Saturday, 28 April 2018 07:58

OP ED: Survey Indicates Economy, High Taxes Top Concerns; People, Nature Our Best Attributes

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OP ED: Survey Indicates Economy, High Taxes Top Concerns; People, Nature Our Best Attributes Supplied photo

My office recently invited people in the 120th Assembly district to participate in a legislative survey and more than 800 people took the time to respond.

The survey asked people their thoughts on the local economy, laws pertaining to drugs, child welfare, the SAFE Act, economic development, and health care.

Not surprisingly, in this unscientific survey, the overwhelming majority of people are concerned about our local economy. People noted a lack of high-paying jobs, high unemployment, high property taxes, high government spending, poverty, and loss of industries as our area’s biggest challenge. These same concerns were repeated by almost all who responded to this question. In addition, about 70% rate the local economy as poor or very poor. To address the economic concerns, respondents said that New York needs to reduce taxes and regulations to encourage more private sector jobs. Some also advocated for more funding for workforce development and career training.

When asked what the best part of our community is, people were optimistic. Respondents noted low crime, affordable housing, rural lifestyle, great parks, abundance of natural resources and beauty, outdoor recreation, and the people. Overwhelmingly, respondents spoke of the people here as the best part of our communities. “Friendly people willing to help,” “Small town where people care,” “Volunteerism and willingness to help,” and “Good people and nice communities,” were a few of the sentiments people shared.

People continue to be concerned with drug abuse and support legislation that increases penalties for drug dealers. Out of those surveyed, 77% support legislation that would allow drug dealers to be charged with homicide if they sell drugs to an individual who dies as a result of an overdose. In addition, 88% support legislation that would add synthetic drugs, such as Spike, to the controlled substance list thereby making it a crime to sell or use these drugs.

Second amendment rights, child protection, and health care were also important to those who responded:

· Nearly 60% urged for the SAFE Act’s full or partial repeal.

· 78% support improving state law to better protect children from repeat child abusers.

· Affordable health care, adequate funding for infrastructure (such as roads, bridges water and sewer), welfare reform, adequate funding for schools, and programs for veterans were also noted as top concerns.

I would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the survey. The feedback is valuable and assists in my understanding of what is important to people in the district. It also emboldens some of the causes I am already fighting for in the Assembly. As such, I will continue to push back on programs and mandates that increase taxes and make it difficult to do business in New York. I will also continue to push for policies that protect children and strengthen our laws on drugs. If you have comments regarding these or other state issues, please contact me. My office can be reached by mail at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, New York 13069, by email at [email protected], or by calling (315) 598-5185. You also can find me, Assemblyman Barclay, on Facebook.

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