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New York Assemblyman David DiPietro wraps up his first session

HAMBURG — The following guest column was submitted by Assemblyman David DiPietro.

Just a few weeks from the end of my first session in Albany, I would like to inform you of precisely what happened this year and what I did to represent our community in the New York State Assembly.

On the first day of session, we were rocked by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s attempt to force the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Act down the throats of New Yorkers. I stood in front of the chamber, as a newly sworn-in legislator, and argued for our right to keep and bear arms.

The Second Amendment ends with the phrase, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” As legislators, we are required, by oath, to uphold the constitutions of both the United States and New York.

When it comes to the Second Amendment, I did that. Unfortunately, many other legislators did not, and the measure passed.

Since the bill’s passage, I’ve spoken in front of thousands of concerned New Yorkers at rallies and informational sessions all across our state.

Alongside State Sen. Kathy Marchione and hundreds of grassroots activists, I helped hand-deliver more than 150,000 signatures to the governor’s doorstep, in an effort to show Cuomo just how many New Yorkers disagree with his policies, which ultimately curb our constitutional rights.

Like so many New Yorkers, I am dead set against the SAFE Act. In response to your outcry, I have sponsored Assembly Bill 6238, to fully repeal that new gun control legislation.

The next battle was about the governor’s budget proposal. I once again stood up among my colleagues, this time as a small businessman.

So many elected officials are unaware of what it truly takes to run a small business in New York. As a dry-cleaner by trade, I believe small business management experience should be heard on the floor of the Assembly.

I stood up against the job-crushing policies put forth with the idea that a small elite in New York City know what’s best for us, here in Western New York.

Also during the budget debate, I took a stand against the governor and the Assembly majority, when they callously cut $90 million from the developmental disability budget. We cannot afford to balance the budget on the backs of the developmentally disabled. In the months since that debate, I am proud to tell you we were able to fully restore that $90 million, with your strong support.

The final and most recent fight was about Cuomo’s abortion expansion bill. This bill was placed inside a joint package with many other bills that would have done a lot of good for the women of New York state, but I could not vote against my conscious and sentence an untold number of unborn lives to death.

Unfortunately, I was forced into this decision by the Assembly majority’s choice to present the governor’s women’s equality package as one omnibus bill, instead of separating each provision into its own bill. I find it sad that the Assembly majority used the lives of the unborn and the safety of women for political leverage.

This was my first session as your New York State assemblyman and I think I delivered for you, your family and our neighborhood.

With this session finished, I am looking for your input.

If you have any questions regarding the previous session or what my goals may be for next year, please do not hesitate to contact my district office at 585-786-0180. You may also reach me on Facebook.

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