Assemblywoman Michelle Schimelís Response to the Governorís State of the State Address

January 4, 2012
Albany Ė Among a sea of blue you may have spotted me in a bright pink suit on television last week during the Governorís State of the State address. Governor Andrew Cuomo officially kicked off the 2012 legislative session by presenting the State Legislature with a bold plan to get New York back on track.

As I listened to Governor Cuomoís speech, I overheard my colleagues expressing enthusiasm for his plan. I share their excitement about the Governorís vision for New York and will work with him this session to make it a reality.

The Governorís economic development plan to build the nationís largest convention center at Aqueduct and to retransform the Javits Center site into a Battery Park City development will help stimulate the economy and create jobs. His proposal to establish an infrastructure and repair fund will provide the resources the state needs to make improvements and updates to the stateís parks, historic sites, roadways, bridges, and tunnels.

I was pleased that the Governor paid a significant amount of attention to the issue of education in his address. In my opinion, however, I felt that he was too harsh in judging public school educators. School children have more than just the Governor as their personal lobbyist. Public school teachers, school superintendents, school board members, and parents also have childrenís interests at heart. As your Assemblywoman and a parent, I am always advocating for our children. The New York State Assembly is one of public educationís most vocal advocates. I remain committed to fighting for our childrenís future. I strongly believe that in order for New York to be a state of excellence we need great schools. As I have said before, if we fail our schools, we fail our children, and we fail ourselves.

As we saw last year, when partisan politics are placed aside and the State Legislature and Governor work together, state government is able to address the peoples concerns. The 2011 legislative session was hailed as one of the most productive in state history. Working with the Governor, the State Legislature passed an on-time balanced budget, legalized marriage equality, implemented a permanent Power for Jobs program for small businesses, enacted landmark ethics reform, and passed a pedestrian safety law known as Complete Streets.

As your Assemblywoman, I am committed to building on the successes of last year and will work to ensure that the 2012 legislative session will produce meaningful results for the people of New York.