"Governor Pataki’s focus on tax cuts, especially property tax cuts, was a welcome part of the State of the State address. Our families and senior citizens are suffocating under an overwhelming tax burden, and eliminating the marriage penalty tax, giving a $500 heating fuel tax credit, and cutting the income tax rate are top priorities.
"People are suffering because of monstrous property taxes, and the Governor announced his commitment to enhancing the STAR school property tax relief program and giving rebate checks directly to homeowners. It is a great first step, and mirrors part of the Senate’s property tax cut package. We will be working with Governor Pataki to embrace our plan to give county property taxpayers relief, too.
"As Senate Agriculture Chairperson, I was enthused to hear the governor outline major steps to reduce our dependency on foreign oil to help consumers with their heating bills and at the gasoline pumps by manufacturing more ethanol and bio-fuels from farm products.
"He also spoke about increased education aid to our high needs school districts, which would be a wonderful prescription to help give our children the best education possible while alleviating pressure on our property taxpayers in our rural schools.
"The Governor also spoke of the urgency of taking immediate action to protect our children from sexual predators. Right now, there are 5,000 sexually violent criminals awaiting release from state prisons. Unless legislation is passed quickly, they will be out on the streets and in neighborhoods, likely to victimize others. We must toughen penalties and make Megan’s Law stronger."