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Reed, Palmesano talk bipartisanship ADVERTISEMENT

Reed, Palmesano talk bipartisanship

WATKINS GLEN--U.S Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY) and state Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) commented on national and state issues including bipartisanship, healthcare, cost of prescriptions, and the new state license plate program Thursday, Aug. 22 in Watkins Glen.
Reed spoke about bipartisanship and stated that of all his work in Washington, he is most proud of his work with the Problem Solvers Caucus where 24 Democrats and 24 Republicans meet to find common political ground for common problems. Reed said that the main principle of the group is that if they meet consensus with 75 percent agreement, they will vote in Congress as a block. He said members of the caucus will not campaign against or attack each other and despite philosophical differences, the caucus looks for common ground.
Reed spoke of drug pricing as an important issue that is being addressed to ensure it is patients who see cost reduction in their out of pocket costs for prescriptions. Reed spoke in favor of the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the opportunity to vote for it in September or October.
Reed also commented on fixing Social Security and he said perhaps upcoming generations with a longer life expectancy could wait a little longer before qualifying. He said any changes to social security should not affect those in or near the age of receiving social security.
Palmesano criticized the new state license plate program and the corresponding fees as being ridiculous and misplaced. The new plates are expected to be available next year in April. License plates that are over 10 years old must be replaced at a cost of $25. Palmesano said the license plates will create $75 million in new fees and said possible designs of the license plates mostly include the Statue of Liberty and are not focused on upstate New York. New Yorkers are invited to choose one of the five designs with online voting or at the state fair until Sept. 2.
Palmesano criticized the Farm Labor Bill that includes access to overtime pay after 60 hours per week and an optional day of rest with the right to overtime if workers choose to work seven consecutive days. The Farm Bureau estimates a $300 million increase in labor costs. Palmesano said 98 percent of New York farms are family-owned and not the big corporations people think of. He said this bill will drive up labor costs that are already higher than other states, despite the decrease in net farm income and the loss of 20 percent of dairy farms.
Palmesano said New York is one of the most highly taxed and regulated states in the country. He added the costs of regulations are driving investments out of the state. He said one of the things he is most proud of is reaching across the aisle in a legislative exchange between upstate and downstate Republicans.
After the formal presentations, several audience members had the opportunity to ask questions. Famous Brands owner Jim Guild asked what involvement Reed and Palmesano have in protecting the health of Seneca Lake. Reed replied that on the federal level, the impact of invasive species is being prioritized in funding levels. He said he is most proud of the relationship with Cornell on the issues of invasive species. Palmesano said water is the most precious resource we have and we have to be diligent on issues of invasive species and algae blooms to keep our water quality high.
The luncheon was sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the Watkins Glen Rotary Club at the Elks Lodge Thursday, Aug. 22.







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