The Governor’s State of the State addressed topics that are vital to the health and well-being of all New Yorkers.
I was most interested in hearing her plan to address New York’s affordability crisis, something I continue to be laser-focused on at a time when out-migration is a significant issue facing the state. In recent years, we’ve advanced a minimum wage increase tied to inflation, the lowest middle-class income tax rates in 70 years, expanded child care assistance, and a new Empire State Child Credit. In particular, we must address the housing affordability crisis that continues to financially hamstring many Orange County families: both the costs to rent and buy as well as sky-high property taxes.
Over the past several years, I’ve been an outspoken voice for addressing inadequacies in New York’s public safety laws. The governor’s proposal to deploy a dedicated New York State Police team to build cases against organized retail theft rings, along with dedicated funding for district attorneys and increased penalties against perpetrators, will further aid our small business owners, employees, and customers who are being victimized by retail theft.
While there will always be disagreements and I will always fight for my Orange County constituents above all else, I welcome many of today’s policy proposals. I look forward to working with my colleagues as budget negotiations begin.
James Skoufis, State Senator (D-42)