O’Mara to Cuomo, legislative leaders: Don't stock new state budget with non-budget policy moves

March 23, 2020

"Once we have weathered this storm, we can get to work assessing the damage, determining who and what needs repair, and have an open and full discussion on the best way to move forward for this entire state, upstate and downstate," said Senator O'Mara.

"Once we have weathered this storm, we can get to work assessing the damage, determining who and what needs repair, and have an open and full discussion on the best way to move forward for this entire state, upstate and downstate," said Senator O'Mara.

There’s an old, jaded saying that politicians never let a crisis go to waste. I hope that Governor Cuomo and the downstate Democrat legislative leaders won’t give that saying new life during a crisis the likes of which New York State has never faced.

Elmira, N.Y., March 23—With just over one week to go before the start of the state’s new fiscal year on April 1, State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) today urged Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Democrat majorities of the state Senate and Assembly to not enact a new 2020-2021 New York State budget that’s stocked with public policies that don’t belong in the state’s new fiscal plan.

"There’s an old, jaded saying that politicians never let a crisis go to waste.  I hope that Governor Cuomo and the downstate Democrat legislative leaders won’t give that saying new life during a crisis the likes of which New York State has never faced,” said O’Mara.  “We are facing an unprecedented shutdown of New York State’s government, economy, individual communities, and day-to-day life.  Everyone’s attention is focused and needs to remain focused on getting through this public health crisis. We can do a budget that keeps this state running and meeting its obligations throughout this emergency.  Once we have weathered this storm, we can get to work assessing the damage, determining who and what needs repair, and have an open and full discussion on the best way to move forward for this entire state, upstate and downstate.  That would be common sense. That would be responsible.  That would be fair.  I hope that’s the course Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders will take.”

Earlier today, during what has become a daily briefing on New York’s response to the coronavirus, Cuomo said that he wants to enact a new state budget before the April 1 deadline that includes policy initiatives, including changes to the state’s controversial No-Bail law and the legalization of recreational marijuana.

O’Mara warned that the governor and downstate Democrat leaders could be eyeing the new state budget as a way to enact controversial, non-budget-related actions that should be more fully discussed outside the budget adoption process and on their own merits.