(WBNG Binghamton) Senator Thomas Libous says jobs and taxes are his top priorities if re-elected to represent the 52nd district in the New York State Senate.
Libous is being challenged by Democratic candidate John Orzel.
"We need to continue to create job opportunities, or as I like to say careers. I want people here in the Southern Tier to have careers so folks that graduate from Broome Community College and Binghamton University want to stay here," said Libous (R), NYS 52nd Senate, "That's why we invest so much in BCC and Binghamton University and have them work with local companies whether it be the engineering programs or nursing programs.
In 2007, Libous helped bring Binghamton University's Downtown Center to Binghamton.
Libous has been a strong supporter of the property tax cap.
"The property tax cap is so important. In one year, it has saved taxpayers in my set of districts, some 7 million dollars. But we need to go further. We need to cut taxes for small business. We need to create opportunity," said Libous.
Libous was first elected to the State Senate in 1988. He is currently serving his twelfth term in Albany. Republicans took back control of the State Senate two years ago. In 2011, Libous was named the Deputy Majority Leader.
"I think we've kind of broke that horrible Albany gridlock. We did two early on-time budgets. That was something I think people appreciated and should be done quite frankly. We closed the $10 billion dollar deficit," he said, "The past two years working with Governor Cuomo, we have cut personal income tax the first time in 58 years. Hard working folks in the Southern Tier when they file their state taxes this coming year, they will see a little difference in a tax savings which I think is important."
Libous acknowledges one of the most controversial issues revolves around a pending decision on hydrofracking.
"The thing I want to make very clear is that I too want environmentally safe drilling. I want the science and the health to dictate how we move forward. I do think if the science and the health does dictate we can move forward, I think it could be a great opportunity here," said Libous.
The State Senate's 52nd district includes all or parts of Broome, Tioga and Chenango counties.