0

Murray on the 2016 Legislative Session

Assemblyman Dean Murray

Assemblyman Dean Murray

Assemblyman Dean Murray (R,C,I- East Patchogue) spoke on the results of the 2016 legislative session today, highlighting the positives that came out of Albany this year, as well as touching on the issues that still need to be addressed.
One of the most important issues facing the legislature this year was how to tackle the heroin epidemic that took more lives in Suffolk County than in any other County in the state. “We were able to pass a comprehensive legislative package that, among other things, helped remove some of the insurance obstacles to treatment, reduced the amount of opioid prescriptions for acute pain and increased the number of beds available for treatment of addiction. We were able to allocate nearly $200-million toward battling what has become a public health crisis. This is not a “one solution” problem so there is no single way to tackle it. I’m happy that we passed this package of bills that takes a multi-pronged approach to battle this epidemic.” Murray said.
In other action, the Legislature took the first steps toward addressing much needed ethics reforms in New York and voted for a constitutional amendment that would strip pensions from corrupt lawmakers. That particular bill will need to be passed again next session and then go before the voters in a referendum. Murray says, “Again, while that was a nice first step, I would have liked to have seen more reform, such as term limits for legislative leaders and committee chairs, to prevent the creation of political fiefdoms.”
“We also passed legislation that addresses the growing number of ‘zombie properties’ across our state. This issue is of particular concern in the 3rd Assembly District where property values are being dragged down by dilapidated, eye sores that are not being properly maintained. This legislation will hold the banks more accountable and will take steps to speed up the foreclosure process,” said Murray.
On the education front, state funding for schools was increased by $1.4 billion this year, totaling a record $24.7 billion in school aid. There was also a $4 million increase in this year’s budget to support local libraries. “I’m pleased that we were able to also fully restore all of the funding to our schools that the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) took away several years ago,” said Murray. “However, funding isn’t the only issue in education. There is still more that needs to be done to get rid of the disaster that is Common Core and return curriculum to the local level where it belongs. We need to reverse this trend of testing and punishing and get back to allowing our teachers to do what they do best… teach. I’m all for accountability but putting such an emphasis on punishing teachers for poor test results is certainly not the answer.”
“Overall, while I’m happy that we were able to accomplish many things to help out every day New Yorkers, there is still much left to do. Common sense legislation that my colleagues and I have been working very hard to enact were stalled in committees. Bills like Angelica’s Law, which would go after those who are caught multiple times driving with a suspended license or a bill that would impose much stronger punishments for those who leave the scene of an accident. Then there is my sex offender legislation (A.8503), that relates to extending how long convicted sex offenders must remain on the sex offender registry and where they can or cannot reside when released from prison. Each of these measures were disappointingly kept from coming to the floor for a vote this year,” Murray said. “I look forward to returning to Albany next year to address these very issues and much more.”

Filed in: Community Events, News Tags: 

Get Updates

Share This Post

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

You must be Logged in to post comment.

© 1699 South Shore Press. All rights reserved.