corn & ticket scalpers vs. policies you care about
As the New York State legislature wraps-up their 2007 session some interesting bills have come to light, like the bill to make sweet corn the official state vegetable and a bill that will help ticket scalpers. Clearly this is the kind of legislation that keeps New York State residents up at night asking existential questions like "what role does sweet corn play in my life?" or "how far from a stadium can I buy re-sold Yankees tickets?". Well I guess if you are involved in the racing industry that scalpers' bill is a big deal but what about the rest of us? What's in the state's legislative hopper?
Last week DMI Fellow Maureen Lane wrote about a sensible welfare policy bill that has the potential to help move people out of poverty. So far it hasn't been introduced by the State Senate. DMI Fellow Mark Winston Griffith blogged about model anti-predatory lending legislation that New Yorkers for Responsible Lending is working to call attention to. The city is now waiting to see if the legislature will approve Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC 2030 including its congestion pricing proposals. The Working Families Party has been doing amazing work around the Working Families Time to Care Act which is their legislative priority this year. And as always, The Albany Project has been doing an incredible job keeping track of the legislative goings-ons.
Yet at the end of the day while the legislature is wrestling with the question of who gets to make a whole bunch of money selling tickets there really are serious problems that need to be addressed by the state government. Some of the issues New York is struggling to handle -- subsidy reform, what to do with criminals when they are released from prison, providing universal access to preschool and the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs -- are real challenges but they aren't insurmountable. In fact four localities around the country did tackle these battles with great success. Want to know more?
Our new report "Lessons from the Marketplace: Four Proven Progressive Policies from DMI's Marketplace of Ideas
(And how New York can do them even better)" reveals how it all was achieved.
Now I know it's a cliche that the state legislature "doesn't do anything" and that's not even my point here. Simply that as they go about the business of the state not all issues are equally urgent and a lot of other parts in the country have implemented policies that New York can learn a lot from. Is that too much to ask? But in the meantime, "Gentlemen, behold! Corn!"