The Record's July 5 editorial “State Senate races will affect our lives" accurately diagnoses that much is at stake in state Senate races this fall. The editorial's call for a Democrat-controlled state Senate, however, is bad medicine. If Senate Democrats pick up just one seat this fall, Democrats will control the Senate, Assembly and governor's office.
As a state representative of this area for nearly four decades, I can assure you that this scenario – unchecked, New York City-led Democrat control of state government – is not in the best interest of Hudson Valley families. Let's look back. In 2009 and 2010 New York City-based Democrats controlled all three parts of state government for the first time in a generation. It resulted in the elimination of STAR rebate checks, $14 billion in new taxes and fees and the school-crippling Gap Elimination Adjustment, which took billions of dollars away from our schools. They also enacted the MTA bailout, which included a job killing payroll tax on employers and an MTA surcharge on vehicle registrations.
Today, state Democrat priorities include taxpayer-funded political campaigns, higher taxes, single-payer health care, recreational marijuana, late-term abortion and free college tuition for illegal immigrants. Those may be New York City's priorities, but they're not the priorities of families in our area. State Senate contests this fall will certainly affect lives. With only a few close races statewide, local voters choosing my replacement may ultimately decide how lives are affected. Considering the stakes, they should choose very carefully.
Sen. Bill Larkin