TAXES AND SPENDING:
The Conservative Party recommends that the following be acted upon:
1. The Conservative Party is committed to helping the taxpayers residing in New York State and firmly believe that tax reform and relief is needed immediately and must include the following measures:
a. Hold total state spending growth at/or (preferably) below the inflation rate;
b. Further reduction in the personal income tax on all New Yorkers;
c. Reduce the corporate income tax on all businesses in New York, to stimulate more investment and job creation;
d. Amend the school property tax and real property tax cap to allow district wide vote by residents to override the budget with a two-thirds majority vote;
e. No increase in fees or "hidden" taxes;
f. End and repeal unfunded mandates;
g. We support a "flat tax" where every household in New York State pays the same percentage of their income thereby making it possible to eliminate nuisance taxes.
h. Support collection of cigarette taxes sold to non-Indians by Indian Reservations.
i. Rejection of a "congestion pricing plan";
j. Full repeal the MTA tax and no reinstatement of the "Commuter Tax";
k. Elimination of state income tax on dividend earnings;
l. Eliminate the New York State Estate Tax;
m. Private business pensions should have the same tax exemption as state pensions;
n. Local governments should be required to consolidate services and where possible, to eliminate duplication of services;
o. Opposition to the unconstitutional levy of state and local sales taxes on out-of-state internet purchases.
2. Requirement of a 2/3 majority vote for any tax increase.
3. Adoption of a constitutional amendment limiting any increase of state spending to the rate of inflation.
4. Pension Reform. While it is understood that the New York State Constitution does not allow pension benefits to be "diminished or impaired," the current defined-benefit pension entitlement should be changed to a defined-contribution retirement savings plan when new government employees are hired. Tier VI, did not include "defined-contribution,"
5. which is necessary to curb the future costs to taxpayers.
6. Medicaid must be reformed to curtail spending. Among some of the reforms Medicaid should adopt is the elimination of programs that are not covered by private insurance carriers, for example, transportation to and from doctor's appointments. Every effort has to be made to eliminate fraud and to recover the monies paid on fraudulent claims.
7. Adoption of a constitutional amendment to ban "appropriation-backed" debt that does not have voter approval.
8. Adoption of a constitutional amendment that lists the total debt expected from a bond act.
9. Prohibit public authorities from issuing new debt except for capital improvements backed by a stable revenue stream paid directly by the project's beneficiaries - for example: bridge tolls.
10. Support of a constitutional amendment to end all "back door" borrowing and to allow the voters of New York to have more than one bond issue on the ballot.
11. Continue job creation through tax reduction by elimination of the Gross Receipts Tax.
12. New York State needs to address the out-of-control cost of health care for employees and retirees of public employment agencies.
In order to keep our streets safe and conducive to business the Conservative Party recommends:
1. Restoration of the Death Penalty.
2. DNA databanks should include anyone convicted of a criminal offense.
3. Repeal the statute of limitations for rape, sexual assault, or serious violent felony offenses for all offenders.
4. Legislation to end parole for all convicted felons, as well as mandatory imposition of a sentence of life without parole upon conviction of a third independent felony.
5. Bail should be denied to defendants charged with commissions of felony crimes of violence and that community safety should be considered in bail decisions.
6. We support legislation that allows for prosecution as a felon after a third independent misdemeanor offense.
7. We support law enforcement agencies efforts utilizing all effective law enforcement techniques, such as profiling, or stop and frisk, that keeps citizens safe.
8. Those who use illegal guns or who use deadly weapons to terrorize patrons in public places (Schools, Malls, Movie Theaters for example) should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law
9. Citizens shall have the right to protect themselves with legally purchased firearms. Local and State laws should not conflict with federal law in the licensing or permits allowing citizens in good standing to carry firearms.
10. We reject any restrictions placed on the rights of law-abiding citizens who legally own guns.
11. We reject any effort to legalize mind-altering drugs and natural herbs for medicinal or recreational purposes.
12. Law enforcement agencies throughout the state should be required to hold for deportation any person suspected of being in our state illegally.
We believe the legislature should affirm that marriage is a contract between a man and a woman and call for repeal of legislation that redefined marriage and reject government recognition of non-traditional marriages that take place within or outside of New York State. We do not support legislation that seeks to expand the Human Rights Law to include "transgender" person.
PRESERVATION OF LIFE:
The Conservative Party staunchly believes that all human cloning must be banned and that stem-cell research specifically prohibits the use of progenitor cells and/or pluripotent cells and must be limited to adult stem cells, amniotic fluid, and fetal cord blood research. We believe that New York's present abortion law should be repealed and should re-adopt the prior statute permitting therapeutic abortions only under the most clearly defined conditions hazardous to the life of the mother. Any effort to reinforce or expand current abortion laws must be rejected. Unborn victims of violence should be given the full protection of our laws. Tax dollars should not be used to prevent or end a pregnancy. Elderly, terminally ill, and patients who cannot advocate for themselves should have the full protection of the law to prevent attempts to end their lives prematurely. Efforts must be made to ease adoption laws in New York State so that traditional families can provide a loving home to unwanted or abandoned children.
The Conservative Party recognizes that a good education is vital for members of society to prosper. We believe that every parent should have the opportunity to send their children to the best schools available. Educational tax credits should be available to parents. We believe that state government should set the minimum standards, but that local governments should have control. English should be established as the official language and bilingual educational programs should be eliminated. All disruptive violent students should be removed and placed in special schools. Teachers who have acted in any seriously unprofessional manner must be stripped of tenure and prevented from teaching in the future. We oppose allowing Courts to determine New York State's system for educational financing and support. We support the proposal that school districts should only invest in programs that have been proven to work prior to any new funding. We also oppose the establishment and funding of any educational institute by any municipality that seeks to promote a culture or history that does not support the United States Constitution.
We must reestablish a climate that is business friendly, and eliminate burdensome taxes and regulations that prevent society's entrepreneurial spirit from soaring. Businesses must be allowed to conduct their business in an atmosphere that lets the free-market dictate what is best for it as long as the business is not promoting substances that are illegal or promoting illegal behavior. Companies should be allowed to hire the best-qualified person without fear of breaching hiring quotas. The free market must determine wages, not government. We reject efforts by the government to raise or index the minimum wage and also oppose living wage legislation. Employees must be held responsible if they contribute to their own injuries. Tort reform, including the expansion of sanctions for bringing frivolous lawsuits, is essential to encourage the free flow of business in New York State, and meaningful Workers Compensation reform is vital. We support repealing the requirement that new LLC or LLP publish notices for 6 weeks in 2 different newspapers. We support a constitutional amendment that would specifically define "eminent domain" to prohibit takings for economic development purposes and limit takings to true public purposes. Hydrofracking, with proper environmental safeguards, should be permitted in the state.
The free market, not government controls, is the only way to have quality affordable housing.
New York State must adopt the strictest legal reforms, give control to the local counties to set limits for the amount of payment, allow for 100% sanctions if the public assistance work rules are not adhered to, require full restitution if fraud is used to obtain benefits, and firmly establish that each recipient is in our country legally. We support the requirement of fingerprinting all who apply for government benefits and reject the use of taxpayer money to reach out for new recipients.
While many states are releasing prisoners to balance their budgets, we firmly believe that this method is not in the best interest of our citizens. Government's role is to protect its citizens from those who have harmed innocent people. We also believe that prison should be a place where, when released, one would never want to return. Prisoners should have to work toward reentry into society; their food, shelter and clothing cost taxpayers money and prisoners should make every effort to pay for these items themselves. Prisoners must not be allowed to file frivolous lawsuits and contact visitation rights should be eliminated. Underutilized prisons should continue to be closed.
New York State should be a right to work state. Union members' First Amendment right of freedom of speech and assembly should be reaffirmed and be protected against arbitrary disciplinary actions. We support strengthening the Taylor Law and are strongly opposed to attempts to allow mediators to declare that officials are bargaining in bad faith.
CONSERVATION, RECREATION AND ECOLOGY:
The unreasonable and massive takeover of private lands by state and local government must end.
The Conservative Party believes that higher admission standards will restore our public institutions of higher learning to their former greatness and we continue to oppose open enrollment. Safeguards must be in place before any incentives of free tuition to prospective students are offered. Any student enrolled in our higher education system must be able to prove that they are in our country legally and that any visa used to enter our Country has not expired. We continue to oppose the New York State "Dream Act".
Members must enact a permanent ban on all legislative member items. If a budget is not enacted by March 31, no action should be taken on any other bills, with the exception of legislation necessary for public safety. Once a budget is adopted, all other business should be concluded within 30 days. Legislation to prevent every public official from collecting their pension if convicted of a felony must be enacted and be effective immediately. Increases in legislative pay should be approved by public referendum. We continue to be opposed to a Constitutional Convention.
Political campaigns should not be financed with tax dollars and attempts to allow instant voter registration must be rejected. Any attempt to establish "early voting" in New York State must be rejected. Existing federal law regarding Super PAC's is sufficient. The Conservative Party opposes any effort to diminish the power of those enrolled in a political party by denying them the ability to control their own party. Direct election of all judges should be required. Citizens should be allowed to have Initiative, Referendum, and Recall. Term limits for all elected officials should be enacted, with no more than 8 years in each house and two four-year terms for statewide officials. Photo identification should be required and presented to the poll inspectors before voting, as well as when first registering to vote. Candidates for political office should not accept campaign contributions from sovereign entities that is not bound by, or that violate, the laws and regulations of the New York State Board of Elections. We support efforts that result in apolitical Boards of Elections.
New York State, since the earliest days of our Nation, has been a beacon to people coming to America. Today, we welcome those who come to our state -legally. While we welcome all who come to our shores, we insist that our government services must be limited to those who are here legally. Government service providers should require proof that people who receive government services are here legally. Additionally, all government forms should be printed in English only. Citizens who vote should do so in English. As we stated, we recognize the wonderful contributions immigrants have made to America, but we also recognize that immigrants have made these contributions, by communicating in the English language. Citizens who have entered our country and state illegally are not entitled to drivers' licenses or any other government identification forms. New York State government should require all law enforcement agencies to hold for federal law enforcement officials any person in our state illegally and prohibit any municipality from becoming a sanctuary municipality.
RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE IN PUBLIC LIFE:
The values of our faiths and the Judeo-Christian moral code are under assault. Congress and the Legislature open each Session with a prayer, why then, do we deny that very same privilege to tomorrow's leaders in public school classes and functions? The Founding Fathers debated what they hoped to be the values of this new nation and chose as the very first line of the Bill of Rights: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" They knew the importance of religion in 0111' daily lives and specifically denied government choosing which religion should be practiced, yet emphasized that government could not stop people from practicing their religion of choice. Therefore, we urge the legitimization of the traditionally accepted role of nonsectarian religious observance in our public schools, through a proposal by the New York State Legislature, of an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, making it clear that non-denominational, non-coercive prayer in public schools shall not be prohibited; and that individual or group religions observance or activity shall not be prohibited, infringed, or discriminated against through refusal of reasonable accommodation or by any other form of disparate treatment.