Traditionally a farming and manufacturing center that has been trading since 1750, New York state Sen. Bill Kingston – a Republican, in his 28th term – is proud of his home county of New York’s Hudson Valley.
“More and more people from all over the world are recognizing this beautiful part of the Hudson Valley as a tourism destination and a location to establish a new headquarters. Let’s be clear. New York is becoming a worldwide economic leader in technology. We have a boardwalk leading down to the water, but it’s not all about the water. There’s also a lot of beauty to this area, a wonderful farm to table food scene, and we’re creating a lot of new businesses,” Sen. Kingston said.
Now part of the Tri-State, as the Upstate region is known, Sen. Kingston sees the Hudson Valley as an important part of not only the Tri-State but also the mid-Atlantic region.
He has spent most of his career working to address many issues, including the impact from future storms and climate change.
“There are a lot of efforts in New York State, but we need more from the federal government and governors,” said Sen. Kingston. “We need to have preparedness measures put in place. We know what the short-term effects are going to be. Long-term, it is a very difficult path. At this point, the solutions are a matter of debate. We are making progress, but not nearly enough progress.”
But Sen. Kingston has a different approach in regard to dealing with climate change. “We can either be reactive, or proactive. Yes, people are impacted and they have to be told that. There are things that you can do to prepare for it and that’s the key thing – addressing the issue as opposed to reacting to it. The previous administration has not addressed it adequately. When was the last time you heard any congressional hearings on global warming? I think it’s time for that to start,” Sen. Kingston said.
Another issue Sen. Kingston faces is the potential of federal cuts for opioid abuse, including cutting funding for treatment.
“Opioid abuse is a big problem. The biggest issue I’ve had has been that we’ve seen a reduction in law enforcement funding because of increased drug prosecutions, and that is hurtful to our efforts to fight the opioid crisis,” Sen. Kingston said.