Norris: NY Must Be Made More Affordable

A Legislative Column from Assemblyman Mike Norris (R,C-Lockport)

If former Gov. Cuomo felt people were moving out of state because of the weather, why has Gov. Kathy Hochul decided to limit how New Yorkers stay warm during blizzard season by banning gas stoves?

This question highlights the fact that the new executive is as out of touch with the people as the old executive. As we all know, it’s neither the weather nor CO2 emissions that top concerns of Western New Yorkers. It’s affordability, cost of living, high taxes, and burdensome regulations that are driving people out.

There’s a hopelessness being felt by hardworking New Yorkers across our state, particularly in suburban and rural communities where Gov. Hochul announced in her State of the State that she is going to impose her progressive policies whether they like it, want it, or need it. This is especially felt from the governor’s new, downstate-driven housing policy mandate that aggressively requires all communities across the state to squeeze in subsidized housing wherever they can to meet her goals. If municipalities don’t comply with her progressive agenda, she threatened to override local authority to put these units into place. This is the same playbook used by progressives shoving down massive wind and solar farms into areas while trampling on local control.

More than 250,000 New Yorkers fled the state since she took office in August 2021. It’s not about a housing shortage. It’s about affordability. The governor and the downstate-driven majorities are not just going after rural and suburban landscapes, but also the businesses and farms that make up our regional economy. This attack on small employers includes tying minimum wage to the rate of inflation, which gives employers no ability to plan or room to invest back into their companies, grow the business, or expand their workforce.

And you’d think that after the intense blizzard Western New York just experienced and the immense pressure our electrical grid is already under, the governor would understand New Yorkers’ need for alternative fuels like natural gas. Her plan to ban natural gas appliances and stoves statewide by 2030 is another example of how it is out of touch with reality.

Please know that I voted against the Climate Action Council Plan and will continue working to ensure New Yorkers have options when it comes to energy. Options mean affordability, and as inflation continues to push more New Yorkers out of state and forces more businesses to close, affordability must be addressed. Let’s hope the governor is listening to the outcry and will adjust her plan as a final state budget is negotiated.