Leader Brian Kolb says past two Legislative Sessions have been some of the most successful, productive and bi-partisan in New York’s history – calls for same focus to solve State’s remaining challenges: unfunded mandate relief, job creation and making New York’s economy more competitive
Statement from NYS Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua) On Conclusion Of 2012 Session
“Our 2012 Legislative Session was a tremendous success that built on the many achievements from last year and once again delivered real results for a better New York. From continuing fiscal responsibility to protecting some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers, there are many bi-partisan achievements from this year’s Session to be proud of, including:
• Another On-Time State Budget: 2012-13 State Budget was adopted early, closed a $3.5 billion deficit and held government spending below the rate of inflation;
• Medicaid Mandate Cost Relief: State will gradually assume the increase in the local share of New York’s Medicaid program, which is America’s costliest;
• Pension Reform: Enacted a Tier VI pension plan for new public employees, allowed participation in an optional defined contribution plan for legislators and non-union employees;
• Redistricting Reform: Gave first passage to a proposed State Constitutional Amendment to establish an Independent Redistricting Commission;
• Cyber-Bullying Prevention: Prohibited bullying and cyber-bullying in public schools;
• Education Investment: Increased community college base aid funding to $2,272 per student, increased State aid to school districts by $805 million, for a total of $20.3 billion;
• DNA Databank: Expanded the State’s DNA databank by requiring DNA samples from individuals convicted of any felony or Penal Law misdemeanor; and
• Protecting New Yorkers with Special Needs: Enacted the “Protection of People with Special Needs Act” to create uniform safeguards in residential facilities and day programs.
I am proud of the substantive, serious and important role the men and women of our Conference have played in charting a new course for a stronger New York: our legislation, our advocacy and our floor debates helped lay the ground for this and last year’s successes.
However, now is not the time for self-congratulation – local communities, local school districts and local taxpayers still need relief from Albany’s unfunded mandates. New York’s rising unemployment rate means we need many more jobs. Our economy is not nearly competitive enough. If we apply the same bi-partisan approach that has worked so well the past two years, I am confident we will solve these remaining challenges.”