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Sayward reacts to state of the state

WILLSBORO Gov. Eliot Spitzer laid out his agenda last week to the state legislature for the year ahead. On Jan. 9, Spitzer presented his State of the State address to the state legislature in Albany. The 68-minute speech delivered by the governor highlighted several topics facing the state, including health care, education, physician attraction and retention and property tax relief, among others. What are we striving for? What is our vision? Quite simply, to make New York the best place in the world to live, work, and raise a family to make it, once again, the center of economic growth and opportunity, said Spitzer. All of us in this room really do agree on what it will take to achieve this: Good jobs, and more of them; better schools; good, affordable health care; strong, safe, and vibrant neighborhoods; and lower taxes. Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward (R - Willsboro) wasnt impressed with Spitzers address. I thought quite frankly it was a little lackluster. It didn't have much punch to it, and there were no details, said Sayward. Sayward said that many of Spitzers proposals have been under discussion for years, and lots of blanks need to be filled in. She cited his $1 billion revitalization fund proposal for upstate as an example, stating there was no detail about how the grants would be dispersed or what functions they would serve. Sayward said Spitzers proposal to work on controlling property taxes by creating a bipartisan commission would likely take too long to be helpful. She also said the agenda of Spitzers commission would be too narrow, as it would focus on tax relief and unfunded mandates, not the complete problem. It doesn't appear there will be any big relief for the taxpayers that need it this year, and that's very big disappointing for me, said Sayward. Sayward said she supports Senators Elizabeth Little (R - Queensbury) and Gail Tediscos proposal to create a blue-ribbon commission, which would have a definite timeline to complete its work. Sayward said she was interested in Spitzers proposal to create Doctors Across New York to get doctors to serve underserved regions such as the North Country. The state would create a Peace-Corp style that would help repay education loans to attract physicians where they were needed.

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