The New York state budget is considerably late. At a time when the Assembly and Senate leadership should be reaching a consensus with the governor, negotiations have reached a standstill. This is not acceptable. The Assembly and Senate Majorities, who control the legislative process and must by law hold public conferences on the budget, have not done enough to produce a budget that is on time, economically responsible, or fair to Upstate and Long Island.
One thing is for sure – Long Island is home to thousands of shopping options from big boxes to big malls to downtowns to strip malls. We are known to shop until we drop. During tough economic times, we all often let the best bargains determine where we shop.
The Government Reorganization and Citizens Empowerment Act took effect on March 21, 2010. The new state law is meant to help reduce the layers of numerous local governments and special districts by simplifying the process to consolidate or dissolve them. The ultimate goal is to help reduce the cost of local government for the taxpayers.
Gladys Carrión, commissioner of the New York State Office of Children & Family Services, oversees 26 juvenile detention facilities that hold close to 2,000 kids under 16 who have committed criminal acts. In a 2008 interview with New York Daily News, she stated that over 80 percent of the adolescents in this system have serious mental health problems that go untreated. Carrión described the network of juvenile facilities as a “pipeline to prison.” The system damages children and families and fails to make our neighborhoods safer.
This past Friday morning, three immigrant worker advocates left the parking lot of the Hempstead Home Depot and started walking toward Queens.
“Working together is not in Long Islanders’ DNA.”
I sometimes hear that when I share with people examples of regions acting in cooperative ways to address their problems.
On Saturday, March 6, I went to Colleran Park with seven young children. I live in the neighborhood, and thought that this was the perfect park as I could watch all of them and they could not go far. Unfortunately, the park was locked with no explanation. Needless to say, the children and I were very disappointed.
The lands, waters, and wildlife of New York are vital to our state’s identity and strength. If enacted, Governor Paterson’s FY2010/11 Executive Budget proposal would strike a harsh blow to the state’s ability to address critical environmental issues now and for years to come. Our rich natural resources protect our drinking water, contribute billions of dollars a year in revenue through tourism and other industries, provide green spaces for millions of city residents, and support a breathtaking variety of wildlife. From the Adirondacks to the shores of the Hudson to the bays and beaches of Long Island, our precious lands and waters must be protected—for our health, for our prosperity and for our children’s future.
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