In the aftermath of Election Day and moving forward to the start of a new session of the State Legislature in January, it remains clear that the issues of affordability, accountability, and public safety remain high priorities for many citizens.
Of course, numerous statewide polls over the past several months – and, in fact, throughout the past few years – have consistently shown that New Yorkers, by wide margins, believe that New York State is headed in the wrong direction on key issues.
It’s the reason our Senate Republican conference started this year and continues to stand behind a legislative agenda driven by a straightforward message: Rescue New York.
And now is a good time to remind everyone of where things stand and, in my view, where we need to be headed.
Where things stand is that New York State faces an affordability crisis causing the exodus of thousands upon thousands of citizens to more affordable states. That’s deeply concerning. Unfortunately, far too many of this state’s current leaders show no interest in addressing what many see as the root causes of New York’s decline: out-of-control government spending, too many handouts, sky high taxes and equally high costs, burdensome regulations and mandates, rising crime and violence, and a “no consequences” approach to law and order that is more pro-criminal than ever before.
Consequently, our conference keeps up the drumbeat for a Rescue New York strategy — recognizing that if we don’t speak up for these priorities, put them on the table, and talk about them every chance we get, they will never become a part of the public discussion that must take place, in every corner of this state, moving forward.
We need to raise a comprehensive set of goals to rebuild, revitalize, and strengthen local and state economies, focus on the financial burdens facing middle-class families and small business owners, and restore public safety and security as one of state government’s highest responsibilities.
It remains our strong belief that we can only Rescue New York by restoring the right priorities. That means focusing on fiscal responsibility and accountability for all taxpayers. It means focusing on New York’s local economies. It means addressing rising crime and combating a pervasive and disturbing sense of lawlessness that’s touching all of our lives.
Albany Democrats cannot be given a free ride to keep heading in a direction that most New Yorkers clearly don’t want to go. This state’s future has been put on high alert. As I have said repeatedly over the past few years, the Albany Democrat direction for New York is not working. It won’t work. It can’t work.
Among Rescue New York’s overriding goals are the following:
- A better quality of life for all New Yorkers by restoring public safety and security as a top priority
- Making New York more affordable by cutting the state’s highest-in-the-nation tax burden and one of the country’s heaviest burdens of debt
- Putting a stop to out-of-control government spending that has defined the current era of New York government and threatens to make the nation’s highest population loss even worse;
- Rethinking a process to rapidly implement radical energy mandates that ignore feasibility, reliability, and affordability;
- Transforming the state-local partnership by making good on a promise made over a decade ago to address the outrageous practice of unfunded state mandates;
- Refusing to take any further actions that risk the future of New York’s family farms;
- Addressing a migrant crisis that threatens to overwhelm state resources and services;
- Honestly and transparently reassessing New York’s COVID response, including its failures and shortcomings, especially within the state’s nursing homes; and
- Combating an exploding fentanyl crisis.
It’s worth repeating that New Yorkers across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, and statewide, are worried about making ends meet. On top of that, they see this state becoming less safe, less affordable, less free, less economically competitive, less responsible, and far less hopeful for the future.
Senator Tom O’Mara represents New York’s 58th District which covers all of Chemung, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga and Yates counties, and a portion of Allegany County