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COLUMN: My session priorities for 2013

— To assist existing business, our state should provide a tax credit for expanding and investing in New York. I sponsor legislation that would create such a tax credit.

Synthetic drugs

A federal law passed and became effective in July, which included placing more drugs on the controlled substance list. As a result, a collaborative local, state and federal law enforcement effort resulted in a synthetic drug raid known as Operation Log Jam on July 25. Federal, state and local police officers coordinated the raids to occur at or around the same time across the nation.

We need to strengthen our state laws again and create more consequences. Loopholes are still being exploited and though reports to poison control are down, we need to strengthen our laws to penalize those who sell and distribute synthetic drugs. I look forward to working with people in the district to help our voices be heard in Albany. Legislation I introduced early in 2012 helped spur the State Health Department to act and help get these dangerous drugs out of retail outlets.

School aid formula

I'm hopeful that we can make our state aid formula more equitable this year. This has been a priority for me since taking office but downstate lawmakers have held fast to protecting their higher-wealth districts. Last year's budget negotiations delivered more aid to low-wealth school districts. I'm hopeful the next session will build off of those negotiations and produce permanent changes to the formula, for the sake of our all of low-wealth districts.

Cost of health care

The cost of health care is something I know is still a problem. More options are available but there are still people who are left out of low-cost health care options. This creates hardships and stress among those who fall within these gaps. I support legislation that would crack down on fraud and misuse within the system, to help draw down costs of services. I was glad our state was able to reinstitute EPIC during budget negotiations, which assists seniors with the cost of prescription drugs. I also support incentivizing regular health check-ups and healthy living.

Assemblyman Will Barclay represents residents of Assembly District 120, which includes Lysander. He can be reached by mail at 200 North Second St., Fulton, NY 13069, by e-mail at barclaw@assembly.state.ny.us or by phone (598-5185).

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