This is a new year and a new administration and it brings a great deal of excitement about what we can accomplish together.
We are facing major challenges -- the concerns families talk about at their kitchen tables are the challenges we must address in the halls of the State Capitol.
Senate Republicans are up for the challenge -- we will be leading the effort to improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers.
Our job in the Senate is to deliver real results on issues that matter - property tax relief, education, health care, job creation and government reform.
We will not be guided by politics or partisanship -- we will be guided by a clear vision for what we know is important to the people of this State and a plan of action to achieve that vision.
The Senate will fight to provide relief from high taxes and we will oppose tax increases.
We’ve already unveiled a property tax relief plan that will provide $2.6 billion in property tax relief this year and $3.4 billion in 2008.
Our plan would triple the size of property tax rebate checks, give voters greater input on property tax rates, and establish a Commission to make reforms to help reduce property taxes.
We will invest in education and give schools and teachers the resources they need to provide a first-class education for our children.
We will make new investments to create new jobs.
We will protect people’s access to quality health care.
And the Senate will work for reforms to make government more open and accountable -- including our plan to clearly line out every dollar of spending in the State budget by the Governor, Legislature, Judiciary and every State agency and authority -- to increase openness and transparency in State spending.
Governor Spitzer has advocated for many ideas and reforms that I have also fought for and I look forward to working with him to bring new hope and opportunity to New York State.