Crouch: ‘Smart Solutions’ Provided The Blueprint For 2012 Session’s Success

Assemblyman says there is still work to be done to improve the business climate in NYS, create private-sector jobs, and address unfunded mandates
July 3, 2012
Assemblyman Clifford W. Crouch (R,I-Guilford) recently announced the conclusion of the 2012 Legislative Session, and in doing so, announced the blueprint for the session’s success – the Assembly Minority Conference’s “Smart Solutions.”

“Our legislative conference together played a big role in the success of the past two years,” said Crouch. “The past two sessions have been among the most successful, productive and bipartisan in New York’s history, and that’s certainly something to be proud of considering Albany’s reputation.”

Crouch highlighted the successes of the legislative sessions:

  • 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;
  • Budget Reform: During budget negotiations, conference committees were used to discuss details of the budget in a transparent manner;
  • 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, saving millions in future cost for municipalities, and ended participation in the defined contribution plan for elected 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.

“Albany has come a long way in two years, but there’s still much to be done to improve the business climate in New York and put people back to work,” said Crouch. “In addition, our local governments, school districts and taxpayers still need relief from the unfunded mandates passed down from Albany. Working with Governor Andrew Cuomo in a bipartisan way, we have righted the ship. The winds are ripe to keep moving in the right direction and build a better New York.”