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US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand endorses Billy Jones for State Assembly

October 25th, 2016 by | No Comments | | Source:

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U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) endorsed Democratic candidate Billy Jones to represent the 115th District of the New York State Assembly. Gillibrand noted Jones’ many victories on behalf of North Country families, working across party lines as chair of the Franklin County Legislature.

“Billy Jones embodies what’s great about the North Country,” said Gillibrand. “He’s a true public servant who’s worked tirelessly to strengthen the community. Like me, Billy is a parent, and I know he’s committed to building a better future for his own daughter and for families throughout the North Country.”

In her endorsement, Gillibrand pointed to Jones’ commitment to ethics and transparency as chair of the Franklin County Legislature, as well as his plan to build a stronger North Country. Jones will fight to fix Common Core, invest in infrastructure and create good-paying local jobs so hardworking families and the younger generation can stay and raise their own families here.

“Growing up in the North Country teaches us important values – a strong work ethic, commitment to our families and dedication to our community,” said Jones. “I want to bring those values to Albany and create a brighter future here for kids like my daughter. I look forward to working with Senator Gillibrand to get results for us and help move our region forward.”

Gillibrand also applauded Jones’ plan to work with local and federal officials to deliver broadband internet to the North Country to help residents as well as small businesses. She has announced her legislation to build a better broadband system and offer grants to bring broadband internet to rural communities. Reliable broadband internet is essential to bring local schools and businesses into the 21st century, Jones noted.

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Billy Jones lays out plan for stronger North Country schools

October 25th, 2016 by | No Comments | | Source:

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Assembly candidate Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay) announced his plan to strengthen schools and reform education in the North Country and New York State. Jones’ platform includes investing in and improving schools, getting rid of Common Core, offering more early education options and ensuring safe learning environments.

“As a father, I know that a good education is the most valuable thing I can give my daughter, Ella,” said Jones. “I owe it to her and to every North Country child to make our schools stronger so they’re prepared for a lifetime of success.”

Jones laid out a comprehensive education platform to support North Country schools and students. Jones will fight against Common Core to take the focus off of high-stakes testing and return control of the curriculum to educators and parents, because he knows bureaucrats in Washington and Albany shouldn’t be deciding our kids’ futures. He’ll also work to expand full-day pre-K and early education programs so kids get a solid start and increase the number of classrooms so students receive more individual attention.

In addition, Jones understands that more state aid for local schools is vital to improving education. He’ll work to make sure schools have both the resources they need and the educational technology necessary so students are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow. He also noted that we need to make sure state education aid is being used wisely and going straight to our classrooms to ensure taxpayer dollars aren’t being wasted on unnecessary bureaucracy.

Lastly, Jones cited infrastructure needs of schools as a priority he will focus on in the state Assembly. After the recent discovery of lead contamination in water fixtures at Tupper Lake Central School District, it’s especially critical to focus on protecting the safety and health of students. He’ll push to increase building aid to upgrade schools and maintain a safe environment for students.

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Assembly Candidate Billy Jones Announces Comprehensive Platform to Address Ongoing Heroin & Opiate Epidemic

September 15th, 2016 by | No Comments | | Source:

Assembly candidate Billy Jones announced that after months of traveling throughout the 115th Assembly District he has developed a series of reforms to address the devastating heroin and opiate epidemic. He noted that after speaking with thousands of voters he continually heard the same heartbreaking story: virtually everyone has been impacted by the epidemic as it ravages the North Country.

“These moving conversations with residents who have lost children, parents, friends or coworkers to fatal drug overdoses highlight a tragedy that has become all too common,” said Jones. “We, as New Yorkers, must do better.”

This past legislative session, Governor Cuomo signed a series of measures that serve as a solid first step in combating this pressing issue. Yet in speaking with those who deal with this epidemic on a daily basis – including first responders, law enforcement officers, treatment specialists, prescribers and elected leaders – it is clear Albany can go further in combating this crisis, noted Jones.

Below are a series of reforms Jones is proposing:

Prevent overdoses from becoming fatal: Jones agrees with the legislation proposed by Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell (A.10492) that, “requires members of the state police, city police departments and sheriffs, undersheriffs, and deputy sheriffs to be trained in the administration of opioid antagonists and to carry opioid antagonists in their vehicles.” Further, Jones believes a greater focus should be put on efforts to increase the number of persons trained in administering Narcan – a drug that serves to counteract the effects of an opiate overdose.

Increase the availability of treatment for addiction: The legislation passed this year requires 14 days of uninterrupted care for those who seek treatment for their addiction. Insurers are forced to cover these two weeks of care prior to utilization review. Jones believes this window needs to be extended. He stressed that health experts should decide how much care is needed, not large insurance companies that are only worried about their bottom line. He also noted that it’s in all of our interests that addiction is properly and thoroughly treated and that fear of prohibitive costs for comprehensive care should not be a deciding factor in whether or not a person pursues treatment.

There is also increasing evidence that providing those struggling with addiction with access to Vivitrol – a non-narcotic opioid blocker – can serve to reduce cravings during a period of recovery and decrease the likelihood of relapse. Jones urged that further consideration be given to this option as we gain more data on the effectiveness of the drug.

“More broadly, it’s essential to expand access to treatment options,” said Jones. “When someone is willing to embrace recovery, we must be able to provide the resources they need, as soon as possible. Waiting days for a bed at a treatment facility while living in a drug-plagued environment makes the prospect of success more difficult. The ambulatory detox center coming to Schuyler Falls is an example of how we can work to expand treatment availability.”

 

Working to prevent addiction and abuse in the first place:  

Prescribers: This year’s legislation mandates that physicians complete three hours of training every three years on addiction, pain management and palliative care. While this is a good first step, Jones noted that we must work to eliminate incentives for physicians to prescribe painkillers when other treatment options are available. He highlighted that CDC director Tom Friedan wrote in regard to opioid prescription, “We know of no other medication routinely used for a nonfatal condition that kills patients so frequently.”

Education: This year’s legislation takes an important step in increasing funding for education programs designed to prevent drug use in the first place. The sophistication of Drug Abuse Restriction Education (DARE) is increasing, and modern-day programs have allowed communities to enjoy a $28.00 return for every $1.00 spent on program delivery. These are investments that New York State must continue to make, Jones emphasized.  

It’s also important that these efforts focus on the specific drug abuse at hand – heroin and other opioids. Research shows that while broad-based campaigns are effective, it’s more effective for prevention efforts to focus on a specific drug or class of drugs, noted Jones. Jones also stated that the results of a study conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research found, “To a considerable degree, prevention must occur drug by drug, because people will not necessarily generalize the adverse consequences of one drug to the use of others. Many beliefs and attitudes held by young people are drug specific.”

Law Enforcement: The solution to our heroin overdose epidemic is not the failed strategy of locking-up illegal drug offenders; however, it’s critical that we provide our law enforcement officers with the tools they need to take drugs off the streets, stressed Jones. He also noted the importance of approaches that recognize the distinction between big drug dealers looking to profit on the addiction of others, and those suffering from addiction who deal small quantities only to continue feeding their own addiction.

 

“Billy Jones has the clear understanding that arrest and incarceration will only kick the can down the road and proactive programs will save lives and money while creating better communities,” said Clinton County Sheriff David Favro, who responded enthusiastically to this platform.

Billy Jones’ multi-pronged approach is also supported by members of the medical community.

“I support Mr. Jones’ ideas to address the ongoing heroin and opiate epidemic in our community,” said Dr. Kent Hall, chief medical officer at the UVM Health Network -CVPH. “Education and treatment are the keys. We will not be able to incarcerate our way out of this.”

Rebecca Jabaut, house manager for the Mary DeVeau Women’s Sober Living House in Plattsburgh, was encouraged by Mr. Jones’ platform, saying, “I support these proposals and believe that addiction is a disease that can be managed – one day at a time – by treatment for those willing to embrace it. Incarceration does not treat addiction – in fact, as the house manager for a women’s sober living house, I can report that people seeking sobriety have made me aware that there are plenty of drugs available in jail and it compounds the temptation for those truly trying to get well. I also support the use of Narcan by police, etc., as I have been witness to the miracles of people in recovery who were saved by it, which positively affected not only them, but also innocent children who would have otherwise become orphans.”

The nightmare of drug addiction is a reality for too many New York families. Marne Pike from Plattsburgh shared her personal loss, as well as her support for Mr. Jones’ comprehensive platform.

“Watching my brother struggle with his addiction for years, and ultimately losing him to the heroin and opioid epidemic has made it clear that this issue is complex, touches all walks of life, and is going to require a lot more than love and prayers to solve,” said Pike. “Billy Jones’ platform makes it clear that he grasps the complexity of this issue, and the complexity its solution necessitates.”

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UNANIMOUSLY ENDORSED BY CLINTON COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY

May 25th, 2016 by | No Comments | | Source:

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Clinton County Chair Martin Mannix announces endorsement of Billy Jones for Assemblyman. Bill said he was humbled and honored to receive the unanimous endorsement of the Clinton County Democrat Committee as a candidate for the New York State Assembly. “I can’t thank you enough for your support!”

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UNANIMOUSLY ENDORSED BY FRANKLIN COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY

May 16th, 2016 by | No Comments | | Source:

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Billy Jones, declared candidate in the 115th Assembly District, is proudly endorsed by the Franklin County Democratic Party.

“Billy Jones is a proven leader with a track record of public service. He is the hardest working county legislator I know.” said County Democratic Chair Kathy Fleury. “Jones’ experience as chairman of the Franklin County Legislature has given him an opportunity to fight for North Country needs with officials in Albany. That puts him a big step ahead of anyone without that experience. As assemblyman, his experience fighting for the North Country and his membership in the majority party will benefit all of us. Billy Jones can both bring North Country values to Albany and work within the majority party to get legislation we need. This is an opportunity for North Country voters.”

 

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Press Photos

April 11th, 2016 by | No Comments | | Source:

 

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Legislator Duties

April 11th, 2016 by | No Comments | | Source:


 

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I support Billy Jones for NYS Assembly District 115

April 8th, 2016 by | No Comments | | Source:

Thank you for supporting Billy. Your continued support by volunteering in the campaign and donating is very appreciated. Please share with your friends on social networks.

 

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