9th State Senate District Race Could Determine Senate’s Balance of Power
(Long Island, NY) The candidates for the open Long Island seat that could determine which party controls the State Senate don’t see eye to eye on key issues affecting the 50+ – the state’s largest voting bloc, according to a voter guide AARP released today.
Both Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky, the Democrat, and Republican Chris McGrath, who are on the ballot Tuesday for the 9th District State Senate seat formerly held by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, say they favor helping New Yorkers save for retirement, supporting family caregivers and ensuring utility consumers have an advocate.
But they differ on specifics:
- McGrath explicitly supports “Secure Choice” legislation to create an optional, state-facilitated payroll deduction workplace retirement savings plan for many of the over 3.5 million New Yorkers – more than half the state’s private workforce – who currently lack access to such a plan through their employer; Kaminsky does not address the legislation. Both say they support reducing taxes to help New Yorkers save.
- Kaminsky explicitly supports legislation to create an independent utility consumer advocate office in New York; McGrath says he would support “additional steps to strengthen the independent monitoring of utilities” but specifically urges strengthening existing – but not independent – agencies that advocate for utility consumers.
- McGrath explicitly supports allowing home health aides to administer eye and ear drops and perform other tasks under a nurse’s supervision as long as any legislation “carefully addressed patient safety issues and ensured appropriate training and supervision for the aides.” Kaminsky said he “would carefully consider this effort to ensure that our seniors are receiving the best possible care.”
- Kaminsky says he “strongly” supports and co-sponsored New York’s new employee-funded paid family leave law. McGrath also voices support, saying the state should “commit to provide the resources necessary to ensure” employee contribution levels don’t dramatically increase and result in “smaller paychecks for New Yorkers” while also ensuring that the state addresses “any potential issues” that arise for local businesses.
- Both said they back more funding for State Office of the Aging services that help New Yorkers age at home, rather than in costly, taxpayer-funded institutional care settings such as nursing homes – in part by providing support to aging adults’ family caregivers.
“As New York state ages, Long Island’s 50+ population is growing,” said Beth Finkel, State Director of AARP in New York State. “Our voter guide is intended to help voters make an informed choice on where the candidates stand on issues that are already critical to this group but will grow even more important as Generation X continues moving into its 50s and the huge Baby Boomer generation moves into retirement and beyond.”
The 50+ accounted for 57% of all votes in New York during the last presidential election in 2012 despite making up less than 52% of the state’s voting-age population. And nearly 65% of New Yorkers 50 and older went to the polls that year, well above the 52% rate among younger voting-age New Yorkers. In the 2014 election for governor, voters 50 and older made up 61% of the New York electorate.
AARP is a social mission organization with 2.6 million members across New York and over half a million on Long Island, home of the highest suburban concentration of AARP members in the nation. AARP is non-partisan and does not endorse political candidates but is committed to ensuring its members are informed about issues of importance.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org<http://www.aarp.