Stefanik cosponsors bill that would block plant-based milk from being called milk

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, is an original cosponsor of bipartisan legislation U.S. Rep. John Joyce, R-Pennsylvania, introduced Wednesday to prohibit plant-based and other alternative products from being marketed or branded using dairy product terms such as milk, yogurt or cheese.

“Milk comes from a cow — not an almond or coconut or any other fruit or vegetable,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, another original cosponsor, in a news release.

The legislation — HR 1462 — had 19 original cosponsors — 13 Republicans and six Democrats from nine states, mostly prominent dairy farming states, according to the Library of Congress government information website.

In other political news of the region:

Gun control

U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, is an original cosponsor of legislation Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Illinois, introduced Thursday to update the U.S. Code for gun dealers, last revised in 1993.

“A lot has changed in the last 30 years,” Kelly said in a news release.

The bill revises regulations to require physical security measures to prevent firearm theft; clarify the standards by which licensed dealers, and their employees, are assessed for purposes of license issuance and renewal; repeal long-standing budget bill language that has impeded enforcement of existing law by barring the ATF from using funds to require licensed dealers to conduct physical firearm inventories and prohibit the public disclosure of firearms trace data; and increase record retention and electronic data management and sharing for background checks.

The legislation — HR 1478 — had 39 original cosponsors, all Democrats, according to the Library of Congress government information website.

Ambulance districts

State Sen. Dan Stec, R-Queensbury, and Assemblyman Matt Simpson, R-Horicon, on Tuesday reintroduced legislation to allow counties in the Adirondack Park to establish emergency services special taxing districts to operate and finance ambulance services in all or portions of a county.

Stec said they also reintroduced legislation to authorize the special districts statewide.

Legislators from outside the region may be more agreeable to supporting legislation exclusive to the Adirondack Park counties, Stec said, in a telephone interview on Friday.

“This idea had been bouncing around for a while,” he said.

Stec said he hopes the legislation will advance after the state budget is adopted.

“We’ll get to the end of April and early May and start pushing these bills hard,” he said.


Stec on Monday introduced legislation to require legislation to be written in common language which the general public can understand.

The legislation also would restrict the length of bills to 50 pages or less.

“Constituents deserve transparency and accountability from their representatives,” the legislation states in its justification section.

The legislation — S5484 — is companion legislation to Assembly Bill A0539, which Assemblyman Scott Gray, R-Watertown, introduced Jan. 27.


Stefanik, speaking at the annual CPAC conference at National Harbor, Md. on March 4, touted the 18th century Battle of Saratoga in the Revolutionary War and the “Miracle On Ice” U.S. gold medal hockey victory at Lake Placid in 1980 as emblematic of a winning spirit in the 21st Congressional District.

“To the people of my district in upstate New York, I am so humbled each and every day to represent you and your families,” she said in a speech lasting 9 minutes and 25 seconds. “We unabashedly love Americanism in upstate New York.”

The conference is an annual prominent gathering of conservatives which is viewed as a bellwether for Republican politicians with national ambitions.

In her speech, Stefanik reiterated her endorsement of Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential race.

“We must take our country back in 2024 by reelecting President Donald J. Trump,” she said.

Rikers Island

Simpson announced that he was part of a delegation of Assembly Republican members that toured Rikers Island in Queens on Tuesday and met with representative of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, the union that represents New York City correction officers.

“Today we had a productive conversation and the officers demanded that we create real change for their protection,” Simpson said in a news release.


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