As a full-time State Senator who is dedicated to serving my Brooklyn constituents, I am working to forge a bi-partisan agreement that will enable the Senate to resume our business, legislative business – to continue doing the people’s work – as a unifi ed bi-partisan body.
My Democratic colleagues and I are fi rmly committed to bi-partisan governing. We desire to fulfi ll our oath of offi ce, in service to the people whom we have pledged to represent.
At this time, the Senate Conference is split: 31-31, which necessitates shared decision-making and compromise by both Republicans and Democrats if we are to be accountable to the citizens of our state. Senate Democrats have proposed real, fair and immediate bi-partisan action to end the gridlock Republicans brought to Albany and to get done the critical work New Yorkers demand. Our bi-partisan plan is based on what was done in eight other states, as well as the U.S. Senate, when they faced similarly divided governments.
Our attempts to end the gridlock and get back to legislative business have been rejected. This cannot and must not continue.
I am committed to staying in Albany for as long as it takes to address the issues that matter most to the people I represent and to all New Yorkers. This must include making the legislative process transparent and accountable to all citizens.
As Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Children and Families, I urge that action be taken to enact legislation that would:
• Guarantee parents a meaningful role in the schools their children attend;
• Help hard-working parents and pay for child care;
• Direct resources for community-based services for troubled youth;
• Make sure that grandparents have the resources they need to care for their kin;
• Protect individuals’ rights to make private reproductive decisions; and
• Approve marriage equality.
Beyond this and of equal importance, Senate action is needed on critical legislation to extend and reform laws that will soon expire,
including campaign fi nance reform and legislation necessary to draw down federal stimulus funds. It is also incumbent on lawmakers to propose a realistic and sustainable funding source for the MTA through an open, transparent process with citizen input.
I want us to get back to work. We must get back to work. We must get back to doing the people’s work.