YouCut Albany


We're Listening to YOU !

Welcome to “YOU CUT ALBANY: Citizens Cutting Government Waste”. This new on-line tool is designed to enable taxpayers throughout the State to cast votes for specific wasteful spending items that they would like to see eliminated from the State Budget.

This initiative provides taxpayers an opportunity to vote online and give their opinions on which specific programs should be eliminated.  Those that receive the most votes will be used by Senator Ranzenhofer and his Senate Republican colleagues -- both in discussions at the Budget Conference Committee tables, and on the floor of the State Senate.

On a regular basis, new spending items will be added to the list for consideration and a new round of on-line voting by New York taxpayers will be held.

The “YOU CUT ALBANY: Citizens Cutting Government Waste” initiative is modeled on the successful “You Cut” federal program that was recently launched by Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia.

YOU CUT ALBANY lets hardworking taxpayers speak out and take direct action regarding wasteful spending by their State government. By working together, we can highlight wasteful and unnecessary spending practices, and help save New York taxpayers millions of dollars each year.

The five spending items which are eligible to be voted on in the initial round of on-line balloting can be found below.  (Please select one)


New York has what many regard as the most expensive and generous Welfare and Medicaid programs in the nation. Until they were abolished over the past several years, anti-fraud safeguards such as finger-imaging to ensure identity and eligibility, face-to-face interviews, and asset test requirements, helped save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars each year. By re-implementing safeguards designed to crack down on instances of Welfare and Medicaid fraud, significant savings could be achieved, and the integrity of the programs could be strengthened. Potential Savings: $34 million annually

The State Comptroller's Office recently unveiled an audit which showed that a Medicaid recipient from Poughkeepsie had received $300 round-trip taxi rides to visit a family member at a long-term care facility in Albany five days a week. After the Comptroller’s audit, the taxi trips were classified as not medically necessary, but taxpayers had already shelled out nearly $196,000. By tightening restrictions on such programs, especially in non-emergency cases and cases where public transportation is already available, State and County taxpayers could save substantial sums. Potential Savings: $8.3

New York has one of the most expensive state governments in the nation, with State agencies being led by a veritable army of well paid Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners, and Associate Commissioners. In fact, it is currently estimated that we now have at least 175 Deputy-level Commissioners on the payroll at major State agencies – an excessive number that costs taxpayers approximately $22 million each year. Historically, many of these positions, which pay lucrative six figure salaries, have been filled based on political considerations and connections, rather than qualifications or experience. Reducing the number of these “Assistant Commissioners” by 50% would save millions, and help hold State Agency Commissioners more accountable for the agencies they are supposed to be running. Potential Savings: $11 million

Beginning on July 1st, welfare payments in New York State increased 10%! New York State taxpayers should not foot the bill for higher welfare payments when inflation has remained low and most of our residents have not seen an increase in their own wages for several years. Potential Savings: $6.4 million annually

As millions of families struggle to balance the family budget while coping with high health care costs, State prison inmates -- even those with financial means -- are not required to pay anything whatsoever for their taxpayer funded health care. Many other states, such as California, New Jersey, Florida, and Pennsylvania, do require a co-pay from inmates, but New York State law currently prohibits them. By changing this law, and charging inmates a modest co-pay, State taxpayers could save $5 million annually, while still ensuring that inmates receive proper care. Potential Savings: $5 million