Assemblywoman Amy Paulin Announces Priorities For 2011

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin looks forward to another productive year working on behalf of the people of Westchester. Here are some of her priorities for 2011.

Government Reform & Accountability

As part of her effort to fight corruption, Assemblywoman Paulin has introduced a bill which would prevent officeholders convicted of a felony from receiving their taxpayer-funded pensions.

To increase government transparency, she has filed a bill to require that records scheduled to be discussed at Open Meetings are made available to the public prior to the meeting, on the agency website if practicable. Another bill would direct the Department of State to compile a list of all of the boards, commissions, and task forces in the state with information on each, including their budget and expenditures.

“To truly reform state government, it is crucial that government bodies are open and accountable to the people. This legislation is a step in the right direction, and a major priority for this session,” Paulin said.

Tax Relief for Westchester

Assemblywoman Paulin has already begun work to provide tax relief and prevent property tax increases. Currently, municipalities are charged a fee for the use and maintenance of fire hydrants which is passed on to property taxpayers. In New Rochelle alone this amounts to $900,000 a year. Assemblywoman Paulin is working with local municipalities and United Water to devise an alternative and reduce the amount charged to taxpayers.

The cost of early intervention services, such as speech therapy, for very young children is a major burden on the state and counties. Assemblywoman Paulin has put forth legislation to maximize private insurance reimbursement for early intervention services to decrease costs to the state and counties and save taxpayers money.

Job Creation

Supporting programs to attract and keep jobs in New York will be key goal for Assemblywoman Paulin in this year’s budget negotiations. To bring jobs directly to Westchester, she has introduced a bill which would authorize the construction and operation of a senior learning community at SUNY Purchase.

“As the recent census numbers indicate, New York’s population is dwindling,” Paulin said. “Bringing more jobs to the state is crucial to reversing this trend and ensuring that people are not forced out of the state to find work.”

Excellence in Education

Maintaining excellent schools in Westchester continues to be a priority for Assemblywoman Paulin, and she will scrutinize the governor’s budget proposal to ensure that Westchester receives its fair share of state school aid.

Assemblywoman Paulin plans to advance legislation to clarify and strengthen the powers and duties of BOCES to better utilize its proven cost-saving and educational benefits. Another bill would prohibit the bullying of students on school property.

Crime & Safety

To protect families, Assemblywoman Paulin will introduce legislation to lengthen orders of protection against those convicted of domestic violence and sexual assault offenses. She also plans to advance several bills to keep guns out of the hands of children, criminals, and domestic violence offenders including safe storage requirements and permit renewals.

Safe, Quality Health Care

Assemblywoman Paulin will seek to increase access to safe, quality healthcare. She has introduced legislation to protect New Yorkers from dangerous counterfeit drugs, and will continue her work to guarantee the availability of immunizations and preventative care, including flu vaccinations and cervical cancer screenings.

“Making preventative care available and accessible for all New Yorkers is critical. Everyone should be able to take the steps necessary to stay healthy,” Paulin said.

A growing health concern is the increasing popularity of cigar smoking among kids. Flavored cigars are attractive to kids and in some cases even directly marketed to youth. Assemblywoman Paulin has filed a bill to limit these dangerous practices.

Protecting the Environment

A longtime supporter of environmental protection measures, Assemblywoman Paulin plans to introduce a bill to strengthen Environmental Quality Reviews, as well as a bill to encourage towns and villages to consider certain renewable energy sources in zoning and planning regulations.