On the Issues
2nd Amendment and Gun issues
There is a divide on concealed carry in NY State. If you have a concealed carry in Upstate it is not valid anywhere in the 5 Boroughs of New York City. I would like to pass federal legislation that would not allow violation of 2nd amendment rights by segregating laws within the same State. This is basically for intrastate reciprocity which might have more support than even the interstate reciprocity legislation pending. I am on the other hand for getting illegal guns out of the hands of criminals and mentally unstable individuals and working on better ways to accomplish this. I also know personally that the laws and costs to start or run a gun range in New York State is completely onerous. I am for making this easier so people have better access to safe gun ranges with more choices.
To be continuing as a success story, Southern Tier agriculture needs a skilled labor force. Cornell University and SUNY Broome have created a program to aid in this and I support continued funding for this important endeavor.
I also support initiatives that promote environmental safety and safe water practices but should be balanced with giving landowners and farmers the support they need to do this economically and affordably. When needed, grants to help those that cannot do this on their own should be available as well. I plan on working with REDC’s (Regional Economic Development Councils) on ensuring that traditional and technology-intensive farming and food manufacturing in the Southern Tier maintains a positive growth trajectory going into 2020 and beyond. This will involve frequent visits in District with the farmers and manufacturers making this Upstate Ag economy possible. Training farmers to use drone technology for their Ag operations is a high priority.
Defense and Border Security
Most Americans realize that Border security is best managed by a balanced approach combining physical barriers, intensive technological detection and boots on the ground. As a 6-year non-combat Veteran of the U.S. Army, I am aware of many strong policies but also of areas needing improvement including a more independent Inspector General system, more efficient use of budgetary tax payer dollars and better psychological care of our combat vets. Making sure troops have adequate equipment is a top priority as well as better preparing discharged vets for being small business owners and skilled working positions.
The Democratic Party to some degree has become fractioned into Far Left vs. Centrist Democrats. Far Left Dems want to promise free education for all and in the meantime, the ability to attend community college is regrettably still out of the reach for lower middle-income families and debt for this has mounted. I have met numerous young adults who started community college and had to drop out due to affordability issues. They are left with debt and no degree which is completely unacceptable. We need to allow local schools K-12 to decide how to prepare their students for the real world and get better parent involvement in the process as well. Federal government programs in many cases have over reached and resulted in mandates that are cumbersome, ineffective and stressful to students, parents and teachers.
The New York State Teachers Union continues to lead the way for it’s members in fighting for fair contracts and benefits and more. The Making Strides program that contributes majorly towards fighting breast cancer and it’s medical research deserves constant kudos. I support NYSUT in all these ways and will continue to do so as your next Congress person. Breast cancer is personal to my family and we appreciate the hard work NYSUT members do in this area. The women of NYSUT also support many other community based programs that are very appreciated. My special needs daughter was blessed with some of he best special education teachers here in Ithaca, NY and we are forever grateful for their dedication to their profession and loving they gave to our daughter.
Environment and Energy
I do not believe in the New Green Deal’s mission to get rid of all air traffic travel or other silly initiatives. I do believe that we need to aggressively move to cleaner energy sources in a wide array including solar, wind and geothermal energy projects. Geothermal small projects in the residential sector is grossly underdone. I also believe in making existing homes more efficient and better insulated is a real attainable goal. We need to keep the members of Congress that are bought and paid for by special interest Lobby groups from the fossil fuel industry at bay and really work on both technological ways of dealing with climate change and individual responsibility to reduce our personal carbon footprints.
Health Care and VA Health care
Dr. Noren sincerely desires a health care system in the US that includes everyone. However, he feels that the current systems are in need of drastic overhauls. He feels that we need an immediate relief from high monthly premium costs by Federal mandate/ law, and to drastically regulate the health insurance industry in such a way as to level the playing field for individuals & businesses. The health care delivery model can be changed over a period of 3- 5 years in progressively “Universal” measures. The reimbursement rates for providers need to be fair and likely 80% of UCR (usual and customary rates). The overall obesity rate and unhealthy habits are causing billions of dollars in extra health care costs in the U.S. and are worse than many countries. We need to have politicians who motivate people to live healthier and also make community exercise facilities more affordable and accessible.
I would like to create and expand more State/Federal partnerships in job posting/training/networking opportunities for the Southern Tier and close some gaps geographically for offices doing this that are often covering 3 or more Counties. A great State of NY resource that also has Veteran links is: https://labor.ny.gov/jobs/regional.shtm I would also like to increase the number of federally granted job training programs and internship opportunities for many fields and to include Ag training in areas that are not as heavily provided for. Because there are more manufacturing uses for robotics to replace workers, there will be an ongoing need to train a workforce in robotics technology and maintenance, as well as computer software development for that technology.
You can be socially responsible and fiscally responsible and be a Democrat. I am one of ‘those types’. I am for looking at the federal budget and getting rid of funding for seemingly ludicrous items and at the same time funding those things that are critical to the normal functioning of programs that protect our safety, well-being and democracy. I pay a major amount of taxes State and Federal and wouldn’t mind as much if I knew that there was not so much waste, fraud and abuse. I think the tax burden on small businesses has not been adequately addressed and goes hand in hand with ethical budgeting.