Syracuse, NY - Senator Rachel May (SD-53) announces her committee assignments and the first of her legislative priorities for the 2019 session.
Senator May is Chair of the Aging Committee and the Commission on Rural Resources, and a member of the Cultural Affairs, Environmental Conservation, Elections, Higher Education, and Agricultural committees.
Senator May’s legislative priorities include:
Democracy Reform -- New York State has some of the most restrictive voting laws in the country. The Senate has already passed several necessary measures to make voting easier this session, including early voting, consolidating primary days, and pre-registration for 16 and 17 year olds. We must ensure that funds in the budget for implementation of these programs are available to local governments. In addition, the LLC loophole -- essentially allowing unlimited donations from individuals -- was closed. More must be done, including implementing a small donor matching system and ensuring those on parole have the right to vote.
Education -- Public school funding is inadequate to guarantee the sound education required by the New York State Constitution. This year’s budget must provide adequate foundation aid that will allow students in Central New York to thrive.
Economic Development and Job Growth - In the latter half of 2018, we saw moderate job growth in Syracuse and Central New York. It is vital to continue to build on this success. The recent Syracuse Surge plan provides a framework to do so in Syracuse and across the region. At the state level, we can focus on investments in technology -- with a special focus on sustainable energy production -- that will help capitalize on our region’s higher education institutions and proximity to business centers. By working for universal broadband access in rural and urban areas, as well as boosting our water and road infrastructure, we will give businesses the tools they need to thrive. Finally, by selecting the community grid option to replace the I-81 viaduct, we can capitalize on the resurgence in Syracuse, spurring new development as highway removal has in other cities like Rochester.
Housing -- There are pervasive housing needs not being met in Central New York. We have a dearth of stable, affordable, quality housing in both urban and rural areas. We can take legislative steps to help expand housing choice and make conditions better for tenants, including requiring landlords to show cause when evicting tenants and opening more choice for Housing Voucher recipients.
Environmental Conservation & Climate Change -- We must continue to make New York a leader on conserving our environment and combating climate change. We must pass legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions while providing support to communities most likely to be impacted by the negative effects of climate change. We must also continue to protect our water supply from algal blooms and other contaminants.
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