FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 11, 2021
The following statement is from Assemblymember Michael Reilly (R-Staten Island) on the end of the 2021 legislative session…
“As this year’s legislative session draws to a close, I fear that we are leaving the Capitol way too soon, while having accomplished way too little.
Instead of taking this final opportunity to address the issues affecting everyday New Yorkers, millions of whom are still struggling to recover from the devastating impact that the COVID-19 Pandemic had on their way of life, Albany Democrats focused on enacting an agenda largely aimed at the further degradation of our state’s criminal justice system. Despite bipartisan calls for action and numerous solutions offered by myself and those in the Republican Conference, no action was taken by those in the majority to address the so-called “reforms” that were made to the criminal justice system in 2019, namely the shortsighted “reform” that eliminated cash bail. Despite a record high crime rate in New York City and some of New York’s other large cities, Albany Democrats continue to claim that these “reforms” are working as intended – but for who?
When it comes to counting on this State Legislature to hold the Governor accountable, I hope you weren’t holding your breath. Despite the State Legislature being an equal branch of government, we seem to have failed at holding the Governor accountable for any of his actions, including the nursing home cover-up and misuse of government resources, despite a mountain of evidence implicating him and his administration. And while Albany Democrats will tell you otherwise, we are leaving without actually having removed Governor Cuomo’s emergency powers.
Of course, this is not to say that there were no positives this legislative session. In partnership with Senator Andrew Lanza, we passed two pieces of legislation that I personally believe will have a major impact in our community if signed by the Governor. The first would authorize the Sandy Ground Historical Society, whose museum is located inside my district, to apply for and receive grant money through the New York State Dormitory Authority. The second would direct the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey to study the alignment of the Outerbridge Crossing as part of the bridge’s future replacement. Additionally, I was successful in securing a $25,000 grant to benefit one of our local school, P.S. 56 in Rossville.
Although we have reached the end of the 2021 legislative calendar, I know I stand with many of my colleagues when I say we are committed to continuing to do the people’s work. New York has moved too far in the wrong direction, which is why we must ensure that we get back on track before more residents pack their bags and head for the exits.”