The Issues

Welfare Reform

Securing Appropriate Use of Your Tax Dollars


Public assistance should never be treated like a hand out; it should be used as a helping hand during uncertain times for our families in need.


That’s why I am stunned that the NY Assembly failed to pass the Public Assistance Integrity Act three-years in a row. The Act would prevent EBT card abuse, stopping their usage at strip clubs, off-track betting, lottery purchases, liquor stores, and on illicit materials.


The Assembly’s continued failure to act puts New York at risk of losing $122 million dollars in Federal aid because it is not in compliance with Federal law, namely the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012.


As your next Assemblyman, I will work to ensure that those truly in need of public assistance use it responsibly. Your hard-earned tax dollars should not be abused by those taking advantage of your generosity and empathy. This means creating accountability standards and ensuring able-bodied people seeking public assistance benefits are gainfully employed or working to be employed in order to receive benefits.

Stop Common Core

Paving a Real Path for Our Children’s Future Success        


Common Core is failing our children. The federal government shouldn’t be issuing mandates dictating how our schools should be run; parents and teachers, the stakeholders in our children’s education, should be making those decisions. That’s why I’m proposing a full withdrawal from Common Core, so control over our education system and our children’s learning is maintained at the local level, NOT by federal bureaucrats and politicians.


These “one size fits all” standards are owned by private companies unaccountable to parents and taxpayers, and despite claims of being state led were quietly adopted in New York without legislative or public input. The federal government used Common Core as a mechanism for nationalized education by tying access to $4.35 billion dollars in “Race to the Top” funds ($700 million for New York alone) to state adoption.  No adoption- no federal funds.


Common Core claims to provide essential standards, yet Common Core Validation Committee members refused to sign off on them. Stanford Professor James Milgram said the math standards “reflect very low expectations… place American students two years behind by 8th grade, and do not cover… topics that are required for admission to … state universities.  Dr. Sandra Stotsky, said the English Language Arts and Reading standards “do not aim for… readiness for authentic college-level work. They point to no more than readiness for a high school diploma.


The expanded use of the State Longitudinal Database System is perhaps the most concerning aspect. This database houses personal, behavioral, and biological data on the nation’s school children. The Department of Education helped create a legal path for collection of our children’s DNA sequences, fingerprints, and retina and iris patterns. And, all without parental consent!


I believe in protecting our children's privacy while creating real educational opportunities where the public education system is failing them. That's why I support school choice and the charter school movementOur children are not common; they deserve indidualized instruction based on their unique needs and learning styles. Children in disadvantaged areas should not be allowed to fall through the cracks because of their circumstances. Supporting school choice ensures all of our children receive the specialized instruction and top-notch education they deserve, while paving the way for their future success. 

Economic Opportunity

Supporting Your Ability to Prosper


Look at any standard or metric and you’ll see that New York State’s economy is struggling. We simply have not been doing enough to grow a vibrant middle-class and create the type of opportunities that foster the innovation our economy needs.


Currently, overwhelming and costly bureaucratic red tape and regulations have stifled our state’s economic growth. As a local businessman, I have experienced first-hand New York’s redundancies and roadblocks to business growth and prosperity. In fact, The Tax Foundation, a non-partisan tax policy research center, ranked New York as having “the worst business climate in the nation.” I’m running for Assembly to change that.


We must start with eliminating New York's excessive taxes and regulations that prohibit existing businesses from growing and deter budding entrepreneurs from ever starting a new business. The backbone of the American economy is small business and accounts for nearly two-thirds of all jobs in the U.S. Together we can grow our Middle-class and once again put the American Dream within reach for all New Yorkers. 

Tax Burden

Helping You Keep More of Your Hard-Earned Money


New Yorkers consistently pay the highest property, income, and estate taxes in the country. As a result, Smart Money Magazine even gave New York State the dubious distinction of being “the worst place to die.”


Taxes on job creators are even worse. For 28 of the last 29 years, The Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index ranked New York 50th for its “tax friendliness” toward business.


A vibrant economy is dependent on a working middle-class. In New York, and especially in Central New York, the middle-class is shrinking at an alarming rate and our elected officials have failed to provide business friendly solutions for our job crisis. Instead, they attempt to pick winners and losers through cronyism and give special favors to outside interests with our tax dollars.


Simply put, New Yorkers are overtaxed. Thousands of businesses have pulled out of New York taking more than $46 billion in income to residents with them.  As a result, millions of hardworking New Yorkers have been forced to flee the state. As your next Assemblyman, I’ll work to change that.


How can we ease the oppressive tax structure and provide tangible opportunity for both businesses and families? I believe we should start by:

  • Doubling the STAR property-tax exemption for all homeowners, a move that would save the average homeowner an additional $700 annually and seniors $1,300
  • Institute a permanent 30% income-tax rate cut for families making less than $300,000 per year, saving each middle-class taxpayer an average of $1,033 annually.
  • Eliminate the surcharge on Utility Companies and the corresponding pass-through costs to utility consumers
  • Eliminate the ill-conceived “tax-free zones”, which discriminate against existing businesses and tax-paying working families.    


The Right to Bear Arms

Protecting Your Constitutional Rights


Rick Zaccaria believes that New York State violated the rights of New Yorkers when it unscrupulously passed the NY S.A.F.E Act in the middle of the night. The legislature and governor failed to seek public input or follow the legally required waiting period before enacting this ill-conceived law, which ultimately endangers not protects individuals from gun violence. Most importantly, the state government violated our Constitutional rights.


This law was so poorly written that several provisions are either not currently being enforced or have been suspended altogether.  The negative impact on the New York economy in terms of both businesses and jobs has been significant, particularly here in CNY.  This law not only harms law-abiding gun owners, hunters, and an important sector of our economy, but it opens the door for New York government to violate any other Constitutional right it deems necessary.


The National Rifle Association gave Rick a grade of “A” for his stance as a strong advocate for 2nd amendment rights and it endorsed Rick Zaccaria for New York State Assembly, 129th district.


As your next Assemblyman, Rick Zaccaria has pledged to fight for full repeal of the NY S.A.F.E Act and will work tirelessly to challenge any legislation that would infringe upon any of your protected Constitutional rights.