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Mandates and education top agendas of 109th hopefuls

Three candidates for Assembly debate for the final time

Candidates for the 109th Assembly met for a final time before the election at a Thursday, Nov. 1, forum at Bethlehem Town Hall.

Candidates for the 109th Assembly met for a final time before the election at a Thursday, Nov. 1, forum at Bethlehem Town Hall. Photo by Kristen Roberts.

— All three candidates felt the new 2 percent tax cap law is not working as intended.

Fahy said for school district budgets, the cap is pitting students against property tax payers because the number of mandates often causes districts to challenge the cap and many municipalities are facing insolvency.

“It’s a band-aid that’s treating the symptoms instead of the problem,” she said.

Danz said he agreed with the principles behind the cap but feels there are too many ways for municipalities to challenge the cap or allow for a formula that raises taxes above 2 percent.

On term limits, Fahy and Sullivan were both opposed to the concept but for different reasons. Sullivan said they were not needed because voters could oust politicians they felt were unfit to serve, while Fahy felt term limits empowered the staff members above representatives. Danz said term limits are needed because those with heavily funded campaigns will continue to win if campaign finance reform isn’t passed.

All candidates agreed changes are needed within the state Medicaid system and all said bipartisanship is needed to move the state forward. Danz said the partisan atmosphere “is crippling state government,” while Sullivan believed many politicians are currently working together.

“You have Cuomo endorsing Republicans right now,” he said.

Fahy also appeared on the Working Families line, while Danz won the Independence line in a September primary.

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