N.Y.’s deepening Upstate-Downstate divide

Senator Daphne Jordan

Originally published in Saratogian

The “tale of two New York’s” continues seeing more chapters written as our Upstate-Downstate divide further deepens, driven by the Downstate Democrat’s extreme, radical agenda.

During the 2019 legislative session, we saw Downstate Democrats ram through bad bill after bad bill whose one – and only – goal was appeasing their New York City political base.

Senate Democratic agenda: An unmitigated disaster for Upstate

The Senate Democratic agenda – and one-party domination of state government – has been an unmitigated disaster for Upstate. Consider the following of what Senate Democrats “delivered” as part of their regressive agenda:

• $1.4 billion in new taxes this year, including new taxes on internet purchases, shopping bags, prescription drugs, and energy;

• $27 million (paid for by law-abiding, hard-working taxpayers) to give free college tuition to the children of illegal immigrants;

• Driver’s licenses (and soon voting privileges) and free legal services for illegal immigrants;

• Capped STAR benefits, which will slowly erode the value of the STAR exemption, and failed to extend Property Tax Relief Checks, a terrible decision that will cost the average taxpayer $416, and the average senior $601; and

• “No-Criminal-Left-Behind” policies that include the release of cop killers and radical terrorists from prison, shorter prison terms to help illegal immigrants who commit crimes avoid deportation, allowing felons to serve on juries, and giving the contact information of crime victims and witnesses to criminal defendants.

From license plates to milk crates: Downstate Democrats miss the mark

Further evidence of the growing divide between Upstate and Downstate isn’t confined to the recent legislative session. Governor Cuomo recently pushed – and has seemingly backed off – his terrible plan forcing motorists to pay $25 for new license plates. The firestorm of righteous anger from taxpayers – the majority of it emanating from Upstate – forced the Governor to back down.

However, Downstate Democrats have moved on from license plates to milk crates, as the New York City Department of Education is reportedly pushing a ban of chocolate milk from city schools. Talk about out-of-touch! Will banning fruit-flavored yogurt be next?

Besides being delicious, chocolate milk is nutritious, containing healthy protein, calcium, and vitamins that growing bones and bodies need. In fact, as noted by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, flavored milk has all of the major nutrients found in unflavored milk – calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, protein, riboflavin, niacin and vitamins A, B12 and D – and contributes only three percent of added sugars in the diets of children 2-18 years. As a mom, I know too many children and teenagers – including my own – who would have avoided drinking milk at all if there was no chocolate milk.

Banning chocolate milk from schools would be another blow to Upstate’s family dairy farms that are struggling under the weight of new government regulations imposed by Senate Democrats.

On issue after issue, Downstate Democratic priorities are hurting Upstate, driving the deepening divide that New York faces. The Empire State must get back to basics – cutting taxes and job-killing regulations, working with job creators to grow our economy and develop our workforce, ending the taxpayer-financed giveaways to illegal immigrants, standing with law enforcement and restoring respect for the rule of law. These common-sense policies can help bridge the growing divide and restore a more affordable New York.

Odds N’ Ends

Don’t forget: the 27th annual Golden Gathering (a free health and wellness fair for senior citizens) takes place Saturday, October 5, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson. You’re invited to this free community event that I’m sponsoring with Columbia County Clerk Holly Tanner.

If you have or know of an upcoming non-profit, charitable, or community event, let me know. My office will share the event information via district-wide e-mails and on social media. E-mail your event information (event title, day, date, time, location, purpose) to my office at jordan@nysenate.gov so we can help publicize your event. You can also subscribe to my “Weekly Wrap,” a weekly e-mail summarizing many of my official government activities, by e-mailing me at jordan@nysenate.gov and putting “Weekly Wrap” in the subject line.

Contact and connect with me

If I can ever help, call me at (518) 371-2751, e-mail me at jordan@nysenate.gov, visit my Senate webpage at jordan.nysenate.gov, or stop by my district office located at 1580 Columbia Turnpike, Building 2, Suite 1, Castleton-On-The-Hudson, NY 12033. You can also connect with me on Facebook (Senator Daphne Jordan), Instagram (Senator_Jordan) and Twitter (NY Senator Jordan).

NYS Senator Daphne Jordan serves as the Ranking Minority Member on the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee and represents the 43rd Senate District that includes parts of Rensselaer, Saratoga and Washington counties and all of Columbia County.