Column by Senator Bill Larkin

The 2012 legislative session shows New York is on track for a better tomorrow.

Following 2 years of runaway debt and dysfunction, our state government needed an overhaul. To put an end to the chaos, New Yorkers voted in a Republican led Senate and the results have been unmistakable.

We trimmed the fat off of Albany’s bloated budgets, eliminating more than $13 billion in deficits. We shrank the ballooning government bureaucracy by consolidating agencies. And we enacted common sense reforms to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

The success goes beyond just reigning in spending. The real victory is that not only was this done without raising taxes, it was done by cutting them.

In these challenging economic times, every dollar counts to families. So to keep more money in New Yorker’s pockets, we enacted $3.3 billion in new tax cuts and brought middle class tax rates to their lowest levels in 58 years. To help companies to hire workers we rolled back the job-killing MTA Payroll Tax for over 290,000 small businesses and more than 400,000 self- employed entrepreneurs. And, to provide thousands of jobs to rebuild our infrastructure, we developed the  ‘NY Works’ program.

While jobs and the economy were our number one priority, Republicans still were able to enact dozens of other landmark pieces of legislation. We created the College Affordability Plan to help students with the high costs of education. We expanded the state’s DNA databank, strengthened domestic violence laws and cracked down on child pornography to keep our families safe. And we created I-STOP to help fight against the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse.

Two years ago New York faced a number of challenges and we knew our constituents not only expected, but desperately needed solutions. So my colleagues and I partnered with the Governor to get New York back on track. With a  common sense approach and bi-partisan effort, we have been able to deliver real results and dramatically improve the outlook of the Empire State.

While work remains and new challenges are sure to arise, New Yorkers can be confident that they have a government that is efficient, productive and responsive to their needs.