I fully support our Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Second Amendment. Law abiding citizens have the right to keep and bear arms.
The Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees every American the right to bear arms and has been upheld for well over 200 years. In a most notable case, District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court held that the "Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home."
The so-called “SAFE” Act, signed into law by Andrew Cuomo in January 2013, was a knee-jerk reaction to the shooting in Newtown, CT, a month earlier. This flawed legislation was rushed through the Legislature using procedures usually reserved for “emergency” legislation even though no identifiable emergency existed; only the zeal of downstate activists to further trample on our rights. This law made many semi-automatic firearms, legally owned and safely used by hundreds of thousands of law-abiding citizens, illegal. A majority of Upstate New Yorkers, including myself, opposed this law to no avail.
If elected to the State Assembly, I will push for the repeal of Cuomo’s so-called “SAFE” Act.
The Bail “Reform” legislation passed in 2019 is a threat to public safety and was passed over the objections of every law enforcement official in Oneida and Herkimer Counties. This law took away the discretion given to judges to set the terms of release for a person charged with a crime by prohibiting the judge from imposing bail for many dangerous crimes, including stalking.
As predicted, crime rates increased in New York, and the option to impose bail for certain crimes such as Sex Trafficking & Money Laundering in Support of Terrorism will be reinstated effective July 1, 2020. Who would think that excluding such crimes from a potential cash bail requirement was a good idea in the first place? The answer is simple, the ultra-liberal downstate Democrats who dominate New York State Government. We need Upstate representation that is willing to fight back!
Judges are elected and appointed to exercise judgement and we should allow them to do that. Judges already have the ability to allow people to be released without bail if they believe that the person charged is not a threat to society and will return for trial. But the dangerous Bail Reform Law ties their hands and does not allow them to use their discretion to protect society as well as being fair to those charged with a crime.
The Bail Reform Law is an unnecessary restriction on the discretion of judges and a threat to public safety and should be repealed in its entirety.
The number one obstacle to economic development and the good jobs that follow is that New York State is the highest taxed state in the nation.
New York ranks first in personal taxation; an average of 12.97% of your personal income is used to pay a combination of property taxes, personal income taxes, sales and excise taxes, according to Wallet Hub.
To make it worse, according to the Tax Foundation, New York is the second highest taxed state for corporate and business taxes.
How do we fix it? It won’t happen overnight but there are certainly obvious places to start.
Medicaid already accounted for 33% of the State Budget a few short years ago. In this year’s 2020-21 budget, Medicaid funding increased by $500 million to $74 billion in a budget that totaled $177 billion -meaning that Medicaid now represents 41.8% of the total State Budget. This $500 million increase is 3% over last year’s 2019-20 budget, while at the same time, there was no increase in school funding.
New York State not only spends more than any other state on Medicaid in total, but also spends the most per person on Medicaid per year. This is unsustainable.
The latest reports from the State Comptroller’s Office warn that New York State is now facing a $13 billion deficit this year based on the current State Budget.
This deficit will have to be covered by borrowing, higher taxes or reduced spending. The first two options are clearly the wrong choice so, if elected as your new Assemblyman, I’ll fight to reduce spending to reduce your tax burden.
Part of the solution to reducing Medicaid spending is to reduce waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicaid Programs. State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli recently said his auditors have uncovered billions of dollars in “waste, fraud and abuse” in Medicaid programs over the last four years. His auditors recently identified $790 million in unnecessary Medicaid payments and uncollected prescription drug rebates. One of my top priorities as your new Assemblyman will be to put a higher focus on fighting fraud in the system. That will bring costs down while still ensuring that those who need Medicaid get the services required.
Medicaid costs can also be reduced by the increased use of generic drugs. These are the same drugs that those of us who have private insurance and our veterans are first prescribed rather than the more expensive proprietary medications. It’s an obvious place for bringing down costs.
If elected as your State Assembly Member, I would advocate that the State Comptroller’s Office increase their efforts to find and eliminate more waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicaid system and to mandate the use of generic drugs for more patients where clinically justified.
We'll be rolling out more details of our platform as the campaign progresses!