Will There Be An Adult In The Room In Albany?

We have long placed great trust in the state Senate to be a necessary speed bump on the costly policies proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Assembly.

The Nov. 6 election removed the speed bump and built a Democratic Party drag strip from Buffalo to Albany.

The news is particularly bad for Chautauqua County. State Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, has worked her way into key leadership positions in the state Senate, which helped give the county a greater voice on state issues. It will be interesting to see how rural counties like Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties fare when it comes to school and infrastructure funding with so much of the state’s decision-making power centered downstate. It was a struggle dealing with upstate issues even with Republican control of the state Senate. We shudder to think that things could actually get worse.

To his credit, some items on Cuomo’s list of priorities includes things most reasonable people can agree should happen. New York needs ethics reform. The bail system in New York needs to be reformed, though not at the expense of public safety. Some voting reform is certainly worth discussion, though we hope Cuomo starts small.

Other items the governor mentioned shortly after the election, on the other hand, will be a bitter pill to swallow. The DREAM Act, which gives tuition assistance to undocumented college students brought to the country illegally when they were children, seems likely to happen. The “Flag” bill, which would allow a teacher or family member to petition a court to have weapons confiscated from a person who may be dangerous or emotionally disturbed, also seems a safe bet to become law.

The New York Health Act has been passed before in the state Assembly and we’re sure it will be a talking point come January. The act would ban private insurance, eliminate all insurance options and force both employers and employee to pay huge tax increases and is sure to be a talking point come January despite an independent analysis that shows the cost could exceed $226 billion — or roughly 450 percent more than current state income tax projections.

We know the types of legislation that will be making news. No one knows if state government will run like children let loose in the world’s biggest candy store or if someone in power will act like an adult. For months, voters heard about the coming of a blue wave. It hit New York — and now the best we can hope is that we don’t all drown in the next two years.