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2011: A Look Back at a Good Legislative Year

— Coverage for Autism

We passed legislation that was signed into law to expand insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorders. Previously, health insurance companies were not required to cover costs relating to autism. With more than 1 in 110 children affected, the number of families affected is significant. Those out-of-pocket costs are often unaffordable. I am glad we have taken some of the burden for families away so they may receive adequate coverage.

Tax Cuts to Job Creators

As part of the state budget, the Excelsior Jobs Program was broadened to provide an extra incentive to job creators, to allow them to qualify for more than $5,000 in tax credits. It also enables businesses to better qualify for tax cuts based on wages and salaries paid. It also increases the research and development tax credit from 10 percent to 50 percent. This program replaced the Empire Zone program in 2010.

Middle Class Tax Relief

Just this month, when the State Legislature was called to a special session, we passed tax relief for those earning less than $200,000. We also lowered taxes for those earning less than $2 million. This is good news because these earners are statistically the job creators. Though I supported this measure in the Assembly, I did not agree that we need to adjust the tax brackets and raise taxes for the higher earners. We should be searching for ways to cut the cost of government, rather than take any more from the private sector.

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office. My office can be reached by mail at 200 North Second St., Fulton, NY 13069, by e-mail at barclaw@assembly.state.ny.us or by calling 598-5185. You may also friend me, Assemblyman Barclay, on Facebook.

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