With the start of a new year and a new era upon us in New York State, we’re embarking on exciting times. Eliot Spitzer promises to be a hard-working, dedicated governor, and the Assembly stands ready to partner with him to deliver the positive change that working families need.
With strong, vigorous leadership in the state’s executive office, we can tackle our challenges with a renewed vitality and confidence.
I am eager to begin work on reforming our state government; providing an excellent education for future generations; increasing access to quality, affordable health care; creating meaningful tax relief for working families; stimulating our stagnant economy; creating new jobs that allow families to stay in Central New York; and making our neighborhoods safe and strong.
After listening to the governor’s State of the State speech, I’m encouraged to hear that we – the governor, the Assembly, and most importantly, regular citizens across the state – share so many of the same goals.
Commitment to education
Like the governor, commitment to our children’s future is unwavering. With the right tools, New York’s public schools and colleges will be among the best in the nation. We will work with the governor to keep higher education within reach for those who want to attend college.
Increasing access to affordable, quality health care
The governor knows that balancing the need for quality health care at a cost we can afford will present us with a great challenge. This year, I look forward to working cooperatively with our new governor to improve the way New York’s health care infrastructure operates and ensure the best care possible. We must be careful, however, to only make changes to health care that will ensure access to a range of medical services, and strengthen the widely respected medical education programs that we have in Central New York.
Reforming and improving state government
The Legislature has successfully passed two consecutive on-time budgets, and the new governor is ready to help us make it three. We must go further this year, and we will continue the open government reforms we implemented in the past few years and work with Governor Spitzer to improve the way Albany functions.
Tax relief for working families
Last year, the Legislature cut taxes by eliminating the state sales tax on clothing and shoes under $110 and by capping the gas tax. We created a $330 child tax credit, eliminated the marriage penalty and provided much-needed property tax rebates. This year, we’re confident the governor will partner with us to find new ways to allow working families to keep more of their hard-earned money.
New York’s challenges haven’t gotten any easier over the last decade. We still need to make our communities safer and stronger. We still need to spark a stagnant economy with new jobs and real wages. We still need to make the right decisions for the people of New York. And we need everyone working together – the Assembly, the Senate and the governor. In his State of the State, the governor made it clear that he’s embraced the challenge. Let me make it clear that we in the Assembly look forward to cooperating with him to get results. Working families across the state can be confident that their priorities are at the top of the state’s agenda.