A Re-Cap of NY's Legislative Session
The NYS Senate and Assembly just completed the 2021 Legislative Session. Ensuring our communities could make a strong recovery from the coronavirus pandemic was a major objective. My office also prioritized legislation to control the cost of government, help our businesses succeed, ensure public safety and protect the rights of law-abiding citizens.
While progress was made in several areas, some efforts fell short, leaving more work to be done. Here is an update on some of the most significant actions:
We helped secure several meaningful victories, including pushing back against the Governor’s mask-on-toddlers mandate, putting an end to the food and curfew mandates on restaurants and advocating for financial assistance for small businesses and non-profits impacted by COVID-19. We also preserved an income tax cut for middle class residents and increased funding for public schools and support programs for veterans.
It is important to continue our effort to ensure our state government operates in a transparent fashion, especially when officials take actions that harm our communities. I called for an independent investigation into the Governor’s nursing home policies and cover-up of thousands of senior deaths. I have also repeatedly urged the Legislature to fully repeal the Governor’s expanded emergency powers and end the state of emergency that allows him to continue making unilateral decisions.
As a former State Trooper and Sheriff of Erie County, public safety remains one of my priorities. In the past year, we have seen a disturbing spike in violent crime. This year, my office sponsored three major legislative packages to address the issue and hold those who commit crime accountable. One discourages efforts to defund the police, while also toughening penalties for those who assault police officers or falsely accuse officers of wrongdoing. The second provides new protections for victims of violent crime and increases judicial discretion on bail. The third is a series of bills to enhance public safety, empower crime victims, and make it more difficult for violent felons to be released from prison.
Finally, my office is committed to advancing an agenda that strengthens our economy and cultivates a better quality of life for all our residents. We sponsor and will continue to pursue a comprehensive plan to fix our state’s unemployment system and help struggling New Yorkers make it through the pandemic and beyond. We also support a plan to assist our restaurant and hospitality industry to ensure these essential businesses stay open and keep people employed.
Although these important measures did not become law this year, my office remains committed to fighting for common sense policies that help grow our region and make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.
I remain deeply honored to serve the residents of the 59th District and to be your representative in Albany.