The New York Health Act is a progressive bill that would guarantee health insurance for all New Yorkers. It has the strong support of health care workers. It would insulate the state from the worst machinations of the GOP in Washington, as they try to take away Obamacare. It would also return millions of dollars to our cities and counties that have been pushed to bankruptcy by being forced to foot the bill for retirees’ health care. Once again, the IDC has helped the GOP block the bill from getting a vote in the State Senate.
The New York State Senate is heavily gerrymandered to give advantage to Republicans . The IDC would give power to the GOP to do redistricting in 2020, which would make the imbalance even worse.
The IDC receives significant contributions from NYC real estate developers and the charter school lobby. The state Board of Elections has called into question the IDC's use of the Independence Party campaign committee to raise unlimited funds. And bonus or "lulu" payments to IDC members have raised further ethical questions.
It is time to return NY democracy to the voters.
Climate change is already hurting our state, through flooding and extreme weather events that damage crops and homes. The Climate and Community Protection Act that has passed in the NY Assembly will help New York minimize the adverse impacts of climate change by reducing greenhouse
gas emissions, creating good jobs and protecting workers whose jobs might be affected, and prioritizing the safety and health of disadvantaged communities.
New York State has consistently underfunded its neediest school districts. The Foundation Aid system has been hijacked by wealthy, politically powerful school districts, and the schools with greatest needs suffer. It is time to target taxpayer funding for public schools to the places where it will have the greatest impact.
New York has not updated its laws on women's reproductive rights since before the US Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade. This is yet another area where the IDC-GOP collusion in the Senate prevents New York from enacting 21st-century civil rights laws.
From a press release by Physicians for Reproductive Health: "The New York Senate refused yet again to hear both the Reproductive Health Act and the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act this year. In response, ...Consulting Medical Director Dr. Anne Davis issued the following statement:
“'As an obstetrician/gynecologist and abortion provider who cares for New Yorkers every day, I am deeply disappointed that the New York State Senate has yet again blocked the passage of legislation that is crucial to protect the health and well-being of my patients.'"
New York voters deserve better election laws. Many other states have early voting, automatic voter registration, same-day registration, and even vote-by-mail. New York has some of the most restrictive voting laws in the country, and some of the lowest voter participation rates. These restrictive laws make it particularly hard for people of modest means to participate in elections. Easy Elections laws have passed in the Assembly, but the GOP-IDC coalition blocks them from coming up for a vote in the Senate.
President Trump's cruel maneuvers with DACA magnified the vulnerability of young immigrants who came to this country as children. New York should be in the forefront of protecting them, but the Senate has blocked a vote on the NY Dream Act.
In addition, the Green Light act would allow undocumented workers to get a driver's license, which for many is crucial to their ability to do their jobs and live healthy lives.
Finally, the Liberty Act would make NY a sanctuary state, providing further protections to undocumented workers.
Like so many reforms, protections for transgender New Yorkers are stymied in the legislature by the GOP-IDC collaboration. The Assembly has repeatedly passed the GENDA bill since 2003, only to have it die in the Senate.
The IDC's alliance with the GOP not only gives the Republicans the power to decide which issues will get a vote, it also makes sure that the committees have Republican majorities. In the case of GENDA, it has been voted down in committees by Republican majorities.