Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report
This is WGXC's Congressional Report, tracking the votes, words, and actions of Rep. Antonio Delgado, a Democrat from Rhinebeck representing the 19th Congressional District, and Paul Tonko, a Democrat from Amsterdam from the 20th Congressional District. Click here to play or download an audio version of this report.
On April 22 Hudson Valley Democratic Reps. Antonio Delgado, Paul Tonko, and Sean Maloney all voted for the Washington, D.C. Admission Act, to make Washington D.C. a state. The measure passed 216-208 on strictly party lines, and has little chance of passing the U.S. Senate unless there is a change to the filibuster rule. The same is true of the Access to Counsel Act, which would make sure that individuals detained by immigration officials in airports, at the border have a right to legal advice. That passed 217-207.
State and local officials and activists released statements shortly after a jury found on April 20 Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of the murder of George Floyd last year. Chauvin was recorded kneeling on Floyd's neck for almost ten minutes. Here is what the verdict reading sounded like for a group of protesters encamped on Arch Street in Albany from a recording Robert Gavin of the Times Union made as Chauvin was found guilty on all counts. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD OR PLAY BRIEF CLIP. Rep. Antonio Delgado, of the 19th Congressional District, wrote on Facebook, that, "while the verdict by itself will not heal the devastatingly deep and tragically persistent wounds our nation carries born of racial oppression, may it inspire us all to earnestly and thoughtfully, with love in our hearts, confront the scourge of racism that lives with us daily." Rep. Paul Tonko, whose district includes Albany County, posted on Twitter that, "The evidence in this case was overwhelming, as are the lessons and commitments for change we must take from it."
On April 19, Democrats Antonio Delgado, Paul Tonko, and Sean Maloney, and Republican Elise Stefanik, all voted for the SAFE Banking Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would make banking services more available to any business associated with marijuana. The recreational use of cannabis is now legalized in 17 states, the District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam. New York legalized recreational marijuana April 1, but it will be at least a year before sales begin. Marketwatch reported that, "Cannabis stocks rallied across the board in premarket trade Tuesday... after the House voted 321 to 101 in favor of a bill that would protect banks that do business with companies in states that have legalized the plant for medicinal or recreational purposes from federal enforcement action." The bill, which helps financial institutions deal with an industry that is still illegal federally, previously passed the House in 2019, and died in the Senate, which may also be the case this year.
Aliya Schneider is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the towns of Canaan, Ghent, New Lebanon and Austerlitz have together applied for a broadband grant from the Community Project Funding program through U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado’s office, according to information provided by Ghent Town Board member Patti Matheney [Mah-THANE-ee]. The Community Project Funding initiative allows individual members of Congress a way to request direct federal aid to local communities. "...[W]e concluded that applying for this grant together would be the best, most efficient and cost- effective model to construct and/or extend broadband to the greatest number of previously unserved residents and businesses in our rural towns,” Matheney said in a statement. The effort will improve the quality of life for residents. Broadband access is essential for small businesses, children and vulnerable residents, she said. Canaan Supervisor Brenda Adams, Ghent Supervisor Mike Benvenuto [BEN-vah-noo-toe], Ghent Broadband Committee Chairman David Berman, New Lebanon Supervisor Tistrya Houghtling [HOE-telling] Austerlitz Supervisor Rob Lagonia [Lah-GO-nee-ah] and Matheney worked together on the proposal. Cost estimates from broadband providers to complete access across all four towns were “very attractive,” she said. Matheney declined to share those cost estimates with a reporter. The amount each applicant would receive will determine how much they can complete, she said. In Ghent's case, if the grant does not cover all of its broadband needs, Matheney hopes to use the the funds it is projected to receive from the American Rescue Plan Act. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.