Priorities in New Year: Cut spending, mandates and help job creation

— On the local level

Safer communities: I have drafted legislation that would require the Department of Social Services work directly with the Division of Criminal Justice Services to check the wanted felon status of people applying for state benefits. It was recently discovered that a man wanted for attempted murder, kidnapping and possession of a weapon in South Carolina was collecting New York State benefits. Obviously, there is a loophole in the system - one that can be closed easily with proper checks and balances. I hope to see this pass this legislative session.

Improving tourism: I am also a sponsor of legislation that would promote our region as a destination for hunting and fishing. We have so many natural assets we can attract tourists to visit, with the right marketing scheme. With an "I love NY outdoors" program, it would require the state to develop a marketing strategy that would promote New York as a premiere destination for hunting and fishing. This would also help the ancillary businesses such as restaurants, retail, bait shops and lodging facilities.

I’m looking forward to a productive session - one that is not wrought with Albany games and three-men-in-a-room scenarios. I’m hopeful that we can continue with the progress that was made last year and to return our state to its Empire greatness by incentivizing job development and investments, and letting the private sector develop jobs. I look forward to the Governor’s state of the State address and hope that, like last year, it sets the tone for a productive session. We still need to cut spending and mandates for the sake of the jobs and families that are here and the prospects of future employers and property owners. Best to you and yours for 2012. I hope it’s a good one for you all.

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

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