Comprehensive proposals to restart our local economies, rethink how state operates, and renew commitment to residents
As the legislative session is set to begin this week, Senate Republican Leader Robert Ortt and members of the Republican conference on Tuesday unveiled a comprehensive vision to “Reset New York.”
The plan includes several components to address mounting economic and fiscal challenges facing the state – many of which, they said, were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic – and “to help forge a better path forward for all New Yorkers.”
Ortt said, “Under New York’s one-party control, we have seen a dramatic and unwelcome shift in our state’s priorities. Democrats displayed no interest in rebuilding our local economy, lessening the financial burden on our middle class, or stemming the ever-increasing outflow of New York residents fleeing our state. They sought to release dangerous criminals into our communities, undermine our law enforcement, and waste millions of dollars on progressive agenda items. The COVID-19 pandemic has only highlighted the need for immediate action on the unresolved challenges facing our small business community and New York’s hardworking taxpayers.”
The Senate Republicans’ plan includes proposals that prioritize restarting local economies, rethinking how New York operates, and renewing a commitment to the state’s residents to ensure strong, robust communities.
•Restart our Local Economies by:
√ Safely reopening small businesses to help them get back on their feet and offer gainful employment for residents;
√ Helping schools and colleges stay open; and
√ Investing in physical and human infrastructure to rebuild the state’s competitiveness.
•Rethink how New York State Operates by:
√ Ending New York state’s unaffordability problem, which has been made worse by the pandemic;
√ Taking on state government’s culture of overspending and restoring fiscal responsibility; and
√ Reasserting the Legislature’s constitutional authority as an equal branch of government.
•Renew our Commitment to Residents by:
√ Fostering the growth of vibrant local communities;
√ Developing a robust economy with diverse opportunities; and
√ Creating safer neighborhoods with common-sense public safety measures.
“New York government is failing its people. Broken policies have made New York more expensive, less safe and have diminished the quality of life for our residents. We need to change course before it is too late,” said Deputy Leader Andrew Lanza.
State Sen. Fred Akshar said, “Throughout this pandemic, there seems to have been little interest from New York’s one-party leadership in stepping up and taking an active legislative role in constructively combating the pandemic by putting our communities’ safety and livelihoods at the forefront of legislative policy. I’m proud to join my colleagues in offering actual solutions to help us rise to meet the challenges ahead. I call on my colleagues across the political spectrum to join us as we work toward ending this terrible crisis and rebuilding our state for the better.”
State Sen. George M. Borrello said, “While New York state once stood tall in our nation as a pillar of economic strength, educational excellence and public policy innovation, its leadership today is more dubious. High taxes; excessive, job-killing regulations; and a rising crime rate have made us No. 1 in population loss, and a misguided focus on politically driven agendas has diverted precious resources away from our core responsibilities. With the added challenges created by the pandemic, the future of our state hangs in the balance. If there was ever a compelling case to rethink and change course, this is it.”
State Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan said, “Long before the COVID-19 pandemic turned our world upside down, New York faced daunting challenges, including a looming budget deficit and a shrinking population. The coronavirus has exacerbated our problems, adding to the financial burden we face and bringing our economy and many small businesses to the brink. As we fight the pandemic, we must also safely reopen our economy, control spending, ease the burden on taxpayers and restore our system of checks and balances in state government.”
State Sen. Joseph Griffo said, “We have seen an exodus of New York residents, families and businesses who have fled the state for better opportunities elsewhere because of unwelcome policies, burdensome regulations and high taxes. Substantive and dramatic change is needed, especially at a time when the state’s fiscal challenges have been significantly exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. This plan refocuses the state’s priorities and helps to build a better and brighter future for New York.”
State Sen. Pam Helming said, “Together we can restore New York to its rightful status as the Empire State. To accomplish this, we must work with our small business owners, farmers and other job creators. My focus is on getting New York open for business and helping people get back to work safely. This common-sense package would help the communities I represent and put our state on the road to real economic recovery and future prosperity.”
State Sen. Daphne Jordan said, “Overcoming the unprecedented, ongoing health, economic and community challenges posed by COVID-19 requires big, bold solutions. We need to rethink the state’s approach to solving problems, successfully restart our economy, and renew our commitment to residents and each other. Partisan politics and a bureaucratic Albany trapped in the old ways of doing things won’t work. What will work is advancing smarter public policies that recognize the breadth and depth of our challenges and the necessity of fresh thinking that goes beyond party labels. It’s time for our state to hit the reset button, and it begins with the priorities and principles we are unveiling today. Our ‘Reset New York’ state plan reflects our continued efforts to bring New Yorkers together and improve the quality of life across our state. We are ready to answer the challenges of COVID and deliver the positive change New Yorkers expect and rightfully deserve.”
State Sen. Michael Martucci said, “Between July 2019 and July 2020, New York state led the nation in at least one thing: people moving out. The pandemic only accelerated a trend that was already in place. High taxes and an unfriendly business climate are the real culprits. Our small businesses need help and our state needs a new direction. We already know what works from other states that are growing and not shrinking. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel, instead we need a reset. Senate Republicans have a plan to do just that and I'm proud to support it.”
State Sen. Mario Mattera said, “As our state begins to emerge from the current crisis, it is vital that we start immediately working together to make our state’s future brighter than the past. The ‘Reset New York’ plan reflects the priorities of hardworking New Yorkers and I am proud to join with my colleagues in the Senate Republican conference to make sure their voices are heard in Albany. The challenges our state faces are not new but the solutions must be – and finding them must be our main focus.”
State Sen. Tom O’Mara said, “I look forward throughout this new legislative session to our Senate Republican conference giving voice to the need for rebuilding local economies, focusing on stronger and safer communities, and resisting what threatens to be a devastating expansion of a business-as-usual, tax-and-spend direction in state government. This ‘Reset New York’ strategy begins our commitment to more fiscally responsible, commonsense government that works better for taxpayers, builds and protects livelihoods, honors public safety and security, and focuses like never before on the restoration of upstate’s rightful place in New York government.”
State Sen. Peter Oberacker said, “New York is facing true challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic is one reason for our struggles, but wayward state policies that fail to meet the needs of our small businesses, families and taxpayers are the real culprit. There is no margin for error and the time is now to change course by enacting the ‘Reset New York’ agenda. Specifically, broadband access, support for our farmers, and a strong educational system are among the initial building blocks that can set us on the right path. Let’s enact policies that create opportunities, not those that confine us.”
State Sen. Anthony Palumbo said, “Long Island’s families, businesses and seniors are hurting and need greater support and relief from state government, both in the immediate term to help get through the pandemic and in the future to ensure that New York is a more affordable and safer place to call home. ‘Reset New York’ will put us on a trajectory to accomplish these goals and begin to reverse the trends of higher taxes, burdensome regulations, and more crime that has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee the Empire State.”
State Sen. Ed Rath said, “New York is in desperate need of a reset. The pandemic has highlighted and exasperated the issues that our state has faced for decades. We continue to lose residents and jobs, with our high taxes and over-regulations. Our communities are suffering. Small businesses, restaurants and family farms are struggling to stay afloat. We need to provide real answers and solutions to help our local economies and save our struggling communities. We can no longer ignore these glaring issues. New Yorkers need results now.”
State Sen. Patty Ritchie said, “In recent years, people have been fleeing New York state due to high taxes, a lack of opportunity, and red tape that hinders business growth. The pandemic has only made matters worse and, now more than ever, our state needs a reset. From reenergizing our small businesses to making New York more affordable for hardworking taxpayers, my colleagues and I are committed to fighting for changes that will improve our state in the wake of this unprecedented pandemic.”
State Sen. Sue Serino said, “Despite the unprecedented challenges that our communities are facing, New Yorkers have remained resilient and, now more than ever, they need a government determined to deliver results. If we want to rebuild our state, we have to start by resetting the state's priorities and ensuring that the needs of hardworking, law-abiding New Yorkers are firmly at the top. I am proud to join with my colleagues to reaffirm our commitment to that goal and to do all that we can to ensure that small businesses, middle-class families, and struggling New Yorkers have a strong, independent voice on their side.”
State Sen. Dan Stec said, “There’s only one way forward and that’s to enable our businesses and communities, big and small, to have the best possible chance to recover. When the need for help is apparent, too often the response of government is to throw an anvil instead of a life-preserver into the water. We can’t make this harder with higher taxes and more unreasonable demands. Our vision must show that we are listening. That’s what this is about.”
State Sen. Jim Tedisco said, “As we begin a new year and new legislative session, our top priority must continue to be addressing the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic so we can stop the spread of the virus, save lives and safely reopen our economy. In order to ‘Reset New York’ state by safely restarting our economy, we need to address the elephant in the room that our state government is not talking about: The fact that, for the third year in a row, New York leads the nation in outmigration of residents, with 126,000 people leaving last year and over one million in the past decade. When enough people who can afford to leave New York state are gone, who will be left to pay for the infrastructure, health care, schools and other necessities? I look forward to joining with Leader Ortt and my colleagues in the Senate Republican conference in the coming weeks and months to address these issues and put forth policies to turn things around so the Empire State does not become the ‘Empty State.’ ”
State Sen. Alexis Weik said, “I look forward to joining my Senate Republican conference colleagues in advancing our ambitious ‘Reset New York’ plan today. As we all work toward opening our state and local communities safely from the COVID-19 pandemic, our focus must be on the economy, which starts with advancing policies that support small businesses, which are the backbones of our communities; jobs, public safety, improving our local infrastructure, and ensuring our schools get their fair share. One-party control has pushed those priorities to the side and, with our ‘Reset New York’ plan, our conference will ensure that the voices of our constituents are heard.”