By Elizabeth Johnson and Meagan McCarty
Since being elected, State Senator Elaine Phillips has thrown herself into her new role.
On Nov. 22, Phillips joined with East End Senator Ken LaValle and Assemblyman Fred Thiele in urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to step in and take action to stop the EPA’s plan to dump in the Long Island Sound, and following his plan to stop this from happening, Phillips recently made a statement of support for the governor’s action. She stated, “I applaud Governor Cuomo’s announcement of legal action by the state to stop the federal EPA from dumping toxic dredging sludge in the Long Island Sound. Even though the EPA says its offshore dump site will be located in Connecticut’s waters, heavy metals and other dangerous pollutants don’t recognize lines on a map, and this plan has the potential to undo years of difficult work to protect and enhance water quality in the Sound and across the region.
“We need to find ways to better protect our surface and groundwater, and I am prepared to stand with the governor and other local elected leaders to continue to oppose this dumping plan.”
As the previous mayor of the Village of Flower Hill, Phillips made protecting Long Island’s surface and groundwater key priorities and, in the race for State Senate, was the only candidate to formally oppose the EPA’s dredge dumping plan.
Phillips, a busy mother of three girls from Manhasset, has spent the past couple of months learning her very important new role. She was sworn into office as a New York State Senator for District Seven in Albany on Jan. 4. New York State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan swore Phillips in as her husband Andy and three daughters, Sarah, Kate and Hannah looked on.
“Earning the community’s trust to represent them in the State Senate is both an extraordinary honor and tremendous responsibility. Thank you to the residents of the 7th Senate District for entrusting me to be your voice in Albany and deliver results for our community. I will never stop fighting for you,” said Senator Phillips.
Phillips plans to reduce the burden on Long Island families by working in a bipartisan way on tax relief, fiscal responsibility and increased state aid for local schools. She is a huge advocate for ethics reform and would like to rebuild the public’s trust in government by offering greater transparency. An issue close to Phillips heart is clean water and she plans to continue the fight for it at the Senate level.
“There are a lot of important issues that need to be addressed to make life better for all of us. I’m excited and ready to get to work on them,” Senator Phillips added.
The next day, Jan. 5, Phillips lauded Cuomo’s proposal for increasing tax credits to make child care more affordable, but believes that there is much more that can be done to help out middle class families with child care expenses.
Phillips will be reviewing the governor’s legislation in order to make an informed contribution to the bill.
Of this issue, Phillips said “Restoring the Family Tax Credit, which expired at the end of 2016, doubling it and making it a permanent part of the state’s tax code would provide additional, much needed relief to families. Additionally, updating the state’s online child care directory to include costs of programs would make it easier and more convenient for parents to find affordable child care.
Safe, high quality child care is something so many working families depend on, but the costs associated with it are a large and growing expense for those same families. Easing that financial burden is critically important to making life on Long Island more affordable.”