Democratic Leader Malcolm A. Smith Calls On Albany Lawmakers To Pass Key Legislation Affecting All New Yorkers

Malcolm A. Smith

July 25, 2007

State Senate Democratic Leader Malcolm A. Smith (D-St. Albans) today urged lawmakers to pass seven critical pieces of legislation, noting that congestion pricing is just one of several important issues Albany lawmakers need to act upon during Thursday's scheduled Special Session.

"Congestion pricing has gotten a lot of attention recently, and there is no question that New York City needs a plan to reduce traffic and slow the rate of emissions polluting our air," Smith said. "However, congestion pricing is just one of many proposals on the table for improving quality of life for New Yorkers. We have the needs of an entire state to consider on Thursday."

"It is time to act," Smith said, on Paid Family Leave, Wick's Law reform, the Healthy Schools Act, Campaign Finance Reform, and a bill to limit children's exposure to violent video games. Smith added that legislation to spur upstate economic development and expedite Brownfields cleanup and redevelopment needed to be passed as well.

Paid Family Leave and Wick's Law reform have already passed the Assembly, Smith noted.

Last week, Smith and other elected leaders announced breakthrough agreements on congestion pricing and campaign finance reform, two issues that had been the subject of heated debate in recent months. While the Legislature plans to reconvene on Thursday, with congestion pricing drawing the most attention, Smith said Albany legislators should not lose sight of what matters.

"Here we have an unprecedented opportunity to show New Yorkers that we can overcome our political differences to remove the pinch of high taxes on everyday New Yorkers, tighten campaign finance laws and protect our children and families," Smith said.

"These are core issues that cross party lines and need to be addressed," Smith said. "There is no reason for inaction and no reason why we can't come to an agreement at Thursday's Special Session to pass this legislation that will improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers."