The Conservative Party believes that just as the Legislative Branch of government should eliminate all legislative member items, the Executive Branch must eliminate “executive” items also. The disbursement of economic development council grants and tax credits to localities creates unjust favoritism with taxpayers’ funds to businesses that are vulnerable to competing on a level playing field. We oppose efforts by the Governor and Legislature to create Commissions that possess the authority to make state law.
Legislation must be adopted to protect private citizens and faith-based entities from being forced to participate in activities that violate their religious convictions. The values of our faiths and the Judeo-Christian moral code are under assault. Congress and the Legislature open each Session with a prayer. Why then, do we deny that very same privilege to tomorrow’s leaders in public school classes and functions? The Founding Fathers debated what they hoped to be the values of this new nation and chose as the very first line of the Bill of Rights: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” They knew the importance of religion in our daily lives and specifically denied government choosing which religion should be practiced, yet emphasized that government could not stop people from practicing their religion of choice. Therefore, we urge the legitimization of the traditionally accepted role of nonsectarian religious observance in our public schools, through a proposal by the New York State Legislature, of an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, making it clear that non-denominational, non-coercive prayer in public schools shall not be prohibited; and that individual or group religious observance or activity shall not be prohibited, infringed, or discriminated against through refusal of reasonable accommodation or by any other form of disparate treatment. We oppose imposing non-religious values on religious people and institutions. Religious values should be defended from attack by politicians, while our civil and criminal laws must apply to all citizens equally, without interpretations that suit individual religions.
New York State, since the earliest days of our Nation, has been a beacon to people coming to America. Today, we welcome those who come to our state – legally. While we welcome all who come to our shores, we insist that our government services must be limited to those who are here legally. Refugees, while here legally, must not become permanent recipients of government programs. Government service providers should require proof, again a NYS drivers license is not proof, that people who receive government services are here legally. Additionally, all government forms should be printed in English only. Citizens who vote should vote in English. As we stated, we recognize the wonderful contributions immigrants have made to America, but we also recognize that immigrants have made these contributions, by communicating in the English language and assimilating to American customs. People who have entered our country and state illegally should not be provided drivers’ licenses and if they have obtained one, it should be revoked, nor any other government professional licenses and identification forms. New York State government should require all law enforcement agencies to hold for federal law enforcement officials any person in our state illegally and prohibit any state or municipality from becoming a sanctuary government.
Term limits for all elected officials must be enacted, with no more than 8 years in each house and two four-year terms for statewide officials. Same day voter registration/Election Day voter registration must be rejected. Automatic Voter Registration must be repealed. We support the increased use of early in person voting but oppose universal absentee ballots. Universal absentee ballots are an open invitation to fraud due to poorly maintained state voter registration files, the lack of a central data base for returned ballots, inconsistent, sometimes nonexistent signature verification and poor BOE storage policies. Secure photo identification, confirming the US citizenship of the voter – a driver’s license is no longer a valid photo identification — should be required and presented to the poll inspectors before voting, as well as when first registering to vote. New Yorkers should not be made to finance political campaigns they do not support and therefore campaign financing must be repealed. Citizens should be allowed to have Initiative, Referendum, and Recall. Direct election of all judges, for shorter terms, should be required. Candidates for political office should not accept campaign contributions from sovereign entities not bound by, or that violate, the laws and regulations of the New York State Board of Elections. Existing federal law regarding Super PAC’s is sufficient. We support efforts that result in apolitical Boards of Elections. The Conservative Party opposes any effort to diminish the power of those enrolled in a political party by denying them the ability to control their own party. We support adoption of a Constitutional Amendment establishing a requirement that the Governor call Special elections within a certain statutory calendar. We Oppose a Constitutional Amendment that seeks to change the redistricting process including redistricting lines for congressional and state districts. We oppose any legislation that allows felons to vote.
The Members of the Legislature must immediately rescind the authority granted Gov. Andrew Cuomo to make decisions by Executive Order immediately. The members must reassert their constitutional authority as an equal branch of government. Members must enact a permanent ban on all legislative “member” items. If a budget is not enacted by March 31, no action should be taken on any other bills, with the exception of legislation necessary for public safety. Once a budget is adopted, all other business should be concluded within 30 days. Increases in legislative pay should only be approved by members of the legislature. Budget Bills must only include items that are directly related to keeping the budget in sound fiscal health. Legislative members should not be full time and should be allowed to continue their outside careers to realize the impact of the bills they pass. No taxpayer funds should be used to pay for any public official’s sexual harassment or misconduct, nor should there be any non-disclosure agreements, however, caution must be used to protect the identity of the victim. JCOPE, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, must be disbanded and a new independent commission should be established to oversee both the Executive and Legislative branches of government.
The Conservative Party continues to oppose Governor Cuomo’s “free” college education, while acknowledging that the cost of higher education is far too expensive. “Free” community college or universities are even more costly to taxpayers. We support initiatives that reduce the ever-increasing cost of higher education, for example on-line classes to lower the cost. We oppose any state or federal effort to eliminate student debt. Gov. Cuomo’s proposal to require food pantries at all SUNY and CUNY campuses should be rejected. While we sympathize with the plight of Dreamers, the New York State “Dream Act” should be repealed as it rewards the illegal activity of their parents while legal residents of New York are disadvantaged. Any student enrolled in our higher education system must be able to prove that they are in our country legally and that any visa used to enter our Country has not expired. The Conservative Party believes that higher admission standards will restore our public institutions of higher learning to their former greatness and we continue to oppose open enrollment. Institutions of higher education must be required to adhere to the constitutional right of guaranteed free speech.
The unreasonable and massive takeover of private lands by state and local government must end.
Union members’ First Amendment right of freedom of speech and assembly should be reaffirmed and be protected against arbitrary disciplinary actions. New York State should be a right to work state. We support strengthening the Taylor Law and the repeal of the Triborough Amendment and are strongly opposed to attempts to allow mediators to declare that officials are bargaining in bad faith. We support limiting pay raises from binding arbitration to 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. Since the US Supreme Court struck down Agency Shop, government unions should not be able to prevent public employees from opting out. Efforts to regulate Gig workers must be rejected. Efforts to expand the public works subjected to prevailing wage laws must be rejected and/or repealed. We support legislation seeking to repeal the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Protection Act.
New York State continues to systematically release prisoners to balance their budgets and close prisons. We believe that is not in the best interest of keeping our citizens safe. The government’s role is to protect its citizens from those who have harmed or continue to harm individuals. Prisoners should have to work toward reentry into society; their food, shelter, and clothing cost taxpayers’ money, and New York State should have the ability to require prisoners to reimburse the state. Every reasonable effort must be made to ensure that people who are held in jail are given a speedy trial to determine their guilt or innocence and that discovery must include all the legally obtained information and be provided within a reasonable amount of time, (currently, 20 days if in custody and 35 days when not in custody) which could ultimately allow the release of the suspected criminal on this technicality.
New York State must adopt the strictest legal reforms and work requirements, give control to the local counties to set limits for the amount of payment, allow for 100% sanctions if the public assistance work rules are not adhered to, require full restitution if fraud is used to obtain benefits, and firmly establish that each recipient is in our country legally. We support the requirement of drug testing and fingerprinting all who apply for government benefits and reject the use of taxpayer money to reach out for new recipients.
The free market, not government controls, is the only way to have quality affordable housing. The recently enacted expansion of rent regulations throughout New York State will only exacerbate the housing shortages and force landlords to abandon and/or not do necessary repairs due to the inability to recoup the funds to provide the necessary repairs. During the pandemic, government has protected renters from evictions, but ignored the plight of landlords who are expected to pay undiminished taxes or face foreclosure. Government policies that interfered with the ability of real estate to generate income must not result in the socialist seizure of private property.
We must stop the erratic issuance of unconstitutional dictates that has destroyed thousands of small businesses. A devastated economy will setback all New Yorkers for decades to come. We must reestablish a climate that is business friendly, and eliminate burdensome taxes and regulations that prevent society’s entrepreneurial spirit from soaring. Businesses must be allowed to conduct their business in an atmosphere that lets the free-market dictate what is best for it as long as the business is not promoting substances that are illegal or promoting illegal behavior. We support the repeal of the mandated “Wicks Law” and the Scaffold Law that adds to construction costs. Companies should be allowed to hire the best-qualified person without fear of breaching hiring quotas. The free market must determine wages, not government. We call for the repeal of the current steps raising the minimum wage and also oppose living wage legislation. Employees must be held responsible if they contribute to their own injuries. Tort reform, including the expansion of sanctions for bringing frivolous lawsuits, is essential to encourage the free flow of business in New York State, and meaningful Workers Compensation reform is vital. We support repealing the requirement that new LLC or LLP publish notices for 6 weeks in 2 different newspapers. We support a constitutional amendment that would specifically define “eminent domain” to prohibit takings for economic development purposes and limit takings to true public purposes. Hydrofracking, with proper environmental safeguards, should be permitted in the state. The “Paid Family Leave” requirement adopted in 2017, is unreasonable and unsustainable, and should be repealed. We do not support the proposed Transportation Climate Initiative that would artificially raise the cost of gasoline and diesel fuel.