Smith Vows To Revitalize New York State's Economy
"New York needs a clear and comprehensive vision for our future and elected leaders willing to put aside politics to get things done," said Senator Smith. "I was encouraged that Governor Spitzer reached out to all parties and constituencies in his State of the State address."
Over the last several months Senate Democrats have been working on their own agenda for a more prosperous and progressive New York that will touch the lives of every man, woman and child in our state. "I'm gratified that the Governor listened to our ideas and included many of them in his vision for a better New York," said Smith.
According to Smith, the goals are simple to understand, yet enormous: create tens of thousands of good paying jobs to keep the best and brightest from leaving New York, retool our public colleges and universities into international centers for research and business development, continue
our efforts to reform the state's health care system to provide coverage for uninsured children and invest in primary care.
In terms of higher education, Smith has pledged to support hiring new professors to create world class public universities to compete for global research and development dollars. That means expanding TAP and keeping tuition affordable for middle and low-income students. Their dream for a better way of life is a fundamental right.
"We must continue to rein in New York's costly Medicaid system while expanding services for the uninsured," said Smith. "These critical reforms will help us to meet our goal of providing universal health care coverage for all New Yorkers. I am particularly pleased with he proposal to ensure health care coverage for all New York's children - they deserve no less than that."
Smith noted a focus should be on preventive care that will avoid costly treatment for chronic disease and reduce overall health care costs.
Smith said the legislature must invest in job retraining and education programs and create incentives for high-tech skills development. Our proposal - RIGHT NY - is an excellent blueprint for the creation of good paying jobs that are sorely needed, particularly upstate.
The senator also applauded the Governor's efforts to create a commission to look for ways to offer New Yorkers tax relief, including considering a cap on local property taxes, expanding the STAR rebate check program and helping low income taxpayers by increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Smith reiterated his commitment to continue pressing for proposals that are important to the 14th Senate District during the budget process, including safe affordable housing, prohibiting predatory lending practices, expanding rent regulations, investing in hunger prevention programs and affordable childcare, strengthening community policing, and getting tough on internet crimes and predatory phone scams.