ALBANY - Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I-Olean) has been appointed to two leadership posts as Chair of the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources, and Chair of Senate Standing Committee on Housing by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.
"Senator Young's experience leading the Senate Agriculture Committee, the rural nature of her district, and her life-long commitment to helping people in upstate communities make her the perfect choice to chair the Commission on Rural Resources. She will be able to focus even more attention on the issues that affect people's everyday lives upstate," Senator Skelos said.
"She's perfect to lead the charge on housing issues, too. Owning your own home is supposed to be the American dream, but because of high property taxes, it has become a nightmare for too many homeowners. Senator Young truly understands the problems faced by young people trying to save up for their first house, families struggling to pay the mortgage and senior citizens worrying about whether they can afford to stay in their homes. I'm confident she will do a great job as Housing Chair to address these issues," he said.
Senator Young said that her new assignments will keep her busy.
"I'm honored to take on the challenge of two major roles, instead of just one. Generally, Senators just get a single chairmanship," Senator Young said.
"Both of these leadership assignments will reap positive benefits for my district. The Rural Resources Commission has a broad policy focus on all of the priorities that are crucial for the revitalization of upstate. It concentrates on economic growth and job creation, tax relief, agriculture, transportation, technology infrastructure, education and higher education, health and human services, and local government,” she said.
"I've always fought for upstate. Unfortunately, it's easy for New York City-controlled politicians to ignore the needs of the rural regions of our state. The anti-upstate agenda was in full force over the past two years because downstate controlled both houses of the legislature and the governor's office. We saw bad policies that drove up taxes and spending, and hurt our economy. The Rural Resources Commission is designed to help turn our state around," she said.
Also, housing issues are extremely important to the region, especially since the housing stock is some of the oldest in the nation, and property tax relief is a top priority.
"Housing issues are a hot topic right now. Already, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver inappropriately is attempting to tie the property tax cap to stricter rent regulations for New York City. The property tax cap should stand on its own and not be linked to anything else. Property tax relief should not be held hostage," she said.
Senator Young has several legislative committee assignments in addition to her chairmanships. She recently was named to the Finance Committee, but also will undertake duties on the Agriculture, Transportation, Health, Environmental Conservation, Insurance, and Children and Families committees.
Senator Young said the legislative session will be challenging but she is optimistic that progress will be made.
“Revitalizing the economy must be made the number one priority in Albany. We have to work aggressively to reduce taxes and fees, cut spending, and reduce the size of government, and most of all, we must help businesses create new private sector jobs. If we can accomplish those goals, we will restore people’s faith in government and get New York headed in the right direction,” Senator Young said.