An opportunity to realize New York’s full potential

The first few days of session are always full of anticipation, excitement and potential. The pageantry and ceremony of the opening days are welcome reminders the New York State Legislature has an important role to play in shaping the lives of millions of people, some of whom were on hand at the capitol to hear their elected representatives speak about how they plan to make New York stronger. The energy in the room is infectious, and it reinforces the reasons we are all here, to serve the people who gave us a job.

For 18 years I have been proud and fortunate to represent the great people of Oswego County and the 120th Assembly District. This year, I have the incredible honor and privilege of serving not only the residents of New York, but also my conference in my new role as Assembly Minority Leader. It is not a responsibility I take lightly, and I will work vigorously to defend the interests of my conference as well as the farmers, small business owners, middle-class taxpayers and residents they represent.  

We have a lot of work to do this year. We are facing a public safety crisis due to major changes in criminal justice law. Painted as reform, these laws are both inconsistent and inherently unfair. They are not what the governor’s office and legislative majorities promised. They make New Yorkers less safe and are the antithesis of what a Legislature is supposed to do — protect the people they represent. We will push hard to remedy these issues before they spiral further out of hand.


Our conference strongly believes New York’s full potential is being prevented by mismanagement, overspending and a lack of awareness for the needs of residents struggling day-to-day. As such, we are hopeful we can take steps to regain the economic prosperity we once enjoyed and get New York off the lists of worst states to retire, own a business and pay taxes.

Our legislative proposals for this year include:

  • Reversing bail reform laws that allow dangerous individuals to walk the streets;
  • Closing the state’s $6.1 million budget deficit;
  • Fixing New York’s crippling taxes holding back economic growth;
  • Reducing the state’s $57 billion debt burden; and
  • Making New York more affordable and stemming its massive outmigration problem.

 I am eager to get to work. With proper fiscal discipline, good communication and a cooperative spirit I am confident that we will strengthen New York.

Contact Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay’s office at 200 N. 2nd St.,, Fulton, by e-mail at or by calling (315) 598-5185.

(2) comments


"Painted as reform, these laws are both inconsistent and inherently unfair.... They make New Yorkers less safe." False, false and false. What was unfair was jailing poor people unable to afford bail. Enough of "the sky is falling" fear mongering. We're not about to have a crime wave due to the reform. Robert Neulander posted $1 million bail after a juror shared texts and he been found guilty of murder. Judges can order the release those accused of crimes to be supervised, which along with the presumption of innocence guaranteed by the Constitution is the fair thing to do. Bail is to keep flight risk to a minimum and maximize a return to court. Again, the presumption of innocence is different than a presumption to reoffend. The latter is based on bias. The former is guaranteed by The Constitution.


I would like to know which part of the SAFE Act Mr. Barclay finds "onerous" and what he intends to do to weaken laws that make us safer. Is the part that now makes it an automatic A-1 Felony and mandates a sentence of life without parole for killing a first responder? Is it the part that now makes it an automatic A-1 Felony for bringing a gun onto school grounds? Is it the part that now keeps mentally ill people from making gun purchases? Is it the part that increases penalties for using illegal guns? Is it the part that now more fully protects domestic violence victims? Surely now that we're awash in guns the least we can do is register owners, much like we do vehicle operators.

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