New York state Republican leaders outline 2021 legislative priorities

New York State

ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Last week, progressive advocates and lawmakers unveiled their priorities for New York’s upcoming legislative session as part of a “Justice Roadmap.” It included proposals like legalizing recreational marijuana and eliminating parole and probation fees. But, Republicans are outlining some ideas ahead of 2021 as well, saying helping small businesses is top of the agenda. 

“They are the engine the economic engine of New York State, so couple things, we obviously would like to either get rid of some of the regulation on small business or at the very least provide some relief during this pandemic,” said Assembly Republican Leader Will Barclay.

Republicans say getting small businesses back on their feet will improve New York’s overall economic picture, and that the state should look at its “tax and spend” policies. “I think looking at something like giving them a brake on sales tax, you hear a lot from the other side about canceling rent, well how about giving small businesses a break on their sales tax receipts?” said Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt.

“The other thing is how about all that settlement money that is collected over the years? That should be redirected towards small businesses and helping small businesses,” said Barclay.

Leader Ortt says his conference will also “continue to stand with law enforcement.” “There’s a correlation here, you cannot have a successful economy be it in NYC or Buffalo or anywhere in between if you don’t have safe communities,” he said.

Both Barclay and Ortt also say they’ll continue to push to limit the Governor’s emergency powers. “Our voters don’t send us to Albany and pay our salaries to sort of standby and wait to see what the Governor’s going to do . They expect we’re going to be a part of this, so if we have to put forward a resolution every single day that we’re in session to rescind the Governor’s powers until it’s done, then that’s what we’ll do,” Ortt said.

The first day of the 2021 session is slated for January 6.

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