Albany, NY— Members of the New York State Senate Republican Conference today put up for vote a series of good government and tax relief proposals, including reimbursing counties for early voting, stripping legislator pay for campaigning on legislative days, removing corporate money from campaigns, and permanently capping property taxes and state spending at two percent.
But Democrats voted against the taxpayers’ interests.
“Senate Republicans believe in responsible governing and that means not burdening localities with unfunded mandates, not campaigning during the busiest time of the state legislative calendar while collecting a check from taxpayers and most of all keeping promises to New Yorkers to enact the Republican authored plan to permanently cap property taxes and state spending at two percent. On Day Two, we already saw that the only members committed to those promises are Republicans,” said Senator Cathy Young (R, C, I - 57th District), ranking member of the Elections Committee.
PLEDGE OR NO PAY
Earlier today, Republicans circulated a pledge to every elected Senator to commit perfect attendance to the legislative session even if they are faced with a primary challenge that could now land during the peak times of the legislative calendar. Consolidating the federal and state primaries in June means petitioning begins right as the budget process commences and the primary coincides with the end of session. Republicans had passed in previous sessions a consolidation for an August primary that met federal criteria, was closer to the September primary most New Yorkers were familiar with; and did not interfere with the state legislative calendar.
Today, as a result of the Democrats desire for June consolidation, Republicans proposed stripping legislators of pay if they were to miss these crucial days of the legislative session for any reason other than sickness or emergency.
Democrats voted it down.
Localities will also will be strapped with an unfunded mandate for early voting, a measure to give voters extra days prior to an election to cast a vote. What’s more, political scientists and researchers cannot validate that early voting leads to more participation, and studies indicate that convenience voting might actually lead to a decline in voting.
Democrats voted against reimbursing counties for the costs associated with keeping polling places open to conduct early, in-person voting.
PROPERTY TAX CAP & SPENDING TAX CAP
Longtime priorities for the Republican Conference, permanently capping property taxes at two percent and capping state spending at two percent would reduce the burden taxpayers face across the state. This is especially important while considering legislation that continues to impose spending across the state.
Democrats rejected permanently capping the property tax at two percent and reigning in state spending.
Republicans proposed reforming the state’s campaign finance system by modeling New York’s rules on the Congressional standard which prohibits direct contributions from corporations, limited liability companies and unions.
Democrats voted against purging corporate cash from campaigns.