Senator Jack M. Martins returned to his alma mater on Thursday as he spoke to the Chaminade High School Social Studies Club. Senator Martins discussed the issues with about 250 members of the club in the auditorium as he continued his tour of schools in the 7th Senate District.
Senator Martins spoke about the fiscal problems facing New York State and how they affect local communities in the 7th Senate District. The Senator told the students of the $10 billion shortfall in the state’s budget and Governor Cuomo’s proposed cuts to close it. Senator Martins said he will be fighting to make sure the cuts will not be falling disproportionately on schools in the 7th Senate District.
In a difficult financial time, Senator Martins also spoke about the need to stand up for Long Island. “Let’s protect our suburban quality of life. We have a right to live in our suburban communities,” he said.
Senator Martins also discussed the 2 percent tax cap that was proposed by the Governor and passed by the Senate. The cap would be imposed on school districts and local governments. The boards of local governments can override the cap with a “supermajority” vote (2/3’s of the governing board of the entity) or, in the case of school districts, if the budget is approved by a margin of 60 percent or more when the school budgets are voted on each May.
Senator Martins also spoke about the importance of the state living within its means during tough fiscal times. While the Governor has proposed cuts in state aid funding to schools, Senator Martins wants to take a hard look at mandate relief so that certain costs aren’t passed on from the state to the school districts and ultimately to the taxpayers.
The Chaminade students then had an opportunity to ask questions of Senator Martins. “It is important to visit the schools and keep our students interested in what is going on in state government,” he said.
Brother Lawrence Syriac, supervisor of the Chaminade Social Studies Club, invites guest speakers to meet with the club and was happy to have Senator Martins come back to Chaminade. “We just want to keep the kids interested in politics,” he said.