Press-Republican

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December 12, 2008

Duprey warns of downstate takeover

PLATTSBURGH -- With Democrats poised to take control of the State Legislature, Assemblywoman Janet Duprey is hoping the North Country does not get lost in the downstate command.



"Democrats have pledged to be fair, but I guess time will tell," Duprey, a Republican from Peru who is just finishing her freshman term, said in an interview with the Press-Republican Editorial Board.



Duprey was re-elected in November to another two-year term when she ran unopposed. In that same election, Democrats took control of the Senate, which had been run by Republicans since 1965.



The shift gives the Democrats complete control of the legislature and the governor's office for the first time in 43 years.



"The Senate has always been the upstate savior," Duprey said.



"Malcolm Smith (incoming Senate majority leader) says he will be fair, but I think it is going to be difficult for everybody."



MEMBER ITEMS

With the state facing a multi-billion-dollar deficit, Duprey said all corners of the state will feel the pinch.



"I don't think there will be any member-item money for anybody."



Member items are funds that each legislature member traditionally gets for projects in his or her home district.



TUITION FUNDS

Students at State University of New York campuses are facing a tuition hike, and Duprey worries that the state will take all that money for use in the general fund.



"That money should go to SUNY," she said, adding that she supports a plan that would stabilize tuition for each incoming freshman class.



Freshmen would know their tuition rate when they enter college and carry that same rate with them through four years.



NURSING HOMES

Duprey is also concerned that nursing homes could be affected by the financial crisis, especially if the state cuts back on reimbursements.



"The health-care issue is the scariest part for the North Country.

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