ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The main focus of the 2023 legislative session is on making New York State more affordable. Gov. Kathy Hochul and other state legislators are stressing the importance of lowering housing costs and everyday expenses with inflation still causing problems for many.
“The affordability crisis in housing, in energy, in everything, it’s making life just too damn hard for New Yorkers,” Hochul said.
State Sen. Jim Tedisco said he’s focusing on economic incentives to keep people from leaving the state including renewing the gas tax holiday, which expired at the end of 2022. He also said that he plans to introduce a bill to adjust the tax based on the price of gas, and put that revenue toward state infrastructure.
“It would ratchet down the sales tax to zero at $3, it would keep the sales tax off at 36 in perpetuity until it goes back down and recessed back from three dollars to $2.25,” Tedisco said.
Assemblymember Pat Fahy said she is open to discussions on the gas tax and wants to look at more ways for New Yorkers to get economic relief. “The earned income tax credit has been one of the most successful anti-poverty programs in this country and I have a bill to expand that,” she said.
Bail reform is another topic up for debate in this year’s session. Tedisco plans to focus on revising rules regarding public safety and victim impact statements for crimes.
“You’d have to videotape any victim, family member, or individual themselves,” Tedisco said. “The individuals who are interviewing the parolee, they would have to take that interview. They would have to view it before they interview individuals who perpetrated the crimes.”
Fahy said that she wants to prioritize addressing crime through mental health support and reducing gun violence. “We need more resources to address this epidemic we are seeing everywhere of mental health challenges and I think that fuels a perception, if not some serious problems with crime,” she said.