Happy New Year!
My wife and I did some traveling for the holidays. Our destination was the same as the year before – and many years before that. One thing had changed, however. We didn’t agree on how to get there.
Governing is a lot like a road trip. All participants share a common destination, but the disagreements are always about what exact route to take.
State legislators and the governor, regardless of political affiliation, all want to help New York attract good-paying jobs and grow our economy. We also want to invest in our children and keep spending in check while maintaining services.
This week, Governor Cuomo will unveil his roadmap in a State of the State address. As always, I’m looking forward to hearing his plan.
My colleagues in the Senate Majority and I have recently suggested a course of our own. Here are some highlights:
- Spending cap: Your family sticks to a budget; so should ours. We can save $11 billion in the next 4 years by limiting state spending growth to 2 percent.
- Property tax cap: Residents have saved about $1.26 billion in school taxes since the cap was first enacted. Let’s make it permanent.
Job creators are telling us: Stop taxing and regulating us to death. We’re listening and responding.
- Simply the tax structure: Instead of picking winners and losers by creating lots of new credits, let’s create a system that lowers tax rates on all businesses.
- End double taxation: Work toward total elimination of the Corporate Franchise Tax.
FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS & SCHOOLS
- Unfunded mandates drive up spending and lead to higher taxes. Let’s end them.
- Improving the workplace: Women work as hard as men. And when they do the same work, they ought to receive the same pay. They shouldn’t be subject to sexual harassment – and they shouldn’t be punished for having a child.
- Safety: I’ve supported strengthening orders of protection, preventing housing discrimination against victims of domestic violence and making the distribution of “revenge porn” a felony.
We’ll be coming together with our Assembly colleagues and the governor over the next few months to find commonality between our roadmap and theirs. It’s my hope that by working together – instead of fighting – we can keep New York on the path to prosperity.
That’s a route we all want to take.