Tuesday, January 11, 2011


With the holiday season over, NYS Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. (D-Queens) says it’s time to focus on restoring faith back to the residents that their state government will be responsive to their concerns: “Elected officials have a lot of work to do in making people know that their state legislature can operate in a professional and responsible manner.” The Senator understands that this will not be an easy task, given the general frustration among the public and the previous dysfunction in Albany.
What does Addabbo hope to accomplish in 2011? Well, according to the Senator, among the most common requests from his constituents is to lower property and other taxes, along with a cap in state spending. Addabbo stated that he is hopeful that lower property taxes, a restoration of the STAR rebate, and a reduction in other taxes and fees can be obtained with additional spending cuts and an improved economy. He also intends to continue the legislature’s efforts in attacking Medicaid and insurance fraud, which could result in a savings of approximately $9 billion to the state. Addabbo said he also heard many people request a restoration in library and senior center funding.
Other issues Addabbo wants to address in 2011 are ethics and legislative reform. Addabbo is seeking to introduce a law that would expel a state elected official from office if convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors. He also wants to start the discussion and process of creating term limits for state elected officials, just as it was overwhelmingly approved by voters for New York City electeds. Addabbo said there should be an independent, nonpartisan redistricting process, so that districts will not be redrawn in a way that is unfair to the residents of any district. He wants to work on creating more transparent election campaigns that see a reduction in large corporate donations that have influenced candidates in the past. Addabbo believes that there must be a change in the way Albany conducts its business on behalf of the people of the state, but that the change will not come easy. “There has to be a different way of thinking and ideology in Albany. I am hopeful other state representatives see it that way, too,” Addabbo stated.
To grow jobs in these tough economic times, Addabbo said he will continue working with small businesses around his district to obtain energy savings through audits of their premises by National Grid and Con Ed, and offering tax credits to small businesses that hire disabled individuals, seniors and unemployed veterans. In addition to the approximately 1,000 construction jobs that the new Resorts World New York will bring to Aqueduct Racetrack, the Senator is working with Genting to ensure that future job opportunities at the site are made available to qualified residents.
“We must have a government people can finally believe will work for them and for their interests. When I go back into legislative session this month, the people I serve can believe that I’ll do just that for them,” Addabbo concluded.