Assemblyman Robert Smullen(R,C, I, SAM – Meco) is reacting to the governor’s recent State of the State, as well as providing insight into his own goals for the 2021 Assembly Session.

“Frankly, I felt the governor’s statement today rang hollow, despite all the rhetoric. The attention to the distribution of vaccines was good, along with the attention to broadband access that I’ve been championing.  But beyond that, he seemed to be unconcerned with the structural budget deficit caused by overspending. We’ll see over the next three days of his presentations if anything changes, but I have no reason to think my concerns about good governance are wrong.”

As for his own goals, Assemblyman Smullen was hopeful for the future. “Of the multitude of initiatives that are underway at the State Assembly, I’m directing my energy towards three issues that really need attention: vaccine access to those who need it most, getting the economy fully open, and infrastructure issues like broadband,” Smullen said.

Smullen also elaborated on vaccine access for the state at large. “An incredible number of injections are being done, and I want to be sure we get our priority share.  I understand it’s the State who is getting the initial batches from the Federal shipments, but the local county agencies need to be directly involved in distribution planning.  If not, we know what state bureaucracy can do to any well-intentioned idea.  I want to ensure that our frontline responders and vulnerable elderly citizens in Upstate New York are not left hanging out to dry due to NYC bias.”

“Fully reopening the economy means trusting the people and their local governments to encourage vaccination, not mandating it.  Combined with the following disease prevention protocols, we can continue to lift blanket restrictions on small businesses,” said Smullen.  “We can then help those small businesses with JumpStart New York type initiatives, which repurpose wasteful tax dollars to our citizens upon whom our economy rely upon to create jobs.”

“Broadband access in rural New York is a huge lesson learned in this pandemic, especially in many Northern New York districts,” Smullen said. “Students need it for school. People need it for commerce and for working from home, and for telemedicine.  The demand is high, but there are pockets of isolation and poor service, and the state needs to help incentivize and de-regulate its development to ensure 100 percent coverage.”

“And of course our constitutional rights will continue to be challenged this year,” Smullen said. “One-party rule ensures that legislative overreach is on the horizon, but rest assured, I will be right there to meet the challenge head-on.”

Assemblyman Robert Smullen represents the 118th Assembly District, which includes Hamilton and Fulton counties as well as parts of Herkimer, Oneida, and St. Lawrence counties.