As we look forward to this new year, we do so with a sense of optimism and possibility. The beginning of 2023 presents the opportunity to look toward new goals, new ideas, and new opportunities. Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution or start of a new project, each of us goes into January with a renewed focus.
The same applies to legislators returning to Albany. Alongside my colleagues in the Assembly Republican Conference, I am eager to tackle the challenges that lie ahead in 2023 and beyond. There is no shortage of work in front of us.
We saw in public polling immediately following November’s election — New Yorkers are not convinced that the state is headed in the right direction, and they believe priority issues remain unaddressed. Heading into a new legislative session, we have a responsibility to develop answers to the problems still troubling our constituents.
We still have a major problem with violent crime. In the coming year, Assembly Republicans will advocate for measures to restore order to our criminal-justice system and support law-enforcement agencies that have been undermined by policies that make their jobs more difficult.
Additionally, we must also continue our fight to reduce the prohibitive tax climate holding back our state’s economy, combat the rampant inflation still plaguing consumers, and find new ways to add jobs in every sector. This year, we must make affordability and economic growth a priority.
Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau illustrates once again that New York’s outmigration remains a persistent concern. The latest report shows that the state lost more than 400,000 people in the past two years — the worst in the nation. Affordability is at the root of the problem, and the longer New York remains a high-tax, high-spend, highly regulated state, the loss of population is going to continue.
In the coming year, our conference will advance legislative measures that support small businesses so they can maximize their success; help students and school districts with the resources needed to deliver a quality education; and push for greater transparency and oversight to protect taxpayers from unnecessary government waste.
There was much to celebrate and be thankful for in 2022. I am proud of the accomplishments of the Assembly Republican Conference and am honored to again be given the opportunity to lead this great group of legislators. As we prepare for another year of doing the people’s work, I am hopeful we can find common ground to strengthen this great state. I am looking forward to another year of spirited debate, compromise, and progress for the people of New York.
William (Will) A. Barclay, 53, Republican, is the New York Assembly minority leader and represents the 120th New York Assembly District, which encompasses all of Oswego County, as well as parts of Jefferson and Cayuga counties.