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TAXES & AFFORDABILITY

 

Hard-working middle-class families on the South Shore of Long Island are faced with one of the highest costs of living in the country.  Mike believes that reforming and simplifying our tax code is imperative to ensuring that our families and small businesses have an opportunity to expand and grow while allowing our national economy to thrive.  A believer in fiscal responsibility, Mike will seek to cut wasteful government spending and support measures that keep your hard-earned income in your wallets.  As an Assemblyman, Mike has been a vocal opponent to New York’s poor financial planning and yearly multi-billion-dollar budget shortfalls and rejects proposals that will raise taxes to address the budget deficit.  On Long Island and throughout New York State, young professionals and retirees are leaving at record pace and often cite being priced-out and over-taxed as their primary reason for leaving.  Mike supports legislation to eliminate the federal cap on state and local property tax (SALT) deductions which unfairly impacts Long Island homeowners. 

 

Mike’s action on this issue:

 

  • Introduced legislation to repeal Congestion Pricing which increases the cost to suburban drivers and commuters who enter New York City congestion zones.  The MTA should not put the burden of their mismanagement on the drivers of New York who already deal with a skyrocketing cost of living. 

 

  • Co-Sponsored legislation making the first $100,000 of an individual’s private pension non-taxable from its current ceiling of $20,000.

LAW ENFORCEMENT & FIRST RESPONDERS

 

Mike is staunch advocate for our law enforcement officers and first responders.  When New York City police officers were the victims of heinous water dousing attacks, Mike took action and introduced legislation making such detestable acts a felony charge and when the anti-police rhetoric reached a tipping point, Mike joined the leaders of police unions from across New York State for a rally on the steps of City Hall where they called on the Mayor to pledge his support for our officers and denounce such disgusting behavior.  Mike believes that America was built on the fundamental principles of right versus wrong and recognizes that our men and women in uniform take a sacred oath in the name of courtesy, professionalism, and respect to keep our communities safe.  Mike is committed to making sure that our first responders have the resources and support they need in order to ensure they can effectively do their jobs and return home safely to their families. 

 

Mike’s action on this issue:

 

  • Introduced legislation – in the era of anti-police rhetoric where criminals are emboldened – making the act of resisting arrest a Class-E felony from a simple misdemeanor.

 

  • Introduced legislation that would protect volunteer firefighters from any costs associated with legal liability for their actions. 

EDUCATION & OPPORTUNITY

 

Mike believes that states and school districts should have freedom from national standards and the flexibility to control the quality of education at a local level.  K-12 education faces a number of emerging trends including a rise in ELL student populations, increased security requirements, and greater demand for mental health programs and services.  Mike is a strong advocate for school districts to have sustainable and predictable funding plans that will aid them in their long-term fiscal planning.  In higher education, Mike understands the value of a college degree and supports measures to make college more affordable for hard-working, law-abiding families.  Mike is also a strong advocate for career and technical education which often leads to high-paying jobs in manufacturing and technology.  Ultimately, Mike wants to see every young American thrive and participate in our economy and believes access to a quality education beginning at a young age and extending through early adulthood is instrumental to achieving this goal. 

 

Mike’s action on this issue:

 

  • Co-Sponsored legislation establishing the “Learning for Work” Act.  This bill would create the Learning for Work program in high schools that will offer a youth apprenticeship program, an enhanced regional professional diploma in a specified occupation area, and a tax credit for employers who take part in the program thus ensuring all students are prepared to enter the 21st century workforce. 

 

  • Co-Sponsored legislation allowing college supplies such as textbooks and software as a tax-deductible expense in order to defray some of the unpredictable costs associated with higher education.    

PUBLIC SAFETY

 

Mike believes that regardless of age, race, or economic status, everyone wants to live in safe communities.  A strong opponent to the cash bail elimination measures and other pro-crime policies such as the non-prosecution of certain offenses and the closure of jails, Mike believes that respect for law and order and strong police-community relations is the bedrock of our society.  Mike has led numerous efforts aimed at enhancing our quality of life including holding a Rally for Safety where dozens of concerned residents demanded a greater police presence at local train stations so that they could feel safe and free from intimidation and harassment during their daily commutes.  Mike also supports cooperation between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to eradicate MS-13 and other violent criminal gangs from our communities and supports increased investment in after-school programs and services for vulnerable students. 

 

Mike’s action on this issue:

 

  • Introduced legislation extending the duration that Level 1 sex offenders must register annually from 20 years to 30 years and provide local governments with the ability to adopt local residency restrictions for registered sex offenders. 

 

  • Co-Sponsored legislation authorizing the use of cameras mounted on school buses to capture incidents of drivers illegally overtaking and passing a stopped school bus and increasing the penalties for this violation. 

VETERANS & MILITARY

 

When critical funding for veteran mental health programs was cut from the state budget, Mike was quick to respond.  At a press conference with over one hundred proud Long Island veterans, Mike successfully demanded that the Governor restore these funds.  Later when a Democrat-led committee failed to advance legislation granting the children of fallen service members financial assistance to attend public universities, Mike led the effort alongside his Republican colleagues to right this injustice.  Mike believes that our military should have the best training, weaponry, and state-of-the-art equipment to respond swiftly in the defense of our nation.  Mike is also committed to ensuring that our veterans have access to high quality healthcare, education, and have opportunities to transfer their unique skills and superior leadership qualities into private sector employment.  Mike believes it is our nation’s responsibility to support veterans and military families by honoring their selfless service and sacrifice. 

 

Mike’s action on this issue:

 

  • Co-Sponsored legislation authorizing Nassau and Suffolk Counties to waive certain fees associated with capital improvement projects for veteran’s organizations in order to avoid those costs being passed on to their individual members.

 

  • Co-Sponsored legislation creating a Home and Land Ownership Loan Fund which authorizes the State of New York to provide eligible veterans with down payment assistance or rehabilitation loans for distressed properties in order to improve a veterans’ transition to civilian life and benefit the community as a whole. 

 

HEALTHCARE
 

America is blessed to have the most highly trained doctors and medical professionals and with incredible advancements in research and technology, patients have access to world-renowned hospitals and care.  Despite this, our system is not without flaws and Mike is committed to working across the aisle to find common-sense solutions to a number of issues impacting consumers including increasing premiums, high deductibles, and narrow provider networks.  Mike supports protecting those with pre-existing conditions and finding new ways to improve quality while lowering costs. 

 

Mike’s action on this issue:

 

  • Co-Sponsored legislation to require healthcare facilities to establish safe nurse-to-patient ratios in order to ensure the appropriate level of care can always be provided.

 

  • Co-Sponsored legislation requiring health insurance companies to provide coverage – to men and women over the age of 35 – for critical mammogram screenings from the previous age of 40 years old in order to help in early detection and intervention. 

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

As a representative of the South Shore of Long Island, Mike understands how critical it is to protect our environment, water quality, and unique coastal resources.  From small acts such as participating in local community clean-ups to fighting for an additional $3 Million to ensure a full and proper remediation of a State Superfund Site, Mike strongly believes we all have a role to play in being good stewards of the environment.  Recognizing that our public water supply systems face a number of threats including emerging contaminants and aging infrastructure, Mike spearheaded the formation – and served as Chairman – of the New York State Assembly Task Force on Water Quality which traveled the State holding numerous regional forums aimed at identifying and finding solutions to these serious problems.  Mike is committed to working with stakeholders in order to ensure that the next major water crisis does not happen right here in our own backyards. 

 

Mike’s action on this issue:

 

  • Co-Sponsored legislation prohibiting the sale of consumer products containing 1,4-Dioxane – a “likely carcinogenic to humans” according to the Environmental Protection Agency.  Increased levels of 1,4-Dioxane have been detected in drinking water throughout Long Island and this legislation stems its flow into water systems by ensuring it is not in the cleaning and cosmetic products we use on a daily basis.

 

  • Co-Sponsored legislation providing public water suppliers more time to bring legal action against polluters by clarifying the statute of limitations on such action commences three years from the date the contamination was detected not from the date it occurred. 

 

JOBS & ECONOMIC GROWTH

 

America’s strong entrepreneurial spirit is what sets us apart and has allowed our country to become a leader on the world stage. In order for us to sustain this position, it is imperative that we reduce burdensome regulations that only stand to cripple small businesses and halt investments.  Unrealistic and unnecessary mandates at all levels of government have stifled economic growth and job creation.  A supporter of the American Dream, Mike recognizes that a strong economy is imperative to one’s ability to reach their full potential.  Therefore, Mike is a proponent of common-good capitalism – a system which supports a business’s right to profit while ensuring American workers are taken care of and both parties are working towards a shared common interest of benefiting, growing, and protecting our great society and national interests.  

 

Mike’s action on this issue:

 

  • Co-Sponsored legislation creating the “Small Business Full Employment Act” which would provide various tax cuts to support small businesses, reduce regulatory burdens, and provide an amnesty period for business owners to pay outstanding debts and address violations without crippling penalties and fines.

 

  • Co-Sponsored legislation prohibiting any new unfunded mandates on local governments and school districts who often are forced to increase property taxes on local businesses which only serves to create fewer jobs, reduce investment, and contribute to the decline of our communities.  This legislation would provide vital relief to families and small business owners. 

 

IMMIGRATION & BORDER SECURITY

 

Mike is a staunch advocate for American’s legal immigration system.  America was built by immigrants and their cultural contributions to our society should always be celebrated.  Despite this, we face serious issues that unfortunately have gone unaddressed for decades and have ultimately led to millions of undocumented individuals currently residing in this country.  Mike supports securing our national border and developing common-sense measures to fix our legal immigration system.  He opposes programs and laws that use taxpayer money to reward those here illegally such as the issuance of driver’s licenses and tuition assistance programs.  Mike also proudly supports Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the role they play in keeping our country safe and removing dangerous gang members, sex predators, and murderers from our communities.  

 

Mike’s action on this issue:

  • Introduced legislation authorizing the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to cooperate with federal law enforcement authorities by releasing pertinent immigration status information that will help ICE keep America safe.

 

  • Mike voted against New York’s “Green Light Law” which provides driver’s license to those here illegally. 

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

 

Mike strongly believes that the United States of America must remain a leader in world affairs.  By enhancing our relationships with our allies and denouncing the bad actions of our enemies, America’s foreign policy should be based on defending our national interests at home and abroad.  To achieve our foreign policy goals and expand our influence in the world, America must rely on a combination of military force, intelligence, and common-sense diplomacy that prioritizes preparedness against terrorism and modern unconventional threats.  Mike opposes the Iran Nuclear Deal and supports the denuclearization of North Korea.