WBEN NewsRadio 930>Audio & Video on Demand>>Erie Co. Legislature Majority Leader Joe Lorigo

Erie Co. Legislature Majority Leader Joe Lorigo

Jan 5, 2014|

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

It's hard line on news radio 9:30 WP and good morning this is Dave Tivo. This past week we had a little bit of history in the making for the first time ever. The majority leader of the Erie county legislature is not a Republican or a Democrat. They actually along with the conservative minor party to speak up. Joseph Murray yours here is a conservative who was just been elected the majority leader of the Erie county legislature. And -- I said in the beginning this this is different is it or maybe not. -- morning if that's great to be here glad you're here and as far as I know yes and the first a majority leader for the you're kind legislature that's from a minor party does that matter. I don't think so you know I think when you talk about party labels and you know Democrat Republican conservative independence. You know that's all for campaign season in an election night and now that we taken the oath and were down to business it's time to worry more about governing in and do what's right for the people. So you are leading a coalition that involves one independence party member. Four Republicans and yourself correct yes how do you differ from the Democrats is the first time that the Republican led coalition. Has had a majority in the county legislature about 33 years. Think it's actually 38 years OK -- like that but what kind of a difference is that may well I think it makes huge difference I think Gary if you look in -- if you look in the past you see that. In the Democrats of their control for the past 38 years. And I think -- we saw on November 5 was it a change in change now people you heard our message -- no no tax increase lowering taxes. I'm getting government spending under control and they like what they heard and they're gonna let us turner and. The chair of the legislature the newly elected chair Jon Mills said and I kind of backed away for a bit initially said. That a lot of his job is going to be -- micro managed county government. Do you see maybe not maybe the poor choice of words I think even he admitted. But do you see. More of that kind of things they're more oversight is there more intense scrutiny now well first of all micromanage was it was not the right word and and I think even he acknowledged he. Anyway yes I think what he meant in and what -- what I intend for us to do -- -- as the legislature majority. Is to have more oversight into you know where the tax dollars are being spent for the past two years -- petty legislature majority that simply acted as a rubber stamp for the county executive. Were not going to be that rubber stamp the legislature is a separate independent body of government we need to start acting that way and we planned. Tommy then where the biggest points of disagreement with the democratic county executive are well you know right now I don't think there really aren't you know he's. It two years ago in his budget for 2013 he proposed -- half million dollar tax increase you had a quad partisan. And group of legislators came together to eliminate that tax increase. Saying the Republican led coalition that you now represent correct including independents -- -- yourself conservative. And a couple Democrats jumped the fence one Democrat Tom mongering jumped the fence into beat back the tax increase Korean. Not the budget for 2014 but the one that was proposed for 23. Or 2013 and then you when you look at the 2014 budget in the county executive heard our message there was no tax increase proposed for 2014. Now I didn't agree with everything that was in the county executive's budget I didn't agree with kitten the pension payment down the road. But he heard the message no tax increase so as of right now I think. Were we -- would be on the same thing so hopefully be on the same page do you picture being adversarial at all. Hopefully not. You know. We said from day one the -- to work with the county executive you know we're not going to be you know the the Republican obstructionists majority in the legislature. Were going to be you know that the taxpayers majority we're gonna be reasonable we're gonna be common sense we just wanna you know we might be part of the conversation. And you know. You let you know what's going on. What initiatives do you see yours at all reactive as it is it account executive -- cars putting something out and you guys challenging it. Or are there things that you would want to place on the table to do well in the weight typically works -- the county executive proposes and then we disposed yet but legislators -- post up as well and -- you were the one I think last year that brought up the residency requirement for county employees are correct you guys can at least put things on the table. We can and we will. -- you know I think we'd like to see is -- a more stable funding for infrastructure repairs. You know I heard your your previous guest on before right before I was here speaking about how you know the reason the economy is is really you know in the tank is because we're not spending enough money on infrastructure and that's. Have been a huge you know tenant of our of our. What platform. Specifically roads are saying roads bridges you know culvert Saddam's in all the things that you know people don't really talk about or understand it. If the county has to pay for an accounting has to maintain. Those are things that you know I think should be an. One priority they might be hard to answer this without a concrete proposal developed yet but I I wanna explore it further. At a time when we had to dip into surplus to keep from having a tax increase how do you fund roads and Culbertson dams and things like that. Well it's fortunately for me the past two years we haven't had to dip into the surplus to do that. You know I don't anticipate that going forward I think we should be able to hold the line on taxes you know and keep our eye on spending and make sure that -- -- the we have a good solid fund balance. To the -- the legislature can put something on the table. Would you guys consider a dedicated stream of revenue for roads. You know we haven't talked about -- and you know there in the technically is already dedicated stream. You know whenever you buy or sell a house -- transfer tax that's paid in that money is earmarked for infrastructure repairs program compares so and but the main thing with spending money on roads is it's not just your county share -- when when you spent county dollars. A lot of times that -- state money federal money so you know you -- really spending you know ten million dollars you -- you spend ten and you get you know sixty. More broadly. Let's talk about the politics of all of us. Everyone knows obviously that that to some degree the Republicans are in opposition of the Democrats and vice Versa. County executive Paul and cars will eventually have to run for reelection there's also to talk about who would run against him. Do you think that the change in the legislature makes it harder for him to get reelected. Well in terms of Israel election I'm not sure you know I I think it it certainly gonna make it harder for him to you know keep pushing his agenda these -- pushing for the past two years. And you know we're not going to be the rubber stamp and you know I wanted to make it perfectly clear that by no way by no means am I saying that we're going to just say no to everything he he wants to do. But you know he's he's two years I -- Streeter come into an -- Has he talked with you what the chair of the legislature have their band. Even informally discussions with the Republican led coalition. In the new year not yet. So they're coming that you think well you know -- for the past two years we would meet -- every year a few months we get together and have lunch and you know basically talk about what's going on with with the county government. And now I think that plant -- I think he does plan to continue this he liked. Personally. You'd have to ask his friends. OK if you'd like to join us we have a couple of phone lines open in about a ten more minutes after the news break. It's hard line after the commercial break rather tired line and is ready at 930 WB and it's hard line on news radio 930 WB and this is -- the though we're talking with Joseph Leo he's a conservative and he is the newly elected majority leader. Of the Erie county legislature significant may be and one way only in that minority party here or minor party has never held. That position before he's part of Republican led coalition that was swept in office in November and took over now after the first of the year. Before we get the calls here and 8030930 number by the way enough time to maybe squeeze in a couple more if you'd like to down now. Joseph very quickly tell me the beginning of the program you said the fact that your conservative apart this Republican group. Is not that significant when he asked them why you conservative what does the party means you. Well you know I strongly believe in you know fiscal conservative ideals a smaller government. Lower taxes less regulation you know New York is consistently ranked you know one of the worst states to do business in in the country. You know dead last or second to second last at the past several years. And I think it's because of the high taxes high regulation. We need to get away from that and you know that's that's planned -- nothing you said there is significantly different from Republican standard dogma. Well you know as you know Dave my yeah my father -- three it was almost Erie county Conservative Party chairman so I I I grew up residents -- And you just didn't wanna change that I RA. 8030930s. Number patent on a cell -- chime in the year ago figure on the act. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Our beat him -- social programs and should we be registering all weapons. Pat we're having a little bit of a technical problem I'm not sure he heard you if you just have recently questioned very quick. Economic story position -- in New York State that. That they believe that people with mental infirmity should be given this -- permit. And should there be a registration -- -- what. You know that the county legislatures across the state have come out against. Will AA if you if you're aware of the legislatures and for the counties across the state that come out against it. Erie county was actually the largest county at the time last February when we passed a resolution calling for the repeal of this effect so I I am opposed to say that. Do you think there's two a need for perhaps changes involving the safe bet. And mental health issues though is there an area where. The county might be able to move in on this legislation and if not we can put another layer on top two maybe address the mental health part. Well you know I think the mental health part of something that really needs to be to be looked at you know more. More significantly. You know. Mental health issues have made huge huge -- In except -- over the past twenty to thirty years. And I think when you start labeling people with mental health issues whether the depression anxiety something like that is people who you know shouldn't be allowed to. You know owned firearms I think here you take. Step back. 8030930s. The number let's bring in Tom and buffalo hi you're on the air. Hey guys. I'm glad the WB and Ian audiences really and everything like child to -- article about guns guns guns and it's 1 April. I got -- I got a call you on that I haven't talked about guns until now. And the show's been on the air for an hour you're broad brush -- go ahead. That he be an audience don't go ahead. Com given all the amount of money that the government again whether it be county state federal power. Independent entity to bring their cooperation to be here all the popular medical corps color. These contracts. But that I think what was export contracts that -- -- -- not what the paper their written. Collided Italy F 500 people it was announced on Friday and yet we'll keep on giving them money. To build -- many of medical core work which nobody working. How do we stop. Well and did that's news to me if they're laying off 500 people. Our -- well you know I think. Izzo is saying it looked for the breaker maybe it was after into New York is even one of the most difficult states to for a businesses to operate we need to do something. He noted to bring businesses here and keep business this year I think that starts with infrastructure. And that starts with you know having you know the infrastructure in place for those business visit to come here bring jobs here. And you don't have people be able to access the work and access their homes and. We give them taxes -- How can we sure that we get our side of the -- Europe we give them Texas I was I think we need to do is you take away the fact that we need to get out incentives. And you don't make the make New York State one entire tax incentives so that you know the playing field is equal. Tom are you arguing that bit of money to buy. Okay Sosa talked availability of alternative to some people put out the idea that. We just need to make the climate -- we just need to lower the taxes rather than subsidizing individual businesses make it easier are arguing that camp. And that would be a great argument if you can -- me can be dot. And you you obviously don't think you can. I don't think it can be a good job I don't like that we could get away money to individual entity well based on promises that are ever going to be. You know fulfilled. But I I think you need you need to start somewhere and you know button. New York State is very difficult it's. On the 500 -- yet. And that good good announcement came Friday at collide and they knew it had even picked apart. Like I say yes it is this we're gonna try to follow up on and our own newscast here. Vote but the broader point you're making things when he gets going on here. Actually it I think in the broader point is we need to start somewhere and Beano before we can you know. Make our state legislators really reduce our tax burden in and get rid of the -- the mandates that Erie county in every county New York State to settle with. If if we have to give some tax breaks here to bring businesses and get them to stake it might not necessarily be a bad -- We've got about one or two more minutes left show -- my -- returned to sort of that the biggest theme here. The idea of this new coalition in charge of the legislature. Do you think. That this now lays the ground work. For more Republicans to be elected to -- we've already addressed what it means perhaps to county executive Paul and cars. Do you see more moderate Democrats may be like Tom -- jumping the fence. Well you know I think anything's possible I think you know and we're gonna have the next two years to really make our case and let people see if if they like what we're doing. Now the reality is you look right now. Members of our majority represented 42 of the 44 municipalities in -- counting all the cities you know -- wanna buffalo -- Wanda. The only places that we don't our present our William still which is in -- that figure present and -- which is Cheektowaga where we also workers. That's kind of interesting because I had during the mayoral race in the city about clothes often said. That that that the balance in registrations is 81 in favor of Democrats we have a roster of city officials from top to bottom. That are strong Democrat. Do you think it's a matter of that based not voting in the county legislature races. Why I wanna say that we had -- -- -- for presentation every municipality. Legislator when Dixon represents the south buffalo and she knew caucuses with -- she's number of our majority. And you know we don't represent the entirety of the city of buffalo but we do certainly have her presentation. Do you think. That there's a shift in your account here that that the legislature anyway represents. Something other than. -- I don't say the way it was carved up I do think -- -- I think people are are tired of the high taxes that we that we can't locally. And you know our message in 2012 for two dozen thirteen was. You know no higher taxes or spending and people respond but why hasn't that resonated in the city of buffalo in a place like Cheektowaga that is also strongly Democrat. If if this is if this is a countywide. Movement large enough to propel someone like -- conservative into the majority leader's position. What's the disconnect if you ask me. Why I think you know you hit the nail on the head when he mentioned the H one enrollment a disadvantage. You know in in all of our legislative districts but one there is a Democrat -- You know and people vote on the other lines if they vote for the Republican vote for the conservative independence party member. Because they believe in in our message they believe them were saying and people are tired of you know big government high tax isn't. -- yeah controls and. Can you really say the messages -- -- Bristow if if to some degree it's almost never racial when you look at the rest of the -- I don't I wouldn't call an aberration I think the fact that you know in in my legislative district where there's four -- 500 more Democrats in when Dixon's -- -- 171000 more Democrats. I think people seed you know the vote for the person they take a look you know in 2013 we have. All the information available you can find it online you can find it you know by calling you can get all the information you need and people like her message in and. Going for and you figure represents a shift I really absolutely a one that will continue I hope I hope -- all right Joseph thanks for -- thanks for had -- coming up next we'll talk a little bit about what's coming down the pike from Albany later this week. Governor Andrew Cuomo in his state of the state message will of course -- all the usual economic initiatives that often times come the way in a speech like that. But it's already out their New York Times several places reported. He is going to win the state of the state speech later this week unveiled his own plan for medical marijuana in New York State. Coming up we'll talk a little bit about the political implications of that and we'll hear from one of the mothers of an epileptic child who has been -- the state assembly for something different but similar. More to come it's hard line -- news radio 930 WB.