3 county legislators press issues for Orleans in visit to Washington, DC

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 February 2023 at 8:26 am

Provided photo: Orleans County legislators – Skip Draper, Lynne Johnson and John Fitzak – are shown outside the office for U.S. Senate majority Leader Charles Schumer.

ALBION – Three Orleans County legislators spent five days in Washington, D.C. for the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. and also met with representatives of U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and U.S. Representatives Claudia Tenney and Joe Morelle, whose congressional districts include part of Orleans County.

Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson attended the conference with County Legislators John Fitzak and Skip Draper.

“It is critical that we come to Washington to meet face to face with our representatives and their staff. There is no better way to represent our county and make our voices heard,” Johnson said. “We are looking forward to working with our new Congresswoman, Claudia Tenney and Congressman Joe Morelle and are always grateful for the support that Senators Schumer and Gillibrand have given us.”

Johnson said she thanked Gillibrand for helping to secure $2 million towards upgrading the emergency management office, which was built in a bunker style back in 1962.

The county officials also met with staff members from Congressmen Nick Langworthy NY-23, Brandon Williams NY-22, Marc Molinaro NY-19 and Mike Lawler ‘s NY-17 offices as part of a lobbying day on Capitol Hill with county officials from across the country.

Johnson said discussions with the federal officials centered on more funding for broadband, emergency management, infrastructure, roads, Lake Ontario water levels and dredging.

The National Association of Counties Legislative Conference brought together 2,000 elected county officials to focus on federal policy issues that affect counties and their residents.

“Orleans County is pleased to have participated in this conference and represent our citizens and more importantly, to lobby Congress on their behalf,” Johnson said in a news release.

Conference focused on broadband, agricultural and rural affairs, workforce development, health care and public safety policies. The conference culminated with an address by President Joe Biden.