New York needs a rescue plan

As we enter a new Legislative Session in Albany, New York needs a bailout.

Crime is rising, economic activity is declining, and our state continues to lead the nation in population loss. Individual rights and constitutional freedoms are under attack. These are just some of the consequences of a state government controlled exclusively by one party.

For years we have witnessed a drastic decline in public safety, an exhausted workforce, rising taxes, business-crippling regulations, and a lackluster economic “recovery” from the Covid-19 pandemic. A legislature dominated by New York progressives has sent our state down the wrong path.

The churn crisis is the biggest problem we face, and the Albany Democrats have no solutions. Every day we lose more population, representation and taxpayers’ money to states with better business climates and safer roads. We’re losing vital parts of the Empire State.

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This week, Senate Republicans focused on these issues by unveiling our 2023 Legislative Agenda to Save New York. These policies will make our state safer, stronger, more affordable and free.

The New Yorkers have made it clear they want Albany to address quality of life issues. I am proud of the proactive agenda presented by our Republican Conference.

To make our state safer, we must restore common sense to our criminal justice system, address Albany’s disastrous cashless bail laws, and put victims first. We must redouble our efforts to end the opioid and mental health epidemics. We must support and protect our seniors and vulnerable populations.

To strengthen our state, we must expand economic opportunities and strengthen our workforce. We must invest in the infrastructure of the 21st century. We must help our veterans and military families thrive and ensure every child receives a quality education.

To make our state more affordable, we need to cut taxes and control spending. We must lower the cost of living and improve the state’s business climate. We need to enact climate policies that ensure access to cheap, reliable energy.

To make our state freer, we must protect our liberties and constitutional rights. We must finally end all Covid mandates and reinstate thousands of workers who have been made redundant over personal health decisions. We must protect the rights of parents when it comes to the education of their children.

These are the issues that matter most to the people and that is what the legislature should focus on in this session.

Our conference will come up with concrete proposals to make this agenda a reality later this year.

The days of speeches and rhetoric are over – New Yorkers deserve real solutions to real problems. We stand ready to address these issues and do something for our constituents.

But we need partnership — that is, Republicans, Democrats, the governor and the legislature working together — to save New York in 2023.

Senator Rob Ortt (R, North Tonawanda) chairs the Minority Conference of the New York State Senate.

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