42ND SENATE DISTRICT, NY — In a tight 2018 election, Democratic candidate Jen Metzger nabbed New York’s 42nd District Senate seat away from the GOP after Republican Sen. John Bonacic had …
42ND SENATE DISTRICT, NY — In a tight 2018 election, Democratic candidate Jen Metzger nabbed New York’s 42nd District Senate seat away from the GOP after Republican Sen. John Bonacic had held the office for nearly two decades. This year, Metzger is trying to maintain her seat, facing Republican challenger Mike Martucci. The winner will represent the rural Hudson Valley and Catskills region, including all of Sullivan County and parts of Orange, Ulster and Delaware counties.
Sen. Jen Metzger
Metzger names funding the state’s public schools and providing property tax relief as some of her top priorities in office, and both issues are borne from her upbringing.
“I grew up in a family that struggled, and going to a good public school was so important to realizing my own goals in life,” Metzger said. “There are real inequalities in access to educational resources… [Students and teachers] in my district just don’t have the same kinds of resources available to them that schools in wealthier, more suburban communities do.”
But it’s not a simple issue, Metzger said. While most residents in a community may want their schools to be well funded, many simply cannot afford to pay inordinately high property taxes to ensure that. Metzger said she wants to reverse the current trend in which local communities pay a greater share of school funding than the state pays—she added that the way to do that is by “tapping other sources of revenue” than property taxes.
Metzger said that pandemic-related issues are unsurprisingly the top, most immediate concern for the people of her district. Metzger said her office has been “laser-focused” on helping thousands get financial and health assistance in the past several months.
More generally, Metzger said that environmental and clean water issues, protecting local farmers and creating better access to rural broadband rank among top concerns for her constituents. In a recent victory for broadband, Metzger successfully got a bill passed last July calling on the Public Service Commission and governor’s office to prioritize expanding internet access in underserved areas. Read more about the broadband victory below.
“In the modern world, [broadband access] is really important to education, to employment, to job opportunities, to healthcare,” Metzger said. “Not having access to the internet is really just a huge disadvantage to everyone.”
Martucci, who did not respond to a request for comment but is quoted in the story “Protestors interrupt press conference” on www.riverreporter.com/news, is the founder of Quality School Bus Service and president of the New York School Bus Contractors Association.
Opposing New York’s recent criminal justice reforms—especially one amending the state’s cash bail system—has been the focal point of his campaign. He’s referred to such policies as “dangerous, pro-criminal and anti-police” policy and is promising to repeal the reforms if he gets elected.
Visit www.bit.ly/TRR-Metzger-Bail to read Metzger’s response to Martucci’s charges about bail reform.
For Martucci’s other top issues, he’s promising to: “say no to new taxes;” oppose Medicaid for all which would “take away your right to choose your own doctor and put your health care decisions in the hands of Albany bureaucrats”; help the economy by opposing “stifling regulations, high taxes and bossy government bureaucrats who think they know best”; and act as a “good steward of the land” while opposing “burdensome policies.” Martucci said he “supports sustainable initiatives that balance our freedoms with the needs of our communities.”