Wish­ing you all a Happy Hol­i­day Sea­son

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - OPINION - By Assem­bly­woman Mary Beth Walsh

It is im­pos­si­ble to be­lieve that 2019 is al­most over, and that the hol­i­day sea­son is upon us. I have been think­ing about this past year, and pre­par­ing my­self for what will come in Jan­uary 2020 when the leg­isla­tive ses­sion will start again.

Over­all, 2019 saw dra­matic changes in Al­bany with the Se­nate, As­sem­bly, gov­er­nor, at­tor­ney gen­eral and comp­trol­ler all in the hands of one party. With­out healthy checks and bal­ances, there were a num­ber of bills passed which were not thought­fully con­sid­ered, in­clud­ing sweep­ing changes to our crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem and elec­tion process.

My col­leagues, in­clud­ing Sen. Jim Tedisco, and I have called for a halt to these mea­sures in or­der to take a closer look at them, but it ap­pears that mod­er­a­tion is in short sup­ply.

I imag­ine that af­ter years of a Repub­li­can-led Se­nate, the prospect of com­plete leg­isla­tive con­trol could eas­ily re­sult in an im­mod­er­ate reach for power and a strong de­sire to get bills done that were re­peat­edly blocked.

In fact, the con­cept of mod­er­a­tion it­self ap­pears to have been lost. The gov­er­nor’s ill-con­ceived plan to re­quire New York­ers to pur­chase re­place­ment li­cense plates was in my view an un­nec­es­sary money grab, but I’m so re­lieved that the gov­er­nor re­con­sid­ered and rolled back, due in part to in­tense pres­sure brought to bear by Sen. Tedisco and the As­sem­bly Repub­li­can Con­fer­ence.

As we head into the New Year, and a new leg­isla­tive ses­sion, I sin­cerely pray that we can find mod­er­a­tion and ci­vil­ity again.

In a pres­i­den­tial and leg­isla­tive elec­tion year, marked by im­peach­ment in­quiries and dam­ag­ing rhetoric, let us be­have re­spect­fully and rea­son­ably to­ward each other to achieve com­mon goals. Let us prom­ise to get out­side of our own ide­o­log­i­cal “echo cham­bers” and lis­ten to each other, con­sid­er­ing other points of view.

Let us ask open-ended ques­tions: who, what, where, why and how – so we can learn from each other.

Trav­el­ing through­out this beau­ti­ful com­mu­nity, I have met so many in­tel­li­gent and im­pas­sioned peo­ple, and while I know we do not and will not al­ways agree, I am priv­i­leged to rep­re­sent ev­ery­one in the 112th As­sem­bly Dis­trict.

I wish you all a very safe and en­joy­able time with your loved ones dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son. Thank you for an­other great year and your con­tin­ued sup­port.


Mary Beth Walsh

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