Encouraged by Cuomo’s pledge to not raise taxes, promote business growth
ALBANY – Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I-Olean) said she was encouraged by Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address’ focus on restoring the Upstate economy by concentrating on job growth, workforce training, no new taxes, infrastructure investment and incentives for business.
“Not raising taxes or fees is critical to making our state more competitive so more jobs can be created. We need to get people back to work, create good-paying jobs to sustain our families, and have career opportunities for our young people so they can stay after they graduate,” she said.
“Workforce training would be a real plus to our manufacturers. They need skilled workers in order to compete in the global economy,” she said.
Senator Young said the emphasis on the wine and grape industry, agriculture and food-related business, and tourism will be beneficial to her region.
“These enterprises pump money into our local economy and provide jobs. It is good that the Governor specifically paid attention to revitalizing Upstate during the first part of his speech. It shows that he shares that priority with me,” Senator Young said.
Senator Young said that education is another key element, and it will be interesting to hear the Governor’s specifics regarding education reforms he is proposing, including lengthening the school day and year.
“It is good that he singled out helping high needs districts such as the ones I represent. We need to invest in our children so they receive the quality of education that they need and deserve,” Senator Young said.
Senator Young also agreed that the state must crack down on illegal guns, but at the same time, the state needs to protect law-abiding, responsible gun owners. Last year, nearly 90 percent of guns used in crimes in New York City, and 70 percent of guns used in crimes statewide were illegal guns that came from out of state.
“We need tougher penalties for gun crimes, and gang violence must be addressed. We also must protect our first responders as they answer fire or other emergency calls. The tragedy in Webster when two first responders were murdered on Christmas Eve is horrific, and we need to address that type of violence,” she said.
“The root cause of these horrible tragedies is untreated severe mental illness. For example, the Webster killer, William Spengler, beat his own grandmother to death with a hammer many years ago, and spent 17 years in state prison. While incarcerated, he spent time in a special unit for mentally ill prisoners. Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering has said that mental illness was a factor in Spengler’s actions,” Senator Young said.
“When someone is a danger to themselves or others, we should get them the assisted outpatient treatment that they desperately need. We have had shootings, subway pushing, stabbings and other acts of violence around the state in the past few months. Strengthening Kendra’s Law, named after Fredonia native Kendra Webdale, who was pushed in front of a New York City subway train in 1999 by a man with untreated schizophrenia, would save victims from violence while helping those who need treatment,” she said.
“My Senate Conference has been negotiating with the Governor and Assembly to make Kendra’s Law stronger, and I believe we have a great deal of momentum to get my bill passed,” Senator Young said.
Senator Young said that the Governor covered a multitude of topics in his address, and she will be carefully reviewing the details as they emerge.
“Much of the information will be presented in a couple of weeks when the Governor’s budget proposal is released. My goal is to build on the successes we have had over the past few years by enacting meaningful tax relief, passing on-time budgets, and reducing the cost of government,” she said.