Democratic candidate running for New York State Senate District 6

Issues

Real property tax relief
The Trump/GOP tax plan will cause an increase in taxes for millions of New Yorkers, so it is essential to pass legislation that would provide significant tax relief to overburdened taxpayers. This includes:

  • Implementing a property tax relief plan
  • Allowing those who make less than $300,000 to take the full SALT exemption in excess of the federally mandated $10,000 cap
  • Raise the Senior Citizen real property tax exemption and the Disabilities Real Property Tax exemption to $50,000
  • Cap real property taxes for senior citizens.

I will make it my top priority to pass these bills so New Yorkers are shielded from the GOP tax scam.

Protecting our drinking water
Our most urgent environmental threat on Long Island is the contamination of our drinking water. Long Island gets all of its water from aquifers, which need to be protected from sewage and fertilizers. My opponent has blocked a bill that would have banned fertilizers with excess nitrogen, showing his loyalty to the lawn care industry over his constituents. I will make passing this bill to protect our water supply a top priority. Long Island needs clean drinking water.

Gun safety legislation
It is our responsibility to protect our communities. Enacting common sense legislation will save lives by keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. We also need to ban devices like bump stocks that make legal guns more dangerous. I will make it a top priority to pass common sense solutions to gun violence.

Standing together with labor unions
Labor unions have always fought for better wages, reasonable hours and safer working conditions and that is why they are the backbone of the middle class. The recent Supreme Court decision in Janus delivered a sharp blow to unions. Now is the time for New York to stand up and act. As Senator, I will do everything I can to protect labor unions.

Advancing women’s healthcare rights
Ensuring that women have access to safe, affordable reproductive health care coverage is a common sense policy. It is also crucial that insurance companies cover contraceptive options. This is why I will vote for the Reproductive Health Act in the Senate.

Universal health care
Affording healthcare has become a major concern for New Yorkers. Healthcare spending is projected to total $300 billion by 2020. New York has higher hospital admission rates, longer lengths of stay, and more hospital outpatient visits compared to the national average. Despite high spending, hospital quality in New York is similar to U.S. averages. I will vote for the New York Health Act because it will reduce healthcare costs and make service more efficient.

Fighting the opioid epidemic
The opioid epidemic has had a devastating impact on our communities and needs to be effectively addressed. First, we must hold opioid manufacturers accountable for pushing doctors to prescribe these drugs for incentives. We must also collaborate with local government and social services to reduce opioid use, abuse, and overdose. You can count on me to support laws that will help stop this epidemic.

More funding for our schools
Our children deserve a world-class education. Long Island’s school districts depend on funding from property taxes, which overburden our local residents. This is why many school districts are overcrowded, underfunded and under performing. We must work toward a solution that shifts the burden of funding our schools from local taxpayers to the state, which in turn would lead to a more equitable distribution of school aid. Our children are the future and their education must be a top priority.

Safe Staffing at hospitals
Nurses are crucial for patient care at New York’s healthcare facilities, but they are overburdened with more patients than they can care for. This is why we need a law regarding nurse to patient ratios at healthcare facilities. No nurse would be assigned more patients than the set ratio. As Senator, I will vote for the Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act because it will save patient lives and improve quality of care.

Modernize NY’s election laws
Voting is the bedrock of democracy, but current New York laws create unnecessary barriers to vote. This is why I will support same day registration, hassle-free absentee voting, and early voting.

Real ethics reforms
In order to clean up Albany, we need to push for legislation that will make our elected officials more transparent and accountable to us as voters.  I will vote for bills that would restrict outside income for senators and close the LLC loophole. We need to reduce corruption and regain the trust of the people in their government.

Meaningful criminal justice reform
Across New York State, tens of thousands of New Yorkers are held in city and county jails. Not because they have been convicted of a crime, but because they cannot afford to pay for their release while awaiting trial. Sixty percent of people held on bail have only been charged with a misdemeanor or violation. I will support any bill that will end bail for minor crimes.

Protecting child victims
Many childhood sexual abuse cases go unreported for a variety of reasons. The trauma of childhood abuse leads to alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, suicide, or other psychological problems. New York has one of the most archaic laws in the nation, requiring most child abuse victims to sue by age 23. I support the Child Victims Act that would extend the statute of limitations to age 50 in civil cases, and to age 28 in criminal cases.

Strengthening Consumer Protection for New Yorkers
The Trump Administration has dismantled key offices at the Dept. of Education and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that protect borrowers from fraud and other unethical behavior. New York State government must stand up against fraud and act now before it is too late. I will do everything I can to push bills that would strengthen consumer protection in New York.

Improve the LIRR
As a commuter on the LIRR, I have experienced an endless series of delays, cancellations and suspensions. We urgently need the change and improvement of the LIRR.  I will be a voice in the State Senate that will advocate for a more efficient Long Island Railroad.

Education Must Be Extended to Dreamers
It is important for colleges to invest in their students as human beings. It is fundamentally and economically misguided to deny students who were educated in our state’s public school system the tools they need to reach their academic potential and fully contribute to our state’s economy. When a student’s education is cut short, every New Yorker suffers. That is why as your State Senator, I will support legislation to extend financial aid to Dreamers in the State.

Paid for by Friends of Kevin Thomas for Senate