By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Taking the oath of office for his sixth term, State Senator Marty Golden threaded the goals of rebuilding the economy and rebuilding communities ravaged by Hurricane Sandy together in a speech before friends and supporters at his swearing in ceremony.
“It’s time to rebuild the Empire State,” he told the crowd during his speech at Kingsborough Community College just after he took the oath of office from New York State Supreme Court Justice Bruce Balter on Jan. 30. The ceremony took place in the Marine and Academic Playhouse on the college campus in Manhattan Beach.
Golden also paid tribute to the residents living in communities such as Manhattan Beach, Gerritsen Beach, and Coney Island, who are still struggling to rebuild their homes and their lives more than three months after the super-storm hit on Oct. 29. Manhattan Beach and Gerritsen Beach are located within the 22nd Senate District, which Golden represents.
“Rebuilding is slow. Insurance bills need to be paid. Contractors need to be hired. It’s time to get that rebuilding accomplished. My staff and I have not forgotten what needs to be done. We will do it until every family is back on its feet,” he said.
Golden won re-election in November to his sixth term in the state senate. He said he delayed holding a swearing in ceremony until the end of January because he and his staff have been consumed with helping hurricane victims. The site for the ceremony, Kingsborough Community College, was selected because it is located in a neighborhood still suffering from the damage the hurricane wrought, Golden said.
Golden has held town hall meetings, brought federal agencies in to assist residents, and conducted several walking tours of the damaged areas.
On the economy, Golden said he will work to cut state spending and eliminated “unnecessary” regulations. “There are more than a thousand departments, agencies, and public authorities in this state. Each one of these authorities has a credit card,” he said.
Another goal is to make life easier for business owners, particularly owners of small, mom and pop businesses, Golden said. “Opening a business here requires you to jump through a lot of hoops,” he said, citing a survey that declared New York the fifth least friendly state in the country for small businesses.
“There are 18 permits and licenses needed to open a business in New York City. Each one of those licenses costs $100,” he said, vowing to work to change that.
The state has taken some steps in the right direction, particularly when it comes to taxes and spending, he said. The state scaled back a Metropolitan Transportation Authority payroll tax that had been hurting not-for-profits. “We lowered income tax in the state of New York. We changed Medicaid programs,” Golden said.
Another positive change Golden said he was able to get the state to agree to was the tax credit for companies filming movies and television shows in New York State. The tax credit enables crews to afford filming here, according to Golden. Those crews would otherwise bypass New York and film elsewhere, he said.
The tax credit means more jobs for New Yorkers on movie and television shoots, Golden said. “It brings in $420 million a year. One hundred and forty thousand jobs have been created,” he said.
“I’m an economic development nut!” he told his audience.
The swearing in ceremony had some lighthearted moments. Prior to administering the oath, Balter teased the state senator. “It is my honor to conduct this swearing in. Maybe soon as governor?” he asked Golden, hinting that the senator might run for governor.
When teenager Amanda Marucci came out to sing the National Anthem, lawyer Simon Shamoun, the master of ceremonies, referred to the controversy involving super-star singer Beyonce, who is rumored to have lip-synched the words to the “Star Spangled Banner” at President Barack Obama’s inauguration last month. “At our inaugurations, nothing is lip-synched!” Shamoun said.
In a nod to Golden’s Irish-American roots, the ceremony featured a performance from dancers in the Donny Golden School of Irish Dance. Donny Golden is the state senator’s brother.
Marty Golden, who is the oldest of eight children, jokingly said that his parents made everyone in the family either take Irish step-dancing lessons or learn to play a musical instrument. Golden admitted that he was the exception. He had two left feet and a tin ear, he said.