Over the last several months, I stayed focused on serving the people of the 103rd Assembly District. I have avoided the war of words, finger pointing and distractions that have surrounded the sales tax and Safety Net issues. Unfortunately, the steady drumbeat of misinformation demands a response. Here it is:
It is Michael Hein who decided to let the sales tax issue go unresolved before the expiration of the state legislative session. Hein was advised several times that the state legislature might not reconvene until January. Still, he refused to enter into a legally binding agreement for taking over the local cost of Safety Net, even though with great fanfare, he pledged to take over those charges. Earlier this year, Michael Hein’s staff and a number of key legislators publicly stated that Hein was reconsidering his promise to take over those costs in three years, but was considering pushing it out to four, five or more years.
County government leaders across the state regularly negotiate conditions on sales tax extender bills. In many of those instances, if not most, that is done between the state legislator representing the local county and local officials. In every other case, all around New York, government leaders engage in give and take. Hein expects to be treated differently.
When Michael Hein refused numerous requests to negotiate, he repeatedly stated that he understood the potential outcome, i.e., no extension of the sales tax. Now, in a furious effort to deflect responsibility for his ill-conceived actions, Hein has mounted a campaign of misinformation, scare tactics and reckless rhetoric.
He may think that is good politics; I don’t. It’s also not good government.