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Politics & Government

CNY's State Lawmakers Highlight Priorities, Weigh In On Key Issues At League of Women Voters Meeting

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Central New York’s delegation of state Lawmakers shared their priorities and weighed in on key issues today as part of the annual meeting of the local chapter of the League of Women Voters.  Assemblymember John Lemondes kicked off the conversation on priorities for this year’s legislative session with holding the governor accountable for his behavior toward women.

"I think what's transpired here is terrible.  I look at my own 16-year-old daughter everyday.  My wife and I discussed this last night, and we said, 'would we want her working in that office for that man?'  Guess what the answer is:  No."

Lemondes says it’s simply wrong for others to get behind the governor and pretend nothing happened.  Other proposed priorities from lawmakers include taking care of neglected infrastructure, education, and addressing the long-term and home-care crisis.   Assemblymember Pamela Hunter says affordable housing is also an urgent matter.

"We have seen an increase in luxury apartments everywhere.  But someone who is a single mom, or making $15 an hour is not able to rent an apartment.  If people think market rate is reasonable, live off of $15 an hour and try to pay $700 for an apartment."

One of the big issues that could face lawmakers in the future is medical aid in dying for the terminally ill.  All lawmakers called it a tough topic, and many draw upon personal experiences to explain their position…including Senator Rachel May. 

"When I was 30, my husband was dying of cancer and was in an enormous amount of pain.   Back then, the doctors were not allowed to prescribe enough morphine to take care of his pain.  I wanted him to have the relief more than anything.  I do think people should have this choice."

She says there are compelling arguments from those who have profound disabilities who worry some may see their lives as expendable.  Others at the virtual discussion were Senator John Mannion, as well as Assemblymembers Bill Magnarelli, Will Barclay, and Al Stirpe.  It was moderated by WAER News Director Chris Bolt.