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Will Barclay

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FROM THE ASSEMBLY: New York has highest tax burdens in the nation

Recent findings by the Tax Foundation, a Washington-based research organization, should serve as a reminder to the State Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo during this year’s budget negotiations that New York needs to decrease spending, reduce state mandates and cut property and income taxes.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: State’s 90-day email deletion policy raises questions

The Governor’s office announced in 2013 that it would use Microsoft Office365 -- an email and software management system to consolidate 27 agency email systems, improve access to applications, share calendars in a cloud-based system and save taxpayer dollars. Many aspects about the recently implemented system make sense and will hopefully improve inter-agency communication.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: New York’s organ donation rate still low

Many people are under the assumption that if they sign the back of their driver’s license, then they are a registered organ donor. Signing the back of your license is a good first step, as this indicates your personal wishes, but in order to be listed as an organ donor in the state registry, residents must fill out either an online form through the Department of Motor Vehicles or print and mail a form to the Department of Health. Being registered allows health care officials to better assist those who are on the waiting list for an organ.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Legislature should decide on education proposals outside of budget

Last year, the state spent $22.3 billion on education. In 2012, combined with the local and federal share of education, New Yorkers spent $58.4 billion on public education. This is a 56 percent increase over what was spent on a combined basis in 2002.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Vaccines vital to public health

In the Central New York area, there have been two suspected cases of mumps in local schools this winter. These reports have understandably spurred discussions and concerns and accordingly it is important to know about New York’s vaccination requirements, childhood safety, and ways you can help protect your families from diseases that were once thought to be eradicated.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: New health tax included in budget; ethics debate ethics must be had

We have heard a lot from the governor’s office about the success of New York’s health exchange. The exchange was set up pursuant to the Affordable Care Act, which mandates that all Americans obtain health insurance. The exchanges, which are either set up by individual states or by the federal government (when a state decides not to opt into the program), are, in theory, supposed to provide a market for people to purchase health insurance. New York, pursuant to an executive order of the governor, set up its own exchange. Compared to other states and to the federal government’s system, New York’s exchange has had fewer reported problems.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: With new speaker comes opportunity for meaningful reform

It is a tumultuous time in the New York Assembly. Long-time serving Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver has been arrested for public corruption.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Governor’s budget provides starting point for negotiations; overshadowed by Albany controversy

Last week, the governor presented his State of the State address. This annual tradition, much like the president’s State of Union address, is an opportunity for the governor to set forth his priorities for the upcoming state legislative session. The State of the State address is usually in the beginning of January but this year it was appropriately delayed due to the passing of the governor’s father.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Upgraded transmission lines needed to improve energy infrastructure

A 2012 report created by the Energy Highway Task Force, a task force led by key representatives from the fields of energy, environmental conservation and economic development, cited the critical need for improving transmission lines across the state. 

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: New year brings new priorities for New York state

With a new year comes new commitments and renewed hope. Last week, the assembly welcomed new representatives. The swearing-in ceremony reminds all who attend to renew our commitment to public service.

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