Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton Visits Smith Elementary School
Kristy Buchalla’s 3rd grade students have been studying government and invited Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton to their class to discuss the work she has been doing in Albany.
Teacher Kristy Buchalla said, “I wanted to show my students how real government is. Sometimes I think when we talk about Albany and Washington D.C., government seems far away and abstract. That is why I invited Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton in so that she could talk to my students about the work she is doing in Albany.”
Assemblywoman Lifton said, “I try to come in whenever I get invited. I really enjoy talking to kids and explaining the work I do in Albany. I picked two bills that I thought would be interesting to the students.”
The first bill Assemblywomen discussed was a hotel tax bill for the city of Cortland. The City of Cortland came to Assemblywoman Lifton and asked if she could help raise money for the city by taxing hotel rooms, specifically a room occupancy tax on transient room rentals. Assemblywoman Lifton is currently working to try to get bill passed.
The next bill Assemblywoman Lifton explained was the bill to block trash incinerators being built in the Finger Lakes region of NY. The bill will prohibit issuance of required permits for incinerator facilities, including the proposal to build a new trash incinerator on a 48-acre parcel of the Seneca Army Depot in Romulus, which has caused widespread concern throughout the Finger Lakes. Assemblywoman Lifton said, “the incinerator would have had an extremely detrimental impact on local communities and local agriculture and tourism. I’m very glad the Governor listened to the voices from both legislators and residents and acted to protect the health of everyone in our region and signed this bill into law.”
Student Emelia Johnson, “I really liked having Assemblywoman LIfton come in today. Because of her, I learned that government helped listen to people's concerns by passing a bill to stop the trash incinerator. I hope that we get to continue to learn about government and eventually find out if the hotel tax in Cortland passes.”
This lesson demonstrated how government functions by giving specific examples of how a problem, turns to a bill and hopefully, eventually a law.