~ State Senator Terry Gipson ~
I’m Terry Gipson, and I’m honored to be serving my first term as a New York State Senator, representing the 41st District, which includes Dutchess and Putnam Counties. My wife Michelle and I are residents of Rhinebeck, where I formerly served as Village Trustee and owned a small business. Community is important to us and we have been involved with the local libraries, historical society, farmer’s market and Chambers of Commerce.
Prior to moving to Rhinebeck, we lived in White Plains, where I served as a volunteer firefighter and worked in design. For more than 20 years, I made my living developing creative solutions for complex problems — and this has proven to be a unique and valuable asset in Albany.
Born and raised in Tyler, Texas, I am proud of my family’s history of hard work and determination. Encouraged to be a self-starter, I put myself through school, graduating from Texas Tech with a BFA in 1987, and Penn State with an MFA in 1991. To do so, I worked as a landscaper, dishwasher, cook, carpenter, painter, cafeteria manager, and scenic and lighting designer.
Frustrated by the high cost of living in New York and the inaction in Albany to address this issue, I decided to run for the State Senate. As your Senator, my top priorities include reducing the cost of living and doing business and creating jobs in the Hudson Valley. As a homeowner, I know that property taxes are the largest financial burden facing our hardworking families. I am determined to work with my colleagues to address this important issue by providing comprehensive mandate relief to our local governments, and, more critically, by finding alternatives to the way in which we fund our public education system. In doing so, we will provide greater equity for taxpayers as well as students without punishing property and business owners.
As someone who started my own business in the Hudson Valley, I know first-hand just how unaffordable it is to do business in New York State. I also know that we need to encourage entrepreneurs to start up or expand their businesses right here, rather than leaving for opportunities elsewhere. Through initiatives such as my Hire NY legislation which would provide zero interest loans to businesses with less than 5 employees to invest directly in job creation by hiring New York residents, we can encourage businesses to begin and remain in New York State and to create jobs in our communities. To further this effort, I successfully advocated for the inclusion of Dutchess and Putnam counties in the 0% manufacturing tax plan passed in the 2014-15 state budget. This program that will allow existing manufacturers to remain in the region and encourage new manufacturers to come to the area to create good paying jobs.
While making New York more business-friendly, we must continue to protect our natural resources which drive our economy. I believe we can harness the unique natural characteristics of the Hudson Valley to spur our economic growth, create jobs and lower utility costs by promoting the use and manufacturing of alternative energy and protecting our environment to maintain our quality of life as well as our robust tourism industry. I was proud to advocate for a $9 million increase to the Environmental Protection Fund and a $90 million investment in parks funding in the 2014-15 state budget to support these efforts. Additionally, I am the proud sponsor of legislation which passed the Senate and Assembly to designate Wappinger Creek as an inland waterway, providing the opportunity for the 13 surrounding municipalities to apply for state and federal funding for waterfront revitalization, storm water treatment, and wastewater management among other projects.
I am pro-choice, a strong defender of equal rights on behalf of all New Yorkers, and dedicated to preventing child abuse and domestic violence. I am also a staunch advocate for our senior citizens and veterans, and understand the importance of making sure we all have access to affordable, quality health care.
I am proud of the accomplishments we have made together during my first term in office, but I know there is much more work ahead. I look forward to continuing our work together to make Dutchess and Putnam counties more affordable for all of us. Thank you for your continued support and for the opportunity to be of service to you and your family.