Farley's 2013 Agenda
Long-time Republican state Sen. Hugh Farley is focused on school aid, negotiating the state budget, passing local bills and helping libraries in 2013.
Farley, R-Niskayuna, said the hardest battle this year, which is also one of the most important, is achieving equitable funding of school districts in the state. His vast district is plagued with small, rural and city school districts that are demanding more state aid.
"It's a large order but ... one that we can work hard to do," he said, noting recent signs from Gov. Andrew Cuomo that indicate a willingness to work on this subject.
Because of his seniority, now the longest serving current member of the senate, Farley said he expects to play a significant role in negotiations on legislation and spending. As such, he predicted he would be named to one of the budget conference committees, which is responsible for negotiating with the Assembly on certain parts of the state budget.
Farley said he will also remain focused on issues pertinent to libraries. Most political observers already know that he's responsible for sponsoring or shepherding most of the library priorities through the state Senate. "Libraries are a major priority for me," he said. "It's a very large part of education."
This year he anticipates the state Senate will again form a special committee on libraries that he would likely run.
His own legislation will include concerns raised by the county governments in his district. Farley said this is a large part of any state legislator's job, but lamented the fact that sometimes it is hard to get companion bills through the state Assembly, because they're being carried by minority members.
A large portion of the state's agenda will be set by Cuomo, Farley said. He highlighted how popular the governor is, which makes him very powerful. He assumed the governor would introduce legislation on increasing the minimum wage, campaign finance reform and gun control. Any bills introduced by the governor, he noted, would likely come after negotiations with the Assembly and Senate.
A full story on legislative priorities for the Capital Region representatives will be in Wednesday's edition of the Daily Gazette.
Follow @poozer87 on Twitter.