Captiol News from The Assembly Minority Conference
The Assembly Minority Conference

Now Is The Time To Come Together And Restore New York

Column from Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay

Earlier this week, I spoke on the Assembly Floor to outline the Assembly Minority Conference’s priorities as we take up legislation in 2024. Improving the quality of life for New York residents is always at the top of our agenda, and I am optimistic that with our colleagues on the other side of the aisle, we will find fresh ways to address both new and recurring challenges facing our state. While high taxes and crime are just some of the reasons why 100,000 New Yorkers have left the state, emerging threats like the unsettling surge in antisemitism on college campuses and in our communities have presented new challenges to our legislative work. 

Facing these challenges will be no small task. Our loss of human capital, which according to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report is more than any other state, is staggering and fiscally significant. Plain and simple, we must reduce the cost of doing business in New York by easing the enormous tax burden weighing down Main Street. If New York’s current trajectory doesn’t change—158 companies with nearly $1 trillion in assets have already left—we risk further diminishing our tax base, losing innovative entrepreneurs to more business-friendly states and may even see our congressional delegation shrink. The worse those problems become, the harder it will be to right the ship, so it is critical we do not allow these issues to spiral out of control.

I also spoke about the importance of improving public safety. Our state’s criminal justice policy has created an imbalance between criminals and law-abiding citizens. We cannot continue to prioritize the needs of the criminal element by making it nearly impossible for judges and law enforcement agencies to do their job. We will continue to push to restore common-sense bail and parole laws and fight to ensure police and peace officers have the funding, training and resources needed to protect our communities.

Additionally, our conference seeks to: 

  • expand the availability and visibility of vocational job training in our schools;
  • deliver increased resources and improved services for our state’s rural communities;
  • bring ethics oversight, transparency and accountability to government operations; and  
  • enhance and create programs to make childcare more affordable and accessible.

Now is the time for action. It was exciting to once again be in the Assembly Chamber with my colleagues ready to do the work we were elected to do: make New York better, stronger and more resilient. I look forward to tackling these issues with my colleagues, and I am confident that in the coming months, we will find common ground to rebuild our great state and return New York to its place as the premier business, tourism and recreation destination.