Assemblyman Jones: Governorís State of the State priorities good starting point

January 3, 2018

ďWith a new year comes a renewed commitment to the families and businesses here in the North Country. Weíre off to a good start. The governor announced his legislative priorities during his State of the State address today, and Iím looking forward to seeing the specific details once his proposals are finalized and presented to the Legislature.

ďAs the next legislative session kicks off, Iíll continue to be a fierce advocate for the North Country and ensure that our needs are taken seriously in Albany. This includes fully funding our schools so that our students are prepared for a bright future. Further, Iíll work to ensure that the governor upholds his promise to give every New Yorker access to high-speed internet. Itís unacceptable that many communities in the Adirondacks still lack this vital utility that allows people to do everything from communicate with family to pay bills and connect businesses with customers. Without broadband, our economy is a step behind.

ďLast year, I passed legislation to establish a rural health council. We can build on that success by providing more funding to rural hospitals, which are facing massive cuts by the federal government, because all New Yorkers deserve access to proper medical care.

ďWhile itís important that we adequately fund vital programs like these, itís important that we donít place an unfair burden on our low-income and middle-class families, especially homeowners who have been weighed down by high property taxes for far too long. Iíll fight to increase transparency so you know where your hard-earned money is going.

ďTo that end, itís critical that we institute meaningful ethics reform. We took a big step forward last year by voting to strip corrupt officials of their taxpayer-funded pensions. This year, Iíll work to clean up our elections and remove dark money from campaigns by closing the LLC loophole and requiring the people and groups behind online political ads are disclosed. Elected officials work on behalf of the public, and Iíll keep pushing to limit outside income and make sure your representatives are accountable to the people who put them in office.

ďFinally, I will continue to be a strong advocate for my brothers and sisters in our state correctional facilities. The misconduct and irresponsibility of some should not affect the jobs of our fellow correctional officers. I have fought to keep our facilities in the past and will do so again, with a stronger voice in Albany as one of the few member of the legislature who has worked side by side with correction officers.

ďIím looking forward to a productive legislative session in 2018. Iíll be the advocate North Country families need and deserve.Ē