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Lawmakers discuss plans for 2013

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Lawmakers discuss plans for 2013
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For three re-elected New York State lawmakers, the day finally arrived to be sworn into office. Our Cara Thomas tells us how Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, Assemblyman Bill Magee and Senator James Seward joined together to celebrate the start of their new terms and talk to constituents about their plans for New York State in 2013.

ONEONTA, N.Y. -- Over the past couple of years, state government officials have been gradually bringing New York State out of its economic recession.

Sen. James Seward, 51st Senate District, said, “With the hard work we’ve done over the last two years, we have gotten the state’s finances in much better shape. And the deficit instead of $10 or $12 billion, it’s down to $2 billion that we have to deal with this year.”

And lawmakers hope to continue that momentum into 2013. But to begin to see a positive change in New York State, they say there are a few top priority issues that need to be addressed.

Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney said, “Our local governments are on the brink, they’re over stressed with underfunded mandates we’ve passed down from the state which we have to address immediately.”

“We’ve got to continue the fight for our hard pressed rural schools who are having a tough time right now with finances and maintaining a good, strong, educational opportunities for our students,” said Senator Seward.

State leaders say they’ll also be working on the state’s economic issues, working with the private business sector to help increase jobs and continuing to keep tax hikes at bay.

Their solution? Cutting down on frivolous government spending and redirecting those funds to education, healthcare and infrastructure.

Assemblyman Bill Magee said, “We have done some of that with the current governor and I anticipate there’ll be more because we’re looking at maybe a $2 billion deficit that we’ve got to fill and hopefully we can do it without raising taxes. So that means some downsizing of state government.”

But even with all these struggles ahead, these government officials say they’re ready to represent their districts the best they can and make New York the rightful Empire State once again.

State Assembly leaders say they’re expecting discussions and proposed legislation surrounding the farm bill and agriculture this year as well as conversations about gun control.

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