Larry Sharpe for New York
Why are so many college graduates unemployed, and why are more people leaving New York than any other region in the country? New York used to represent innovation, growth, and opportunity. But we’re quickly losing that edge to the highest tax burden in the country… and the worst business climate to match that. Government has gotten too big, too expensive, and too out of touch. Corruption and inefficiency are costing us jobs and leaving people behind.
A New NY
A Platform for a New NY
A Sharpe Priority: YOU DO YOU
No matter how you choose to use your right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—YOU DO YOU!
Let’s embrace the diversity of New York State by honoring and respecting each individual’s right to be who they want to be; love who they want to love; love how they want to love; worship how they want to worship; work how they want to work; learn how they want to learn; go where they want to go; and live how they want to live.
How you choose to live your life is your business. Who you choose to love is your business. What you choose to put in your body is your business.
Your own health and wellbeing is also your business—and nobody else’s.
When it comes to your personal health and medical decisions, informed consent is an inalienable human right. Medical treatment should never be mandated or coerced – whether it’s a procedure, a medication or a vaccine. How you choose to treat, heal, or protect yourself and your family should always be your decision.
It is unacceptable to use threats to personal health information privacy, discrimination, and the restriction of access to public services and spaces to coerce any medical procedure or treatment.
Any restrictions based on a requirement for “vaccine passports” or any other proof of medical “compliance” must be immediately repealed. Vaccine requirements that target specific populations based on ethnicity or race, even if positioned as correcting disparities, are discriminatory and should be immediately repealed.
The use of privacy-invasive monitoring systems like Excelsior to monitor, track, and restrict the rights of individuals to freely exist must be opposed, especially when used to mandate or coerce your personal health care decisions.
A Sharpe Priority: INVESTING IN A NEW NEW YORK
New Yorkers are taxed more than enough. New York collects more than $1.4 Billion in income tax from those who make less than $36,000 a year. It is obscene for Albany to collect that much from those who are already struggling. With this groundbreaking proposal, we can relieve the tax burdens that fall on the New Yorker families who need that relief the most -by eliminating the burden instead of shifting it, and by giving New Yorkers the means to help themselves.
The New York State Social Trust (NYSST) will help lessen the burden on all New York taxpayers by creating a social wealth fund that provides a pathway to pay for the increasing costs of education and healthcare. This fund will raise over $900 billion in four years, and will allow for the elimination of the school and income tax.
The New York Coin is a digital token that represents shares in an organization that receives a dividend percentage on tax revenue generated by the state. These digital tokens will be offered to the public in an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). This innovative approach will create new revenue directly into the Social Trust that can then be used to reduce taxation on New Yorkers.
With every year that passes, there is a decrease in the percentage of tax revenue collected
to pay for dividends to token holders, and an increase in the percentage of fund revenues collected to pay for dividends to token holders. This means that the needs of New Yorkers are funded through investment, not taxes, and the investors make money as New York’s prosperity grows.
The Graduated Income Boost (GIB) is a method of directly targeting poverty by providing individuals with the cash to meet their basic needs, and the incentive to earn more. Every New York resident between the ages of 18-65 who have an annual income under $36,000 would be eligible to participate in the Hand-Up Ecosystem (HUE) -with each participant receiving payments totaling a maximum of $18,000 annually -after registering for the HUE App -which allows them to be connected to community resources including jobs, education, childcare, and more.
This “Hand Up” allows individuals to earn income through employment without benefit cliffs.
How does it work? For each dollar you make from $0-$36,000 your GIB would be slightly reduced, meaning that you would never make less than $36,000, and you can make more by working without losing the boost.
Here is the breakdown:
|Your Income||GIB Adjustment||GIB||Total|
|Your Income||GIB Adjustment||GIB||Total|
For example, let’s say you make $1,500 in a year. Your GIB would be reduced by $500 to $17,500 – so that’s $1,500 + $17,500 = $19,000. This ensures that New Yorkers are able to not just survive but thrive, without worrying about losing benefits. By giving New Yorkers the means to help themselves, we can eliminate spending on government programs that waste taxpayer money on administrative costs, and give those who need it most a leg up -without the government middleman.
As the New York Coin is traded and the New York State Social Trust (NYSST) is funded, here’s what you can expect:
- By the end of the first year, we can eliminate the school tax, with schools receiving an apportioned amount of the NYSST per enrolled student.
- At the end of the second year, the tax burden on New Yorkers is effectively cut in half, and the Graduated Income Boost (GIB) is fully funded.
- By year three, we can end the state income tax – the funding for social programs instead comes from the NYSST.
- By the end of year four, we can tackle Medicaid funding, and end unfunded mandates.
By implementing The New York State Social Trust (NYSST), The New York Coin, and The Graduated Income Boost (GIB), we can relieve the tax burdens that fall on the New Yorker families who need that relief the most -by eliminating the burden instead of shifting it, and by giving New Yorkers the means to help themselves.
A Sharpe Priority: HOMELESSNESS & MENTAL HEALTH IN NYC
Homelessness and mental illness are plaguing our city. To deal with such an overwhelming problem, stepping outside the box is necessary -by stepping inside.
The “Caring Caboose”
Many homeless individuals are reluctant to go to shelters for help. The “Caring Caboose” is about helping people where they are at, while improving conditions and safety for everyday New Yorkers.
Rather than the very difficult task of persuading homeless and mentally ill people to go to shelters, this will allow for every other subway train to have the last car designated as a sponsored “safe helping space” for homeless people facing issues with addiction and mental illness.
Not all homeless people fall into these categories, but many of those who do, often migrate to the MTA and end up in trouble.
These cars will have security (not cops, because many homeless fear the police) as well as mental health support available from social workers.
Now, instead of pushing homeless people back into the streets, arresting them or proliferating a system where some of them are likely to harass or harm commuters, they can be encouraged to go to the caring caboose. This program will require no new taxes or fees.
Each “Caring Caboose” can be sponsored by health care companies, insurance companies, even Big Pharma or any company trying to rebuild its image -or even as a way to pay lawsuit damages.
It may even provide an opportunity for volunteers, and students in the medical or social worker fields to gain real world experience before entering the workforce.
This is NOT an all-encompassing plan to solve everything. It’s just one part that makes things better without raising the cost of living for everyday New Yorkers. By ensuring the safety of all New Yorkers, we can create more opportunity for everyone. The Caring Caboose addresses an urgent need in our city without adding a financial burden to New Yorkers.
A Sharpe Priority: WORKER CO-OPS THAT WORK
Larry believes in supporting both the worker and the community. Worker Co-Ops provide an avenue for workers to reclaim their dignity, nurture their entrepreneurial spirit, and build stronger communities.
Using existing resources and state obligations, we can provide funding options for qualified new Worker Co-Ops that allow workers to pool seed money together with 5 or more individuals. These funding options would be offered by streamlining payments to individuals like unemployment claims, structured settlements, or other approved claims of state payments by making an upfront payment an option rather than the traditional payments over time. By agreeing to use any money the state owes you to fund a new Co-Op, this one-time payment would be treated as a non-taxable grant.
How would this work? If someone loses a job due to a business closure and is eligible for unemployment benefits, once a qualified business plan is provided, New York will make an upfront payment of the entire 26-week eligibility claim -for the purpose of providing start-up money for a worker Co-Op with at least 4 other individuals. Any payments received by the worker for their claim, prior to engaging in this program would be deducted from the eligible upfront payment.
Worker Co-Ops can be established in any sector, including, but not limited to:
- Services- housecleaning, day labor, restaurants, taxis, childcare
- Retail – grocery stores, bakeries, bookstores, bike shops
- Health Care – nursing, home health care, clinics, bodywork
- Skilled Trades – printing, plumbing, woodworking, contracting
- Professional and Administrative -including business and marketing services of all kinds
- Manufacturing and engineering – machine parts, fabricating
- Technology – web hosting, networking, voice and data systems
- Education – charter schools, teacher/student/parent-run schools
- Media and the Arts – artisans, galleries, performers, publishers
A Worker Co-Op presenting a qualified business plan can apply and receive a NYS-backed loan, issued by a community bank or credit union, for any amount up to the total advanced payments the collective group would be receiving from their state claim. The loan program can only be offered through small community banks and credit unions, and must be located in the same county as the Co-Op. This is an important aspect of this program to keep local, local, and to foster community engagement.
Through this new Worker Co-Op initiative, we can build up our communities and enrich the lives of New Yorkers -all by using the resources and state obligations that already exist.
A Sharpe Priority: REFORMING OUR ELECTIONS
Elections should be free and fair.
New Yorkers should be able to vote for any candidate they choose, in free and fair elections.
Larry Sharpe’s Election Reform approach accomplishes this by reforming New York’s Ballot Access Laws, creating Open Primaries, and instituting Ranked Choice Voting.
Ballot Access Reform
The voters of New York deserve to have real choices on their ballots.
Recently, an appointed commission set up by former Governor Cuomo decided to change New York election law to add some of the most restrictive ballot access requirements in the country. They must have decided that Democrats had too much competition on the ballot…
By changing the Ballot Access requirements to lessen the burden of petition gathering, candidates won’t have to waste valuable time and resources on an outdated and oppressive practice that does nothing but eliminate real competition in the voting booth.
Individual voters should pick the candidates on the ballot -not party bosses.
Voters should be able to vote for whoever they wish -regardless of party affiliation.
With an Open Primary system, New Yorkers can vote for any primary candidate no matter what party they are affiliated with.
Ranked Choice Voting
No more “spoilers”. No more voting for the “lesser of two evils”.
• With Ranked-Choice Voting, you rank your favorite candidates in order of preference.
• Only prefer a single candidate? Not a problem! With Ranked-Choice Voting, you rank as many -or as few- candidates as you want.
• RCV is also called an “instant runoff” election -meaning if your first choice is eliminated, your second choice gets your vote in the runoff, and so on. When a candidate gets a majority, that candidate is elected.
• This means no candidate is a spoiler, and the candidate that wins is ALWAYS supported by a majority of the voters.
Ranked Choice Voting ensures that there are no wasted votes, and that candidates must build a broad coalition of voters.
A Sharpe Priority: A REAL DEAL FOR OUR ENVIRONMENT
We CAN be stewards of our environment AND improve our economy.
A healthy environment means healthy New Yorkers. We can protect our environment by:
• Demanding corporations are held accountable for environmental crimes
• Removing New York state’s liability caps for individuals and corporations proven responsible for environmental disasters
• Requiring penalty payments allocated to victims directly impacted by pollution, environmental degradation, and cleanup
We can improve our environment and our economy by:
• Adopting modern solutions to disaster cleanups, including bio-remediation and a reduction in our dependence on lengthy and antiquated federal “Superfund” hearings
• Making it easier to deploy and use renewable energy, including innovative technologies available for renewable resource use
• Removing restrictions on the hemp industry and encouraging the production of hemp-based bio-plastics -helping to fill a long-term environmental and economic need
We can take a huge step forward toward sustainability and economic growth with Larry Sharpe’s plan for Clean Energy, Clean Water, and improved local Food production:
Energy – Clean, Cheap, and Innovative:
Larry Sharpe’s Clean Energy proposal brings New York State closer to energy self-reliance by:
• Building new Gen 4 Nuclear power plants to create new clean energy sources and new jobs
• Building hybrid Nuclear & Nitrogen producing plants using waste heat from nuclear power production and agricultural waste digestion to create nitrogen fertilizer at low-cost for New York farmers
Water -Clean, Protected, and Plentiful
Larry Sharpe’s Clean Water proposal ensures our water resources are protected, useful, and unspoiled through:
• Desalination – Building desalination plants to create fresh clean water for NYC and other municipalities. This reduces dependence on Upstate reservoirs for NYC water usage.
• Better, and More Sustainable Waste Removal – Use wastewater to create methane, which can then be used to produce Nitrogen for New York Farmers.
• Preservation -By making corporations truly accountable for environmental crimes that pollute New York’s water resources.
Food – Lower Input Costs for Farmers
Farmers are being crushed by the heavy regulations the state and federal government have placed on food and other agricultural products. Even farmer’s markets are regulated and restricted -for example, the document New York uses to guide the regulation of apples is more than twenty pages long!
Larry Sharpe’s Farmer Freedom proposal reduces input costs for New York farmers by:
• Exempting farm-to-table and small businesses from nearly every federal and state agricultural food law
• Creating cheap fertilizer using waste heat from electricity production and methane digestion to synthesize Nitrogen fertilizer for crop growers
• Lowering fuel costs by lowering the overall cost of energy
By lowering input costs and obstacles for farmers and producers, producing clean and cheap energy, and protecting and sustaining our water resources, we can improve our environment, our economy, and our quality of life.
“The quality of education in New York is a problem and the answer is not more state control- the answer is innovation.”- Larry Sharpe
LETTING TEACHERS TEACH
The state of New York spends almost 90% more on education than the rest of the United States. Unfortunately, the additional expenditure does not translate to adequately prepared students who are capable of finding a job. One reason for this is the generic standards and mandates imposed on schools statewide.
1) Schools need the freedom to set their educational curriculum and expectations to meet the needs of the people most directly affected by the institution. This is especially true for students in their final two years of primary education. Our solution: We would end traditional education upon completion of the tenth grade, and give students and parents the opportunity to choose the best path for the next two years and beyond, based on the talents and desires of the individual. That could mean spending the next two years in college, entering a trade or apprenticeship program, or perhaps entering directly into the workforce. Additionally, in the event that a student completes the tenth grade but unable to decide how to utilize their resources for the final two years, they will have access to that funding over the course of the next ten years.
2) Another component of this plan is to allow educators to teach and innovate based on what’s best for their students. The methods used in one district may not work for another- this is why unfunded education mandates from the state do more harm than good.
3) A significant reduction in the number of administrators per student is necessary. The previously mentioned points would assist with this, as more control in the hands of local school boards, parents and students would not require as much oversight or paper-pushing to respond to federal and state level restrictions.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
In New York state, the criminal justice system is rife with numerous issues and requires significant overhaul. In addition to the high rates of recidivism, innocent people are being sent to jail simply because they cannot afford bail. Lawsuits are common and incredibly expensive. All of these issues contribute to overworked correctional officers who have a limited collective voice when it comes to addressing criminal justice reform.
To address the problems that have risen out of a troubled bail system, Larry will:
1) Mandate that a minimum of 4 methods of bail payment be made available by the courts, including the option to pay by debit or credit card.
2) Reduce bail amounts for low level non-violent offenders.
3) Provide low level non-violent offenders with GPS enabled ankle bracelets in lieu of jail.
Larry believes in creating CRUs (Community Reform Units) to help reduce recidivism, rehabilitate inmates, and give them a second chance at life. These CRUs will be operated by a combination of correctional officers and volunteers, including former inmates who are productive members of society. These CRUs are modeled after a Massachusetts initiative referred to as the HUMV program, which reduced recidivism rates from around 75% to around 5%. Input from corrections officers, former inmates, and current inmates will be essential making this objective clearly a team effort. Inmates will be screened to ensure that those with psychopathic tendencies, who present the lowest chances for successful completion, are not brought into the program. Upon completion, qualified inmates will be granted an early release. Over time, CRUs will generate savings for taxpayers as recidivism rates plummet and less people need to be imprisoned. The savings will be used to pay for both de-escalation training for guards and the hiring of new guards. The CRUs will also work alongside the newly created Office of Pardon in determining which prisoners are eligible for pardon or commutation of their sentence.
Correctional officers are overworked and understaffed which amplifies the incredibly stressful environment they work within. This is not conducive to proper treatment of those in state custody and It is very detrimental to the well-being of the corrections officers who have to experience these conditions. We will ensure that correctional officers get their contracts in a timely manner and will work hard to improve their overall working conditions. Some of this improvement will stem from decreased inmate populations which will result from legalization of marijuana/hemp and pardoning marijuana and SAFE Act offenders.
Incidences of wrong doing on the part of corrections officers and prisoners alike present a special problem in providing evidence for the prosecution of crimes committed behind prison walls. Greater consideration must be given to the placement and addition of cameras in prisons so that witness testimony is not so paramount to investigations.This necessarily reduces the impact of false accusations brought forth by inmates and offers a higher degree of protection for corrections officers. Inmates will also be protected from false allegations that correctional officers might make against them. Officers will be able to rely more upon surveillance to aid in the resolution of disputes between prisoners instead of eyewitness statements in which minor mistakes may lead to possibly losing their jobs. Ultimately, such measures will save the state a lot on the wasted funding commonly sunk into defending prison lawsuits.
SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS
“Unfortunately, in the state of New York, the second amendment has now become the second suggestion.”
– Larry Sharpe
THE SAFE ACT
These three actions will make the Safe Act essentially obsolete:
1) The risk of turning good people into hardened criminals just because of a Safe Act violation is a serious problem.
2) Law enforcement officers and prosecutors will make enforcement and prosecution of the safe act its absolute lowest priority.
3) Any attempts to fund or support the Safe act through further legislative measures will be vetoed.
REFORMED CARRY LAWS
These three points insure that law abiding citizens can be responsible for their own safety, while still combating criminal behavior and acts of violence.
1) If an individual legally obtained and owns a firearm they may transport it anywhere in the state of New York as long as it is locked and unloaded. This includes reciprocity for out of state travelers who have permits in their own states.
2) If a firearm is used to stop a crime, regardless of the local laws, the individual can not be prosecuted for the gun crime.
3) Everyone has a personal right and responsibility to protect their families, communities and businesses, this includes members of the LGBTQ and minority communities whose second amendment rights are threatened.
REDUCED PERMIT HASSLES
The key point is to keep regulation of the 2nd amendment within the bounds of the Constitution, while ensuring the state and local government do not put any undue burden on citizens who are trying to lawfully abide by permit regulations. To do this, we will eliminate the current six-month permit waiting period.
1) The new permit waiting period will be 90 days.
2) If the system fails to make a choice, one way or the other, the permit is granted automatically.
3) If the county does not approve a permit there must be a reason provided and the decision is able to be appealed.
DRUGS, CANNABIS AND HEMP
“It is time for New York state to be liberated from the lost ‘war on drugs’.”
“Cannabis is a way of growing our state. It’s a way of making people free, growing jobs, and increasing our tax base without increasing taxes.” – Larry Sharpe
ADDRESSING THE FAILED WAR ON DRUGS
The epidemic of substance abuse has been on a rising trajectory for quite some time. Our first step in reducing this trend is to reduce, and one day eliminate, the practice of prosecution and imprisonment for non-violent drug crimes. By treating addiction as a health concern rather than a criminal matter, we address the root of the problem and reduce the growing rates of recidivism and crime.
1) We will promote drug education that is wholly rooted in fact, and created in combination with other sensible policy programs including Drug Policy Alliance, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and Families for Sensible Drug Policy.
2) We will establish overdose protection sites (OPS) and other low-threshold facilities that will ensure the public has access to the resources necessary to fight addiction, and circumvent the crime and other problems that arise from substance abuse.
3) We will lower priority for law enforcement programs and initiatives focused on continuation of arrest or prosecution of non-violent drug related crimes. Individuals would instead be redirected to options for treatment, which may include the previously mentioned OPS programs.
REFORMED CARRY LAWS
The time to legalize cannabis and hemp farming is now. New York should have just as much opportunity to reap the economic rewards of these two policies as any other state in the U.S.
1) Legalization of cannabis at a recreational level is necessary, if for no other reason than we are wasting too much of the taxpayers’ money on prosecuting and housing non-violent drug offenders. Nearly half of the drug-related arrests across the U.S. stem from cannabis and, of that portion, almost 90% were due to simple-possession.
2) Growing, processing and distributing both marijuana and hemp should be not regulated any more than other agricultural crops.
3) Funding and resources should be available to companies wanting to research and develop these crops.
For struggling New Yorkers to reach their full potential, New York state must immediately take action to eliminate poverty traps. If the state continues to penalize people for earning more money they will be afraid to earn more money. As a result, poverty holds them hostage and dependency on welfare is perpetuated.
In addition to implementing the Graduated Income Boost (GIB), here are steps that can be taken to eliminate poverty traps:
- Raise the cap that restricts how much welfare recipients can have in their bank account before losing benefits.
- Create an insurance product to help people gradually depend less on welfare as they increase their income.
- Remove restrictions on non-profits that help the poor.
- Decriminalize homelessness.
If local, municipal laws make this process more difficult or harder, then a spotlight will be shone brought on the issue and Larry will apply pressure to fix the problem.
In some areas, housing is much too expensive. This is often the result of inept municipal government. This is incredibly true in New York City where the primary fault lies with expensive housing which is generally controlled by local community boards. Unelected officials who have been appointed at the whim of leadership face little accountability for failing their constituents. As governor, Larry will pressure New York City to convert these positions into elected offices so the individuals serving in these roles will be held accountable for their shortcomings. Additionally, Larry will create awareness regarding the local policies, generated by community boards, that ultimately led to significant increases in housing prices.
CONSUMER DRIVEN HEALTHCARE REFORM
Arguments revolving around “who pays” for healthcare have left government in an unending gridlock. One important neglected assertion is that healthcare reform and health insurance reform are two separate matters. Due to that fact, our repair process revolves around reforming healthcare into a more consumer driven industry.
To reflect a transition into a healthcare marketplace that depends upon consumers, as governor, Sharpe would take these necessary actions:
1) Require all providers to have transparent pricing that is simple and easy to understand.
2) Provide a website resource to help New Yorkers find the best and cheapest solutions for their healthcare, including price comparisons between providers.
3) Repeal Certificates of Need (CON)- CONs are essentially permission slips that healthcare professional, who are already properly licensed, must obtain to provide healthcare to consumers. In theory, this piece of paper “proves” there is a need for their practice. In reality, this is a pointless barrier to entering the healthcare field that has zero positive trade offs such as increased quality or reduced cost.
MEDICAID AND STATE-FUNDED HEALTH PLANS
Conversion of Medicaid into an HCDA (Healthcare Debit Account)would give greater flexibility to patients as it will allow them to use it to see virtually any doctor. If the recipient’s’ personal savings account runs out, then they would be able to use traditional Medicaid as a backup option. The HCDA will roll over to an individual or company HSA (Healthcare Savings Account) when the individual no longer requires Medicaid. This will also save money because recipients will be more encouraged to care about the cost associated with medical care choices.
Patients would be more likely to use preventative care with a visit to a regular doctor, clinic or urgent care in lieu of expensive, last resort ER trips. A health market like this would also facilitate the development of low-cost, cash-only clinics and practices which would grant even greater freedom in patients’ provider choices as well as help alleviate the incredibly high patient load ERs are currently struggling with. Two necessary measures to achieving these goals include:
1) A minor, but necessary increase in copays which must be paid before using the HCDAfunds, however, we will maintain $0 copays for things like vaccines and birth control since these are measures that help keep the overall cost of healthcare down.
2) Waived copays for destitute people or those who are otherwise incapable of paying
3) State healthcare plans be converted to HCDAs or traditional HSAs with an insurance backend so they still have the same coverage as now
We must address the overwhelming shortage of medical personal which is driving up costs, wait times, and simultaneously degrading care. In order to do so, as Governor, Mr. Sharpe would do the following:
1) Allow all medical school graduates to be licensed as physician’s assistants until the remaining requirements , such as residency, have been met to become a doctor.
2) End college course requirements for medical school which will enable doctors to finish school with less debt and have an easier time starting their own practice or clinic.
3) The same should be done for nurses and class capacity should be increased to accommodate rising demand to pursue the opportunity.
4) Residency requirements should be capped at 1 year regardless of who accredits them. End the exclusion of professionally competent healthcare providers and workers and expand acceptance of residency training to graduates of all officially recognized medical programs.
5) New York will recognize all doctors who graduate from any IMED recognized school like most states do. Licensure will be expanded by endorsement and New York will opt into the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. (IMLCC)
6) Empower nurse practitioners to do more.
Expanded access and use of telehealth will lower costs and provide care in underserved areas. Some important fundamentals of implementing greater reliance on telemedicine include:
1) All telemedicine providers be allowed to operate in New York as long as they meet requirements to practice. We must also stop requiring them to be on a list of pre-approved sites.
2) Elimination of on-site assessment requirements for telehealth.
3) Reduced restrictions on housecalls- Similar to reduced restrictions on telemedicine, house calls should be added as an another option to receive healthcare. Permissions will be given to physicians in all Article 28-licensed health systems, as well as non-Article 28 clinics, to have the ability to make house calls and be compensated for them
In conclusion, please understand that Consumer-Driven Healthcare Reform means returning choices and power to people while driving prices down because providers must once again compete for business. Instead of being primarily concerned with who pays, this policy is more concerned with reforming the primary healthcare markets and state-level management of the care industry itself.
“Government is taking the time to make it as hard as possible to have that small business.” – Larry Sharpe
“Small business regulations and taxes can be transformed into a positive influence on entrepreneurship with one word: simplification.” – Larry Sharpe
SAVING MAIN STREET
New York small businesses are abused. New York must take steps to be friendly to both small business and hiring.
1) One of our top priorities is to lower the cost of healthcare which will help keep small businesses’ employment expenses down. They will be able to improve the economy through increased hiring and also have greater potential to grow and thrive alongside larger businesses and corporations.
2) Worker’s compensation laws must be overhauled. While it is critical that these protections for workers not be diminished in any way, we are introducing a plan that integrates elements of worker’s compensation programs from around the country in order to lower the costs associated with this program. We will also allow a high-deductible worker’s compensation plan which allows the employer to pay out of pocket until their deductible is reached. Any business choosing this option must still provide proof of their ability to pay. We will make it impossible for an employer to neglect their accident and injury compensation responsibilities
3) Repeal the scaffold law which stifles construction companies. These outdated laws were put in place prior to the worker’s compensation program which has provided an alternative option for managing these types of regulations.
4) We must quit placing so many restrictions on new and developing industries including vape shops, hemp / marijuana businesses and cryptocurrency and instead allow them to innovate and flourish.
5). To encourage small businesses to help with rehabilitation of felons after they’ve been released from prison, employers will receive payroll tax waivers for these individuals during the first two years of their employment. The returns to taxpayers are two fold because we are encouraging economic growth for this population of individuals, as well as reducing the likelihood of them returning to prison (recidivism).
6) Many of the occupational licenses required by the government do very little to actually improve the quality or safety of the work being performed. Any licensing requirements for goods and services people would generally be comfortable asking someone they know to provide or perform should be repealed. This will make it easier for small businesses to hire capable people, which will in turn make it easier for these individuals to climb out of poverty without having to pay to simply to feed their family.
7) The government should not raise the tipped minimum wage. A recent attempt in Maine led to the discovery that this measure actually hurts the total compensation of waiters and waitresses. Ultimately, the backlash from restaurant workers was so strong that the legislature repealed it.
“The courts must make every effort to do what’s best in the interest of EVERYONE.” – Larry Sharpe
“Family law in New York is an absolute disaster. It is destroying the lives of children, fathers and often entire families by limiting the father’s rights, due to the errant focus of the courts.” – Larry Sharpe
The first problems to be addressed regarding family law are issues perpetuated by the family courts. Judges must stop treating family court as an end point for families, and instead regard it as the most important component of the overall judicial system. The results of balanced family courts will reap positive effects for New York that will spill over into other aspects of society, including criminal law.
1) Implementing and effectively enforcing perjury laws will help stop the damaging lies that are common to family court. The threat of secondary prosecution for perjury will help the process reveal the party actually in the wrong.
2) The focus of the courts, and all of the players in the family law system, needs to be redirected from dollars to keeping families together. Allowing children to remain with kin during these difficult processes is an honorable goal that has the potential to reduce costs, both financially for the state and emotionally for the children. A strong, family-centered legal process is the goal.
3) Specific concerns brought forth during the litigation and mediation process must be viewed in an appropriate context. Would this be an issue or expectation of the parents if they were still married?
THE PROBLEM WITH PENALIZING PARENTS
We absolutely must re-evaluate the expectations of the courts as well as the penalties for not adhering to the demands made.
1) The financial obligations of each parent should be subject to the same level of interference in family court, as it is outside of family court. For example, the requirement of a divorced parent to pay for their child’s college. If the couple were still married, there is no expectation that they must pay for their child’s education. Parents should be given the right to determine how to best care for and finance their child’s needs without the interference of the courts.
2) Trying to force parents to adhere to their income potential for child support instead of their actual earned income is incredibly unfair. Due to the time investment necessary for good parenting, mothers and fathers must be able to work and still be a part of the child’s life. The current system does not encourage this and it must be changed.
3) The practice of removing any of a father’s various state issued licenses is wrong. Putting them in jail or fining them is equally counterproductive and, while it benefits the court and state, it decimates the extended family, especially the children. Instead, we need a ledger system that will put the offender on a payment plan so they may support the family accordingly. Debtor’s prison needs to end in New York.
NEWLY CREATED OFFICES: TRANSPARENCY, PARDON AND REPEAL
There is a culture of corruption in New York state that must be broken.
The first step is in improving transparency is to create an Office of Transparency that will ensure oversight of government officials’ conduct. Having a division like this would help identify the best leadership practices – successes will be replicated and failures will bring necessary growth and change. More importantly, leadership will be subject to greater public scrutiny and held accountable for their corrupt deeds.
A primary focus for greater accountability is found within the many New York corporations owned by the government, committees, and boards who mostly act as a power unto themselves. Since these boards are made up of appointed officials they are insulated from elections. These removed entities make great scapegoats for politicians and provide them with the perfect opportunity to avoid taking responsibility for the misdeeds. Larry Sharpe vows to put a stop to these practices and introduce a culture of culpability among public officials. Every governmental role and function should be subject to the consequences of democracy. This means these positions and actions will either be directly voted on or determined by someone else who is electable. The buck must stop somewhere.
Albany’s unfunded mandates and overreach are strangling the most local levels of government all across the state. Instead of centralized control, we will provide local government with significantly more autonomy. It is important to note, however, that the executive branch will always provide increased assistance to local municipalities if it’s requested. If citizens find their rights threatened by local government they can petition Albany for assistance from Larry and his administration.
Two additional offices created will include the Office of Pardon and the Office of Repeal. The Office of Pardon will help identify individuals who have redeemed themselves within the confines of their prison sentence and may be eligible for a pardon or commutation of their sentence. The Office of Repeal will investigate and identify outdated, unnecessary and potentially harmful laws and work to repeal them.
COMMUNITY TAX CREDIT
A CTC (Community Tax Credit) will permit taxpayers to donate up to $500 pretax to a charity they have chosen. Of this portion, half can go to any charity within the state and half can be distributed to any charity in their county. This will help us fund important community programs without the overly complicated political processes which will reduce the likelihood of corruption in officials’ decision making. The competition this will create will require charities prove themselves to New Yorkers, assuring them that their money is being utilized effectively, efficiently, and specifically for their cause.
MTA: FASTER FORWARD
“If you elect me as governor, I will no longer allow the people of New York state to be held hostage by the MTA!” – Larry Sharpe
Goals of The Faster Forward MTA Reform:
- Establish necessary priorities for completion prior to the L-train tunnel. This includes revamping modern NYC bus routes as opposed to analyzing those of the 1930’s as suggested in the Byford plan. This must be done first so the buses can accommodate the increased passenger load expected during subway construction.
- End the poor administrative processes, inefficient managements of resources, and borrowing of funds that has caused the MTA to become cash revenue poor. Instead, a greater emphasis will be placed on requiring the MTA to use its existing city and state subsidies more effectively.
- Examine innovative revenue opportunities, beyond simply raising fares and/or taxes. One option for additional funding could be gained by allowing naming rights for MTA facilities in exchange for ending tolls on the bridges and tunnels it owns. When considering naming rights, like those permitted for stadiums, both the profitability and marketability are apparent. The MTA must also explore its potential to gain additional revenues by functioning as a freight transportation option.
In the first four years, a great deal of focus will be on the administrative details of the MTA:
- The L-train project will be pushed to the forefront and required to be completed in a timely manner and return to operation with a fully functioning Communications-Based Train Controls (CBTC) system. Revamps on bus routes must take place prior to the beginning of this project all relative routes will be fully evaluated, standardized, coordinated and communicated (ESCC), so that in the wake of the subways being taken down for signal work, there are minimal disruptions to commuter transit times.
- Controlling costs on existing projects can be done through the implementation of a Scope Control Board that can offer additional oversight for the Capital Program Oversight Committee (CPOC), an organization that has continuously failed to control costs, scope and schedule on large capital projects like 2nd Avenue Subway. The Scope Control Board will consist of the Governor, New York State AG, Mayor of NYC, and both the New York State and NYC Comptroller. they will approve any changes to the scope of all large capital projects like the second phase of 2nd Avenue Subway.
- A series of Lessons Learned meetings will be held by MTA internally with a final research paper and public presentation, aimed at analyzing the findings of the meetings and identifying necessary adjustments for greater success of future endeavors.
- All further spending on the 32 MTA station renovations will be redirected to upgrade accessibility for the disabled in compliance with ADA and/or to pay off a portion of the S1.6 billion Governor Cuomo strong-armed the MTA into borrowing.
- No additional expenditures for subways cars will be approved until a CBTC implementation plan is in place which would eliminate unnecessary costs for additional retrofits.
- In an effort to control costs, the MTA will be commissioned to develop standard crew sizes and uniform overtime rates for capital projects.
- A 4-year planning cycle will be required for all existing mega-project work identified in the Byford Plan. Survey and design will occupy the first two and a half years of the project with procurement and construction occupying the latter one and a half years.
ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF REVENUE
- The MTA will be given the opportunity to use their existing Request For Proposal (RFP) process for naming rights to solicit bids for bridges, tunnels and high traffic tourist subway stations like Mets-Willets Point. The administration will also encourage the MTA to write an RFP for a feasibility study on the transportation of small to medium CONEX boxes on the six express line from the Bronx to Bowling Green.
- The freight will be offloaded at existing subway stations that are now sitting abandoned on those lines at night when passenger traffic is at its lowest.
- Freight boxes will be loaded and unloaded using currently existing technology such as high capacity vacuum systems. These systems are currently used to load large heavy steel pipe but can be modified for other cargo.
- The freight system would work similarly to an airport with logistics companies providing funding for construction of the facilities as a part of their lease agreements with the MTA.
- All further spending on the 32 MTA station renovations will be redirected to upgrade accessibility for the disabled in compliance with ADA and/or to pay off a portion of the S1.6 billion Governor Cuomo strong-armed the MTA into borrowing.
- Finally, as previously mentioned in the above goals section, companies will be footing the bill for maintenance and upgrades in exchange for advertising and the right to lease and brand MTA components according to market-based negotiations.
ON LGBTQ+ ISSUES
Larry Sharpe believes in freedom of association, and also recognizes the need for measures that ensure marginalized groups, like transgender people, are protected. No one should face discrimination because of their gender identification.
When an individual’s actions have no impact on anyone besides themselves, nobody else has the right to assert dominion over that person’s identity or lifestyle.
We must embrace and celebrate the diversity of New York state by honoring and respecting each individual’s right to be who they want to be, to love who they want to love, to love how they want to love, and to live how they want to live.
No matter how you choose to use your right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness-YOU DO YOU!
ON SPECIAL NEEDS ISSUES
In spite of the large sums of money New York has dedicated to helping people with special needs, the state continues to provide subpar services. Larry Sharpe knows that our best option to end this injustice is to increase the availability of self-directed services. This will enable them to pick and choose the accommodations they want, allowing individuals to meet their own unique needs.
FUNDAMENTAL PROGRAM REFORMS
Instead of funding a large bureaucracy that simply checks boxes on a form, the dollars allocated to this program would be put into Healthcare Debit Accounts (HCDAs). They will be able to pay for their necessary services by swiping a card. If the recipient already has a HCDA, the money will be added to their existing account so there is only one card for them to keep track of.
Larry will allow for the funding and creation of “community hangouts”. In these non-profit centers, people with special needs can meet to socialize, help one another, and receive guidance from volunteers. These community hangouts will be exempt from many of the strangling restrictions the state currently has in place. These restrictions assume that all people with special needs are incompetent, but many are fully capable of making their own decisions without a paternalistic government making decisions for them. Removing these restrictions will encourage these community hangouts to be established and readily available to provide free or low cost support to those who may need it. We expect many of these organizations will freely associate with specific types of special needs cases but it will not be required by the state to enable each community to meet its own needs.
The Community Tax Credit (CTC), which lets taxpayers choose a charitable organization to support with pretax dollars, will be a mechanism through which these services can be funded as well. We anticipate it will be a popular mechanism for donations to charities designed to benefit those with special needs.
ON WOMEN'S ISSUES
There is no denying the complexity of the challenges women face. Confronting these conflicts is an incredibly important objective for Larry Sharpe and his administration. Our policy initiatives seek to empower women to have as many options as possible to make often difficult decisions easier, including those involving their careers, children, and families.
SHINING A LIGHT ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT
The demise of the Cuomo administration because of multiple sexual harassment allegations is a clear indication of how the culture in Albany has authorized and emboldened many officials, including Vito Lopez, Eric Schneiderman -and of course former Governor Cuomo himself- to disrespect the autonomy of women. Such conduct highlights reality: the fact that they do not sincerely view women as their equals. Instead of treating women as personal and intellectual equals, they are objectified and devalued.
Former Governor Cuomo’s contribution to a hostile working environment for women has been made apparent. What is less apparent is the steps -if any- that Governor Kathy Hochul has taken to improve the workplace culture in the capital.
Women in the workplace should be able to pursue their careers without fear of harassment. Larry Sharpe supports the recommendations made by the Sexual Harassment Working Group with minor changes implemented to ensure due process for the accused.
INVESTIGATION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT CLAIMS
Avenues for reporting that enable and encourage immediate investigation and disclosure of whether the incident is “indicated”, or one that turns up potential evidence, as opposed to non-indicated which is unsubstantiated, is crucial. This is similar to current monitoring and reporting methods in child abuse claims. If there is an indicated report, then steps must quickly be taken to protect the victim. If numerous non-indicated reports have been filed, it is a sign that a more thorough investigation is required.
Every victim of sexual harassment should be have the chance to be heard, and in the manner in which that person feels the most comfortable. Special attention must be given to the resolution process on a case-by-case basis. In some instances, intervention and/or mediation may be all that’s required if an adequate argument shows that someone unintentionally made someone else uncomfortable. It is important to ensure people have an opportunity to learn from their mistakes without automatically losing their careers or facing public humiliation on the basis of a misunderstanding. Communication is critical, and sometimes these situations can be remedied by simply talking things over. People who are shown to habitually and / or intentionally commit harassment will have to answer for their misdeeds.
One of the most difficult obstacles for parents, especially single mothers, is navigating how their children are cared for while accommodating their work schedule. In addition to the cost of care being incredibly high, there is great concern regarding the availability of quality care. We will facilitate the creation of child gardens which are non-profit organizations that provide childcare. In this scenario, the non-profit will not be bound by nearly as many expensive requirements and regulations that current traditional childcare facilities are bound by. Of course, traditional childcare options will still be available for those who prefer it.
This arrangement works especially well for lower-income families and / or those in which parent(s) only work part time or have a non-typical schedule. On an off day, the parent could volunteer to help watch the other parents’ children at the child garden and while being able to bring their own kids along. This allows parents to spend time with their own children while also helping meet the care needs of other parents in their communities.
These low cost, and, in many cases, free child gardens will make going to work more affordable for women and offer them greater flexibility in pursuing the career they have chosen. Long career pauses that have often hindered career prospects in the long-run will no longer be necessary. Additionally, women will have the freedom to return to work when they are ready.
WOMEN’S BODILY AUTONOMY
While Larry Sharpe is personally against abortion, he recognizes such a judgment is not the responsibility of the state or its leadership. Instead, he will ensure that alternatives to abortion are more readily available by guaranteeing easy and affordable access to birth control. Women will no longer have to go to a doctor to get birth control. It will be available over-the-counter. If women want insurance to cover the medicine, they will be able to receive a prescription from any pharmacist, following a brief evaluation.
The barriers to gaining access to birth control, including making an appointment and the costs that may be associated with the appointment, will be eliminated. Under this plan, the women of New York will have increased control over their reproductive health and greater flexibility in family planning.
Larry will also ensure that other conception-related options, like adoption and surrogacy, are more accessible and affordable for the women and families who wish to utilize them. Additionally, critical education and information regarding those options will be readily available. With Larry as governor of NY, there will be fewer abortions as a result of the increased focus on non-abortion options. Most importantly, there will be zero involvement on the part of the government in making such decisions.
“Before county and local governments are able to determine how their tax dollars are best spent, Albany and D.C. have already spent them by issuing their own mandates without the necessary funding to implement them.” – Larry Sharpe
“We have massive amounts of overspending at the state level that must be cut.” – Larry Sharpe
UNFUNDED FEDERAL MANDATES
Local taxes: The basis of our increased tax burden falls on unfunded federal mandates, which are often detrimental for counties and other more local municipalities to meet with dwindling funds.
1) The necessary funds to meet these demands are dwindling because 1/3 is on Medicaid and the remaining number of taxpayers are dropping off as people leave New York in droves. The best way for the remaining taxpayers to implement change is to vote.
2) Failure to remove these mandates leaves local governments with no choice but to continually raise property taxes, without the discretion of their constituents, in order to meet demands made by bureaucrats who don’t even live there. Property taxes must only be raised with the permission of the voters.
3) Cap the amount of money permitted to go back to law enforcement from various avenues, including speeding tickets and other fines. Law enforcement should not be incentivized to punish its citizens more in the interest of raising funds. Police need to return to enforcing safety and supporting the rights of the people, and not feeling as though they are responsible for bridging the financial gaps created through unfunded mandates.
OVERSPENDING FOR STATE OVERREACH
We have an exponentially larger tax deficit than states that support a significantly larger population than New York. Considering our state’s taxes are already higher than every other state in the U.S., we must determine what can be done to stop this fiscal irresponsibility.
1) In the next four years, we must negotiate any pensions currently in the state budget to be transferred to 403(b)s and other options that no longer require state funding. Failure to do so will take New York down to path to eventual default on meeting our existing agreements- potentially leading pension payments to be dropped by as much as 50%.
2) We can reduce the cost of Medicaid by reducing healthcare costs and expenditures. Opioid overdoses cost New York state billions of dollars. By taking the simple steps necessary to prevent opioid overdoses we would save enough money to wipe out New York’s budget deficit and bring in a surplus. In order to increase overall employment and wages, we must eliminate poverty traps and make New York more friendly towards small business and hiring. Increasing these economic indicators will help alleviate some of the state’s poverty troubles, enabling more people to no longer require Medicaid.
3) We must implement alternate sources of revenue beyond the ridiculous taxation across the state. Some options include: running commercial freight on low volume subway lines at night, leasing the naming rights to infrastructure and taking action to make the Erie Canal commercially viable again.
4) We will end the subsidies currently given to major corporations that move in, wreck local and small businesses and leave once their tax savings program ends. By creating an environment conducive to business, small firms and entrepreneurs will once again organically move into New York and remain for the long term instead of simply responding to special favors or interests relative to the state and local government.
Unions have been an integral part of American society for the past century. Unfortunately, well- connected elites have often used state power to simultaneously suppress workers’ movements and enrich organized crime as they have climbed the union leadership ladder. The Libertarian Party believes that individuals have a right to freedom of speech and assembly, and it encourages mutual aid to alleviate the struggles of the working class. Unions can be critical to managing the intersection of those three concepts.
Larry favors union bargaining rights and membership, including within public sector unions -as long as it is voluntary, and not a condition of employment.
Unions must be more transparent to expose the corruption that has endowed top union executives at the expense of their working-class membership. Union leadership needs to be more responsive to their membership- instead of focusing on covering up their mistakes.
There are many reforms necessary to prevent the insolvency of union benefits. In the next four years, we must negotiate any pensions currently allocated within the state budget for transfer to 403(b)s or other options that guarantee perpetual sustainability. Failure to do so will lead New York to an eventual default on existing agreements which could cut pension payments by as much as 50%. Additionally, state healthcare plans will be converted to HealthCare debit accounts (HCDAs) or traditional HSAs. Both of these options will prevent out of pocket payments and will be supplemented by their existing insurance plan, which will pick up the tab once the debit or savings account runs out. This means employees can expect the same level of coverage they currently have as well as the ability to visit virtually any doctor they choose.
Larry supports prevailing wage laws as unions encourage their members to produce high quality goods and services for their employers. He also supports these laws because attacks on prevailing wage lowers wages in the short term and has a negative long-term impact on New Yorkers’ quality of life. Employers must be transparent and honest in their negotiations with unions and union members must recognize that their fate is ultimately tied the financial health of their employer. Larry Sharpe would negotiate fairly with unions to meet the needs New York State workers.