With Election Day two months away, the Mid-Hudson’s six Democratic State Senate candidates announced their new partnership, a series of priorities, and a commitment to strengthen the region’s position in the Legislature. The delegation includes Sens. James Skoufis (SD 39), Pete Harckham (SD 40) and Jen Metzger (SD 42) as well as candidates Elijah Reichlin-Melnick (SD 38), Karen Smythe (SD 41), and Michelle Hinchey (SD 46).
The six will provide each other campaign support and, most importantly, work as a collective on behalf of the Mid-Hudson region once elected and serving in the State Senate. Their priorities include:
Protecting the public’s health from COVID-19 by encouraging local PPE manufacturing and distribution, shifting economic development funding from enormous corporations to our struggling Main Street businesses, and enacting new nursing home protections to ensure our most vulnerable New Yorkers are protected from infectious outbreaks.
Fully funding foundation aid for Hudson Valley public schools to ensure our children have the resources they need to excel and our property taxpayers catch a break with more state aid coming in to cover costs.
Securing a greater share of Department of Transportation capital funding. In 2021, a new multi-year capital plan will be negotiated.
Reforming our property tax system, a long overdue and essential objective. While the property tax cap has provided much-needed relief, the current means of funding local governments and schools is regressive and disproportionately harms senior citizens and middle-class homeowners.
Preserving our open space, remediating pervasive blue-green algae, directing additional clean water resources to our communities, and implementing the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act to ensure an expeditious and smooth transition to 100% renewables and create thousands of green jobs while requiring utilities to harden the grid to protect against avoidable outages.
Better incentivizing new farmers, increasing the minimum wage housing credit for farmworkers, and expanding markets for New York products, including implementing an effective state framework to support hemp farming.
Delivering universal broadband for all, no exceptions.
Protecting the independence and integrity of the New York State Bridge Authority and defending the tolls on regional bridges.
Sen. James Skoufis (SD-39) said, “The Mid-Hudson has taken on critical issues these past two years, but there’s much work left and our region’s taxpayers need additional allies and an amplified voice. I’m proud to run with five immensely qualified, forward-looking individuals who will work as a collective to ensure the Mid-Hudson gets our fair share from Albany and our interests are always protected.”
Sen. Pete Harckham (SD-40) said, “This regional partnership will further benefit our residents by sharing ideas and resources that will ready our communities for the challenges ahead. By focusing on shared priorities that include education funding, infrastructure investments, transportation and protection of our fragile drinking water supplies, we will work together to create smart solutions that take into account our particular needs.”
Sen. Jen Metzger (SD-42) said, “Our region is unique, with its incredible scenic beauty and natural resources, and vibrant mix of small towns, family farms, and small cities. I am proud to stand with talented and dedicated colleagues and candidates to work together to tackle the issues that matter to the residents of the Mid-Hudson, including getting our schools the resources they need, expanding broadband access, and creating new job opportunities in our rural communities.”
Elijah Reichlin-Melnick (SD-38) said, “I’m excited to partner with the Hudson Valley’s current and future state senators to fight for our region. From tackling the spiraling cost of living, fighting for full school funding, and working to save small businesses and get our economy back on track, I’m ready to get to work with my future colleagues on these critical issues. Together, we’ll finally have a unified voice speaking for our region’s needs and guaranteeing that we don’t get overlooked in Albany.”
Karen Smythe (SD-41) said, “I look forward to working with my future partners in the Hudson Valley coalition. In their first terms, Sen. Skoufis, Sen. Metzger, and Sen. Harckham have made great strides protecting local taxpayers and fighting for our region’s fair share in Albany. But as our communities rebuild from the pandemic, there’s much more to be done. Working together, the six of us can leverage our collective voice to ensure that the needs of Hudson Valley residents, from infrastructure and clean drinking water to school funding and good paying jobs, are never overlooked.”
Michelle Hinchey (SD-46) said, “We need more upstate Democratic voices in Albany to make sure our communities get their fair share. I’m proud to be a part of this coalition and to work together on these priorities that are not just critical for the success of the Hudson Valley, but for all of Upstate NY. I promise to advocate strongly on behalf of those in the 46th District, including the Capital Region and the Mohawk Valley, and to fight for the issues that matter most to upstate residents like expanding access to broadband, protecting our natural resources, and creating good-paying job opportunities for generations to come.”