Sen. Seward Lays Out Goals For 2014 Legislative Session, Pledges to Fight SAFE ACT
State Senator Jim Seward was in Cortland yesterday where he laid out his 2014 agenda and his legislative priorities.
Seward stopped by the Cortland County Office building Thursday as part of 3 day tour through his nine County Senate District.
At the top of Seward's list of priorities is tax relief, Seward is pleased with the recent tax cuts aimed at new businesses through the STARTUP NY program, but he wants to see tax relief or existing businesses and homeowners.
Seward said he supports the Governors call to revise the estate tax and ending an electricity surcharge that hurts manufacturing.
Seward is also looking for mandate relief to help business and reduce costs for local government, Seward said the State has capped increases in Medicaid costs that counties pay, he said it is unlikely the state will take over the cost of the program anytime soon.
Based on the recent flooding in areas throughout Sewards district including flooding last summer here in Cortland County Seward is calling for an Upstate flood mitigation task force to look at potential flood prevention and mitigation projects.
Seward also wants to create a state emergency relief fund to offset costs to local governments when flooding or other natural disasters don't trigger state and federal disaster aide.
The republican is also calling for an income tax credit that would be made available to homeowners when their property is left uninhabitable following a flood or other disaster.
Seward called for increased funding to expand high speed broadband internet service to underserved rural areas.
Education is another priority, Seward is calling for an end to the gap elimination adjustment which is a formula the state first implemented in the 2010-11 school year to help decrease a large budget deficit. The formula cut aid for school districts across the state.
Seward also wants to revise the newly adopted Common Core Standards he supports pulling back on high stakes testing, and protecting the privacy of student and teacher information.
Lastly , Seward says he will continue to fight to repeal the NY SAFEACT, which placed new restrictions on gun owners. Just this week a new provision of the law that requires those buying bullets to register the purchase went into effect.
Seward says a full repeal is not likely anytime soon, but he will continue to fight any expansion of the SAFEACT, including gun micro stamping and limits on the number of guns that can be purchased in month.