Results Are In: Ritchie Releases Findings From Legislative Survey

Strong support for reforming Common Core, concerns regarding raising the minimum wage and support for making the state’s 2 percent tax cap permanent are just several of the results released on Jan. 28 from State Senator Patty Ritchie’s 2015 Legislative Survey.

In total, nearly 4,000 Central and Northern New Yorkers participated in the survey, which touched on topics ranging from government spending to investments in our state’s agriculture industry.

“As state senator, it’s very important to me to make sure the opinions of my constituents are accurately represented when I’m in Albany,” said Ritchie. “I would like to thank the thousands of constituents who took the time to weigh in on the major issues that affect them. This feedback will be truly invaluable as I work to fight for their interests as the legislative session continues.”

Some of the key findings in Senator Ritchie’s survey results included:

79 percent of participants believe a new law should be passed to make the state’s 2 percent tax cap permanent;

90 percent of participants support a law that would “cap” state budget increases to prevent overspending;

89 percent oppose the “DREAM Act,” a legislative proposal which would make illegal immigrants eligible for taxpayer-paid tuition benefits;

71 percent support reform of Common Core;

75 percent believe a full repeal of the Gap Elimination Adjustment, a budget gimmick introduced before Senator Ritchie was elected, which has cost school districts across the state upwards of $8 billion since its introduction in 2010, should continue to be a priority in the next State Budget;

77 percent support reducing taxes on businesses that create good-paying jobs; and

72 percent support increasing funding for the “Young Farmers NY” program; an initiative launched by Senator Ritchie to help encourage more young people to pursue careers in farming.

In addition, participants were also asked for their opinions on how to spend the state’s $5 billion windfall.

According to results, most felt funds should go towards highway and bridge projects in an effort to improve infrastructure as well as create jobs and to pay down existing state debt.

Ritchie’s legislative survey represents her latest effort to call on constituents for their opinions on major issues.

Previously, she has organized surveys on topics such as outdoor recreation and education as well as hosted public forums and telephone town halls on issues such as heroin abuse and synthetic drugs.