Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor
For years we’ve all known that Albany is broken and that government in New York doesn’t work. It’s a sad reality that hurts New York taxpayers, from working families, to small businesses, to seniors, every day.
But two months in Albany hasn’t shaken my hope that we can do better. I’d like to share with you some of the bills I’m cosponsoring in Albany that can really change the way government works in New York. Please take a few minutes to browse through the bills and then share them with your family and friends. Any change in Albany is going to start at the grassroots. You can also find legislative updates by “Liking” our Facebook page here.
Bill A.4762, or the New York State Government Transparency Act, will put a stop to Albany’s bad habit of rushing major legislation through in the middle of the night. The proposed law would stop all legislative proceedings between midnight and 8 a.m. More importantly, the bill would put an end to the governor’s abuse of messages of necessity to bypass the constitutionally mandated three-day waiting period between the drafting of a bill and a vote.
Bill A.4581 would end Albany’s practice of shifting the tax burden to local governments by banning unfunded mandates. Unfunded mandates are the reason for New York’s out-of-control property taxes. There is no accountability for the costs of these mandates. Albany politicians think they can get away with massive spending hikes by simply passing the buck to local governments. No one is fooled by this charade and this bill will end unfunded mandates. Politicians in Albany are behind our rising property tax hikes. We can restore some accountability with this bill.
Hidden Taxes Bill A..4158 will require any fees imposed by Albany to expire after two years. Albany uses fees as hidden taxes and they are a daily burden on New Yorkers. Once a fee is passed it becomes a near permanent fixture. Let’s require the legislature to take a second look at each fee every two years and see if it is still needed. This could keep more money in taxpayers’ wallets.
Voter ID Bill A.3788 is a much-needed voter ID law, requiring voters to show a photo ID before they cast their ballots. From soldiers on the beaches of Normandy to Freedom Riders in the Jim Crow South; Americans have fought, bled and died for the right to vote. We let those heros down when we allow voter fraud to dilute our rights and voices.
Helping Towns Save Money Bill A.2873 will save taxpayers money by allowing municipalities to bundle their electrical services to receive a cheaper rate from the power companies. Let’s give municipalities more room to bring down property taxes.
Reforming Albany Government should be run like a business and politicians should act as if it was their own small business. That means every tax dollar matters, down to the penny. I’m not taking any food or travel per diems from Albany, I’ve turned down my Assembly leadership stipend, and I’m cutting my own salary by 10%. That will save taxpayers roughly $26,000 a year. We’ve even saved taxpayers $900 by moving our district office ourselves with a rental truck rather than a moving company.
We can’t give up on New York. We can turn things around and make it a place where small businesses can grow, seniors can retire and our children can find jobs. But, its up to us to talk to our family and friends about the changes we can make in Albany that will save our state.
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### Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor, a former teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes in Poughkeepsie, is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and founder of the Dutchess County based consulting firm KML Strategies, LLC. Lalor is the founder of Afghanistan & Iraq Veterans for Congress and a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel. He is a graduate of John Jay High School, Providence College and Pace Law School and lives in Fishkill with his wife Mary Jo and their four young children Katie, Riley, Mikey and Kieran Jr..