This legislative session was a success and we continue to head in the right direction for the residents of Central New York. I believe the accomplishments in Albany will continue to have a positive influence for the upcoming months and years. During this session, I worked in the Assembly on laws that will invest in the future, make our streets safer and lower our tax burden.
Protecting our community from Drunk Drivers
- Iím pleased to announce that a bi-partisan agreement was reached with the Senate and the Assembly on a bill I sponsored the Leaf/Woods Bill that increases the penalties for repeat drunk drivers who subsequently kill or seriously injure others while driving drunk or under the influence of alcohol or drugs (A.10619-B, S.7233-A).
- I also sponsored a bill that passed both houses that addresses the problem of an out of state offender who commits a DWI in New York State and has previous convictions in other states. This bill makes all other state offenses count against the offender in New York State (A.10369, S.7216-A).
Both of these important bills are awaiting the governorís signature.
Economic Development in Syracuse
- Another piece of legislation that Iím extremely proud of is the Ash Street bill, (signed chap.70) which allows the city of Syracuse to obtain a specific vacant property for only one dollar from New York State. The city can then provide more affordable housing in downtown Syracuse and eliminate vacant property, thereby helping to revitalize our city.
- Just last week I helped to secure $8.4 million for downtown Syracuse renovations including $6.4 million in total funding for the historic Landmark Theatre, of which $3.4 million was announced previously, and an additional $2 million for economic development of downtown Syracuse.
Provide Tax Relief Ė Rebates
To address the tax burden New York families face, we made tax relief a priority- eliminating the state sales tax on clothing and shoes under $110, creating a $330 child tax credit, ending marriage penalty tax, and capping the sales tax on gasoline.
Medicaid Fraud Protection
In addition, the Assembly and Senate agreed on legislation to combat Medicaid fraud, including the creation of a Medicaid Inspector General and stricter penalties for offenders.
This session we also passed the second on time budget in a row. This yearís budget invested in our schools, provided much needed tax relief and protected the quality of health care for our families.