LYONS As we move into 2020, Assemblyman Brian Mantelow (R-C-I-Ref. 130-Lyons) wants to keep his constituents updated on some of the new proposals that Governor Cuomo is looking at for his State of the State address January 8 in Albany.
1. Developing a strategy to build high-speed rail in New York.
The idea sounds great and I would consider examining it, but before it becomes a reality, we have to first take a hard look at other issues regarding infrastructure. Nearly every New York community is dealing with crumbling roads, bridges or water and sewer lines. State highways that run through our towns and villages are in disrepair. We all drive to work; our children are bused daily for school and our emergency vehicles rely on good roads and bridges to respond to calls. We depend on state dollars, referred to as CHIPS, for our local projects. That money must continue to be included in the state budget. And, the state has to maintain its own roads, which are pitted and chipped in many places in my district. This is far more important than high speed rail for Upstate. It would be an extremely expensive undertaking and there are simply other things we have to do first. Also, without a stop in the Finger Lakes, there would be little benefit to this region.
2. Banning single-use food containers and the sale of Styrofoam packing peanuts.
I absolutely support taking care of our environment, but instead of putting an all-out ban in place, lets ask some of our state businesses and colleges to come up first with some affordable alternatives to replace these containers. If we move forward with an all-out ban now, we will be putting our local business again at another disadvantage to compete with surrounding states. I have already been contacted by several non-profits as well as our local fire departments that all do take-out fundraisers like chicken barbecues and fish fries. And what will our local restaurants do? Many times we have leftovers that we take home for a second meal. Sometimes what sounds like a good idea in Albany doesnt take into consideration the impact on small enterprise.
3. Mandating automatic manual recounts of all close elections in the state.
If we are going to mandate this on our local election offices the state should fund this and not put it on the backs of the local taxpayers. This would be another unfunded mandate that is just crippling our small local governments. I would also want to see the specifics of this proposal and what designates close. I would not support this until we get answers on these questions.
I will continue to look at all of the new proposals coming out of Albany in the weeks and months to come, Assemblyman Manktelow said. Thank you again for allowing me to be your Assemblyman and representing you.