Killian Sets Her Sights on Lower Taxes, A Better Business Climate, and All Around-Reform

Rye City Council member Julie Killian decided to run for State Senate in January 2015, the day New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was arrested on federal corruption charges.


By Robin Jovanovich and Tom McDermott


Rye City Council member Julie Killian decided to run for State Senate in January 2015, the day New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was arrested on federal corruption charges.


Since announcing her candidacy for the State Senate in the 37th District five months ago, Killian said the resounding message she’s heard from voters across the District is: Change. “Most of the constituents I’ve talked to — going door-to-door, at sports events and coffees — don’t think they have a government that works.”


In an interview with the paper last week, she stressed, “The only way to change Albany, is to change who you send there.”


Killian, who is running on the Republican line, is hoping to unseat Democrat George Latimer who is running for a third two-year term. “The State Senate is the only part of state government that is not under Democratic control,” she said pointedly. The Senate is currently comprised of 32 Democrats, one of whom caucuses with the Republicans, 31 Republicans, and 5 Independent Democrats who caucus with Republicans.


“I’ve always worked across the aisle, and can find common ground,” she stated. “I’m an optimist.”


As far as the tax cap is concerned, she’s in favor of it, but would like a higher standard in the legislature. When asked how you uncouple unfunded mandates, she replied, “You don’t stop talking about them.”


Among the issues she’s passionate about is substance abuse prevention. “There is not enough healthy fear among teens. We could start by taking funding away from the START-UP New York campaign and use it for a digital phone campaign. Teens are never without their phones.” She would also work for more health and education programs in elementary schools.


In order for Westchester to no longer have the dubious distinction of being the highest taxed county in the nation, Killian said we simply have to stop spending taxpayer money unwisely. “It’s silly to fund studies on infrastructure improvement; we need to fix the failing infrastructure we have.”


Killian is quick to point to the fact that far too many businesses are leaving. According to Forbes’ Best States for Business, New York ranks 29th. “We need to streamline the job-crushing regulations — there are 750,000 of them. Small businesses are required to do things that don’t make sense. Licensing fees are onerous.”


She added, “A good business environment keeps us vibrant, allows the small businesses, which are the backbone of the economy, to support the arts.”


To reform the educational imbalance, which has grown wider along with income inequality in recent years, Killian said, “Maybe public education needs to follow the good things going on at charter and religious schools, which offer a good education for less. For the working poor, the K-8 model, where students start and finish at the same school, seems to work well.”


She continued, “I love teachers, but there are far too many teacher union members are not open to new ideas.”


In response to State Senator Latimer’s statement that she was backed by “the Old Boy Network,” Killian said, “The Old Boys don’t scare me. I picked a mostly male major [chemical engineering]; I went into a mostly male field [finance]; and I live in a mostly male [four sons, one daughter] house.”


She added, “While members of Shel Silver’s team did unspeakable things and members of the legislature didn’t speak up for fear he’d follow up on his threat to move their office to the basement, I say bring on the basement!”


Killian, who stands firmly behind instituting term limits, said, “It’s time for someone who works for us.”


And with 20,000 more female than male voters in the 37th District, she believes that time is November 8.


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