O’Mara: Senate Democrat ‘one-house’ budget seeks billions in new state spending (WATCH)
Albany, N.Y., March 16—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, today warned that a “one-house” budget resolution put forth and approved today by the Senate Democrat majority proposes billions of dollars in new state spending that is “unsustainable and unwarranted” and will continue to devastate state and local economies, drive more and more New Yorkers out of the state.
O’Mara, leading debate on the floor of the Senate, said that Senate Democrats are calling for spending far beyond the approximately $227 billion advanced by Governor Kathy Hochul’s 2023-2024 proposed Executive Budget, which is already $5 billion higher than New York’s current spending plan.
According to the Senate GOP finance staff, the Senate Democrat budget is calling for an approximately $236-billion budget with double-digit increases in state spending or more than $14 billion higher than the current budget. Senate Democrats would pay for the massive spending increase through a combination of tax increases, raiding state “rainy day” and other reserve and settlement funds, and pulling back on efforts to pay down the state’s debt burden, which is already one of the nation’s highest.
It charts a course for New York that could leave a future generation of state and local taxpayers footing the bill for a questionable, unsustainable, and unwarranted agenda of overspending, O’Mara said.
The Democrat majorities in the Senate and Assembly are approving their respective one-house resolutions in advance of final budget negotiations with Hochul. The one-house budgets traditionally stake out legislative priorities entering the negotiations on a final budget scheduled to be in place by April 1.
O’Mara said, “My Senate Republican colleagues and I were concerned about Governor Hochul’s out-of-control state spending plan when she proposed it in January and we warned that the Legislature’s Democrat majorities would be looking to go even higher. Here they go. The spending spree being proposed by the Senate Democrats is irrational. It’s unreasonable. It requires higher taxes and fees. It ignores New York’s debt burden. It raids the state’s ‘’rainy day’ funds at a time of widespread economic uncertainty. It doesn’t respond to the issues of affordability for everyday New York families, taxpayers, and workers. It won’t stop the exodus of New Yorkers and it risks further devastating already hard-hit state and local economies and taxpayers.”
O’Mara stressed that the direction being pursued by Hochul and legislative leaders sets the stage for a final state budget this year that would significantly increase short- and long-term state government spending, add billions of dollars to a state debt burden that is already one of the nation’s highest, and risk additional long-term costs for already overburdened counties and local property taxpayers.
O’Mara and the Senate Republican conference again warned that Hochul and the Legislature’s Democrat majorities are focusing on unrestrained spending instead of providing broad-based tax relief to spark job creation and economic growth, tackling unfunded state mandates on localities to ease the burden on local property taxpayers, and reducing New York’s long-term debt load.
O’Mara said, “The direction that Governor Hochul and Albany Democrats are laying out for the future of New York could spell even harder times ahead for state and local taxpayers, small businesses and manufacturers, and already hard-pressed upstate communities, economies, and workers. New York remains one of the highest-taxed states in America. We are one of the most overregulated states in the nation. Our local governments and local property taxpayers continue to foot the bill for one of the country’s heaviest burdens of unfunded state mandates. It’s troubling to me that the governor and top legislative Democrats keep talking about higher and higher state government spending at a time when the priority should be a long-term, steady, sustainable future for upstate, middle-class communities, families, workers, and taxpayers.”
O’Mara, in his role as the top Republican member on the Finance Committee, said that Senate Republicans will continue to be a voice for affordability, lower taxes, less regulation, economic growth, job creation, and more common sense on state fiscal practices.