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Will Barclay

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FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Governor should approve Freedom of Information Law changes

The legislature recently passed a bill that, if signed by the governor, would reform the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) and expedite the process for those in search of public records. The measure passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both the senate and the assembly. I am urging the governor to sign the bill into law and make this change effective immediately. Its unanimous passage shows there is overwhelming public support for a more open government. Any legislation that cuts through the many layers of bureaucracy the public has to deal with in order to get public information is good legislation.

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FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Governor moves from ‘three men in a room’ to ‘one-man parlor’

It is not a secret that New York is a challenging state in which to do business because of our high taxes and oppressive regulatory scheme. Some, but not all, of these policies originate out of New York City which faces different demographics and economic conditions than we do in Upstate New York.

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FROM THE ASSEMBLY: New York needs more doctors, better policies to encourage more med students to stay

Access to quality healthcare is a necessary component for a thriving community and we are fortunate to have great healthcare facilities and providers in Central New York. That being said, our healthcare system is under stress because we continue to face shortages of healthcare professionals in New York state — particularly in rural areas. These shortages are particularly acute for primary care doctors and nurses, but extend to specialty practices and other healthcare providers.

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FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Blood donations help cancer patients and many others

Locally, our community has stepped up in honor of those who are bravely fighting cancer which requires multiple blood and platelet transfusions.

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FROM THE ASSEMBLY: CNY in good position for state economic award, but cutting taxes would benefit all

There are a lot of things to be positive about in Central New York. Unfortunately, the economy is not one of them. Over the last decade, job growth in the Syracuse area has been anemic. The lack of jobs, among other things, has caused an outward migration of population which, in turn, places additional stress on our economy. We are not alone. Almost all of Upstate New York is facing similar challenges. Naturally, as with any crisis, state government wants to provide solutions. Unfortunately, these solutions are often politically expedient reactions rather than rationally thought-out long-term solutions.

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FROM THE ASSEMBLY: So-called ‘landmark’ ethics reforms continue to fall short

I am skeptical of the claim, however, in light of the fact that we have passed “landmark” ethics reform in the recent past and yet ethical lapses by elected officials continue to occur.

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FROM THE ASSEMBLY: State budget increases aid but treats teachers unfairly

In my mind, there are three issues that define this budget: the governor’s so-called education reform, ethics and capital spending. The education section of the budget is discussed below.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: New laws created to protect victims of domestic and sexual abuse

Domestic violence, harassment, and sexual assault continue to be issues that concern me. Studies reveal that such abuse occurs more than many realize. A few new laws were recently chaptered and aim to improve victims’ rights and protections. I supported all of these in the Assembly and I am glad they have been signed into law.

FROM THE ASSEMBLY: NYFarmNet reaches local farmers

National Ag Week recognizes the abundant crops harvested by farmers all over the nation and the contributions they make to the economy. In New York alone, the agriculture industry recorded $5.68 billion in cash receipts in 2013, up more than $1 billion from 2010.

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.

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