2010: A Year Of Opportunities
Legislative Column from Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua)
December 30, 2009
Happy New Year! As 2009 fades into history and New Yorkers across the state make their New Year’s resolutions, I would like to share my goals for 2010 and look ahead to some new opportunities to help bring New York back to prosperity and make it a good year for families across our state. In January, I will return to Albany with a renewed purpose to pass real reforms that reduce the size and cost of state government while making the Empire State a better place to live for families, seniors and young professionals. I also would like to give New Yorkers a government that is more responsive to their needs, from the 18-year-old who will vote in his or her first election this November to the small-business owner who is struggling to continue to provide jobs in the community to the senior citizen who is worried about their healthcare and savings. In next week’s column I will share specifics on my goals for 2010 and reactions to Governor Paterson’s 2010 State of the State Address. CALLING ALL SPORTSMEN: JOIN ME AND WAYNE LaPIERRE IN ALBANY ON JANUARY 12 FOR A “FREEDOM FIRST” EVENT One of the Assembly Minority Conference’s early events in January is our first annual “Sportsmen and Outdoor Recreation Legislative Awareness Day” in Albany on January 12, 2010. My colleagues and I recognize the honorable traditions of hunting, fishing and enjoying New York’s great outdoors are deeply rooted in our state and proudly passed down from generation to generation. These activities also have a significant, positive impact on our state’s fiscal health. This exciting event will will provide hunters, sportsmen and outdoor recreational enthusiasts a chance to have their say about the legislative issues affecting them. As a member of the National Rifle Association (NRA), the Shooters’ Committee on Political Education (SCOPE), Safari Club International and a lifelong sportsman and outdoor enthusiast, I am proud to host this event, which will feature a keynote address by Wayne LaPierre, CEO and Executive Vice President of the NRA. “HERITAGE” TOURISM GIVES LOCAL COMMUNITIES THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW OFF NEW YORK’S GREAT OUTDOORS TO VISITORS This winter, New Yorkers will be able to once again take advantage of the over 8,000 miles of State Snowmobile Trail System trails. The winter months are an ideal time to explore New York on a snowmobile, but don’t forget that the Empire State is home to first-rate outdoor recreational opportunities all year round. Hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation contributes more than $1 billion to New York State’s economy every year. With more than 7,500 lakes and ponds, 50,000 miles of rivers and streams and hundreds of miles of coastline, there are abundant opportunities for world-class fishing for a wide variety of cold water, warm water and saltwater fish species. Boaters also can explore these bodies of water via canoes, kayaks, personal watercraft, sailboats and motorboats. According to the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), hunting is among the most popular forms of wildlife recreation in New York. Nearly 700,000 New Yorkers and over 50,000 nonresidents hunt in the Empire State. Hunters have a proud tradition of supporting wildlife conservation programs and doing business with the motels, restaurants and stores in the communities they visit. HUNTING AND FISHING PROVIDE WHOLESOME RECREATION, QUALITY JOBS AND SUPPORT OUR LOCAL ECONOMIES New York always has been a prime destination for hunting and fishing, but more can be done to connect sportsmen with the local communities and businesses that support this profitable segment of the “Heritage” tourism industry. Because hunters and fishermen view their trips as recreation and are participating in their sport to enjoy themselves, these outdoor sports end up being big business for our local economies. Our event will mark the beginning of a grassroots effort to make legislators understand the importance of outdoor recreation in New York, as well as keeping our families safe, sustaining economic prosperity upstate and treasuring our fundamental right to bear arms. If you are a hunter, sportsman, or someone who loves all that New York’s great outdoors has to offer, I hope you will consider joining me in Albany on January 12, 2010 for this “freedom first” event. So be sure to mark your calendar and save the date! I look forward to seeing you there! Again, best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year! As always, constituents wishing to discuss this topic, or any other state-related matter, should contact my district office at (315) 781-2030 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.