Senators Skoufis and Martucci Host Bipartisan Budget Forum

Senators James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley) and Mike Martucci (R,C-Hudson Valley/Catskills) gathered municipal, non-profit, and community leaders together for a virtual budget forum on February 4 to assess local funding needs ahead of statewide budget negotiations. The two legislators heard testimony from advocates in the disability/homecare space, union leaders, library directors, local business owners, educators, transportation planners, charities working to fight poverty and community health disparities, and many others. 
“I am grateful to all who carved time out of their day to testify,” said Senator Skoufis. “One of the most important parts of our jobs in the State Senate is to fight to bring your tax dollars right back home. Senator Martucci and I have often been able to find bipartisan common ground on local issues over the years, and that’s because we both maintain direct lines of communication with the communities we represent. This forum is just one component of our listening as we gather our funding priorities, and I encourage any peers or neighbors who didn’t have a chance to join in to reach out to either of our offices in coming weeks. Your feedback is immensely helpful.”
“The state budget is an annual opportunity to address the most pressing priorities facing our communities. As Senators, it is our duty to go to the table with those interests in mind and fight for every available resource,” said Senator Mike Martucci. “I am glad to have a partner like Senator Skoufis to work alongside through this process, starting with this forum. Every individual and organization who took the time to join us or submit testimony is not only helping us better represent our constituents but will have an exponential impact on our region by highlighting the areas of greatest need. I appreciate their advocacy, and I encourage more to participate before the budget is finalized.”
The Governor released her Executive Budget Proposal for fiscal year 2023 in January, the first step in preparing a balanced budget for the state. Next, the Senate and Assembly will develop their own budget proposals and, after deliberation, bring a single agreement on statewide spending and revenue to a vote. 
For their part, the Senators have been in touch with regional leadership across healthcare, education, and the business community in recent months. Both are eager to see enhanced investment in local infrastructure and schools, as well as new attention paid to fair pay for home care workers, a primary point of discussion during this forum.
A complete recording of this virtual budget forum is available here