Senate Dems refuse to take up serious issues plaguing the state

Posted 18 June 2021 at 11:52 am


A Governor drowning in scandals. Streets awash in the blood of innocent crime victims.  An economy battered by the Covid pandemic and hollowed out by New York’s oppressive business climate. Despite our state’s so-called “full reopening,” we are seeing thousands of New Yorkers fleeing to more affordable places across the country.

The Empire State has no shortage of serious problems, and this year’s 2021 Legislative Session gave lawmakers the perfect opportunity to tackle these challenges.

But instead, Democrats who control all the levers of state government in the Governor’s Office, the Senate and the Assembly chose to do the opposite. One Party Rule in Albany made these problems even worse.

They began by passing the biggest, most irresponsible budget in state history, further cementing New York’s reputation as the most heavily taxed state in the nation. They increased taxes on New Yorkers by billions of dollars, while simultaneously approving a $420 million giveaway to Hollywood fat cats. They failed to restore property tax rebate checks for New York homeowners, but gave cash payments of more than $15,000 apiece to non-US citizens.

Once their reckless budget was done, Democrats devoted the rest of the legislative session to “criminal justice priorities.”

During a crime wave like we’ve been experiencing in this state, most New Yorkers would imagine “criminal justice priorities” to include toughening penalties for criminals, providing funding and support for law enforcement, and doing everything possible to help crime victims. But not in this town. Instead, Senate Democrats did the exact opposite, pushing radical proposals to put even more violent criminals back on our streets while making it even tougher for cops and District Attorneys to do their jobs.

Under One Party Rule, we now have a state government that doesn’t view hardworking, law-abiding taxpayers as a priority. Instead, radical left-wing causes are the priority. Criminals who have broken the law and victimized New Yorkers are the priority. The reelection campaigns of Democratic legislators who live in fear of powerful leftist interest groups are the priority.

Our government in Albany considers police, corrections officers and District Attorneys to be the enemy rather than dedicated professionals who keep our communities safe. They see the business community as adversaries, or merely as sources of revenue, instead of critical foundational assets that bring prosperity and opportunity to millions.

Time and again throughout this year’s session, our Senate Republican Conference offered practical solutions to Reset New York by revitalizing our economy, making our state safer and more affordable for millions of New Yorkers, and reforming state government. Sadly, under One Party Rule, these sensible proposals were blocked over and over again.

Critically missing from this year’s session was any sense of accountability over those in power. In fact, as the allegations against Governor Cuomo began piling up – from covering-up the 15,000 nursing home deaths, to his outrageous $5.1 million dollar book deal, to the many credible claims of sexual harassment and abuse – Senate Democrats repeatedly and shamelessly blocked our efforts to get the truth and hold the Governor accountable. They also proudly concluded the Legislative Session and left Albany without stripping the Governor of his “emergency” powers – powers that he has used and abused for far too long throughout this pandemic.

What does this mean for law-abiding New Yorkers?

Expect your taxes to go up, the chaos to continue, and your quality of life to remain in jeopardy. This year’s disastrous legislative session made one thing crystal clear: the radicals who now dominate the Senate Majority Conference do not care about you. They are completely out-of-touch with the needs, concerns and priorities of everyday New Yorkers.

Hardworking, law-abiding, taxpaying New Yorkers must join together and continue fighting back – harder than ever before – to restore balance, accountability and common sense to our state government.

Rob Ortt

North Tonawanda

Ortt is the State Senate Republican leader and his Senate district includes Orleans, Niagara and part of western Monroe counties.