McLAUGHLIN: PORK SPENDING WEIGHS DOWN ENACTED BUDGET, TAXPAYERS SHOULDER BURDEN

          Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C,I-Schaghticoke) today commented on the lack of transparency and accountability in this year’s budget process amid reports that grant funding is to be provided to dubious organizations. $505,000 in grant funding is set to be paid to a questionable Brooklyn-based mental health organization. McLaughlin said messages of necessity eliminate accountability and legislators’ ability to read legislation before it comes before the house for a vote.  Eight out of 11 budget bills were passed using messages of necessity and delivered to members only minutes before voting commenced.

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McLAUGHLIN: START-UP NY ANOTHER TAXPAYER-FUNDED GAME OF CRONYISM

          Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C,I-Schaghticoke) today said that Gov. Cuomo’s Start-Up NY program rewards only the politically connected and fails to create jobs, grow New York’s economy, or provide the large-scale small business tax relief that New York desperately needs. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) released a report ranking New York dead last among states in terms of economic outlook. The report also highlighted New York’s sustained lackluster economy due to “its high taxes and poor business climate.” The report listed New York as having the worst domestic migration in the nation; a statistic corroborated by other reports. 

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McLAUGHLIN: COMMON CORE TESTING IS NOT MANDATORY, OPT OUT TO SEND BUREACRATS A MESSAGE

          Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C,I-Schaghticoke) today informed his constituents that the Common Core tests that begin next week are not mandatory and parents should know their children have the option to refuse testing. McLaughlin criticized Gov. Cuomo and the state’s implementation of the Common Core Standards and said this year’s budget process was an insult to parents and students and did nothing to alleviate the burden of Common Core. 

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McLAUGHLIN: EDUCATION BUDGET BILL SHAMEFUL, DETRIMENTAL TO TEACHERS AND STUDENTS

          “The education budget bill crafted by Gov. Cuomo and each house’s majority does nothing but leave our teachers at the mercy of the same state bureaucrats who crammed Common Core down our children’s throats. We have no idea how teacher evaluations will be weighted and we have alienated and abused one of our state’s greatest assets; good teachers. How is it that the state knows more about education policy than our teachers, students and parents? It is reprehensible that we are hanging the careers of teachers and the success of students on the same incompetent ideologues that forced Common Core into our classrooms.

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McLAUGHLIN: MIDDLE-CLASS NEW YORK IS STRUGGLING; BOAT OF DREAMS IS NOT THE ANSWER

          “New York taxpayers are struggling to find work, retain their homes and send their children to college, yet we provide a tax credit to make yachts cheaper for the richest New Yorkers. Instead, we choose to tax the recreational middle-class boater that just wants to have fun with his family. It is estimated that around 65,000 boats were destroyed in Hurricane Sandy. They were not yachts but recreational boats used by New York’s families. The governor has this backward. The tax exemption should’ve been on boats up to $230,000. Instead, he chose to reward billionaires and exempt all taxes on boats above $230,000.”

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McLAUGHLIN: SCHOOLS, STUDENTS DESERVE SURPLUS FUNDING MOST

          Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C,I-Schaghticoke) today said that the state’s $610 million surplus, obtained through a recent bank settlement, should be used to restore the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) education cuts. McLaughlin emphasized that the Legislature has refused to fully restore these cuts in the years since they were enacted and this year’s budget restores only a fraction of the amount currently owed to our school districts. 

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McLAUGHLIN INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO INCREASE TRANSPARENCY, HOLD GOV.'S OFFICE ACCOUNTABLE

          Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C,I-Schaghticoke) announced today that he has introduced legislation, Assembly Bill 6119, that will require all government agencies, the Legislature and Judiciary to retain electronic mail for seven years. McLaughlin introduced the legislation as a result of Gov. Cuomo’s policy of deleting emails after an arbitrary 90 days and said that eliminating information can be a way to cover up government corruption or abuse of taxpayer money. 

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McLAUGHLIN: ASSEMBLY DEMS FINALLY ADDRESS WOMEN'S EQUALITY, LEFT WOMEN AT RISK FOR YEARS

          Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C,I-Schaghticoke) today claimed victory as one bill, of which he is a co-sponsor, in the omnibus Women’s Equality Act (WEA) was passed by the Assembly. McLaughlin said it is unfortunate that New York’s women were left vulnerable for three years while Assembly Democrats used passage of the entire 10-bill package, which included a controversial late term abortion provision, for political gain. 

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McLAUGHLIN: ASSEMBLY ONE-HOUSE BUDGET INSULTING TO SCHOOLS AND UPSTATE NEW YORK

          “The Assembly’s one-house budget does little to correct the glaring inefficiency in our ethics rules here in Albany,” said McLaughlin. “The Assembly Democrats chose to almost completely reject Gov. Cuomo’s comprehensive ethics package. Sadly, the ‘Reform Caucus’ failed to take action when it really mattered. My unwavering stance on ethics reform will not change, and I believe it is one of the most important accomplishments we can pursue during this budget cycle. Common-sense legislation, such as stripping state pensions from corrupt politicians and requiring the preservation of government emails for more than 90 days, will reap positive benefits and prevent abuses such as those committed by disgraced Assembly member Sheldon Silver. However, as important as ethics reform is, it is not a budget item.  It is unacceptable for Gov. Cuomo to threaten to hold up the state budget over this issue.” 

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McLAUGHLIN: GLARING HYPOCRISY AND COWARDICE AS ASSEMBLY DEMS VOTE DOWN PRO-TRANSPARENCY REFORMS

          “Today the Assembly had a chance to pass 17 different rules reforms that would have lifted the shroud of secrecy and corruption that have surrounded the house for years. Unfortunately, Assembly Democrats chose to ignore the state-wide call for transparency, openness and accountability that has been growing for years.  The so called ‘Reform Caucus’ that pledged to clean up Albany’s murky and besmirched political culture is filled with the same members who, today, voted down the reforms they once promised to uphold.  Their hypocrisy is stunning and speaks to the all talk, no action ways of Assembly Democrats and the scare tactics of their leadership.”

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Steve McLaughlin for Assembly