Statement From Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb On The End Of The 2018 Legislative Session
“The 2018 Legislative Session may be a memory, but it was anything but memorable. Our work in Albany ended with a whimper, with important issues left on the table and virtually no action on measures that actually help the people of New York.
Gov. Cuomo and the Assembly Majority had every opportunity to change the state’s unsustainable cost of living, improve the punishing business climate, ease our crushing property taxes, make immediate upgrades to failing infrastructure, reduce cumbersome mandates on localities and enact overdue reforms to clean up corruption. None of those things happened.
In a year where parolees received pardons, prisoners will get iPads and a cop-killer was set free, legislation honoring the victims of tragic crimes failed to move in the Assembly.
‘Brittany’s Law’ creates a registry of violent felony offenders and is named for 12-year-old Brittany Passalacqua, who along with her mother Helen Buchel, was murdered in 2009. Their killer, John Edward Brown, was on parole following his incarceration for violently assaulting his infant daughter in 2003. Had Helen been able to access information about Brown’s violent past, this tragedy could have been avoided. Brittany’s Law has passed the Senate eight times with widespread, bipartisan support, but has yet to move in the Assembly.
Despite passing the Senate overwhelmingly ‘Angelica’s Law,’ a proposal to make driving with five or more license suspensions a felony, was not considered by the Assembly Transportation Committee. Angelica’s Law, is named after Angelica Nappi, a 14-year-old from Long Island who was tragically killed by a driver with seven license suspensions.
Most egregiously, the Assembly Majority blocked efforts to reform wasteful, corrupted and failing economic development programs. With billions of taxpayer dollars at stake, calls for change came from the state comptroller, good-government groups and the public. Reforms passed the Senate with nearly unanimous, bipartisan support. But the Assembly Majority sat on its hands. Their disgraceful inaction allows the governor’s pet programs to go unchecked and unchanged.
At the end of the day, Albany dysfunction hindered meaningful progress for everyday New Yorkers. The governor has been running for president, and the Assembly has been running in place. As legislators continue their important work in their home districts, the Assembly Minority Conference will continue to stand up for the hardworking men and women we represent.”