"It was great meeting with our wonderful Congressional delegation," Speaker Heastie said. "It is always important to have coordination between the federal and state governments now more than ever. It is critical that we work together to improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers, from funding maintenance on our aging infrastructure, to ensuring access to quality affordable housing, to mitigating the impact of changes from the so-called tax reform bill, including limitations on SALT deductions. What our representatives and senators are working on here in Washington is music to my ears. I look forward to continuing our work to move New York forward."
"We stand with our lawmakers on Capitol Hill in the fight against many of the regressive policies of the current administration that could negatively impact New Yorkers. We support them in their effort to ensure fair and affordable housing and upgrade our aging transportation systems. We also call for Congress to reconsider some of the changes to the federal tax code that takes money out of the pockets of hard working New Yorkers," said NYS Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes.
"Speaker Heastie, Majority Leader Peoples-Stokes and the Assembly Majority are ushering in a bold, progressive agenda that benefits all New Yorkers. Now more than ever, there is a vital strategic need for continued economic growth in collaboration with our Congressional delegation. I look forward to working with Reps. Engel and Lowey and our representatives on our shared interests," said Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, chair, Office of State-Federal Relations.
Across the U.S., aging infrastructure is in desperate need of repair, and New York State is no different. The members of the Assembly and the Congressional delegation discussed the need to identify a sustainable funding source for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to support critical capital and operating needs. But the need for infrastructure improvements extends well beyond the MTA, and at the state and federal level there needs to be investment in maintenance and repairs for state and local roads, bridges and highways across New York.
Members of both the state and federal delegations hear from constituents about the struggles of finding quality, affordable housing. Rising rents and stagnant wages are too often pushing families out of the neighborhoods they built. During the meeting, they discussed the importance of ensuring that families in New York are not forced out of their homes, and are able to raise their children in a healthy environment.
Also discussed was the tax reform bill that Congress passed in December 2017. The federal administration sold the bill as a way to save middle class families money and make the tax code simpler. In actuality, it took away important deductions for New Yorkers - like state and local taxes (SALT) and allowing teachers to deduct the cost of buying supplies - while cutting the corporate tax rate by more than 40 percent, among other incentives for the wealthy.