Written by Daniel Offner Thursday, 16 January 2014 00:00
Just a day after New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his 2014 State of the State address, Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, visited the students and staff at
Farmingdale State College for a special presentation to help decipher Cuomo’s speech.
New York State Assemblyman Chad Lupinnacci and Farmingdale State College President Hubert Keen also attended the presentation on Jan. 9, to learn more about some of the changes in state finance for 2014.
According to Lupinnacci, who is an adjunct professor at Farmingdale College, Cuomo had some very good points, which included extending middle class tax cuts, and looking at tax cuts in terms of corporate taxes, inheritance taxes and manufacturing taxes that will affect upstate New York.
“We want to keep families on Long Island,” Lupinacci said. “We want to keep sure jobs continue to be produced and that tax revenue comes from those jobs.”
Lupinacci added that while he was pleased with Gov. Cuomo’s presentation, he would have liked to see more discussion on the state’s implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards.
After the introductions, Kauffman took the stage to discuss state spending, which he said has been held at 2 percent, resulting in a significant tax decrease this year.
According to Kauffman, the state has adopted a four-step plan to accomplish this. The plan for reducing taxes includes tax cuts for businesses, a property tax freeze, property tax reform and estate tax reform.
Speaking to an audience of predominantly undergraduate students, Kauffman said that the state will provide full scholarships for the top 10 percent of high school graduates planning to attend a SUNY or CUNY school for math or science.
Kauffman also discussed new legislation impacting those caught texting behind the wheel. According to Kauffman, people under 21 years of age caught texting and driving will lose their license for a year.
For drivers over 21, the penalties will be more severe. Earlier this year, the state passed legislation that automatically gives the driver 5 points on their license if caught texting at the wheel.
Although Kauffman delved into topics that have the most impact on the audience of predominantly college students, he debriefed attendees on calls for a minimum wage hike, plans for corporate tax cuts, and plans to allow limited use of medical marijuana at 20 hospitals in the state.
For more details on Gov. Cuomo’s address, visit www.governor.ny.gov/SOS2014/2014-State-of-the-State.