Santabarbara and Tedisco Call for New Out-Migration Commission to Stop Escape from NY

Assemblyman Santabarbara and Senator Tedisco and announce new bill for bi-partisan state commission to examine why people are fleeing the Empire State and recommend policy changes to stop the population loss

Angelo Santabarbara and Senator Jim Tedisco today announced new bi-partisan legislation they are introducing for a holistic and reasonable approach to addressing an existential threat to our state’s economic well-being of hemorrhaging population loss and out-migration to other states.

This past year, over 101,000 people left New York State, the third consecutive year with such a sizable loss of population, according to U.S. Census data. New York has the dubious distinction of leading the nation in out- migration of population. In April 2020, there were more than 20.2 million New Yorkers, that fell to 19.5 million people as of July 2023, a decline of over 631,000 people since the pandemic. Last year, New York lost a congressional seat and representation in Washington, D.C. due to ongoing population loss compared to other states. The Empire State could lose three more congressional seats in the 2030 Census if current trends continue, further eroding the state’s influence at the U.S. Capitol.

"In response to Comptroller DiNapoli's recent report on New York's population decline, our bipartisan initiative is a strategic approach to address the challenges faced by New Yorkers. This legislative response comprehensively examines sectors like agriculture, energy, healthcare, and education to safeguard our state's vitality and enhance our communities,” said Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, NYS Assembly Chair of the Commission on Rural Resources. “The pandemic's impact on taxpayers, especially families, emphasizes the urgency of action in the upcoming legislative session. With net out-migration rates remaining higher in 2021, swift measures are crucial to preserving our state's attractiveness and ensuring a high quality of life for all New Yorkers. As the son of immigrant parents, I share Comptroller DiNapoli's commitment to making New York more appealing and affordable. Let's come together in the upcoming session to champion common-sense policies that resonate nationally."

“New York is a beautiful state with a talented workforce, great businesses large and small and many wonderful recreational opportunities for people. Unfortunately, the numbers don’t lie. People are heading for the doors and escaping from New York in a mass exodus. When enough people who can afford to leave New York State are gone, who will be left to pay for the infrastructure, health care, police, schools, and other necessities? It’s time to stop just talking about this exodus and take action to reverse the trend. Keeping the status quo is not an option,” said Senator Jim Tedisco, who has been advocating for some time for the state to address this issue.

“We just can’t keep saying and pointing out there is a tremendous exodus from New York State and then let the status quo continue. We need an honest evaluation of why and what are the leading causes for this and a plan for change and mitigation. Being silent and ignoring this reality is no longer an option. Our oath of office as legislators and governors demands it. No more empty excuses. We need reasons and solutions!” said Senator Tedisco.

Assemblyman Santabarbara and Senator Tedisco’s legislation would create the Commission on New York State Out-migration to conduct a year-long research and fact-finding campaign by holding public hearings and interacting with New Yorkers from all walks of life and all corners of the state to get feedback about why people are leaving the state. The examination of the reasons for the exodus to other states would include, but not be limited to, affordability, housing, economic opportunity, public safety, education, health care, and the climate.

The commission shall consist of 13 members with three appointed by the Governor, three by the Assembly Speaker, three by Temporary President of the Senate, two by Senate Minority Leader, and two by Assembly Minority Leader. No current member of the legislature can sit on the commission and 10 of the 13 commission members must reside in each of the state’s 10 economic development council regions.

Under Santabarbara and Tedisco’s bill, hearings are to be held in each of the 10 regions within a period of one year after it becomes law with a final report and recommendations to be provided to the Governor and Legislature by 90 days after all the hearings are done.