Bradley chastises Bush Administration
shortchanging New York
As New York State continues being shortchanged, the president,
Congress and our own governor are asking us to do more for New
York families, while receiving less funding. Simply put, this
is an equation for disaster.
When it comes to
safety and security, our families want nothing more than equality
when it comes to funding for the things that matter most. Westchester
County families are facing serious issues that threaten our quality
of life. From being shortchanged on homeland security funding
and Medicaid funding to seriously flawed Medicare reforms, it's
clear that the Bush administration isn't doing its job.
shortchanges New York
New York was the
target of a terrorism attack in 1993 and was the biggest victim
of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, yet the state is second to last
in 2003 Office of Domestic Preparedness Homeland Security Grants.
In fact, Wyoming, a state with a total population of 493,000
nearly half that of Westchester County receives more than seven
times the amount per capita of homeland security funding than
the entire state of New York. One must wonder whether this was
a proper response for our federal government, after the devastation
which afflicted New York on September 11, 2001.
When it comes to
all-important federal anti-terrorism funding, New York State's
share per capita ranks second to last among the 50 states. Yet
our governor has been silent about the lack of federal assistance
which leaves New York vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Westchester
County has too many high-profile targets to be ignored, including
Indian Point, an extensive transportation network, and heavily
concentrated population areas. Our families deserve a fair return
on the federal taxes they pay, and I won't rest until we have
the resources we need to protect our families.
New York also ranks
at the bottom of the nation for federal Medicaid reimbursement
rates. Under the Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage program,
New York and the federal government split Medicaid costs 50-50,
which is lower than the matching rates enjoyed by 37 other states
nationwide. The federal government has placed a disproportionate
burden on New York's taxpayers. We're already paying too much,
our local governments can't afford to pay more.
Federal Medicare reform
hits New York's most vulnerable hardest
To further worsen
Westchester's financial burden, the Bush administration passed
a Medicare bill that helps drug companies more than it helps seniors.
These reforms target some of the most vulnerable among us, especially
seniors living on fixed- incomes.
This year, I fought
to restore $40 million in cuts to Westchester's hospitals and
rejected a new "sick tax" on hospitals and other health care providers.
To ensure our families have access quality care, I'm also fighting
to save the Westchester County Medical Center. Unfortunately,
without help from the federal government our quality of care will
Federal laws slash
overtime while governor fights to keep minimum wage low
With our cost of
living rising, the federal government's denial of overtime benefits
to thousands of American workers is a major setback to hardworking
families trying to get by. Teachers, nurses, police officers,
chefs and assistant managers are just some of the positions who
will be forced to say goodbye to the reward for going the extra
mile at work.
At the same time,
the governor went the extra mile recently to stop New York's minimum
wage earners from getting the first wage increase in over four
years. By vetoing a plan to raise the state minimum wage to $7.15
over the next three years, the governor has kicked in the shins
the hundreds of thousands of families struggling to make ends
meet. The Assembly voted to override his vetoes, but the state
Senate needs to step up and join us in making the minimum wage
It is my hope that
we will really receive help from our colleagues in Washington
and the governor. The Republicans who control these positions
are holding their convention in New York, a state which has consistently
been shortchanged by their leadership. I will continue fighting
to get the results our families need.