Statement from Senator George Borrello on the End of the Legislative Session

Senator Borrello in the Senate Chamber

“Another session has concluded and with it, the hope that this would be the year when those in power would finally tackle the problems New Yorkers care about most. 

If my Democratic colleagues read the same public surveys that I do, then they’ve seen that approximately  60 percent of New Yorkers believe the state is on the wrong track, and that their top concerns  are the cost of living in New York State, the migrant influx and crime.  However, judging by the bills and priorities they pushed again this year, it is clear that Albany Democrats aren’t letting New Yorkers’ top concerns influence their agenda.  

Here is a yardstick of their ‘progress’: 

  • Due to New York’s sanctuary policies, over 200,000 migrants have flooded into the state in the past two years, creating enormous logistical strains, a $4.3 billion burden on taxpayers, and increased pressure on city services. One city official this week reported that they have more migrants in their DHS system than New Yorkers. My Republican colleagues and I have urged state leaders to rescind sanctuary policies to stop the influx. We’ve also pushed for Laken’s Law to allow law enforcement to cooperate with ICE on migrants who’ve committed crimes. The response to both proposals has been silence and inaction. 
  • Five years into their failed experiment, the toll of Democrats’ disastrous bail reform and other criminal justice changes continues to mount. In just a six-week period earlier this year, four police officers were killed and two others gravely wounded by suspects they apprehended. The National Guard was called in to patrol the dangerous subways, and NYC assault rates are at record levels. Robberies, shoplifting, and DWI offenses have surged to decades-high levels. The governor’s tough talk on retail theft amounted to a meager measure to create a low-level penalty for assaulting a retail worker. Numerous Republican proposals to reverse bail reform, combat antisemitism, and increase penalties for shoplifting, gun crimes, and DWI were ignored. 
  • Unaffordability and our highest-in-the-nation taxes continue to make New York State the number one state for outmigration. The fuel for higher taxes is excessive spending and that trend continued. The $237 billion state budget spends $8 billion more than last year, is twice the size of Florida’s budget and represents the second highest per capita spending plan in the nation. While Texas and Florida post double-digit budget surpluses and tax cuts through prudent spending and strong economic growth, New York State’s debt continues to rise and its productive, taxpaying residents and businesses continue to leave.  
  • Efforts to meet the reckless goals of the state’s Climate Agenda are driving us towards less reliable and more expensive energy sources. Thanks to our vocal opposition, the HEAT ACT was removed from consideration this year, preserving our natural gas access, keeping energy costs down and saving jobs.  

However, the Packaging Reduction and Recycling Act is another extreme mandate that would impose costly and unworkable burdens on manufacturers without making any measurable impact on the environment. The mandated packaging reduction will result in manufacturers pulling their popular products out of stores in New York, leaving consumers without the option to purchase many of their favorite brands and grocery store staples. Other manufacturers will be forced to pass their added costs onto already inflation-strapped consumers. Either way, consumers lose, a fact which has become the defining feature of all of the left’s climate proposals. The truth is that banning things like cool whip containers won’t save the planet, it will only appease the radical left. BUT, it hasn’t yet passed the Assembly, so I urge them to protect New Yorkers from this terrible bill and let it die. 

Ultimately, the session concluded without the legislature’s majorities taking any steps towards addressing New York’s most serious problems and making it a place where people want to live, rather than leave. 

Democrats will have to answer for that when they return home. 

They will have to explain to their constituents why crime in the streets and subways isn’t improving and why their pharmacies are still locking up toothpaste and soap but allowing criminals to remain free. 

They will have to answer for why their tax bill and their energy costs are three or four times higher than those of their friends and family members who live in other states. 

They will have to answer for why our state continues to invite those who have violated our nation’s immigration laws to come to New York to access taxpayer-provided housing, food, healthcare, education and legal services, and why we shield them from federal authorities, even when they have committed crimes. 

I remain hopeful that the concerns and common sense of my Democratic colleagues’ constituents will finally prevail over the demands of the progressive activists who have run Albany’s agenda for the past six years. In the meantime, my advocacy for the hardworking, law-abiding people in our region will continue.”