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April 16, 2014

GOP gubernatorial candidate swings through North Country

(Continued)

“Let’s compete against our neighbors,” the candidate said, describing a two-prong strategy that includes vying with states adjacent to New York. 

“You have a workforce that wants to work and a great educational system and private colleges, but we’re doing everything to be a stop sign (for business). 

“At least, let’s be a yellow light, he said. “Businesses would love to be here in New York and a part of its business.” 

The next step, Astorino said, is to compete “with Florida and the Carolinas and even Michigan, which has understood it needs to change to compete.”

SAFE ACT OPPONENT

Astorino said that, if elected, he would repeal the Safe Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (SAFE Act), which he said Cuomo pushed through the State Legislature.

“It turned law-abiding citizens into law-breakers,” he said of the legislation.

He said that if he didn’t get cooperation from the Democratic-led Assembly in overturning it, he would use his veto power to block bills that metropolitan lawmakers want passed until they come to his side of the issue “or de-fund it in the budget process.”

The county executive said he lowered taxes more than 5 percent since he took the job in Westchester County and that the same can be done across the state to save money for property owners.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s Franklin County, St. Lawrence County, Erie County or Westchester, we’re dealing with people who are voting with their feet and moving to a different state where the opportunities are.

“When (Cuomo) came in, he had good intentions, and I was rooting for him,” Astorino said. “But we can’t turn the state around with gimmicks.”

‘WEED OUT WASTE’

He said he’d let counties decide how much to pay in to the Medicaid system since it is one of nine state-mandated programs that a majority of a county’s tax levy is used to fund.

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