Senator Flanagan Op/Ed: ‘Why We’re Going To Win In November’

The following is an op/ed submitted Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan:

Democrats now crow about the result of a recent Senate special election along with the well-deserved retirements of several long-term GOP state Senators, claiming it’s a harbinger for November.

Not so fast.

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Every New Yorker and every American is outraged by the senseless violence that is occurring in schools throughout the country. It is unacceptable and must be stopped.

Our Senate Republican Majority is hard at work on a comprehensive school safety plan that will ensure the state provides the support necessary to strengthen school security and keep students safe. We have had productive internal discussions this week on the concepts of a full legislative package, and expect to act as early as next week.

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In 2011, when the Senate Republicans fought for and won approval of the two-percent property tax cap, it was designed to slam the door on massive property tax hikes and give certainty to seniors and homeowners. The cap also included the promise to continue providing the resources that would help our schools and students succeed. In the years since, taxpayers have saved $23 billion, and funding for education has continued to grow. This year alone, the budget provides a record commitment for schools statewide that, when combined with STAR, totals approximately $29 billion.

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Senate Republicans tout higher number of women in conference

1511629_10153115677497925_368114028_o.jpgALBANY — As Republicans gavel the state Senate into session on Wednesday, they will do so with more female legislators in their ranks than ever before.

Seven of the chamber’s 31 Republicans are women — a higher number than in the chamber’s Democratic conference. The turnabout is the result of the retirement of Democratic Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson, the decision of Sen. Marisol Alcantara to caucus with the chamber’s Independent Democratic Conference and the election of Republicans Elaine Phillips and Pam Helming.

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Flanagan1.jpgI am humbled and gratified that my colleagues in the Senate Republican conference have unanimously reelected me as their leader. After a campaign in which we faced extraordinary challenges and yet still managed to grow our majority in a Presidential year, I couldn't be more proud to lead this outstanding group of lawmakers.

Working together, our accomplishments are many - - a game-changing property tax cap, record support for schools and elimination of the GEA, a 20-percent middle class income tax cut, six straight budgets that have held the line on spending, targeted investments that will create jobs and revitalize our economy, and critical road and bridge funds for every region of the state.

Despite these achievements, there is more to be done. Our state is still not affordable for many working and middle class people, and we need to give them the help and hope they deserve. There still aren't enough opportunities for young people and older New Yorkers to live, work, and raise their families here. We continue to grapple with questions over how to best educate our children and how to continue to fully fund their schools. And, we have hard work ahead of us on heroin addiction, Lyme disease, and other important quality-of-life issues.

I welcome Chris Jacobs, Pam Helming, Jim Tedisco, and Elaine Phillips to our conference and look forward to working with them and all of our members to protect, strengthen, and grow New York.

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