January: Too Far Away

September 12, 2005

The state Legislature is not due back in Albany until January, but there are too many issues of importance to New York residents to wait that long. The Senate has plans to call for a special session before the year ends, but there is no word from the Assembly majority.

Many issues left unresolved at the end of the 2005 session must be acted on before the new year. My Assembly minority colleagues and I are ready and willing to return and work diligently to resolve them.

Suspending the state sales tax on gasoline is the most time-sensitive issue facing New York. We’ve seen gas prices raise drastically in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. There is legislation, of which I am a co-sponsor, calling for the temporary suspension of the gas tax through March 31, 2006.

Civil confinement, a cornerstone of the Assembly minority agenda and an issue I have been adamantly lobbying for, has been continually ignored and passed over by Assembly majority. Our children, who depend on us as parents, grandparents and guardians, are much too important for this legislation not to be passed.

Workers’ compensation reform is yet another issue that has been ignored by the Assembly majority, yet is absolutely vital to the revitalization of New York as a business powerhouse. By reforming workers’ compensation, we can make it easier for businesses to move into and expand in New York, thus creating better, high-quality jobs.

Education funding has been on the Legislature’s plate for too long. We managed to go through yet another session without coming to any conclusion on this matter. It is not an option of whether there will be school funding increases; the courts have decided that already. Unfortunately the meetings between the governor and leaders from the state’s houses have come to no avail. I believe we, as the entire Legislature, can solve this issue once and for all – but not if we don’t meet.

There are too many issues that are being delayed and will be affected if the Legislature does not take action before 2005 ends. Join me in calling on the Assembly majority conference, led by Speaker Sheldon Silver, to call a special session so we can do our jobs, so that we can make a better New York.