Sharpe Policy

Larry Sharpe is poised to return New York to the premiere state in which to work, live and raise children. If New York is not prepared to make a shift in leadership, the state will continue to lose. We are losing in terms of population, jobs and innovation. More than 100,000 people leaving, every single year. We cannot continue this way and expect things to get better. To expect anything more than a continued culture of democratic-centered corruption with out-of-control spending would be the very definition of insanity. The time for taxpayers in New York to regain control of their dollars and representation is NOW! The time for Sharpe policy is NOW!
 
Larry is passionate about restoring voters’ rights that have become threatened in the current legislative climate. These threats are coming from all directions. Threats to our second amendment rights, our businesses and livelihoods, our families- New York voters are distraught and giving up no matter where you look. This revolution might sound impossible and with the same stagnant leadership… IT IS!
 
This is why we need A New New York. This is why we need Larry Sharpe.
 
Click a heading in the table of contents below to learn more specifics regarding the plan for a new New York. Also, be sure to sign up for updates so you may have the freedom that only comes with knowledge.
 
Business Matters

Business Matters

 
“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 businesses are overtaxed and over-regulated.

1) Fines and regulations related to the current tax code only benefit larger corporations. The regulations and fines that accompany complex tax laws cost what equates to pocket change for multi-billion dollar companies, but are enough to drive main street businesses to extinction. Simplify taxes.

2) Repeal regulations that are not worth the cost to enforce. If it costs more and more money to hold people to a certain standard, there’s a good chance it’s overreach on the part of the state. Such regulations are double trouble for the people of New York state, as they either put businesses under because they can’t afford to meet them or cause significantly higher operating costs in order to meet bureaucratic standards, and these costs are almost always passed on to the consumer. An example of a regulations not worth the cost of enforcing are scaffolding laws, which must be repealed. Simplify regulations.

3) Help insurance by focusing its regulations on industry-driven, local standards. Allowing flexibility in these factors is very important in creating innovation, drives change throughout the industry and ultimately produces a better product. A great example of this is health food stores, which are subject to scrutiny primarily at the discretion of the market and its consumer. The state should not interfere in partnerships between insurance and businesses. Simplify insurance.

 

Limited Interference with Wages and Compensation

 
 

In New York, the government has become the most destructive middle-man of all time. Hiring practices and the relationships between workers and their employers should not be influenced by the state in anyway.

1) The government should not determine employee compensation, to include tips or any other form of payment or benefit. These agreements are best left between the employer and employees, so that each may conduct their business according to their own wishes. This allows the market to reign supreme, and leaves the consumer the option to control the success, or lack thereof, for companies.

2) If small business owners hire felons they won’t have to pay payroll tax for the first two years. Because small business owners tend to hire one on one they are more likely to hire individuals they know. By encouraging growth for this population of individuals, and simultaneously keeping these people from returning to prison, we reduce the overall cost to the taxpayer in two different ways.

3) We must do away with the NY CRIB which allowed New York State to require worker’s comp for both work and nonwork injuries. This requirement can prove highly detrimental to smaller organizations. While it is a benefit that should be considered, in no way should it be mandated by the state.  
   

Family Law


Family Law



“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 Courts



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.


Click here to read a research-intensive policy “white paper” that identifies data and sources in support of these policy measures.


Second Amendment
Rights


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 by 2019 and set it up for a full repeal by 2020.

1) The hardening of individuals who were charged with crimes in violation of the safe act is a serious problem. This law turned law-abiding citizens criminals overnight. If this transgression is their only charge, I will pardon these individuals.
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.


Click here to read a research-intensive policy “white paper” that identifies data and sources in support of these policy measures.


Drugs, Cannabis
and Hemp


Drugs, Cannabis and Hemp



“It is time for New York state to be liberated from the lost ‘war on drugs’.” – Larry Sharpe

“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 reduce funding 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.


Click here to read a research-intensive policy “white paper” that identifies data and sources in support of these policy measures.

Tax Reform


Tax Reform



“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 of the population is on Medicare, another 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 private funds and other options that no longer require state funding. Failure to do so would cause New York to default on meeting our existing agreements- potentially leading pension payments to be dropped by as much as 50%.

2) We can reduce payments to Medicare and Medicaid by relieving the regulatory burden on the medical industry overall thereby decreasing costs that are transferred to the patient. Relaxing the laws and licensing for medical workers and instead allowing them to be managed within their specialties by industry standards, and the demand of patients, would reduce the cost to oversee compliance. In other words, if the doctor can pass the required testing for their professional level there is no need for them to apply for state licensure. Allowing medical resources and facilities to be offered and built where the consumer requires it is imperative to the success of this plan as well. Removing hurdles between patients and their care providers is a top priority.

3) Another solution to help with the state level medical costs for these assistance programs would be to require a minimum fee for some medical services. For example, the ambulatory fees, for some individuals, are so low they practically encourage people to use medical transport units in lieu of taxicabs. A minimum fee of $36 for such a service is a place to start, and anyone truly unable to pay this is most likely homeless, and impossible to track and bill anyway.


***COMING SOON*** Click here to read a research-intensive policy “white paper” that identifies data and sources in support of these policy measures.


Education

Education



“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.


Click here to read a research-intensive policy “white paper” that identifies data and sources in support of these policy measures.



Digital Government

               

Digital Government

 
  Information technologies are making products and services of all types more convenient and less expensive. Thanks to widespread adoption of smartphones, inexpensive broadband access and open source software, innovation is apparent in nearly every industry including transportation, retail, media, housing, healthcare, education and beyond.   Instead of leveraging innovation to make government faster, better and cheaper, New York state is resisting it at every turn. Government websites routinely have out of date information with confusing interfaces that are difficult to navigate using smartphones. When these websites do work, their functionality is often limited to instructions for using the phone or standard mail to perform a task that should be made accessible online.   Behind the scenes, State IT projects are routinely over budget and behind schedule thus costing taxpayers untold millions, delaying much needed reforms and keeping the government structured like it’s still the 20th century. Furthermore, lucrative IT contracts often fall into the hands of politically connected corporations.   We can and must do better.   Larry will bring the entrepreneurial energy, digital savvy and startup mentality necessary to make the state of New York a leader in open and effective government in the digital age.  
 

Digital Reform

 
  Governments have been using computers for 50 years, but only recently have technologists begun to apply tech-startup-style tools and techniques to reform decades-old government bureaucracies and make them more flexible, responsive and efficient organizations.   The solution: Establish “digital services organizations” within government agencies to streamline their technology systems, reform their procurement processes and integrate them into a state-wide IT strategy centered around the principles of “open source way” which includes open exchange, participation, rapid prototyping, meritocracy, and community building.   Larry will establish a “digital service organization” modelled after the US General Service Administration’s 18F unit to bring the government of New York state into the 21st century. Similar initiatives in the UK have saved governments approximately .15% off the annual budget. That would amount to approximately $250 million per year of savings while actually improving services. This effort will more than pay for itself in the savings generated.  
 

Open Government

 
  An attempt to investigate the New York State governments budget quickly leads to the discovery that the information promised to be available to the public is hard to access. It is also difficult to understand and woefully incomplete in terms of scope and depth. The government isn’t interested in helping taxpayers understand how or why the state is spending their money.   Larry will work with the nonprofit sector, other governmental sources of public financial information and the public to make New York the state with the most transparent budget. The public will be able to drill deep into the state budget and identify a line-by-line account of how New York state is collecting and spending their money and how those expenses transform into legitimate projects and services that benefit New Yorkers. Instead of locking this information away in spreadsheets with cryptic names and useless categories, that date will be relayed in an engaging and understandable format through engrossing interfaces modelled after popular video games like SimCity.  
 

Useful Apps

 
  Over 80% of New Yorkers have smartphones, and use them to do everything from ordering products to coordinating their work. They should also be able to use them to interact with the government.   Larry will reorganize New York State websites to use best practices in usable, mobile-first design. He will also compel agencies to make their data accessible via APIs and other backend technologies necessary to enable responsible data sharing between agencies and the private sector so people can create products and services that make interacting with New York State, accessing government services, paying taxes and sharing policy opinions faster, better and cheaper than ever before.  
 

Participatory Democracy

 
  A healthy democracy requires a deeply engaged constituency that understands how their government works. Ideally, these voters also know how to build consensus with their fellow citizens enabling them to effectively advocate for policies they want to see enacted. Voting once every two years and signing the occasional petition is not enough to hold our political leaders accountable. We need more and better mechanisms for the public to compel action from its political leaders and the government agencies that work for them.   Governments around the world are figuring out the best way to encourage public participation in political and administrative decision-making a reality for their citizens. In Madrid, Spain, the public uses an open source city website to fund projects, pass proposals and ratify legislation. In Taiwan, the national government organizes collaborative decision-making processes that use online tools and offline events to transparently gather public sentiment and bring the public to consensus about what policies to implement. In Reykjavik, Iceland citizens use online tool to prioritize what projects the city should execute.   Larry will implement a program that brings many of the best practices developed in places around the world together to help empower New Yorkers to engage in productive conversations with their neighbors, develop practical proposals that address local challenges, and get those proposals implemented by the relevant political and government stakeholders.  

MTA

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




1) 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.

2) 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.

3) 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.


Administrative Changes



In the first four years, a great deal of focus will be on the administrative details of the MTA:

1) 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.

2) 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.

3) 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.

4) 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.

5) 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.

6) In an effort to control costs, the MTA will be commissioned to develop standard crew sizes and uniform overtime rates for capital projects.

7) 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.

1) 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.

2) 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.

3) 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. To confirm the viability and marketability of this plan, our campaign conducted a phone survey among marketing professionals of large businesses and major corporations with advertising budgets typically in the millions.





Click here to read a research-intensive policy white paper that identifies data and sources in support of these policy measures.