of tSTATEMENT FROM STATE SENATOR GUSTAVO RIVERA on Governor Cuomo's 2017 Statehe State Proposals Mirroring Senate Democrats' Previous Legislative Measures and KINGSBRIDGE ARMORY
As Governor Cuomo finalized unveiling his 2017 State of the State proposals, it is important to remember that nearly every single one of these plans has already been introduced by members of the Senate Democratic Conference during previous Legislative Sessions. My colleagues and I have proudly advanced common sense legislation to improve the lives of all New Yorkers, however, most of them have been continuously blocked by Senate Republicans.
Here are just a few examples of how my Senate Democratic colleagues and I have already advanced legislation and projects which mirrors what Governor Cuomo is calling for in his State of the State presentations:
* Governor Cuomo's announcement to include $108 million in the state budget to develop the Kingsbridge Armory - a project I have supported since its inception in 2012.
* Senate Democrats have led the fight to make a quality higher education affordable for all New York students. Our Higher Education Ranking Member, Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, has carried a bill that would accomplish this goal by providing New York State residents with the possibility of receiving free tuition at SUNY, CUNY and Community Colleges.
* The affordable childcare proposal put forth by Governor Cuomo is similar to a plan first put forward by Senator Daniel Squadron and the Democratic Policy Group. Senator Daniel Squadron's legislation establishes Childcare Advance, a deferral of state taxes to help families afford the extremely high costs of childcare. Additionally, Senator Velmanette Montgomery has legislation to help ensure more affordable childcare options are made available through state services.
* Efforts to ensure hardworking New Yorkers are not taken advantage of through wage theft have been advanced by Senator Jose Peralta. An issue that has drastically affected workers in my district and that I have fought to help and protect.
It is doubtful the Governor's 2017 State of the State plans will be enacted, as all of these proposals have been previously blocked by Senate Republicans. That is why it is critical that all 32 Democratic Senators in the 63-member State Senate work together to form a functional majority so we can pass these important initiatives and help struggling New Yorkers.
We should not allow politics to get in the way of delivering results that will improve the lives of New Yorkers. My colleagues and I in the Senate Democratic Conference will continue to lead the fight to make New York a more affordable place to live, work and raise a family.