Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (90th AD) has released the results of her most recent constituent survey, citing that 767 constituents responded to various questions regarding hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, organ donation, the Wicks Law, and the State’s Special Education requirements, among other topics.
“I look to these survey responses to better understand how people in the district feel about important issues,” Galef said. “I was pleased to learn that 81 percent of constituents have become more aware of the issues surrounding hydrofracking. Last year, thirty percent of constituents said they did not know enough about the process to have an opinion, pro or con, so I am happy to see this has changed. Now that the people of my district are more aware, a notably greater number of constituents are against hydrofracturing, as they are concerned about the impact on our watershed.” Hydraulic fracturing remains an important issue in the New York State legislature. A bill (A7400-A) passed in the Assembly last June would establish a moratorium on hydrofracking while requiring more research to deal with this controversial environmental issue.
The greatest positive response overall in the survey was regarding rolling back Wicks Law requirements, which 85% of respondents were in favor of changing. Galef continues to support repealing Wicks Law requirements; in fact, she sponsored significant legislation (A3682) which would allow general contractors to be hired for school construction projects, resulting in efficiencies and savings for taxpayers.
In addition, 76% of respondents felt that the state should handle the administration and costs of Medicaid, instead of county governments. “In this year’s State budget, I am pleased to report we introduced a staged state takeover of Medicaid administration and other costs, to start in 2013, which should significantly relieve the county of this burdensome expense,” said Galef. Also, 74% of respondents believe that public employees and retirees should have minimum health insurance contributions, and that salary step increases should be frozen until new contracts are negotiated.
The legislature and governor also approved a new pension plan tier, Tier VI, enacting major pension reform which will save state and local governments over $80 billion in the next 30 years. Tier VI includes raising the retirement age from 62 to 63. 68% of respondents to the questionnaire thought the retirement age should be raised from 62 to 65. Additionally, 68% of respondents indicated that they were in favor of allowing casino gambling in New York. Recently, the legislature achieved first passage of a constitutional amendment which would allow casino gambling in New York State.
57% of constituents who responded said that New York’s Special Education requirements should be scaled back, in order to better align with Federal requirements, and 60% of constituents who responded felt that people in New York should be organ donors by default, with the option to opt out, as opposed to the current system where one must opt in.
“I will be sharing these results with my colleagues in the legislature and will continue to work with them to pass legislation which I believe will benefit both my Assembly District and the state overall. It is important to me that everyone has an opportunity to let their thoughts be heard. I truly appreciate the feedback I receive from my constituents through these questionnaires,” Galef concluded.
Click here to view full Constituent Survey Results.