The Chief Judge’s administrative order will ensure that the remaining legitimate votes are counted promptly and that legal issues are resolved expeditiously so we can put the election behind us and get back to governing.
Clearly the Judge agrees with the appeals that I have made, along with Governor-elect Cuomo, that we cannot allow the counting of ballots to needlessly drag on when it would create gridlock and dysfunction. Senate Democrats have admitted to stalling the process of counting ballots in an effort to delay a result they don’t like, which is a Senate Republican Majority.
Senate Republicans share Governor-elect Cuomo’s serious concern that a needless, protracted delay in determining the results of three Senate elections would create gridlock in the Senate, that the ballots must be counted expeditiously and any legitimate legal issues must be resolved as soon as possible.
New Yorkers are ready to move past Election Day. They want us to govern and focus on their priorities. According to a Siena College poll, the top priorities of New Yorkers are creating jobs, reducing state spending and taxes, and balancing the budget. Senate Republicans are ready to get to work and get results on these issues.
This year Senate Republicans proposed a job creation plan that would provide a tax credit, which is similar to one enacted by the federal government, that would create thousands of jobs at no cost to the State, and help get people off unemployment.
The Inspector General’s report confirms what I said in February, that the initial award of the Aqueduct VLT contract to AEG reeked of favoritism and was a corrupt a backroom deal. The disgraceful, criminal conduct of Senate Democrats exposed by the Inspector General makes it clear they were only looking after their own political best interests, not the public’s.
In February, I wrote a letter to Senator Sampson asking for a Senate hearing to examine all the Aqueduct bids in public to ensure an open, transparent process. Senator Sampson never wrote back. Now I know why, because the fix was in and AEG’s winning bid was already wired, bought and paid for through contributions to the Senate Democrats.
Today the MTA put the finishing touches on the Senate Democrats’ disastrous bailout plan that has resulted in an almost 20 percent increase in LIRR fares over two years, significant service cuts and the job-killing payroll tax.
While infuriated LIRR commuters are reading about what the MTA board approved, they can thank Senate Democrats for voting in unison for a plan that hurts families, businesses, municipalities and not for profits, and didn’t even spare commuters from service cuts or balance the MTA budget.
The Port Authority should immediately remove the roadblocks that have prevented the rebuilding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Christian Church, that was crushed by the falling South Tower on September 11th. The rebuilding of this beloved neighborhood church has not gone forward because the Port Authority has reneged on a deal that was agreed to by then-Governor George Pataki in 2004.
I applaud Governor Pataki for focusing attention rebuilding on St. Nicholas near Ground Zero. It is a project that can foster unity and good will and stand as a symbol of rebirth for Lower Manhattan, in contrast to the proposed Mosque that has generated division and controversy.
Governor Paterson Should Allow Rebuilding of Greek Orthodox Church at Ground Zero
Paterson Focuses on Mosque, But Stalls Christian Church Project
Governor Paterson is anxious to broker a deal for the construction of a Mosque, yet he has abruptly turned his back on a long-standing deal to rebuild the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Christian Church, the only church destroyed at Ground Zero on September 11th.
One moment Nancy Pelosi talks about upholding freedom of religion, the next she says people who exercise their freedom of speech to protest construction of a Mosque near Ground Zero should be investigated. This issue is not about religious freedom, it’s about what’s right and what’s wrong. There is no need for an investigation -- the Mosque is overwhelmingly opposed by the majority of people in the state, and throughout the country. Most importantly, it is opposed by the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives on 9/11.
Senator Dean Skelos (R- Rockville Centre) and Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg (D-Long Beach) announced today that $596,902 in state funds has been released to fund a pollution study of the Western Bays of Long Island.
Senator Skelos and Assemblyman Weisenberg secured money from the Environmental Protection Fund’s Open Space Account. The money will pay for a Total Maximum Daily Load Study of the Western Bay Quality Monitoring System. The study will be conducted by SUNY Stony Brook.
You may be entitled to some of the over $10.5 billion in unclaimed funds in New York State. A simple internet search is all it takes to see if you are eligible. To see if there are unclaimed funds in your name click on the "Search Now" button below:
Legislation Could Not Have Passed Without Republican Votes
Senate Republicans today unanimously supported legislation to enact a property tax cap, leading the way for its passage despite a lack of support from a quarter of the members of the Senate Democratic Conference.
Today, Senate Democrats finished voting on a budget that raises taxes by nearly $4 billion when fully implemented, including approval of new income taxes, business taxes and reinstatement of the sales tax on clothing. It continues a disturbing trend that began when Democrats took control of the Senate last year and raised taxes by more than $10 billion, including elimination of the STAR rebate check and enactment of the MTA payroll tax.
Over the last two years, Democrats have raised taxes on the average New York family by $5500.
I said last week, after the extraordinary session that was called by the Governor, that Senate Republicans were prepared to vote in favor of several bills but were never given the opportunity to do so.
We support the property tax cap bill, the Power for Jobs extension, the elimination of the State sales tax on low-sulfur heating fuel and the Governor’s proposed budget contingency plan dealing with federal FMAP assistance. Those bills are before us again today and we should take them up without further delay.
The special session was a complete and total waste of taxpayer dollars, but it didn’t have to be that way. The Democrats that control the agenda in the Senate and Assembly missed an opportunity to complete some important unfinished business.
Senate Republicans would have unanimously voted in favor of several of the Governor’s bills that he sent up for consideration at the special session, but were not taken up by either house.
By taking credit for staying alive in Race to the Top Two, Senate Democrats – aka ‘the Enemies of Reform,’ are hoping taxpayers will forget how their failure to support important education reforms cost us $830 million in Round One.
Joining 18 other states as finalists for more federal aid is good news, but it won’t overshadow the facts that taxes and spending will be going up even more, school property tax bills are being prepared without a state budget in place, and the budget will soon be the latest in history.
The whole budget process has been a failure of leadership by the Governor, Senator Sampson and Speaker Silver. They had no problem passing bills to increase spending, but now they are going home without passing a bill to pay for it. This is Democrat-controlled government at its worst. This disastrous budget was negotiated by the Democrats behind closed doors, they refused to negotiate in public or in a bipartisan manner, they passed it in piecemeal fashion and now they are leaving without finishing the job.
From creating the historic STAR and Enhanced STAR programs, to enacting property tax rebate legislation, the Senate Republican Majority has consistently led the fight to provide hardworking families with property tax relief.