McLAUGHLIN: AN ABYSMAL END TO SESSION
Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C,I-Melrose) today expressed disappointment in the end of the 2013 legislative session. McLaughlin noted that issues such as creating jobs, cutting taxes, reducing spending and fighting corruption were largely absent in the closing days of session, something McLaughlin attributes to Governor Cuomo’s desire to pass a politically motivated, last minute end-of-session agenda. With nearly 800,000 unemployed New Yorkers still looking for work, McLaughlin noted this session was another missed opportunity to put people back to work.
“I am deeply disappointed in our state’s leadership,” said McLaughlin. “Most of upstate New York has fallen on hard times, and we had the opportunity to come together to enact true tax, business and regulatory relief and bring our state back to prosperity. Sadly, Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders were more focused on politically-motivated schemes such as Start Up NY, which picks winners and losers and will ultimately pit neighbor against neighbor.
“We also had the opportunity to alleviate the financial pressure on our local municipalities by enacting true mandate relief. I proposed legislation, Assembly Bill 5001 and Assembly Bill 4581, which would relieve the crippling burden of unfunded mandates, but the Assembly Majority refused to let these bills be voted on and let New Yorkers know who stands with them and who stands against them.
“One positive outcome during the closing of legislative session is that after weeks of hard work by me and my colleagues, the funding that was originally cut from the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) will be fully restored in the amount of $90 million. Although the money should never have been cut in the first place, I was pleased to see my colleagues work together to do the right thing for those who are among our most vulnerable.
“A productive end of session would have meant cutting taxes for all New Yorkers, creating real private sector jobs by reducing tax and regulatory burdens on businesses, and a vote of no confidence for Speaker Sheldon Silver who has repeatedly covered up multiple instances of sexual abuse by his members and staff through the use of taxpayer-funded confidential settlements with abuse victims. If the state legislature was ever going to tackle the issue of corruption, the removal of Sheldon Silver as speaker would be step one.”
Assemblyman McLaughlin represents the 107th district, which consists of parts of Rensselaer, Columbia and Washington counties. For more information, please visit Assemblyman McLaughlin’s official website.