In Final Week, Albany Can Make Up For Lost Time

This week, legislation overwhelmingly passed in the Assembly that will assist New Yorkers coping with unbearable pain. I proudly authored and introduced, along with Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, a bill to establish an emergency medical marijuana program in New York State. This measure allows suffering patients to access life-saving care, rather than wait for the state’s medical marijuana program to be finalized in 2016.
 
While the state builds its program, children and families are forced to find alternative remedies or travel out of state for medical marijuana products to ease their pain. The wheels of government shouldn’t stand in the way of patient care. I am hopeful the Senate follows suit and helps make this legislation a reality for families dealing with some truly terrible afflictions.
 
I am also hopeful that in the final week of the legislative session, the same type of determined effort that resulted in passage of the emergency medical marijuana bill will be demonstrated on several other issues.
 
STRONG FINISH CAN OVERCOME A DISAPPOINTING START
 
As the legislative session comes to a close, it is pivotal that legislators put their heads down and find a way to end the session by enacting intelligent, meaningful laws that will improve the lives of those we represent. The passage of our emergency medical marijuana bill is a great example of what we can achieve when we focus solely on the public’s best interest. Despite a complicated year that featured far too many distractions and scandals, I still believe we can make good on our promise to New Yorkers to deliver solutions to the many obstacles that remain.
 
There have been several key issues I have consistently fought to address this year. Our tax climate remains abysmal, our education system still lacks a clear direction and Brittany’s Law, a potentially life-saving bill that would create a registry of violent criminals, has yet to come to the floor for a vote despite overwhelming support in the Senate. In the last few days on the legislative calendar, it is my sincere hope we can reach agreements on:

  • Protecting women and families from violence by passing Brittany’s Law;
  • A broad tax-cut and tax-relief program to improve the business climate for all New Yorkers;
  • Making the property tax cap permanent;
  • A moratorium on unfunded mandates;
  • A comprehensive pension forfeiture bill and ethics reforms that truly deter bad behavior from all public servants;
  • A delay of the failing Common Core learning standards; and
  • Legalization of Mixed Martial Arts  

Our priority must be the welfare of New Yorkers. Government works best when the people’s priorities are our priorities. I hope that in this last week of scheduled voting we make necessary wholesale changes and put in place a long-term plan that has been sorely absent in recent years.
 
What do you think?  I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, email me at kolbb@assembly.state.ny.us, find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.

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