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LITTLE VALLEY, NY (WNY News Now) – On Tuesday night, New York State Senator George Borrello held a town hall meeting in Little Valley, just weeks away from Election Day.
The Senator, who regularly holds these forums, began the meeting by expressing his concerns for the state, including inflation and workforce, which he says are at a forty year high and low, respectively.
“There are seven million able bodied men between the ages of 18 and 54 that are not only not working but are not looking for work. Now think about it, that’s seven million able bodied men that aren’t working. The problem is not that our employers aren’t paying enough. The problem is government pays too much not to work,” claims Borrello.
The Senator also expressed his concerns about the CLCPA, which on January 1, 2024 bans newly built buildings from using natural gas as a heat source as well as the closure of natural gas plants across the state.
One community member asked the Senator about a bill he co-sponsors that would split the state into three autonomous regions: The New Amsterdam Region (upstate); the New York Region (New York City); and the Montauk Region (Long Island and Rockland/Westchester).
“Now imagine having all of Upstate New York as a zone with lower taxes, less regulation. The ability to control our own destiny and everything else like agriculture and everything else that makes us the breadbasket of the state. I think a lot of people would want to move up here, to live in a freer society without leaving New York State. I can think of a lot of businesses that would want to locate here for the low cost of doing business,” says Borrello.
Though the bill is still in committee, Borrello believes this plan is the most plausible to create a more fair state.
Borrello also recalled his more recent victories like winning the lawsuit against the Governor based on violation of the separation of powers, not allowing the gerrymandering of new district lines, passing a permanent Nourish New York program, and repealing legislation that made broadband inaccessible in the area.
Another community member questioned the safety of putting wind turbines in Lake Erie.
“All that stuff from our industrial past that went into Lake Erie between the industrial waste and tanneries and all the other things, all that stuff is still there buried not that far below the surface of the lake,” says Borrello.
If the lake is dug into to place wind turbines, Borrello is concerned that the lake will become contaminated, which could have devastating effects given that the lake is the drinking water source for almost all of WNY.
The state’s new gun laws were also questioned at the meeting.
“When your goal is just to tell your base that you’re doing something about guns and not actually doing anything about violence, that’s the real problem. We’re gonna go after law-abiding gun owners and try to restrict their rights,” questions Borrello.
Borrello suggests addressing the small percentage of the population actually committing crimes, in part by supporting and strengthening Kendra’s Law.
The Senator also addressed financial discrepancies in school districts found by the Comptroller’s office and pandemic related financial mishandling.
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