Ra: Jobs, Low Taxes, Stronger Schools Top Priorities In 2012

Legislative Statement by Assemblyman Ed Ra (21st Assembly District)

“Economic growth, low taxes, unfunded mandate relief and continued support for our schools must be on the agenda as lawmakers debate this year’s state budget. I was encouraged today by Governor Cuomo’s State of the State remarks and embrace his call to work together in addressing these critical issues. I will work toward every end to ensure the voice of our community is heard as the 2012 legislative session begins.

“The Legislature cannot wait any longer to address the job-killing regulations and red tape that Albany routinely imposes on businesses. There are 49,000 pages of them. The Legislature, working with our state agencies, must re-evaluate our corporate-income tax, sales tax and a slate of expensive energy taxes so small-business job creators and their employees can achieve prosperity. Lawmakers must set the conditions for small businesses to thrive, step out of the way, and let employers do what they do best.

“Last year, we enacted a historic property tax cap. This cap was only the start in an honest effort to lower property taxes. To truly address this, lawmakers must take a serious look at eliminating all unfunded mandates this session. Unfunded mandates have suffocated our municipalities and local schools for too long. Lawmakers must eliminate unnecessary mandates on our community without compromising the programs and services that we rely on. I will be actively listening and working with community leaders to bring their concerns to Albany in hopes that my colleagues will understand how crippling these unfunded mandates are.

“I’ll be paying special attention to the school aid formula as we approach the budget process. I was proud last year to support a state budget which restored school aid and gave our schools their share of funding. It’s critically important that we continue to monitor the aid sent to our schools and the progress of students along with it. A pledge of mine before I was elected to serve, I will continue to fight to ensure our students have excellent funding so they can gain the skills to be the future leaders of New York.”