Statement From State Senator Patty Ritchie

Our state is facing very serious challenges when it comes to affordability and outward migration. Young families are leaving upstate in droves. Moreover, the tourism-based economies from Buffalo to Massena are being battered by unprecedented flooding that is destroying homes, crippling small businesses, and damaging shoreline infrastructure. 

However, instead of using the last few days of session ensuring New York State becomes a better place for both small businesses and taxpayers, this legislature has used this limited time focusing on providing those who are in our country illegally with driver licenses.

I have continually opposed this measure for a number of reasons—namely because it opens New York State up to security risks, will increase the likelihood of voter fraud and will saddle local governments with another unfunded mandate, as most DMV offices will need to hire new staff to handle the influx of requests for licenses.

Obtaining a driver license is not a right—it’s a privilege reserved for law-abiding New Yorkers. Simply put, anyone who is in our country illegally is breaking the law and they should not be rewarded for doing so.