SCARSDALE, N.Y. ‒ Longtime legislator Amy Paulin is seeking re-election in New York State Assembly District 88. After 12 years in office, it appears that she will run unopposed this November. District 88 includes Scarsdale, Eastchester, Pelham and parts of New Rochelle and White Plains.
Name: Amy Paulin
Family: Husband – Ira Schuman; Children – Beth, Sarah, Joseph.
Occupation: Full-time legislator.
How long have you lived in Scarsdale: 32 years.
Party Affiliation and ballot lines held: Democrat; Lines held: democrat, independence and working families.
Years in office: 12.
Civic organizations: Past positions: executive director of My Sister’s Place; vice president of the New York State League of Women Voters; president of the Westchester League of Women Voters; president of the Scarsdale League of Women Voters.
The Daily Voice: What are the three biggest issues facing your district or town?
Paulin: Taxes, job creation and education.
The Daily Voice: How would you address those issues?
Paulin: Taxes: I will work to hold down property taxes by providing mandate relief to localities. I will once again seek increased funding for our local public schools to provide property tax relief.
Job Creation: Focusing on regional economic development projects and making the State more business-friendly will create more jobs. We should continue the work of the Regional Economic Development Councils, which have already succeeded in creating jobs in Westchester and throughout the state. I also believe that we should utilize higher education and provide continued support to SUNY and CUNY community colleges to train individuals for in-demand jobs.
Education: I will enhance public education by continuing to fight for our fair share of state aid to provide the funding schools need to achieve excellent results.
The Daily Voice: If you are a challenger or running for an open seat, what would you do differently than the previous office holder?
Paulin: I’ve worked hard to be an effective representative — 138 of my bills have become law, unprecedented for someone of my tenure. I have been [placed] in the top 3 percent of legislators who have successfully passed bills by a good government group.
I wrote the law eliminating the statute of limitations on rape and other sexual assaults, and lengthened the orders of protection for battered women. I authored the law to toughen penalties for the sale and possession of illegal firearms and negotiated the law making human trafficking a felony, the first of its kind in the nation.
The Daily Voice: Westchester is among the highest-taxed counties in the nation. What would you do to lower the tax burden? Be specific.
Paulin: In order to lower the tax burden, we must provide effective mandate relief. On the county level, I have introduced legislation to gradually shift the responsibility for the local share of Medicaid expenses completely to the state. I have successfully fought for our school districts’ fair share of state aid to reduce the amount that districts have to obtain from property taxes. We also need to increase state aid to municipalities, which has decreased or remained level throughout the recession, so that municipalities can continue to meet expenses without being forced to raise taxes.
The Daily Voice: Why should people vote for you?
Paulin: Helping people and working to ensure the integrity of government is why I ran in the first place, and it is why I am running again now. I have earned a reputation among my colleagues and neighbors as one of the hardest working, bi-partisan, principled and persistent legislators.