The New Year: Time for Reflection and Growth

A Column from the Desk of Assemblyman Karl Brabenec (R,C-Deerpark)

By the time you’re reading this column, Christmas will have come and gone, meaning New Year’s Day is around the corner, and the holiday lull has officially arrived. Gifts will have been opened, food will have been shared, and it was hopefully a very merry occasion for all the family and friends in your life. And while we’re all enjoying the remaining candy canes and holiday cheer, the coming of the new year gives us time to reflect on what we accomplished this year and where we can still grow.

Personally, it’s become a point of pride for me to regularly share my thoughts and actions with you, dear reader, through this series of columns that I’ve written throughout the year. Earlier this past year, amidst state budget delays and in an effort to stem corruption at the state Capitol, I worked to help return ethical and accountable behavior to Albany, an uphill battle that will seemingly never be won but must be fought all the same. As we prepare for the new year, I am just as committed to ensuring the people elected to represent New York continue to strive for excellence and accountability.

Several other issues were discussed this year, and I drafted many pieces of legislation or signed on to my colleagues’ bills to help improve the lives of New Yorkers. I think back to my animal abuse hotline bill, A.5405, a measure that would establish an animal abuse hotline for all New Yorkers to call should they suspect pets or animals are being mistreated in any capacity. I think back to Caylee’s Law, numbered A.5452, which stresses that missing child cases must be reported much earlier than is currently mandated to help ensure missing children are returned swiftly and safely. I think of bill A.5592, a measure to counter the drug epidemic in our state by further criminalizing the possession of fentanyl. These are all issues that could easily be addressed at the same time, as they all serve the goal of truly enhancing life in New York state and making it a better place for us all to live.

These are just a few of the issues I’m planning on fighting for when I return to Albany in January. This year has served many of us well, but 2024 will be tough: from the continuing migrant crisis to a worrying lack of federal government revenue to keep our programs afloat to the continued discord in our capital that leaves many in need without the support their state owes them. Nevertheless, I plan on returning with the same vigor and spirit I always have, which is supported by your support of me and your desire to see New York improve. No matter the obstacle, I plan on returning and continuing to work for you.