State Senator Marty Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) has today issued the following opinion piece on the state of affairs of the New York State Senate.
Earlier this year the Senate Democrats took control of the State Senate for the first time in over 40 years. They touted this takeover as reform.
The Democrats in the State Senate promised to change the way government worked in Albany. They promised to protect New Yorkers and open up the legislative process so that the people could be an active part of their government. Things did change but they got worse. They got much worse.
This year alone, the Senate Democrats spent your tax dollars with frightening speed and reckless abandon. Look at the facts. With two hours notice, the Senate Democratic Conference voted and passed a budget scheme that was hatched by Governor Paterson, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith.
These three leaders worked to craft the largest and worst budget in New York State history and handed you and your family a record tax bill. They spent your tax dollars like it was nobody’s business, and at the same time, they chopped funding for our elderly and our kids, and made a mockery of their promises of reform.
Then they started voting on other measures that would waste your hard earned tax dollars, and eliminate jobs in our community. The Democrats lied to you and imperiled your future and the well being and safety of your family. Here are some highlights of what the Senate Democrats did to all of us.
They voted for:
• The elimination of your STAR Rebate Checks;
• $8 billion increase in taxes and fees to pay for $12 Billion additional spending in the State Budget;
• A 34 cent for every $100 of payroll that hits every business, government, church and charity in our area;
• The Drug Dealer Protection Act that allows for the sealing of conviction records for every drug dealer so that schools, nursing homes and business cannot find out about their past; and
• Opened the door for billions of dollars in welfare fraud by stripping out provisions such as finger imaging designed to protect taxpayer funds while ensuring those who need a helping hand get it.
The State Senate Democrats were destroying New York and everything we have worked for to build this great Empire State which we all call home. New York State was being driven over the cliff and someone needed to pull the emergency brake.
Someone had to say enough is enough. Someone had to stand up for you and your family. That is why I joined the Bi-Partisan Reform Coalition.
This coalition put in place real reforms designed to open government to the people, while ensuring that more voices were heard other than just the few elite.
Some of the reforms I supported include:
• All Committee Chairs and Ranking members will be term-limited to 8 years;
• All Bills will have the name of the Senator who is sponsoring it;
• Debate on bills that spend tax dollars can go on as long as needed;
• Bills can be considered if a majority of members agree to consider it;
• In order to meet the needs of constituents, larger Senate Districts can have satellite offices; and
• All members receive the same base allocation for funding.
I have been honored to serve you as your State Senator since 2003. Together, we improved the quality of life in our community. When the economic times were difficult we pulled together, and tightened our belts. When our economy was strong, we worked to make our schools some of the best in the nation, and our streets safe.
We have achieved so much together and made a real difference in the lives of our families and neighbors. We deserve better than to have our dream of a brighter future stolen by Governor Paterson, Speaker Silver, and Senator Smith.