The New York State Senate has passed the state budget bills, albeit one month late, and I voted against all of them. The majority running the Senate has largely ignored the concerns of New Yorkers. This budget is a failure. Period.
While there was still time to potentially review the bills before voting, the governor used messages of necessity to rush the process, giving my colleagues and me limited time to review everything, which is concerning.
The budget did include changes to the bail reform law, but they are far less than what was necessary to protect our communities. This will allow the governor to claim a win, but in the end, the law-abiding citizens of this state will be negatively impacted. The budget has banned gas hookups in new buildings. The plan to electrify everything is not practical and is not affordable. They really are coming for your gas stoves and furnaces!
The MTA is getting more money, straight from the ATM it calls Rockland County, but it is not being reformed and it is not being audited. Nothing has been done to address the unaffordability of living in New York. To add insult to injury, a last-minute addition to withhold Medicaid funding from the counties will likely raise property taxes between 7% and 14% as early as next year.
These are just some of the reasons why I voted against this budget. It's disappointing that the majority running the Senate failed to address the most pressing issues facing our state, opting for reckless and unnecessary spending that will only make living here more expensive.