I am encouraged that the Governor's budget plan includes some increased support for education and expands access to healthcare. However, much more work needs to be done, particularly in the area of education assistance for our region.
Property tax relief must be an essential component of the State budget. The Senate has taken the lead in offering a comprehensive plan to provide relief to hardworking New York families. The Governor has added to that, and now the Assembly must break their silence on property taxes and either support the Senate plan or offer their own.
The budget proposal also focuses on common sense criminal justice policies, promotes a better energy policy, and expands the Empire Zone program, which is particularly important to counties like Delaware, which doesn't have one.
I also believe the budget process must focus on Medicaid reform. No state does more to make healthcare a priority. We must, however make Medicaid as responsive to taxpayers as it is to patients. We can do that by eliminating Medicaid fraud, and working to maximize Federal Medicaid funding.
The Legislature and Governor should work day in and day out to get a good budget passed on time. Taxpayers deserve nothing less.