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Constitutional convention can change state

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To the Editor:

In order for us to truly reform the way Albany does business, we must alter the document that dictates how our government is run–the state constitution. Recent events in Albany have clearly reinforced the need to reform state government, so that it represents the people, not special interests or even itself.

The political paralysis of our state Legislature has led to perpetual dysfunction and lackluster decision making. The electorate is angry and they don’t want do-nothing incumbents who sit idly by while their cost of living skyrockets and their government operates with little or no accountability. While some rush to protect special interests they claim are “too big to fail,” we have allowed for the creation of a state government too big to succeed.

Shrink the size of state government, end unnecessary and wasteful spending, and return our government to the people. Reducing the astronomical fiscal burdens faced by so many families and businesses in our state must be the priority. We can no longer yield to the toughness of our challenges or the difficulty of our decisions. We must bring the stakeholders together, mold consensus, and enact change we can afford.

We can do this by holding a People’s Constitutional Convention that will deliver urgent reforms and return power back to the people of this great state. Our constitution needs to be amended to reform our state government in a variety of ways, including much needed limits on taxes and spending, redistricting reforms that prevent gerrymandering, new procedures for filling unexpected vacancies in key state positions, including lieutenant governor and United States senator, and much-needed property tax reform.

Keep in mind that New York State is no stranger to constitutional conventions, having held them in 1777, 1801, 1821, 1846, 1867, 1894, 1915, 1938 and 1967, with the voters defeating a call for one in 1997. While the process will take up to four years to complete, it is an essential step to ensuring long-lasting, meaningful reforms that will reinvigorate our democracy and renew the promise of New York.

It seems like a common-sense move to hold this convention, but we must first convince the legislative leaders that the people of our state overwhelmingly support a People’s Constitutional Convention as a method of reforming our government. That is why I am asking residents of the Hudson Valley, and across New York State, to log onto my website www.marcmolinaro.com to sign my online petition.

I hope I can count on your support as I look to bring a People’s Constitutional Convention to New York in my continued efforts to make New York a better, more affordable place to live, work and raise a family.

Marcus Molinaro (R-103rd)

Assemblyman

Red Hook

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