STATEMENT FROM SENATOR PATRICK M. GALLIVAN
Governor Cuomo presented his State of the State Address, as the 2020 Legislative Session got underway in Albany this week. While the governor outlined a number of proposals, which the Legislature must examine in more detail over the next several months, I am concerned about several items that the governor spent little or no time discussing.
The state faces a massive $6.2 billion deficit, but the governor offered few ideas for dealing with the shortfall. I agree that we must examine how New York delivers Medicaid services and why our costs are the highest in the nation, but it is also imperative that we close this gap without adding to the tax burden hard working residents already face.
The governor ignored the growing concern over recent changes to our criminal justice system, including a so-called bail reform law, which eliminates cash bail and pre-trial detention for most offenders. It is clear that the changes go too far and that the new law must be amended to ensure the safety of our citizens.
The governor’s address also failed to mention the ongoing loss of perhaps our greatest resource, our people. More people left New York than any other state in the nation last year. We must create new opportunities and make New York more affordable for families if we hope to reverse the exodus.
I am equally concerned about the governor’s call for new gun legislation, which may infringe on the Second Amendment rights of citizens, and the legalization of recreational marijuana, which may have a negative impact on public health and safety.
Meanwhile, there are several proposals outlined by the governor, which I support, including making it easier for rape victims to prosecute their attackers, preventing sexual predators from using social media to exploit children, providing tax credits to small businesses and expanding job training and workforce development programs.
I look forward to working with my colleagues in the weeks and months ahead to tackle the many challenges we face and to implement policies that will improve the lives of all New Yorkers.