Response to Gov. Paterson’s State-of-the-State Address

Press Contact:
Steve Mangione
914-403-4072 (cellular)
518-455-3395 (at this number Jan. 6th)

“The action of the Senate Democratic Majority in recent months – for example, addressing issues in a bipartisan way, creating green jobs, controlling spending and preserving important resources for education – has demonstrated our commitment to the state’s 19.5 million residents.

“The way to restore the faith, trust and confidence referenced by the Governor is by the state’s chief executive and the legislature working together urgently and expeditiously on an agenda that focuses on job creation, tax cuts and the protection of civil, human and workers’ rights.

“In the weeks ahead, we must place our focus on providing long-deferred legislative protections for farm workers and domestic workers, and enact a historic and unprecedented rent assistance program that would provide direct and immediate aid to nearly a half-million families of rent-stabilized apartments in the form of a rent freeze on those with incomes of $45,000 or less whose rent exceeds one-third of their income.

This would provide government assistance to the people who need it most – those hit hardest by the economic crisis that have lost homes and seen their incomes shrink. This rent assistance program would not require new taxes or burden state coffers, but rather would be funded by landlords under a J-51 buy-back initiative.

“We must support efforts to invest in small minority and women owned businesses, and in developing economies in upstate New York because these all will play a vital role in revitalizing the state economy.”