Election 2020

Weber Ready to Sharpen His Pencils to Help State Out of Fiscal Crisis

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Bill Weber

Bill Weber believes he is best suited to deal with New York State’s budget crisis. Weber, a certified public accountant who has worked for a Rockland­-based accountant’s firm for more than a decade, said the state spends too much money on legislators’ unnecessary pet projects.

“If elected I will look at the budget on a line-by-line basis so see what the priorities are and where spending is appropriate or not,” he said.

Weber, 51, has lived in Rockland County all his life. He has been involved in local politics and ran unsuccessfully for Ramapo Town Board and later for town supervisor. In both races he drew the highest votes for a Republican candidate seen in at least a decade.

If elected to the state Senate, he wants to focus on campaign finance reform and term limits. Billions of dollars are being wasted and there are too many corrupt politicians, he said.

“I don’t want to see politicians remain in office for decades and become out of touch with their constituents,” Weber said.

Weber favors stronger state protocols to protect communities from not only COVID-19 but any future pandemics.

“We need to evaluate what went wrong, not only in the nursing homes, and figure out how to have the appropriate amounts of supplies for the next flare up,” he said.

Weber’s wife Lisa is the acting superintendent for the Suffern Central School District where their four children go to school. When the schools reopened after the state lockdown, Weber said the state education and state health departments had failed to deliver adequate guidance to the public and districts for September to allow for the maximum number of students to successfully return to the classrooms.

“It’s not one-size-fits-all,” Weber said. “Some districts are larger and have more space.”

Critical of the NY Health Act, Weber supports insurance plans that are affordable for individuals to purchase and to encourage more employee-based plans. He also is critical of the legislature for failing to hold pharmaceuticals accountable when it comes to making drug prices affordable.

Reducing, or at least maintaining, property taxes is crucial and a sign that promised state aid has failed to materialize, Weber said.

“There’s no certainty on funds coming back to the district,” Weber said. “A lot of districts have reserves but those will be utilized faster if the state doesn’t get its financial condition in order.”

The impact is most noticeable in districts where the find state funding formula is uneven and shortchanges districts.

“The formula needs to be fixed,” Weber explained. “You can’t fix this with a hope and a prayer. We have to make sure money is spent on the highest priority, which is the education of our kids.”

Weber is against legalization of recreational marijuana but favors it’s use for medical purposes.

“We need a study that involves law enforcement and health providers before moving forward on legislation,” he said. “There could be unintended consequences. Marijuana and other drugs lead to the use of harder drugs like opioids, but it doesn’t mean we can’t look at legalizing it down the road. I’m just not there yet.”

Weber called for the repeal of the 2019 bail reform law.

“I’d like to rip it up and start from scratch,” Weber said. “New York did it willy-nilly in the middle of the night. It’s causing additional crimes and recidivism rates are up.”

Weber wants a new bail reform law to include input from police chiefs and the state’s district attorneys. Weber’s two brothers currently serve in the NYPD and his father, a retired NYPD officer, previously served as president of the Rockland County Shields.

As for New York State’s strict gun laws, Weber said he wouldn’t make any changes but would explore bolstering it in areas “to make sure we drive crime out of the area and make it safe.”

Although Weber said he is pro-environment, he is wary of the $3 billion green referendum that was postponed for this year and might appear on the 2021 ballot.

“I’d want to make sure the environment is clean and safe, but we can’t commit (to the referendum) until we know what the budget deficits are going to be,” he said.

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