First off, I'd like to thank all of you who supported and continue to believe in me as your elected representative in the state Senate.
Though it was a short campaign run across a large district, I was able to meet many friends along the way, and I am looking forward to meeting many more during my term. I'm proud to represent the 62nd Senate District comprising Niagara, Orleans and Monroe counties. My wife Meghan and I are proud to call North Tonawanda home because we love this community - its history, beauty, and people.
Since I was sworn into office as your new state Senator in January, I've been doing my best to voice your concerns in the Capitol. I've sponsored several bills that protect our Second Amendment rights, create jobs, expand agriculture, improve infrastructure, and keep our communities safe.
Some of that specific legislation includes repealing the SAFE Act, eliminating education cuts that dramatically hurt Upstate school districts, closing loopholes in sex offender laws, and holding the state accountable for maintaining canal lift bridges.
These are only a few of the issues I've been addressing, but I hope to keep you engaged in the many other issues I'll be tackling.
Earlier this year, I was named chairman of the Standing Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities. I'm committed to improving mental health care services, education and housing, and vow to be a fierce advocate for those who need it most.
In my opinion, the state has not provided sufficient answers to families with special needs children. Who will care for these children with aging parents? What will happen to many of them if their places of employment – sheltered workshops – close?
These are just a few of the questions I'm determined to get answered.
I was also appointed to co-chair the Senate's Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction. Heroin abuse is a growing problem in our communities, and I'm steadfast on the need to take back our streets from dealers. We need better treatment programs and more effective preventable measures in order to combat this epidemic.
The Task Force will be holding an open forum in the district in May to speak with a panel of experts, local law enforcement agencies, health professionals, and many of those affected in order to develop ways to reduce drug abuse and addiction.
Again, I'd like to thank all of my constituents for believing in me. Please feel free to call my office in Lockport at 716-434-0680 to let me know about issues in your neighborhood. Together, we can help make the 62nd Senate District the best community to live, work, and raise a family.