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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I am always impressed with the quality and variety of our local producers — cheese, vegetables, wines and breads. The good news is our economy is benefitting more from these local products.
There are many in our local communities who donate their time and talents to make sure that others do not go without around the holidays. I like reading the news this time of year and finding stories about charities that were helped or how one person can inspire others to give, and even save a life.
Since the passage of Obamacare, polling consistently has shown people do not view the program favorably. Indeed, as has recently been reported, Dr. Gruber, one of the so-called architects of Obamacare, was recorded as saying that the only reasons the law passed Congress was because of the stupidity of the American voters and that there was a lack of transparency as to how the law was going to be financed. Gruber’s comments notwithstanding, this past election confirmed for many federal legislators who voted for Obamacare that the “stupid” American voter was going to hold them accountable for the passage of this flawed law. This is a sentiment that isn’t just coming from a Republican. Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer in a post-election speech also said as much.