• Terry Gipson on “Why State Government Matters”

• Terry Gipson on “Why State Government Matters”

It’s no secret that Washington is gridlocked and unwilling to govern. All the more reason why we need Albany to clean up its house and put the needs of the people first. Simply put, as Washington fails, we need Albany to do better.  State government needs to be the firewall that protects us from dysfunction and gridlock by taking a hard look at the chronic issues in our state, and working together – Democrats and Republicans – to provide creative solutions and get New York moving in the right direction again on issues like taxes, education, infrastructure and jobs.

We can’t tinker around the edges anymore – we need state leaders that are willing to rethink our entire model for taxation and education funding. We must stop strangling our municipalities and public schools, and we have to find ways to make it more affordable for all of us to live here.  Our tax systems are outdated and place a disproportionate burden on hard working middle class families and senior citizens. We need more stability in our communities and that begins with helping local governments provide important services and ensuring every child has access to a high quality public education.

Hudson Valley residents know that we depend on safe roads and bridges as well as safe drinking water and waste water systems. Yet our entire infrastructure is outdated and crumbling, undermining our economic growth and creating unsafe conditions for our communities. Still, Albany routinely avoids long-term infrastructure investment and planning that could create thousands of jobs and help us avoid the transportation and environmental crises that have affected many of our neighborhoods.

Speaking of jobs, we live in a rapidly evolving global market that demands adaptability and versatility to survive. It’s sad that Albany continues to embrace old world backroom politics when we are in urgent need of 21st century leadership that can transcend partisan bickering and get serious about recruiting the job makers of tomorrow to the Hudson Valley today.

We face real challenges. There is simply no time to waste if we are going to a build a competitive and sustainable economy that moves our communities forward and improves the quality of life for everyone.  State government matters. It is time for our elected officials in Albany to come out from behind closed doors, stop making excuses, and get busy leading with bold new ideas and a commitment to excellence.