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Senator Skoufis Enumerates His Record of Independence in New York Senate

Senator Skoufis at a "Skoufis on your Street meeting

Press Release

Skoufis Retains Reputation as Most Independent Senator Voted Against Party 147 Times, Against New Taxes 84 Times in 2023

During the 2023 legislative session, Senator James Skoufis (D-Orange County) cast 147 votes independent from his party, the most of any State Senator, and voted against the creation of new taxes a whopping 84 times. His voting record, along with 2023 legislative and budget wins, were announced during recent stops on the Senator’s annual “Skoufis On Your Street” town hall tour across the county.

The three-term Senator also passed 75 bills this year, with 42 bills advancing in both the Senate and Assembly and headed for the Governor’s signature, also the most of any Senator. Several legislative initiatives that will impact Orange County directly are among those awaiting the Governor’s sign-off:

S.7538 | Bringing New York’s village incorporation laws into the 21st century, placing the power to create villages more squarely in residents’ and taxpayers’ hands, rather than in the hands of wealthy landowners, and requiring comprehensive assessments of the fiscal, service, and taxation impacts of new village creation. If signed, this law would have an immediate impact on the ongoing Village of Seven Springs petition in Monroe.

S.3309A | Permitting free access to New York’s public parks and campsites for our Gold Star Families.

S.1723A | Establishing a statewide youth development agriculture technology challenge to help engage students to develop solutions to relevant technological problems faced by our farmers and food producers.

Additional legislation passed in both chambers with hyper-local implications for the Senator’s constituents include:

S.6441B | Addressing a clerical error in the Goshen Central School District’s state aid application to reverse a loss in key transportation funding for the district during the 2020-21 school year.

S.6755A | Authorizing the Town of Warwick to convey property to allow for continued expansion of the cannabis production industry on the former Mid-Orange Correctional Facility site.

S.5834 | Designating a portion of State Route 32 from the Quaker Avenue, Cornwall intersection to Five Corners in Vails Gate as the “Catholic War Veterans Memorial Highway” to honor the devoted service of our vets to this nation.

The Senator’s long-standing advocacy around needed reform at the Orange County Industrial Development Agency (OC IDA) also paid off this year: the adopted state budget included the Senator’s provision to create a first-ever state monitor within the OC IDA that will be able to veto tax break proposals that are not in the best interest of taxpayers. The monitor, chosen by the Inspector General’s office and paid for from the OC IDA’s own coffers, will prevent future taxpayer abuses, keeping more corporate tax dollars in our Orange County communities where they belong. The Inspector General’s office expects to name and appoint the monitor within the next month.

Additionally, Senator Skoufis led the successful fight to provide more discretion to judges when determining bail for a defendant. Eliminating the so-called “least restrictive means” provision of the bail reform laws will untie the hands of judges and allow them to better keep our communities safe.

“This was an extremely productive year for our team, and we are honored to continue serving our Orange County constituents in a bipartisan manner,” said Senator Skoufis. “We value the collaborative relationships we hold with many local leaders, helping our office better understand where fiscal and policy needs exist, and leading to improved outcomes – and a stronger voice in Albany – for our residents and communities.”

For details and more information about the Senator’s legislative priorities,

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