OLEAN - The New York state legislative session starts in earnest in January, and some issues will be pressing for those in the Senate. According to 57th District Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, guns, tax relief and the completion of Route 219 are just the beginning.
Talking to members of the Cattaraugus County Tea Party recently, Young addressed the mission to repeal the NY SAFE Act, saying that, as one moves closer to the downstate region, support for the act increases, despite nearly every upstate county legislature passing resolutions in support of a repeal.
"As I drive my district, I am very happy to see all of the yard signs to repeal the NY
SAFE Act," she said. "We need to do more of that. Those signs are keeping the issue on people's minds. The conversation is still going in Albany."
Young said the act not only runs into Constitutional challenges, but does not address the problems faced in gun violence. She said treatment for the mentally ill would go a long way in lowering gun crime, as well as lessen the number of people incarcerated.
Even if the Senate passes repeal legislation on the bill, Young said, the Assembly is a tough place to garner support for the same result, and there would be very little chance of the governor signing the repeal.
Another step in the process to control gun violence situations pertains specifically to schools, and is a solid program that can help protect students and school staff, Young said.
She said she will be working hard in the coming session to restore funding to the School Resource Officer program.
When the program was funded, going back to the George Pataki administration, Young said schools were safer places for students to be able to learn. Under Eliot Spitzer, funding was decreased in an attempt to do away with the program.
The full defunding happened under David Paterson, Young said.
This resulted in many schools around the state losing the armed officer in the school to deal with potentially dangerous situation, Young said.
"I will be pushing very hard to restore SRO budget funding in this budget year," she said. "We have to continue to have our voices heard."