“The quality of education in New York is a problem and the answer is not more state control – the answer is innovation.”
– Larry Sharpe
LETTING TEACHERS TEACH
The state of New York spends almost 90% more on education than the rest of the United States. Unfortunately, the additional expenditure does not translate to adequately prepared students who are capable of finding a job. One reason for this is the generic standards and mandates imposed on schools statewide.
1) Schools need the freedom to set their educational curriculum and expectations to meet the needs of the people most directly affected by the institution. This is especially true for students in their final two years of primary education. Our solution: We would end traditional education upon completion of the tenth grade, and give students and parents the opportunity to choose the best path for the next two years and beyond, based on the talents and desires of the individual. That could mean spending the next two years in college, entering a trade or apprenticeship program, or perhaps entering directly into the workforce.
2) Another component of this plan is to allow educators to teach and innovate based on what’s best for their students. The methods used in one district may not work for another- this is why unfunded education mandates from the state do more harm than good.
3) A significant reduction in the number of administrators per student is necessary. The previously mentioned points would assist with this, as more control in the hands of local school boards, parents and students would not require as much oversight or paper-pushing to respond to federal and state level restrictions.
“Unfortunately, in the state of New York, the second amendment has now become the second suggestion.”
– Larry Sharpe
THE SAFE ACT
These three actions will make the Safe Act essentially obsolete by 2019 and set it up for a full repeal by 2020.
1) The hardening of individuals who were charged with crimes in violation of the safe act is a serious problem. This law turned law-abiding citizens criminals overnight. If this transgression is their only charge, I will pardon these individuals.
2) Law enforcement officers and prosecutors will make enforcement and prosecution of the safe act its absolute lowest priority.
3) Any attempts to fund or support the Safe act through further legislative measures will be vetoed.
REFORMED CARRY LAWS
These three points insure that law abiding citizens can be responsible for their own safety, while still combating criminal behavior and acts of violence.
1) If an individual legally obtained and owns a firearm they may transport it anywhere in the state of New York as long as it is locked and unloaded. This includes reciprocity for out of state travelers who have permits in their own states.
2) If a firearm is used to stop a crime, regardless of the local laws, the individual can not be prosecuted for the gun crime.
3) Everyone has a personal right and responsibility to protect their families, communities and businesses, this includes members of the LGBTQ and minority communities whose second amendment rights are threatened.
REDUCED PERMIT HASSLES
The key point is to keep regulation of the 2nd amendment within the bounds of the Constitution, while ensuring the state and local government do not put any undue burden on citizens who are trying to lawfully abide by permit regulations. To do this, we will eliminate the current six-month permit waiting period.
1) The new permit waiting period will be 90 days.
2) If the system fails to make a choice, one way or the other, the permit is granted automatically.
3) If the county does not approve a permit there must be a reason provided and the decision is able to be appealed.
“Before county and local governments are able to determine how their tax dollars are best spent, Albany and D.C. have already spent them by issuing their own mandates without the necessary funding to implement them.”
– Larry Sharpe
UNFUNDED FEDERAL MANDATES
Local taxes: The basis of our increased tax burden falls on unfunded federal mandates, which are often detrimental for counties and other more local municipalities to meet with dwindling funds.
1) The necessary funds to meet these demands are dwindling because 1/3 of the population is on Medicare, another 1/3 is on Medicaid and the remaining number of taxpayers are dropping off as people leave New York in droves. The best way for the remaining taxpayers to implement change is to vote.
2) Failure to remove these mandates leaves local governments with no choice but to continually raise property taxes, without the discretion of their constituents, in order to meet demands made by bureaucrats who don’t even live there. Property taxes must only be raised with the permission of the voters.
3) Cap the amount of money permitted to go back to law enforcement from various avenues, including speeding tickets and other fines. Law enforcement should not be incentivized to punish its citizens more in the interest of raising funds. Police need to return to enforcing safety and supporting the rights of the people, and not feeling as though they are responsible for bridging the financial gaps created through unfunded mandates.
OVERSPENDING FOR STATE OVERREACH
We have an exponentially larger tax deficit than states that support a significantly larger population than New York. Considering our state’s taxes are already higher than every other state in the U.S., we must determine what can be done to stop this fiscal irresponsibility.
1) In the next four years, we must negotiate any pensions currently in the state budget to be transferred to private funds and other options that no longer require state funding. Failure to do so would cause New York to default on meeting our existing agreements- potentially leading pension payments to be dropped by as much as 50%.
2) We can reduce payments to Medicare and Medicaid by relieving the regulatory burden on the medical industry overall thereby decreasing costs that are transferred to the patient. Relaxing the laws and licensing for medical workers and instead allowing them to be managed within their specialties by industry standards, and the demand of patients, would reduce the cost to oversee compliance. In other words, if the doctor can pass the required testing for their professional level there is no need for them to apply for state licensure. Allowing medical resources and facilities to be offered and built where the consumer requires it is imperative to the success of this plan as well. Removing hurdles between patients and their care providers is a top priority.
3) Another solution to help with the state level medical costs for these assistance programs would be to require a minimum fee for some medical services. For example, the ambulatory fees, for some individuals, are so low they practically encourage people to use medical transport units in lieu of taxicabs. A minimum fee of $36 for such a service is a place to start, and anyone truly unable to pay this is most likely homeless, and impossible to track and bill anyway.
“Small business regulations and taxes can be transformed into a positive influence on entrepreneurship with one word: simplification.”
– Larry Sharpe
SAVING MAIN STREET
New York businesses are overtaxed and overregulated.
1) Fines and regulations related to the current tax code only benefit larger corporations. The regulations and fines that accompany complex tax laws cost what equates to pocket change for multi-billion dollar companies, but are enough to drive main street businesses to extinction. Simplify taxes.
2) Repeal regulations that are not worth the cost to enforce. If it costs more and more money to hold people to a certain standard, there’s a good chance it’s overreach on the part of the state. Such regulations are double trouble for the people of New York state, as they either put businesses under because they can’t afford to meet them or cause significantly higher operating costs in order to meet bureaucratic standards, and these costs are almost always passed on to the consumer. An example of a regulations not worth the cost of enforcing are scaffolding laws, which must be repealed. Simplify regulations.
3) Help insurance by focusing its regulations on industry-driven, local standards. Allowing flexibility in these factors is very important in creating innovation, drives change throughout the industry and ultimately produces a better product. A great example of this is health food stores, which are subject to scrutiny primarily at the discretion of the market and its consumer. The state should not interfere in partnerships between insurance and businesses. Simplify insurance.
LIMITED INTERFERENCE WITH WAGES AND COMPENSATION
In New York, the government has become the most destructive middle-man of all time. Hiring practices and the relationships between workers and their employers should not be influenced by the state in anyway.
1) The government should not determine employee compensation, to include tips or any other form of payment or benefit. These agreements are best left between the employer and employees, so that each may conduct their business according to their own wishes. This allows the market to reign supreme, and leaves the consumer the option to control the success, or lack thereof, for companies.
2) If small business owners hire felons they won’t have to pay payroll tax for the first two years. Because small business owners tend to hire one on one they are more likely to hire individuals they know. By encouraging growth for this population of individuals, and simultaneously keeping these people from returning to prison, we reduce the overall cost to the taxpayer in two different ways.
3) We must do away with the NY CRIB which allowed New York State to require worker’s comp for both work and non-work injuries. This requirement can prove highly detrimental to smaller organizations. While it is a benefit that should be considered, in no way should it be mandated by the state.
“The courts must make every effort to do what’s best in the interest of EVERYONE.”
– Larry Sharpe
The first problems to be addressed regarding family law are issues perpetuated by the family courts. Judges must stop treating family court as an end point for families, and instead regard it as the most important component of the overall judicial system. The results of balanced family courts will reap positive effects for New York that will spill over into other aspects of society, including criminal law.
1) Implementing and effectively enforcing perjury laws will help stop the damaging lies that are common to family court. The threat of secondary prosecution for perjury will help the process reveal the party actually in the wrong.
2) The focus of the courts, and all of the players in the family law system, needs to be redirected from dollars to keeping families together. Allowing children to remain with kin during these difficult processes is an honorable goal that has the potential to reduce costs, both financially for the state and emotionally for the children. A strong, family-centered legal process is the goal.
3) Specific concerns brought forth during the litigation and mediation process must be viewed in an appropriate context. Would this be an issue or expectation of the parents if they were still married?
THE PROBLEM WITH PENALIZING PARENTS
We absolutely must re-evaluate the expectations of the courts as well as the penalties for not adhering to the demands made.
1) The financial obligations of each parent should be subject to the same level of interference in family court, as it is outside of family court. For example, the requirement of a divorced parent to pay for their child’s college. If the couple were still married, there is no expectation that they must pay for their child’s education. Parents should be given the right to determine how to best care for and finance their child’s needs without the interference of the courts.
2) Trying to force parents to adhere to their income potential for child support instead of their actual earned income is incredibly unfair. Due to the time investment necessary for good parenting, mothers and fathers must be able to work and still be a part of the child’s life. The current system does not encourage this and it must be changed.
3) The practice of removing any of a father’s various state issued licenses is wrong. Putting them in jail or fining them is equally counterproductive and, while it benefits the court and state, it decimates the extended family, especially the children. Instead, we need a ledger system that will put the offender on a payment plan so they may support the family accordingly. Debtor’s prison needs to end in New York.