Senators Lanza, Ortt, O'Mara And Weber Urge Senate Majority To Address Key Budget Issues

Andrew J. Lanza

March 7, 2024

Senator Lanza

“These common-sense proposals are what New Yorkers need and will get our state on the path to recovery and improve the lives of our citizens who are struggling every day to pay their bills.  I will continue to fight for these economic and public safety policies that will ensure a brighter future and quality of life for all New Yorkers,” stated Deputy Senate Republican Leader Andrew Lanza.

State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt, Deputy Republican Leader Andrew Lanza, Senator Thomas O’Mara, Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee and Senator Bill Weber, Ranking Member of the Budget and Revenue Committee today sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins urging the adoption of the Senate Republican Conference’s priorities that are included in their comprehensive “A New Hope for NY Agenda.”

With the Senate and Assembly expected to vote on their One-House Budgets next week, negotiations will soon be accelerating on the FY 2025 State Budget.  With this in mind, the Senate Republican Conference is urging the adoption of several key economic, public safety and quality-of-life proposals that would directly benefit millions of hardworking, taxpaying New Yorkers.  

“The lack of affordability in the Empire State has clearly reached crisis proportions, with thousands of New Yorkers fleeing to more affordable states. The high taxes in our State have exacerbated this crisis, while also directly contributing to our poor business climate. Our conference has put forward common sense recommendations as we enter the budget process. We must address the challenges that are currently confronting the hardworking, law-abiding citizens of our state,” stated Senate Republican Leader Ortt.

“We face an affordability crisis. We face a border crisis. Law and order are in free fall. The Albany Democrat direction for New York simply fails to produce any hope for a long-term, sustainable future for communities, families, workers, businesses, industries, and taxpayers. The Executive Budget is a budget of misguided and misplaced priorities that puts at risk fundamental and longstanding state commitments to education, local roads and bridges, health care, community safety, and so much more.  We can't afford to let this budget stand. New York is a state in decline that continues to become less safe, less free, less affordable, less economically competitive, less responsible, and far less strong for the future. We are at a dangerous crossroads and we must enact an across-the-board agenda to cut taxes, control spending, address affordability, and start truly rebuilding stronger and safer communities,” stated Senator Tom O’Mara, Ranking Member on the Senate Finance Committee.

“As one of just two CPAs in the State Legislature, I feel compelled to express my concern about New York's fiscal trajectory. The exorbitant taxes and the redirection of funds from essential areas, such as education, to accommodate illegal migration, are alarming trends that demand our immediate attention and correction,” stated Senator Bill Weber, Ranking Member on the Budget and Revenue Committee.

At the start of the 2024 legislative session, the Republican Conference unveiled “A New Hope For The Empire State.”  The 2024 agenda outlines a plan that prioritizes the needs of New Yorkers. The “New Hope” agenda reflects a commitment to responsible stewardship of tax dollars, to jump-starting our slow economic recovery, and restoring common sense to our criminal justice system. It also stands in stark contrast to Governor Hochul’s proposed budget, a misguided plan that taxes too much, spends too much, and reflects the wrong priorities.  

In the letter to the Senate Majority Leader, the following measures were highlighted as key budget priorities that should be rejected in the Governor’s Executive Budget:

● Reject the additional $2.4 billion in funding Governor Hochul has proposed for migrants — $4.3 billion over 2 years;

● Withhold resources and funding to schools who do not protect Jewish students and/or support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. We must work to provide safe learning environments on college campuses in an effort to combat antisemitism;

● Reject the Governor’s plan to alter the School Aid formula to eliminate the “save harmless” clause for Foundation Aid – a  misguided change that would result in direct funding cuts for 337 largely rural and suburban school districts across the state;

● Reject the Governor’s budget language allowing five more prisons to be closed. Additional prison closures would undermine public health and safety, destabilize local economies, and lead to more dangerous work conditions for New York’s courageous Correction Officers.

● Reject the inadequate and inequitable funding levels the Governor has proposed for New York’s critical transportation infrastructure. We must ensure funding parity between Upstate and Downstate infrastructure funding by putting NYSDOT and MTA capital programs on an equal footing, and by supporting investment in local roads and bridges through increased Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) base aid.  

In addition, there is a list of proposals that should be added in the Senate’s One-House Budget, as well as the final Enacted Budget for FY2025.