dominic carterRob Astorino has proposed a new plan meant to attack and combat poverty. According to Astorino, one of the keys to attacking poverty is to “celebrate the roles of the father in strong families”. The plan unveiled was called the “Empowerment and Opportunity” plan. Saturday,
Astorino met with supporters in the South Bronx to unveil his 5 point plan which would tighten access to public assistance programs as well as create tougher gun laws in a state where gun laws are already among the toughest in the country.

Astorino plans to recruit religious and community leaders to take part in the initiative and potentially help spearhead the movement. The goal of Astorino’s plan is to keep children out of poverty which he thinks can be combated by preventing broken families. One of the points of the plan will be to require that the biological father of each child will be required to be listed on the child’s birth certificate. According to Astorino, more emphasis needs to be placed on increasing responsibility among fathers in their children’s lives. He moves on to say that single moms are already overworked without adequate support systems. The plan would also include drug testing “under reasonable suspicion” as a condition of eligibility for adults. Additionally, public assistance would also be tied to school attendance for children sixteen and under.

Another point in the proposal would also include budgeting and financial planning instructions for constituents on public assistance. As an alternative to three-year prison terms for individuals convicted of nonviolent, nonsexual crimes, he would instead implement a six-month correctional boot camp. Astorino also plans to mirror California’s “Use a Gun and You’re Done” law which has strict restrictions when it comes to gun crimes. His law would include:
10 years to a prison sentence for criminals using a gun to commit a felony
20 years if the gun is fired while committing a crime
25 years to life if the fired gun kills or wounds another person during the crime.

Another stipulation would be to implement fingerprinting when it comes to food stamp applicants to attempt to cut down on fraud. Cuomo’s administration eliminated that state requirement in 2012 after pressure from social services advocates who argued that it paints low income residents as criminals.

Cuomo’s office has yet to respond to comments on Astorino’s proposals.


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