The Telegram
  • ELECTION Q&A: 49th State Senate race — Farley vs. Thorne

  • Incumbent state Sen. Hugh Farley, R - Schenectady, will face Democrat Madelyn Thorne in the race for the new 49th state Senate seat Tuesday.

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  • Incumbent state Sen. Hugh Farley, R - Schenectady, will face Democrat Madelyn Thorne in the race for the new 49th state Senate seat Tuesday.
    Here are their responses to questions posed by the League of Women Voters regarding the new district and what their plans are if elected.
    What will be your top three priorities if elected?
    Farley: We need to focus on reviving the economy, encouraging job creation and reducing excessive taxes, fees and regulations. The overall burden of taxes, fees and other costs of doing business in New York is unsustainable and counterproductive, placing our state at a disadvantage. I’ve been encouraged by the progress we’ve made in New York the past couple of years, working in a bipartisan manner to cut spending, lower taxes and reject new fees. I look forward to building on that progress.
    Thorne: Control local property taxes by eliminating unfunded mandates, establishing equitable state aid and reducing Medicaid costs to the counties. Job creation and workforce development. Preserving the civil rights of all New Yorkers by protecting marriage equality.
    What should the state government do to strengthen the state economy and reduce unemployment?
    Farley: We must take steps to encourage job creation. Business owners tell me they need relief from the high cost of doing business. We need to reduce the crushing burden of government taxes, fees and related costs. We need to continue to rein in spending in a way that treats upstate fairly and enables businesses to remain and grown in New York. I also support initiatives such as a tax credit for each job created.
    Thorne: State government must cease sending unfunded mandates down to our counties and cities and dedicate moneys to job training for the skill sets that high-tech industries require and reinvest in our BOCES programs so students who are not college bound can develop trade skills.
    Do you favor introducing high-volume, horizontal hydraulic fracturing in New York?
    Farley: While there are potential benefits to accessing these energy sources, including reducing our reliance on coal and foreign oil, any such program must carefully evaluate and take steps to address the potential environmental impacts of such activities. I think the DEC has been taking the right approach by undertaking an extensive review of this practice, including evaluating the experiences in other states, before making a decision and establishing comprehensive new standards.
    Thorne: While I am open to reviewing reports and studies about hydro-fracturing, at this point I am not in favor of this type of energy exploration. The risks are great, the environmental impact above and below ground is significant and we have alternative, clean energy options which should be advanced.
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