Working together in a bi-partisan fashion with Governor Cuomo, I am pleased to report that the 2012-2013 State Budget has passed ahead of schedule for the second consecutive year. The recently adopted budget is a fiscally responsible plan that closes a $2 billion deficit by cutting spending without raising taxes. It is a plan that will help to create thousands of jobs and strengthen our economy.
For the second year in a row, overall spending has been reduced. In an effort to shrink the size of State government, the budget plan eliminates 25 repetitive, inactive boards and commissions, consolidates various departments, and implements efficiencies to reduce government expenditures.
With the 2012 Legislative Session drawn to a close, one thing is clear: the gridlock and dysfunction that once characterized New York State government are now things of the past. For the second consecutive year, we’ve worked together in a bipartisan way with Governor Cuomo to keep New York moving in a new, stronger and more positive direction.
As I mentioned in my July column, the 2012 Legislative Session has New York continuing to move in a more positive direction. Just as important though are the actions taken during this year’s session to move our higher education institutions in a more positive direction as well, particularly the University at Buffalo, Erie Community College and Daemen College.
As I mentioned in my September column, New York State’s fiscal house is starting to get back on track, but a lot more is needed to spur private-sector job creation. Regional Economic Development Councils have made a difference, and the State Senate’s New NY Job Creation plan has the potential to create thousands of jobs. However, a program aimed at providing low-cost electricity to businesses has helped to create or retain tens of thousands of jobs in our own backyard.
More than three years ago, a horrific tragedy struck a Western New York family when a Tonawanda man murdered his wife in their own home. It’s a shocking story that just makes your heart sink when you read about it in the newspaper.
“Husband of slain Tonawanda woman arrested for murder,” read one newspaper headline. But what wasn’t reported in any articles was another tragedy: a loophole in State health law would allow the murderer the sole rights to his victims’ remains since he had also been the spouse.