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January 13, 2013

Teresa Sayward reflects on Assembly career

(Continued)

“That’s how you get things done when you’re in the minority,” she continued. “If you don’t work with them (the majority) you can get locked out.”

SAME-SEX STAND

Sayward supported then-Gov. David Paterson’s 2009 proposal to legalize same-sex marriage in New York and gave an emotional speech on the floor of the Assembly that helped pass the bill.

Her elder son, Glenn, is gay, and Sayward said she views gay marriage as a civil-rights issue.

“The one accomplishment of mine that stands out is the gay-marriage bill. I was the first Republican to sign on for that bill. It took three votes in the Assembly before we could get it passed in the Senate.”

INVASIVE SPECIES

She worked with Assemblyman Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst) on the Invasive Species Management Bill that became law. The legislation requires the State Department of Environmental Conservation to restrict the sale, purchase, possession, importation and transport of invasive species.

“Assemblyman Sweeney sponsored it and has been a close ally of mine,” she said.

“He worked with me on the two constitutional amendments we got passed: one in Hamilton County and one for NYCO Minerals in Willsboro.”

The one in Hamilton County resolves a 100-year-old property ownership issue with the state and private landowners near Raquette Lake, while the other allows ore extraction on a 200-acre parcel of state land.

The amendments will have to be introduced again this year.

“I’m going to be following them closely. It’s important for me to see them through. I will be down there working on that.”

Sayward said she’s satisfied with her work in office.

“We passed a lot of good legislation, domestic-violence legislation and legislation to protect women’s rights.”

HELPING CITIZENS

The other aspect of serving in the Assembly is aiding constituents, she said.

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