

Politics reporter Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or robert.harding@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.

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