Brooklyn Lawmakers React To Cuomo State Of State Speech


Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave his eighth State of the State Address on Wednesday. He spent a large part of the beginning of his address going over his accomplishments from the last seven years and followed it with an ambitious agenda for this coming year.

He also assailed President Trump and the GOP for their recently passed tax reform legislation that would raise taxes on many New Yorkers across the state through, among other things, elimination of property and local tax deductions that exceed $10,000. Conversely, the tax legislation will up the standard federal deduction from $12,500 to $25,000, which will help a good many renters and people in the working class.

The  following is reactions from various Brooklyn lawmakers to Cuomo’s speech:

State Sen. Roxanne Persaud

State Sen. Roxanne Persaud (D-Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Mill Island, Georgetowne, Ocean Hill) had general praise for the Cuomo’s agenda.

“Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2018 State of the State address included an informative and ambitious agenda. There will be challenges to accomplish the proposed agenda but if successful it will be great for New Yorkers. It is now time for the legislature to work together to achieve successful outcomes for everyone in the state,” said Persaud.

Assemblyman Walter Mosley (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) found many specific policy proposals that he found promising for the coming year.

Assemblyman Walter Mosley

“I am pleased the Governor made a point of supporting the removal of cash bail for misdemeanors and non-violent offenses. It was the high cost of bail that led to the detainment and eventual suicide of Kalief Browder, who was held in Rikers Island for three years after he allegedly committed a misdemeanor. It is my hope that just as our state raised the age of criminal responsibility last year, we will take another step forward in criminal justice reform by enacting speedy trail reforms, and changes to the discovery procedures during trials

“Ending tipped minimum wage will only strengthen economic justice in our state. Employees in industries where tipping is common make less than the current hourly minimum wage. By eliminating this gap, we will ensure that all workers have a base wage they can live on and not depend on tips, which can vary wildly from week to week.

“The proposal to end gun sales to perpetrators of domestic violence is another move that will make our state far safer. One thing that mass shooters have in common is a history of committing domestic violence. Stopping them from buying guns in the first place is a good step towards safety.” said Mosley.

Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Bay Ridge, Staten Island.) showed concern about the cost of some of Governor Cuomo’s plans.

“Gov. Cuomo has outlined an ambitious agenda for the year. While I can support some of it, much of the plan will come at a hefty cost to already-overburdened taxpayers. We cannot continue to spend taxpayer dollars as if we are paying with Bitcoins, Chuck-E-Cheese tokens or Monopoly money. Tax dollars are real and limited.

“The governor is blaming Washington’s tax cut for making New York uncompetitive, but the real reason New York is poised to lose job creators and residents is because we tax and spend to death. Fixing our tax code must be our top priority this year so New Yorkers too can celebrate the benefits of our new federal tax plan,” said Malliotakis.

State Sen. Marty Golden

State Sen. Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Marine Park, Sheepshead Bay, Gerritsen Beach) said that while he is supportive of Cuomo’s aims to foster economic development, he has called for an examination of the economic programs.

“Governor Cuomo has continued to invest in programs geared toward creating jobs, expanding small businesses and making our state more economically competitive. However, we clearly need to do more because the number of residents leaving New York State tops the charts. My colleagues and I believe there is a need to look at the costs and the results these economic programs yield. That is why we need to have an independent forensic audit to establish the effectiveness of these programs.

“I also am committed to ensuring financial protection for New Yorkers against some of the changes in the federal tax law. As such, I introduced a bill that would give our residents a state and local tax credit. The amount of the credit would equal the amount of the NY State and local income tax, due on the amount of local real property and income taxes, no longer deductible due to the $10,000 cap,” said Golden.

Assembly Member Pamela Harris

Assemblywoman Pamela Harris (D-Coney Island, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights) was critical of Cuomo’s promises to address New York City’s aging subway system.

“The subway system our city relies on every day is in a state of disrepair, and New Yorkers with disabilities have an extremely difficult time getting around. Yet these critical issues are not being addressed. Instead of looking into a study of potentially building more subway tunnels, we should take action now and improve what we have. It’s up to us to continue fighting to ensure underserved communities like Coney Island and Bay Ridge get the reliable transportation options we deserve. I’ll continue fighting until every New Yorker has access to safe, reliable public transportation,” said Harris.