Statement from Senator Patty Ritchie

Patty Ritchie

January 05, 2022

As 2022 begins, New York State continues to face very serious challenges. In recent years, a devastating combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and one-party rule has resulted in economic suffering, a severe decline in public safety and people fleeing our state in unprecedented numbers for better opportunities elsewhere.

In today’s “State of the State” address, Governor Hochul laid out her plans for addressing these issues. She highlighted the need for prioritizing initiatives to provide tax relief, speed up economic growth, create good-paying jobs and secure public safety—all of which are areas I believe our state government should be laser focused on in the months to come.

As the pandemic continues, these efforts to help our state rebound are more critical than ever. I look forward to learning more about the Governor’s proposals, including her plans to form a commission of regional leaders and economic development experts tasked with developing a plan for re-purposing the state’s shuttered prisons. I am hopeful this group can examine other abandoned state facilities as well, namely the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center.

One of the most pressing issues our state faces is public safety. In her remarks, the Governor talked about New Yorkers who say they no longer feel safe here and discussed the need to address the uptick in crime. Unfortunately though, the Governor ignored the elephant in the room—and that’s the fact that radical bail reform laws that put the rights of criminals over the safety of law abiding New Yorkers are to blame for the increased crime we are seeing.

If New York State wants to truly remain the “Empire State,” we need to make real, meaningful changes that get it back on track. We need to reverse reforms that are making people less safe. We need to make it easier for businesses to succeed, instead of crushing them with ever-changing mandates and red tape. In addition, we need to create a more affordable state that puts hardworking New Yorkers first.

As the 2022 Legislative Session gets underway, I look forward to examining the details of the Governor’s proposals and working hard alongside my partners in state government to overcome the tremendous challenges we face today, and will face in the future.