Statement on Governor Cuomo's State of the State

“I agree with the Governor that while we face some of the most challenging fiscal and policy issues in our state’s history, based on our accomplishments over the years by working together as a cohesive legislative body, we can be successful in addressing these issues.”

SEXUAL HARASSMENT – I believe electeds should be held to a higher standard and be prohibited from using public funds to resolve harassment claims.

HOMELESSNESS – While improved outreach is critical to addressing the homeless crisis, locally we need a more detailed short- and long-term plan, which includes affordable housing, innovative dwelling ideas, improved services and elimination of the use of hotel rooms.

ETHICS/PUBLIC TRUST – Since I have removed myself from the practice of law ever since I was elected to the City Council in 2001, I believe being an elected official should be an individual’s primary occupation and would support a banning of outside income.

OFF-SHORE WIND PROJECTS – I believe our state is lagging behind other states when it comes to clean energy initiatives. I support off-shore wind projects, similar to the one progressing off the Rockaway beaches.

OPIOID/DRUG OVERDOSE EPIDEMIC - While the Governor’s strategy of targeting large corporations who cause the drugs to enter our communities could help address the issue, I also believe improved resources for law enforcement, expanded credible educational and community based programs and feasible proper disposal of unwanted drugs are some additional means that must be considered.

ELECTION PROCESS INTEGRITY – Our state should update its election process with improved access to the polls, early voting, an efficient public financing of campaigns, while taking measures to protect the integrity and security of election procedures.

TERRORISM – As the Ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs, I feel the state needs to increase its efforts to improve training and update equipment utilized in its efforts to guard against terrorism.  Locally, working with other agencies and entities to protect highly populated areas, such as our airports, must be a priority.

SUBWAY SYSTEM – With our subway system in need of immediate improvement, any details in a funding plan must be examined to ensure that it actually goes towards directly improving our city’s transportation infrastructure, while not over-burdening or negatively affecting another aspect of our city.

FEDERAL CUTS TO NYS – I intend to work towards ensuring my constituents that their health care will be protected from the negative effects of federal cuts either through our state budget or legislatively. I agree with the Governor’s aggressive measures to safeguard our state from diminished health care coverage or increases in tax payments.

BUDGET – While the details of the problematic budget will be revealed over the coming weeks, I was pleased to hear the Governor will seek to protect the basic issues that matter to my constituents most, such as education, health care, transportation and job growth.