The first three months of the ligislative session are over, the legislators are on vacation, and once agin, we have an on-time budget. The numbers got crunched, and all the big programs--education, health, economic development, environment, public assistance, and much more got funded.
As usual, and despite lots of verbal back and forth, the programs left out are moral benchmarks issues. These include early voting, elimination of cash bail, the HALT Solitary Act, the Dream Act, GENDA, campaign finance refom, comprehensive sexuality education, and much more. These programs seldom involve large sums of money. They get rolled into the budget, but in the end, the budget is about numbers, and these bills are about our moral issuess. We have the next three months to focus on these bills.
On Monday, May 7th, IINYS will have an annual advocacy day. We will pick three of these items and advocate with the Senate and Assembly leadership. Our voice does matter to these legislators, and the more people we have in the Capitol and Legislative Office Building, the more effective we are. Registration is free thanks to the Gilbert Spirit Fund of the First Unitarian Church of Rochester. Go to http://www.interfaithimpactnys.org/AdvocacyDay.html to learn more and register. You can also emial firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, comments, and suggestions.
We will post a longer analysis of the budget later this month.
Yours in Community,
Robb Smith, Executive Director
Interfaith Impact of NYS