Stirpe ready to tackle infrastructure, taxes and workforce development in 2018

Al Stirpe

During the governor’s State of the State address, it was heartening to hear him share our goals of strengthening the state’s workforce, improving aging infrastructure and reducing the state’s tax burden. I’m eager to work with my colleagues in the Assembly to support these efforts and build a stronger Central New York.

A critical component of the governor’s proposals is strengthening our workforce. This includes the creation of the Office of Workforce Development, which would coordinate training programs throughout the state. The new office would create standards for training performance and hold programs accountable to ensure they’re effective. The Assembly has also worked on a similar initiative during the 2017 legislative session (A.8107), and I’ll continue to support similar efforts because Central New Yorkers deserve the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to land good-paying jobs and be part of the 21st-century labor market.

Further, infrastructure investment is critical to our economic growth: Not only is that how most employees get to work, but it’s also how most companies deliver their goods and services. It’s important that we not only maintain our roads and bridges, but also make drastic improvements.

The governor also made clear that New York will continue making significant infrastructure investments. I agree that these investments are necessary for the safety of our pedestrians and motorists, as well as the economic vitality of our region. He also called on the DOT to include a tunnel alternative in its assessment of the I-81 corridor revitalization project. Though this certainly emphasizes the importance of the project, I am concerned that prolonging the work only adds stress to an already crumbling infrastructure.

Lastly, like the governor, I continue to have grave concerns that the new federal tax plan will hurt Central New Yorkers by capping personal income and property tax deductions. Many middle-class families already face high taxes and housing costs, and the federal administration’s policy could do real damage to their financial security. I’m committed to working together with our partners in government to find ways to help our families prosper.

The governor also furthers the focus on reducing the local property tax burden by making the county shared services panels’ permanent. This past year’s efforts produced real results and we hope to continue that work in the future.

As we start this New Year, we face some pretty tough challenges ahead, but also plenty of opportunities to build Central New York stronger.

It’s an honor and a privilege to represent you in the Assembly, and I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and get back to work. If you have any questions or comments about this or any community issue, please reach out to my office or by calling 315-452-1115.

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