Assemblymember Kevin Cahill Responds to Governor Spitzerís

January 3, 2007

Governor Spitzer followed up his inspiring inaugural with a State of the State address that leaves no doubt in my mind that New Yorkers finally have a real leader who is committed to making government work for the people. The Governor articulated a keen understanding of the real problems communities in New York State and the Hudson Valley are facing, like the crippling burden of property taxes, the escalating costs of health care, hospitals on the verge of bankruptcy and the inequities of our educational funding system.

The speech signaled an end to the failed policies of the past. I am optimistic that the days of a one-size fits all approach to economic development, politically motivated distribution of education funding and inadequate property tax relief will come to an end in the Spitzer administration. I look forward to working with the Executive to develop a regional approach towards improving our economy, infrastructure, educational and health care delivery system while maintaining the quality of life that is unique to the Hudson Valley.

Governor Spitzer proposed the creation of a Commission on Public Higher Education in order to improve the quality and affordability of our public universities and lead to greater prosperity for all New Yorkers. I will seek to work with the Executive to continue the march of SUNY New Paltz into a Center of Excellence that when combined with the Governorís proposal to expand Stewart Airport will be the driving force behind our regionís economic resurgence.

I was particularly encouraged by the Governorís commitment to promoting New York agriculture, affordable housing, and universal broadband and smart growth development in the Catskills. These issues are crucial to the communities I represent.

The Governor made it clear, as I have always believed, that as elected officials we owe nothing less to our constituents than abiding by the highest standards of accountability. I am confident that we will finally have a partner in reform that will work to advance comprehensive measures that will bring consistency and clarity to our ethics and campaign finance laws and will provide public officials with a clear path towards keeping the public's trust.

I am looking forward to the Executive Budget proposal, where we will get the specifics of the plans laid out today and what they might mean to the residents of Ulster and Dutchess Counties. I intend to focus my energy on reforming the mechanism used to fund our schools and alleviating the real property tax weight that is driving so many New Yorkers to other states. I hope to work with Senators Saland, Larkin and Bonacic to bring quality health care, jobs and economic opportunity to the local level.