5 Election Questions From Local Paper

By Kieran Lalor, on Nov 2, 2016

 As part of their coverage of Assemblyman Lalor’s campaign for reelection, the Southern Dutchess News asked him to respond to five questions. Below are Assemblyman Lalor’s answers:

Southern Dutchess News: Why are you running for re-election?

Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor: Independent-minded lawmakers who are not afraid to take on the broken status quo of Albany and the entrenched power held by insiders in both parties are the only ones who can get our state back on track. Since taking office in January 2013 I have been one such leader by being an independent voice focused on issues and constituencies that have long been ignored. For example, everyone talks about tax cuts but few talk about how to reduce spending to make tax cuts possible. I have put forth specific proposals to reduce spending by billions so we can provide much needed tax relief to New York families and businesses. I helped lead the fight to oust corrupt Democrat Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and I was the first Republican in the state to call for corrupt Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos to step down.

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Southern Dutchess News: What are the top 3 issues that would be your priority?

Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor: Job Creation, Tax Relief and Reform have always been my top three priorities. I am a co-sponsor of the Small Business Full Employment Act, which would provide tax and regulatory relief for small businesses to encourage real job growth. I have been an outspoken opponent of job-killing legislation that would increase the cost of doing business and send our jobs out-of-state and overseas. Everyone talks about tax cuts but few talk about how to reduce spending to make tax cuts possible. I have put forth specific proposals to reduce spending by billions so we can provide much needed tax relief to New York families and businesses. The plan calls for taking the $5 billion New York gives in corporate welfare to a few hand-picked companies, and putting that money toward across the board tax relief for all New York individuals and businesses that pay taxes. I have advanced meaningful reform proposals like term limits, recall elections for politicians who violate the public trust, and pension forfeiture for corrupt politicians.

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Southern Dutchess News: What is one characteristic that you possess which would help you do the best job possible for the people in the district?

Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor: I am efficient with resources and saved taxpayers $326,139 in the four years I have been in office primarily by applying the strategies that families and small businesses use to save money. When I first set up my office I moved the furniture myself with a U-Haul instead of hiring movers, saving taxpayers $1,189. Rather than have taxpayers pay for office cleaning, my staff and I clean the office, saving $10,800. I slashed my mail budget to save taxpayers $88,235.28 When the Albany powerbrokers tried to get me under their thumb by offering me the opportunity to spend $125,000 in tax money on pork-barrel projects for favored constituencies to help assure reelection, I told them “No” because I ran for Assembly to defend the taxpayer not spend the taxpayer’s money on pet projects that lack transparency. I refused all travel and per diem payments for meals and hotels, saving taxpayers $64,908. I am proud to be the ranking member of the Real Property Taxation Committee, but I refused to accept the $9,000 per year leadership stipend that goes with the position because I believe that serving as a ranking member is part of my basic duty as a Member of the Assembly.

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Southern Dutchess News: What are two professional accomplishments of yours that you would like to highlight?

Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor: I led the successful fight against Governor Cuomo’s vetoes of the Veterans Equality Act, which allows veterans from any era to buy back up to three years of military service credit in the public employee retirement systems. Prior to this bill becoming law, Iraq veterans were eligible, while Afghanistan veterans were not. In 2013, a number of people who bought homes between about July and November made an understandable and innocent mistake with their STAR applications and ended up without STAR for the next year. The mistake was caused by New York State not properly explaining to new homeowners the new requirements. Earlier this term, I introduced a bill that would offer a rebate to these homeowners who lost their STAR exemption because of the state’s mistake. The bill passed as part of the budget and the New Yorkers effected by this were made whole.

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Southern Dutchess News: Is there anything else you would like to say or add?

Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor: It is wrong to increase the salaries of lawmakers after years of legislative corruption and while large swaths of the state are chronically economically depressed. I am absolutely opposed to a legislative pay raise. This raise is entirely unjustifiable. That's why the legislature passed the buck and voted to create a pay raise commission. I vocally opposed the bill that established this commission. I've sponsored legislation that would cut legislative benefits. I've led from the front on these issues by refusing a leadership stipend, per diem pay and travel allowances for the last four years. I've also supported legislation that would shorten the legislative session and cut legislative salaries. New York would be better off with a shorter legislative session, to limit the trouble legislators can cause, like setting up commissions to give themselves raises.

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