Senator Bonacic Reaction to State of State Address

John J. Bonacic

January 09, 2013

Governor Cuomo has laid out a clear vision for the Legislature to consider.  New Yorkers want to ensure our government enacts policies that encourage private sector job growth; and that our government functions in a bi-partisan, responsible way.   

I am pleased the Governor has highlighted destination casino gaming, which is a key part of potential economic growth in our region.  I am sponsoring the Governor’s proposed Constitutional Amendment on casino gaming.  I look forward to seeing this long sought after form of entertainment finally happen in the Catskills. 

Like the Governor, I personally have no need to see a casino located in New York City and would prefer a total of two in Sullivan and Ulster Counties.  Ultimately though, I want no ‘poison pills’ in the casino legislation.  I am supportive of the rights of local communities to enact and amend zoning laws to permit or prohibit gaming.  I will work to ensure that one of the first three casinos, if not two, are in the Catskills. 

I am also supportive of the Governor’s call for better promotion of agriculture and was interested to hear of his support for whitewater sports in the Adirondacks.  I look forward to suggesting to him that he include Port Jervis and the Upper Delaware River in that initiative.   

The Governor’s ideas for students are positive.  Opportunities for more education are key to growing the future of New York.   The more time in the classroom with quality teachers, the better our students will be. 

Clearly the Governor has put forward a social agenda befitting the Cuomo name.  I am hopeful he can show that his proposal on minimum wage, when combined with promises to reduce workers compensation and unemployment costs, can ultimately lower the cost of doing business in New York.    

Lastly, I appreciate the Governor’s recognition of a need to better prepare for weather related disasters.  While ‘Superstorm Sandy’ is the storm on everyone’s mind, and was devastating in terms of both lives lost and property destroyed, our communities in the Hudson Valley and Catskills have far too much experience with disasters, for all the wrong reasons.  I look forward to ensuring any changes in our disaster preparedness policies and laws serve to benefit small and mid-sized communities, as well as New York City.