The 2006 legislative session is off to a fresh, positive start. Iíve got a number of issues on my agenda and, with the support of my conference members and residents across the state, I am very positive about progress for this year I am optimistic that we are looking at another year of effective change.
Further protecting our women and children from sexual crimes is obviously the most important thing we, as legislators, must do. My Assembly minority colleagues and I are working hard to keep sexual predators off our streets because of the dangers they pose to our families. We are pursuing an extension to the Meganís Lawís Sex Offender Registry that would require lifetime registration by all convicted sexual predators. Our long battle to bring about an effective civil confinement law continues.
Another priority of mine is to save money for our residents. With a sizable budget surplus expected this year, I am hopeful we will be able to cut taxes for our working families. My conference members and I are working hard to reform the property tax revenue process, which is further impacted by skyrocketing property appraisals and tax increases from all levels of government.
This year I play an important role in my conferenceís leadership, serving as vice chair of the Assembly Minority Program Committee. I will also continue serving as the ranking minority member of the Assembly Small Business Committee, where I bring over 28 years of small business experience to the table. I will fight to make New York more business-friendly.
Last year was a landmark for New York government, with my conference forcing changes that resulted in the first on-time state budget in 21 years. I want to make sure our state government remains accountable for its actions, and we will continue establishing a more transparent system so residents can keep track of the progress.
Protecting and serving the people of New York are too important to let political games and internal quarreling get in the way. The end of 2005 showed just how much can be achieved with cooperation when two critically important public safety bills were passed during a special legislative session. As your representative I know that the issues we deal with every day are much too important to be affected by politics.
I welcome comments about or suggestions for the new legislative session, which began January 9. Feel free to contact my office at (585) 225-4190.