<![CDATA[falk4ny.com - Andrew Falk\'s Blog]]>Sun, 14 Feb 2016 04:22:59 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Steve Katz’s lack of transparency is rich with hypocrisy]]>Tue, 05 Aug 2014 02:09:24 GMThttp://www.falk4ny.com/andrew-falks-blog/steve-katzs-lack-of-transparency-is-rich-with-hypocrisyKatz ignores financial disclosure deadline after authoring legislation to strengthen disclosure requirements   

Assembly candidate Andrew Falk (D-Patterson) highlighted the failure of his opponent, Assemblyman Steve Katz, to file financial disclosure documents with the New York State Board of Elections by the July 15 deadline. Katz’s campaign has yet to produce its financial disclosure report, more than a week after the required deadline.

“Steve Katz’s failure to disclose where his campaign money is coming from points to the hypocrisy that is unfortunately an all-too-common occurrence with him,” said Falk. “Here you have an elected official who’s authored legislation to increase financial disclosure requirements, but completely disregards the requirements as they apply to him.”

Assemblyman Katz has introduced legislation to amend New York State’s election law by expanding transparency requirements for campaigns throughout the state (A.7581). Assemblyman Katz’s bill would require all candidates to include “a clearly visible link entitled ‘MY CAMPAIGN FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE REPORTS’” on their campaign websites.

“This legislation will ensure that voters have easy access to campaign finance reports on each candidate,” noted Katz’ bill sponsor memo. “Greater transparency will provide a public mechanism for ensuring that special interests are not guiding legislation.” (http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?default_fld=&bn=A07581&term=&Summary=Y&Memo=Y0)

“Despite Katz’s impassioned plea requiring greater transparency and easy access to all candidates’ financial disclosure statements, he has ignored the July 15 reporting deadline that would reveal who is financing his own campaign,” said Falk.   “Steve Katz is advocating for greater disclosure requirements for everyone else while demonstrating a blatant disregard for the rules that already exist when it comes to his own campaign.”

Andrew Falk is challenging Steve Katz for the 94th Assembly District seat, which includes the towns of Carmel, Patterson, Putnam Valley and Southeast in Putnam County as well as Somers and Yorktown in Westchester County.

<![CDATA[Time for MTA Tax to end]]>Sun, 02 Feb 2014 19:39:07 GMThttp://www.falk4ny.com/andrew-falks-blog/time-for-mta-tax-to-endThe court’s decision to keep the MTA payroll tax in place is a disappointing blow to Hudson Valley families and businesses. The high cost of doing business in this part of the state is driving businesses away, when what we really need to do is create jobs. I’m calling on legislators in Albany to repeal the payroll tax once and for all.

The MTA payroll tax affects more than 700,000 small businesses and the self-employed. Taxing businesses is not the answer when the MTA consistently runs on a deficit. 

In 2010 the MTA had over $31 billion in debt, and payments on the debt are in the billions each year. There needs to be deep systemic changes in the way the MTA operates and financed. The real issue,is how can the MTA get on solid financial footing so that we do not have these quick fix tax scenarios every few years? To let the MTA limp along while treating the symptoms and ignoring the underlying causes is just pushing the problems down the road. 

To shift the MTA's fiscal problems onto businesses is unfair, bad for business and ultimately bad for New York.  It is time to end the MTA tax.

<![CDATA[STOP COMMON CORE]]>Fri, 17 Jan 2014 00:50:27 GMThttp://www.falk4ny.com/andrew-falks-blog/stop-common-coreOver the past year, we’ve heard a lot about the new Common Core standards in education. According to the Department of Education, the program is intended to prepare students for work and post-secondary education expectations.

While these goals may be well-intended, one thing is clear: the program is not working and must be stopped immediately.  

As a parent, I’m concerned with the shift away from addressing each student’s individual needs directly and toward “teaching to the test.” This may turn out good test takers but our kids deserve better. Our children have a right to an age appropriate education that teaches critical thinking. I’ve spoken with numerous parents and teachers, and have found that nearly all of them share my concerns and have strong negative reactions to the common core.

Unfortunately, for-profit companies have been pushing hard to keep these standards in place – publishing companies are marketing common core textbooks, common core staff development for teachers and common core student and teacher assessments. We cannot let corporations line their pockets with our education tax dollars to push a dubious curriculum. Our children's education cannot and must not be for sale.  

We also need to ensure that our children’s privacy is protected. The State Education Department plans to turn over the records of 2.3 million students to Inbloom, Inc. a non-profit company, claiming that this will make data more easily available to parents. Although Inbloom has made assurances that data won’t be released without the express permission of local school districts, we’ve seen consumer information be hacked time and time again. Anyone that assures us that there will be foolproof security after turning the database over to a third party is either lying or ignorant of the reality that we live in.

Our children deserve better and so do we. We must raise our voices together and stop common core.

<![CDATA[The way to relieve taxes]]>Tue, 14 Jan 2014 01:30:38 GMThttp://www.falk4ny.com/andrew-falks-blog/the-way-to-relieve-taxesI have very simple, common sense ideas for real tax relief.

When Albany has a good idea, Albany should pay for it.  For too long our elected officials have gone up to Albany and 'pushed down' legislation onto our schools, towns and counties.  If any new legislation comes down from Albany, it should be fully funded so our local taxes don't increase.

I also am proposing tax credits for businesses that hire employees because the private sector is the engine that runs the economy. Government's role should be to encourage job growth and help businesses bet on themselves.  This proposal offsets the risk that businesses worry about when they expand their workforce with a 15% state tax credit when they hire new employees.  If a business increases its workforce, each new employee's salary would be eligible for this tax credit.  For example, if a business creates a new job with a salary of $25,000, that business would be eligible for a $3,750 tax credit. This proposal creates a measurable way to create jobs and offer tax relief to entrepreneurs.

Why provide a tax credit?  Because every new job is a economic stimulator. Each new employee spends money in the local economy. Creating jobs has a multiplier effect as the money that employees spend works it's way through the economy. 

My campaign is focused on tax relief, jobs and economic growth. These aren't empty words. Our middle class families need help, not rhetoric.  I have a plan of action, and I will work to make this a reality.