Serino, Gip­son in Se­nate re­match

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Wil­liam J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­line.com

State Sen. Sue Serino will be in a re­turn match against for­mer state Sen. Terry Gip­son in try­ing to win a sec­ond term in rep­re­sent­ing the 41st state Se­nate Dis­trict.

Serino, of 38 Man­sion Drive, in Hyde Park, will be on the Repub­li­can, In­de­pen­dence, Con­ser­va­tive, and Re­form Party lines. Gip­son, of 84 East Mar­ket Street, Rhinebeck, will be on the Demo­cratic, Work­ing Fam­i­lies, Green, and Women’s Equal­ity line.

The 41st Se­nate Dis­trict com­prises all of Dutchess County, ex­cept for the town of Beek­man and Pawl­ing; and the Put­nam County towns of Kent, Put­nam Val­ley and Philip­stown.

Terry Gip­son

Gip­son, 53, is a lec­turer of com­mu­ni­ca­tions at SUNY New Paltz. He was on the Rhinebeck Vil­lage Board for two terms from 2007-2011, won a state Se­nate seat in 2012 but lost to Serino in his re­elec­tion bid in 2014.

Gip­son and wife Michelle Don­ner have lived in the dis­trict for 10 years. He grad­u­ated from John Tyler High School, in Tyler, Texas, in 1981; earned a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in fine arts from Texas Tech Uni­ver­sity in 1986; and re­ceived a mas­ter’s de­gree in fine arts from Penn State Uni­ver­sity in 1991. He is a mem­ber of Ki­wa­nis Club of Pough­keep­sie and the Rhinebeck His­toric So­ci­ety.

“I want to change how we fund pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion, which means I want to elim­i­nate prop­erty taxes as they ap­ply to school fund­ing,” he said. “I want to re­place that with a sys­tem that is fully funded by the state and I want the full fund­ing of the state to be fi­nanced by ask­ing those who make a mil­lion dol­lars or more to pay their fair share into the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem.”

Gip­son said fo­cus­ing on the en­vi­ron­ment is go­ing to be a pri­or­ity for the next leg­is­la­ture, which should work at re­duc­ing the risks from ma­jor in­dus­tries.

“It’s go­ing to re­quire that we put more pres­sure on Gen­eral Elec­tric to fin­ish their job of clean­ing up the Hud­son River, and it’s go­ing to re­quire that we put stricter reg­u­la­tions on the oil trains that run up and down the Hud­son River and make them safer, and it’s go­ing to re­quire that we not al­low these barges that want to dock in the Hud­son River as oil de­pots,” he said. “We can’t al­low that to hap­pen, and it’s fi­nally and most im­por­tant go­ing to re­quire that the state in­vest more into up­date our drink­ing wa­ter sys­tems all through­out the state and the Hud­son Val­ley be­cause they’re all de­te­ri­o­rat­ing be­yond their life and putting all of our drink­ing wa­ter at risk.”

Gip­son said ethics re­form needs to in­clude dis­cus­sions about “get­ting the big cor­po­rate money” out of the po­lit­i­cal sys­tem.

“The way to do that is to close the LLC loop­hole,” he said. “This is leg­is­la­tion that democrats sup­port and it’s leg­is­la­tion repub­li­cans con­tinue to op­poses. So it’s one of the things that could be ac­com­plished eas­ily with a demo­cratic state Se­nate.”

Gip­son said he fa­vor term lim­its and would like to see dis­cus­sions start at lim­it­ing elected of­fices to 16 years.

Gip­son con­tends that stronger ef­forts to deal with the heroin epi­demic needs to in­clude more op­por­tu­ni­ties to have ad­dic­tion treat­ment cov­ered through in­sur­ance.

“The heroin epi­demic is an is­sue that needs to be dealt with and it re­quires that we put stronger reg­u­la­tions on the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try and the in­sur­ance in­dus­try be­cause peo­ple are not get­ting ac­cess to the re­hab that they need to get off heroin and that’s the fault of the in­sur­ance in­dus­try lobby and their enor­mous in­flu­ence on cam­paigns,” he said.

Sue Serino

Serino, 55, owns Serino Realty and was pre­vi­ously on the Hyde Park Town Board from 2010-11 and the Dutchess County Leg­is­la­ture 2012-14. She pre­vi­ously lost a race for the Town Board in 2008.

Serino has lived in the dis­trict since 1997 and with hus­band Mark has one adult child. He grad­u­ated from John Jay High School in 1979 and is a mem­ber of the Hyde Park Cham­ber of Com­merce and the Dutchess County Cham­ber of Com­merce.

Serino said pri­or­i­ties for the dis­trict in­clude eco­nomic grown.

“That starts with bring­ing new busi­nesses here,” she said.

“I live in Hyde Park, we don’t have a sewer,” she said. “Peo­ple would say...that’s the Town Board’s fault and it’s not. It’s not peo­ple’s de­ci­sion, it’s that we’ve had a lack of fund­ing, so I’d like to see fund­ing come for a sewer dis­trict here...We have a lot of empty stores here. It would en­able other busi­nesses to be here.”

Serino said among the most im­por­tant ac­com­plish­ments has been for the state to com­mit to a $24 mil­lion project to put in a over­pass that al­low Pud­ding Street drivers to cross the Ta­conic State Park­way.

“350 kids a day travel on a school bus to cross the street,” she said. “For 20 years peo­ple in Put­nam have been told we’re go­ing to be ad­dress­ing this and putting an over­pass in.”

Serino said deal­ing with the heroin ad­dic­tion epi­demic needs to be a pri­or­ity for the next leg­is­la­ture.

“We got $189 mil­lion in the bud­get this year,” she said. “That’s a lot of money and some of that money should go to­ward re­cov­ery be­cause when you talk to par­ents ... there’s no place for these young peo­ple to go.”

Serino said there also needs to be more aware­ness of the state’s Good Sa­mar­i­tan Law, which al­lows some­one to call for help if some­one else is hav­ing a drug overdose and not be pros­e­cuted even if they are car­ry­ing the drugs.

“There was a young man in his early 20s just about a month ago, he was in a car in his drive­way with his buddy,” she said. “His buddy left him in the car while ... (there was a) Nar­can kit in­side. He did not call 911 be­cause he didn’t know about the Good Sa­mar­i­tan Law.”

Serino said cor­rup­tion among law­mak­ers in Al­bany can be curbed with term lim­its and cut­ting pen­sions for of­fi­cials con­victed of felonies.

“If I am for­tu­nate enough to get elected again I would term limit my­self out at eight years,” she said. “I don’t even take a per diem. I look at peo­ple who are driv­ing back and forth ... I might be go­ing to

Al­bany, they are go­ing to New York City pay­ing Metro North, they’re pay­ing the park­ing. I don’t take money for gas and I don’t take the $170 a day that I’d be el­i­gi­ble to take.”

Serino said re­cent re­ports about po­ten­tial pay raises for state law­mak­ers are a con­cern.

“At one point they said it was 47 per­cent and an­other ar­ti­cle (said) 80 per­cent,” she said. “That’s ridicu­lous and be­tween that and the gover­nor say­ing he wants to do away with out­side in­come and two-year terms. That’s a recipe for cor­rup­tion be­cause if some­body has to not have out­side in­come and they’re strug­gling to keep that job I think it opens the door for cor­rup­tion.”

FILE

Terry Gip­son, left, and state Sen. Sue Serino

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