Since Monroe County cut the eligibility rate for its subsidized child care program, a growing numbers of families in our community have lost access to affordable, quality child care services. Childcare costs have continued to increase and can often become barriers to parents entering the workforce, for fear of losing access to assistance. I plan to make find solutions to this crisis a top priority. We must find a sustainable solution to provide all families with real access to high quality, safe and affordable child care solutions; and we will need to find innovative solutions working with school districts, employers, municipalities, and all stakeholders in our community.
Healthcare is a human right and no one should ever have to face the prospect of not affording to get sick, but many New York families still do. While we have made significant advances with the NY Healthcare Exchanges, we must work on long-term plans to provide universal coverage to all New Yorkers.
We have witnessed unprecedented support from State Government in stimulating the Upstate Economy over the past few years, and we should continue to make sure local stakeholders have a strong voice when deciding how to prioritize state resources. While we continue to work to bring more businesses and development to the Rochester region, we must make sure that any taxpayer dollar spent is spent wisely. I support restoring contract oversight to the Office of the State Comptroller, a decision I believe can also help restore the trust in our State’s economic development programs
It must also be a priority to ensure that our local job market is prepared to fill new job creation made as part of these investments. We must work with our public education systems and local colleges to create more pathways to employment, working to advance middle-skills training programs and trades apprenticeships, and finding other ways to help provide opportunities to our residents that seek it.
Public education must be the great equalizer of our society, to ensure that every child regardless of where they live has access to high-quality education. However, that is not the case for many students. We must fight for fair and equal funding across our school districts but we must also work with local leaders to make sure each district can serve their students.
We must also act on the APPR reforms that have burdened our educators and kept them from their first priority: teaching. It is a shame to see this important legislation stalled in the New York State Senate but I look forward to the new Legislature taking action in a new Session.