Thursday, June 19, 2008


A massive convoy of hundreds of truckers made their voices heard today as they converged around the State Capitol. The truckers are fed up with New York's excessive gas prices and gas taxes. They were blowing their air horns in sheer frustration with the pain at the pump. I urge Speaker Sheldon Silver to hear the truckers' concerns and do something about fuel costs.

For months, my Assembly Republican colleagues and I have been calling on Speaker Silver to do something about rising fuel costs. The record prices are having a negative financial impact on truckers, motorists, businesses and consumers. Rising fuel costs have driven up the price of practically everything from a loaf of bread to a gallon of milk, along with nearly every other basic necessity that families depend on.

Our Conference sponsored legislation that would provide these truckers, and all motorists, with a much-needed summertime gas tax holiday. The measure would provide a savings of nearly 33-cents per gallon of gasoline and 31-cents per gallon of diesel fuel for motorists to help reduce the sticker shock too many drivers receive when they fill their tanks.

The question remains: will Speaker Silver and his Assembly Democrat Conference listen? New York can't afford their continued delays. Motorists and consumers deserve relief and they should get it before this session ends.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


June is National Dairy Month. In recognition of that, I and my Assembly Republican colleagues held our annual Dairy Day Reception. The event recognized New York's dairy farmers and the vital role they play in our state's economy. We brought them together to showcase their high-quality products. There was also an appearance by a calf who captured the attention of everyone who came. Even the dairy cow was there. As a non politician, he didn't "utter" a word.

This is a video of my introduction to the calf.

Friday, June 13, 2008


The end of the legislative session is fast approaching. There’s only one full week left before lawmakers leave for summer vacation. Now is the time to take action and cap property taxes at 4 percent or the rate of inflation – whichever is lower.

I don’t have to tell you that New Yorkers pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation. The Governor is on board. Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver have said they’re ready to do it.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


“By recommending the adoption of a real property tax cap, the State Commission on Property Tax Relief has confirmed what countless overburdened homeowners, small businesses and family farmers have known for years: property taxes in New York have reached a crisis level. Our state’s dubious distinction of having some of the highest property taxes in the nation is proof positive that these crushing burdens represent the single biggest threat to the quality of life for New York homeowners.

Our Assembly Republican Conference realized this years ago – and has been calling for a real property tax cap ever since. Some of the Commission’s recommendations mirror our ‘New York State Property Taxpayer Protection Act’ – Assembly Bill A.8775-A. Our initiative should serve as an effective starting point for any serious and substantive discussions on how our state can make achieving a real property tax cap a reality. Failure to enact a property tax cap before our Legislative session concludes on June 23 would send a terrible message to overtaxed homeowners being crushed in a painful ‘middle class squeeze’ of high property taxes, Thruway tolls, food and fuel costs.

I commend Governor Paterson and Commission Chairman Suozzi for their political courage in supporting a property tax cap. Our entire Conference will work with them in a bi-partisan, cooperative manner to achieve adoption of a much-needed, and long overdue, real property tax cap.”

Monday, June 2, 2008


The tragic shooting death of a ten year-old in the City of Albany sent shockwaves throughout the Capital Region. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family in this difficult and painful time.

I was saddened after learning the little girl was riding her bike in front of her home when she was hit by a what police believe was a stray bullet. This type of crime isn’t limited to the city of Albany. There’s too much violence affecting our children everywhere.

In light of this tragedy, I along with Assembly Republicans and local law enforcement are supporting a new initiative called CARE – CHILD ASSAULT REFORM ACT.

Protecting children is our number one priority. We have an obligation to make sure they’re safe in our streets. CARE would increase penalties on criminals who kill or injure children under 12 years old. I believe this measure would send a strong message to would-be criminals that they will face greater punishment should they harm or kill a child.