Tonawanda News — The need for increased school aid for upstate districts is another priority in the senator’s opinion. Increased security in schools is also crucial in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., massacre, Maziarz said, and those challenges also need to be addressed by the entire criminal justice system.
Assemblyman John D. Ceretto, R-Lewiston, said he will strive to work for a balanced budget, a goal he has kept in mind since being elected. Thus far, Ceretto said he has been impressed with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s leadership skills. “I have faith he will direct us to what’s best for this state.”
Ceretto also is determined to continue advocating for Western New York to get its fair share of low-cost power from the New York Power Authority. In addition, the lawmaker recalled that he and other colleagues had met months ago with Cuomo in the wake of a media report that the Niagara Falls State Park was generally considered to be in shabby condition for a tourist destination. “The governor didn’t blow us off,” Ceretto said, noting that hefty funds were soon made available for major improvements in the park.
On the contentious casino gambling issue, Ceretto said he will reserve judgment until the current arbitration panel rules on whether the Seneca Nation has exclusive rights to operate gambling casinos in Western New York. “If the ruling is the Senecas do have that right of exclusivity (part of the compact), I probably wouldn’t support the measure (to legalize casinos).” On the other hand, if the city was allowed a state-run casino, I’d support it because it would create more jobs and improve our local economy.”
Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, D-Kenmore, lists reforming the present “scaffold law” as a priority in the new Legislature. Under the state labor law (Section 240-41), the owner of a property incurs “absolute liability” for any accident that occurs on a construction site anywhere in New York, even if the worker is at fault. “This law has the effect of driving up the cost of any construction project,” Schimminger said, noting it adversely impacts on developers and their potential investments.