Stirpe: Making strides to move Central New York forward

Al Stirpe

Now that the legislative session has come to a close for my colleagues and I in the New York State Assembly, it’s a great time to look back and see all we accomplished for Central New York. From helping alleviate congestion in Syracuse and addressing flooding issues to protecting consumers and helping small businesses grow, we worked to get results for our hardworking families.

To encourage more people to take advantage of the local Thruway connections and reduce the number of cars on local roads during rush hour, I co-sponsored legislation to create a pass that would remove tolls for commuters (A.695). The annual short-distance commuter permit would allow commuters to travel from Thruway Exits 34-A through 39 at no charge during peak hours. This will disperse traffic, lower the risk of injury and reduce wear on our local roads.

Central New York also faces obstacles on another front – the environment. We’ve seen an increase in flash floods, which can be costly to property and business owners. Back in 2015, flooding forced several roads to close in Onondaga County. Drainage issues continue to rise, which raises health and safety concerns for residents and local municipalities.

To help protect our community, I introduced and passed legislation to create an upstate flood mitigation task force to identify flood control methods and preventative measures to lessen the impact and cost of future flooding (A.6716-B). The measure also creates grant programs to be administered by the New York State Canal Corporation to fund projects that prevent and alleviate flooding. We also approved $55 million in funding to assist homeowners, businesses, and municipalities make storm-related repairs that were necessary after recent flooding (A-40001).

I have also taken steps to help small businesses and protect consumers. I authored legislation to reduce the cost of food processing licenses for small-scale producers (A.823). Encouraging local businesses to develop and sell their products all over the state will help boost Central New York’s economy. Further, I authored and passed legislation to strengthen consumer protections by ensuring that all certified public accountant firms undergo peer review as a condition of their state registration renewal (A.7895-A).

Each of these pieces of legislation have been passed by both the Assembly and Senate, highlighting their bipartisan support. They now await the governor’s signature to become law. These are important steps, but there is still more work to be done, and I’m looking forward to keeping this momentum going during the next session. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 315-452-1115 or StirpeA@nyassembly.gov.

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