Key Issues

Crime and Public Safety

Since the adoption of Criminal Justice Reform in 2019 residents across New York have suffered due to an increase in crime and decrease in public safety. The state legislature, guided by one party rule, made sweeping changes without consulting with key law enforcement professionals nor anyone from the judicial system. These sweeping changes have had lasting and debilitating impacts on police officers, correction officers, court officers, prosecutors and defense attorneys, and judges. Amendments passed by the legislature have done little to abate the problems caused by this poorly thought out reform.

I’ve developed a strong relationship with law enforcement and the justice system. As senator, I’ll use that relationship to gather information on the needs of these critical members of criminal justice to bring about common sense reform so that law enforcement can continue to do the job that we hired them to do: provide for our safety and enforce the laws. I’ll be a champion for repealing Cashless Bail, Discovery Reform, and the HALT Act!

Mental Health

Year after year and budget after budget the State of New York, guided by one party rule, has refused to adequately fund the Department of Mental Health, handicapping the efforts of the talented and dedicated professionals who provide services to those who need it. Unfortunately, more often than not, those who cannot get access to mental health services resort to self-medicating and inadvertently get involved in the criminal justice system.

Collaborating with mental health professionals has provided critical insight into the needs of the staff and their clients. Restoring programming and access to services is crucial to the successful treatment. Investing in these services is an investment in a healthy and successful New York.

“We Can Win. You Can Help.”

Drug Addiction

The incidence of drug overdoses in New York State is the highest in the nation. Criminal Justice Reform has flooded our communities with illegal and dangerous narcotics. Our children are at an increased risk every day of coming in contact with fentanyl-laced substances.

True Criminal Justice Reform developed with law enforcement, judicial, and mental health partners will lead to positive results impacting multiple facets of our communities. It is only through working with the boots on the ground that we realize real reform and improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers.

Cost of Living and State Spending

New York State is one of the most expensive states to live in the country. Coupled with failing infrastructure and deteriorating quality of life, it’s easy to see why over the last couple of years New York has seen a staggering number of residents leave the state.

Fiscal policies like requiring businesses throughout the state to repay the unemployment fund rather than using federal ARPA funds, gifting $94 MILLION of federal pandemic aid to the Kiryas Joel School District, and congestion pricing proposed by the MTA lead by NYC interests are just part of the problem. A tax-code that is second to worst in the country is driving residents, and their wallets, out of the state. According to Comptroller DiNapoli, personal income tax took a $7 BILLION fall in just the first quarter of the fiscal year.

While the State constitution requires that the legislature balance the budget every year, our one-party legislature is bankrupting New York. Unrealistic projected revenues have created a $9 BILLION budget gap, which is sure to grow exponentially if we don’t demand fiscal responsibility from our lawmakers.

Protecting Local Elections

At the end of the legislative session, very quietly, a dangerous bill was passed by both houses of the state legislature and signed by Governor Hochul. The purpose of this bill, meant to destroy our democracy, is to align local elections with presidential and gubernatorial elections. The sponsor of this bill is none other than James Skoufis.