By Assemblyman Karl Brabenec
The whirlwind of legislative activity has commenced in Albany and, once again, I am honored to be serving you and I thank you for your support in the recent election. I promise to work diligently each day to fight for the values that will make our state the best place to live and raise a family.
I have ten top priorities for the upcoming legislative session. Many of these are a continuation of my efforts from the previous term, and I believe it is important for us to put partisanship aside and reach across the aisle to achieve these goals that will ultimately benefit us all:
- Property Tax Reform and Relief: One option is to cut out wasteful spending in our state budget and transfer that money to a separate Education Fund, which would fund all the public schools in New York State. To achieve this goal and fund every public school in the state, we would need to find funds totaling approximately 10 percent of our current state budget. If we do this, the average homeowner and small business owner who owns property would see an estimated 75 percent reduction in their annual property tax bill (your September bill would be eliminated).
- Ethics Reform: We need more transparency in government, term limits for legislative leaders, campaign finance reform, cuts in pork barrel spending and increased oversight.
- No More Common Core: Instate minimum standards but return local curriculum control to teachers, parents and administrators and create more vocational opportunities.
- Pass Blue Lives Matter Law and Brittany’s Law: Laws which will strengthen penalties for assaults on police officers and first responders and create a registry of violent felony offenders through a statewide database.
- Make Uber & Lyft Legal in NYS: This will improve transportation issues in rural areas in upstate New York and create more competition and lower prices for consumers.
- Always control costs and cut taxes, reduce fees, and lower regulation burdens across the board.
- Create a local “Veterans’ SOS Program” through my local office: An outreach program partnering with the Orange and Rockland County Veteran Service Agencies to provide more communication and access to services available to our brave veterans.
- Promote our local agriculture industry and Buy Local programs.
- Increase CHIPS funding for pothole repair, repaving projects and winter cleanups.
- Continue Quality Constituent Service & Communication: Continue our Port Jervis and Sloatsburg monthly satellite offices, columns in local papers and more use of Facebook and Twitter.
Follow Karl on Facebook, @KarlBrabenec on Twitter or contact his District Office at 845-544-7551.