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Statement by Senator George Borrello on the end of the legislative session

“Another session has ended and with it the hope that this would be the year that those in power would finally address the issues New Yorkers care about most.

If my Democratic colleagues read the same public surveys I do, they’ve seen that about 60 percent of New Yorkers believe the state is on the wrong track, and it is biggest concerns are the cost of living in New York State, the influx of migrants and crime. However, judging by the bills and priorities they’ve pushed again this year, it’s clear that Albany Democrats aren’t letting New Yorkers’ biggest concerns influence their agenda.

Here’s a measure of their ‘progress’:

  • New York’s sanctuary policy has flooded more than 200,000 migrants into the state over the past two years, creating enormous logistical tensions, a $4.3 billion burden on taxpayers and increased strain on city services. A city ​​official this week reported that they have more migrants in their DHS system than New Yorkers. My Republican colleagues and I have urged state leaders to repeal sanctuary policies to stem the influx. We also pushed for the Laeken Law to allow law enforcement agencies to cooperate with ICE on migrants who have committed crimes. The response to both proposals was silence and passivity.
  • Five years after their failed experiment, the toll from Democrats’ disastrous bail reform and other criminal justice changes continues to rise. In just six weeks earlier this year, four police officers were killed and two others seriously injured by suspects they arrested. The National Guard was called in to patrol the dangerous subways, and attacks in New York are at record levels. Robbery, shoplifting and DWI crimes have risen to decades-high levels. The governor’s harsh words on shoplifting amounted to a paltry measure to introduce a low penalty for assaulting a store employee. Numerous Republican proposals to undo bail reform, combat anti-Semitism and increase penalties for shoplifting, gun crimes and DWI were ignored.
  • Unaffordability and our highest taxes in the country continue to make New York State the number one state for outmigration. The fuel for higher taxes is excessive spending, and that trend has continued. The $237 billion state budget spends $8 billion more than last year, is twice the size of Florida’s budget and represents the second-highest per capita spending plan in the country. While Texas and Florida are posting double-digit budget surpluses and tax cuts thanks to sensible spending and strong economic growth, the national debt continues to rise and productive, taxpaying residents and businesses continue to leave.
  • Efforts to achieve the reckless goals of the state’s Climate Agenda are driving us toward less reliable and more expensive energy sources. Thanks to our vocal opposition, the HEAT ACT was eliminated this year, preserving our access to natural gas, keeping energy costs low and saving jobs.

However, the Packaging Reduction and Recycling Act is another extreme mandate that would impose costly and unworkable burdens on manufacturers without having any measurable impact on the environment. The mandatory packaging reduction will result in manufacturers pulling their popular products from New York stores, leaving consumers without the option to purchase many of their favorite brands and staples at the grocery store. Other manufacturers will be forced to pass on their extra costs to consumers who are already struggling with inflation. Anyway, consumers lose, a fact that has become the defining characteristic of all left-wing climate proposals. The truth is that banning things like refrigerated containers will not save the planet, it will only appease the radical left. BUT it has not yet passed the General Assembly, so I urge them to protect New Yorkers from this terrible bill and let it die.

Ultimately, the session ended without the majority of the Legislature taking any steps to address New York’s most serious problems and make it a place where people want to live instead of leave.

The Democrats will have to answer for this when they get home.

They will have to explain to their constituents why crime on the streets and in the subways is not improving and why their pharmacies are still cutting off toothpaste and soap but letting criminals go free.

They will have to justify why their tax bill and energy costs are three to four times higher than those of their friends and relatives living in other states.

They will have to answer for why our state continues to invite those who have violated our nation’s immigration laws to come to New York for access to taxpayer-provided housing, food, health care, education and legal services, and why we protect them from federal authorities. even if they have committed crimes.

I remain hopeful that the concerns and common sense of my Democratic colleagues’ constituents will finally prevail over the demands of the progressive activists who have driven Albany’s agenda for the past six years. In the meantime, my advocacy for the hardworking, law-abiding people of our region will continue.”

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