The Senate and Assembly both reconvened yesterday, marking the start of the 2013-14 legislative session. Later in the day, we attended Governor Andrew Cuomo’s annual State of the State Address.
I again look forward to the opportunity to make progress on issues important to my constituents. Serving the 45th District, which now comprises the counties of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Warren, most of Washington and six towns in St. Lawrence, is a wonderful privilege.
Over the past two years, substantial progress was made on numerous issues. We passed two early budgets and cut taxes -- choosing fiscal responsibility over fiscal gimmicks. Income tax rates on middle class New Yorkers were lowered, a property tax levy cap instituted, mandate relief enacted and the DNA databank expanded to better solve and prosecute crimes.
Much more needs to be done and there are many challenges to overcome.
I expect this year’s priority to be strengthening the economy and improving our business climate with the goal of job creation. Because revenues remain weak and the full financial impact of Sandy is still unknown, I anticipate another fiscally austere state budget.
I hope to see a continuation of the bipartisan and constructive dialogue between both houses of the Legislature and the governor. We have a lot of complex issues to deal with and, given our political and geographic diversity, differences can only be resolved if lawmakers are willing to accommodate other points of view.
As the 2013 Legislative Session now moves forward, I will be doing my best to represent you and our communities.