“Throughout this session, our Conference focused on what the people expected and wanted us to do: debate and move legislation that improves the quality of their lives. Although we obviously did not agree on every matter, we found common ground with the Majority on many issues. Some of our actions included passing ethics reform, extending the Power for Jobs program, enacting local government consolidation, promoting ‘Green Jobs’ and Mayoral control of New York City schools. Also, significant local legislation was passed that applied to legislators’ home districts and municipalities. These are bi-partisan legislative initiatives that we were expected to complete, and we did.
Unfortunately, despite these legislative accomplishments, there are several major issues still needing resolution. Specifically, we need to deliver real tax relief by capping property taxes and implementing recommendations of the Suozzi Commission, including a property tax circuit breaker and unfunded mandate relief.
Additionally, we need to enact a comprehensive economic development plan that leads to the creation of more private sector jobs, especially in Upstate; reform Empire Zones by honoring Qualified Empire Zone Enterprises for 2008 and 2009; strengthen IDAs by reauthorizing IDA financing for not-for-profit civic facilities; and enact a statewide energy plan that lowers costs for residents and businesses. We also should be proactive in addressing New York’s projected budget deficit and our continued decline in state revenues. Each of these issues is important and should not be deferred to the 2010 Legislative Session.
We can – and should – come back as soon as possible in 2009 to address these unresolved agenda items because the people of this state are demanding progress and deserve real solutions.”