Legislative Priorities for 2018 Session

A Legislative Column by Assemblyman David DiPietro (R,C,I-East Aurora)
January 5, 2018

January is a month for gaining a renewed sense of purpose, something we direly need in our state government in this upcoming legislative session. Albanyís downstate leadership is increasingly interfering in New Yorkersí lives, even dictating how their businesses are run. From a stifling commercial climate to the unconstitutional SAFE Act, there is a lot we need to fix in order for state policy to reflect our upstate values.

The fight to repeal the SAFE Act is alive and well! We as American citizens have the right to bear arms and have repeatedly had that right enshrined by law and upheld by our nationís highest court. Any action that a state government takes to infringe upon that right is an affront to both our natural inalienable rights and the Constitution.

For those who enjoy hunting, itís both part of our local tradition and a method some choose to help feed their families. To our gamesmen who master the art of gunmanship in sport, and especially those who want to have peace of mind and defend their homes and loved ones, our Second Amendment rights are a central tenet of our values and must be enshrined as such.

Iím a small business owner and I know firsthand the trials our areaís job creators face. Exorbitantly high property taxes, high energy costs and burdensome regulations and fees prevent our small businesses from thriving and employing more of their neighbors. It has become so bad that New York State is ranked second for the least friendly business tax climate in the country in a recent report by the Tax Foundation.

After speaking with and listening to many other business owners throughout the area, I began my fight for the Small Business Full Employment Act. This legislation would ease the tax burden on small businesses and create more opportunities for employment and growth by allowing New York businesses to compete in the modern global market. Programs like this one get the state out of the way and allow businesses to function as their owners see fit.

We opt into many non-essential programs that bloat our Medicaid budget and create both administrative and payment problems, which are, naturally, forced on hardworking families, small businesses and family farms. This burden is due to a program ripe for corruption where the majority of that spending is doled out downstate. We need to streamline our Medicaid system to work for our local families, not cause undue hardship while benefits are focused elsewhere.

With hard work, dedication and effective bi-partisan efforts, we will turn New York into the state you deserve it to be. We can only do it together.