Statement from Senator George Borrello on the Senate Majority’s One House Budget

Senator Borrello in the Senate Chamber

“There is no clearer way for citizens to communicate their unhappiness with the governance of their state than by packing up their households and moving out. Here in New York, our residents are virtually shouting that message as they are leaving in such numbers that our state has topped the nation in outmigration for several years running. 

Regrettably, rather than use that valuable information to cut taxes and lower the cost of living - the chief factors driving the exodus - my colleagues continue to steadfastly ignore this reality. Their head-in-the-sand approach is evident in the majority’s One House Budget which actually doubles down on the tax-and-spend and politically-driven policies that have brought us to this point. They’ve taken an already bloated $233 billion Executive Budget and inflated it to a staggering $246.2 billion, which represents a 44 PERCENT increase since 2019. 

Not surprisingly, spending isn’t the only thing going up in this budget. The majority’s plan raises more than $14 BILLION in taxes over the next two years through increases in the income tax, on businesses and on health insurance. These tax increases will only accelerate the stampede out of New York, taking much-needed jobs, revenue, economic activity and people with them. 

It doesn’t have to be this way. Our Republican Conference has proposed a package of targeted and much-needed income, property and small business tax cuts in our 2024 agenda which would be a crucial step forward toward changing the reality and perception of New York as an unaffordable, high tax state. 

I acknowledge there are worthy restorations in this plan that I advocated for, including a reversal of the Executive Budget’s inequitable school aid cuts and increased aid for upstate transportation. I am glad that our voices were heard on these issues as well as on the need to stabilize our financially ailing hospitals and nursing homes with additional funding and reimbursement rate increases. As one who has been advocating for relief to our cannabis farmers who were hurt by the state’s botched rollout of its legal market, I am glad to see funding and grant programs for them included among other important aid increases to agriculture programs, including Nourish NY. 

Ultimately, however, this One House Budget takes us further away from the priorities we should be moving towards. The crushing
$2.4 billion in no-strings-attached spending on Democrats’ self-created migrant crisis is an unending drain on taxpayer funds that is unsustainable and irresponsible. 

There are tens of millions of dollars spent on ‘bandaids’ like retail store security tax credits and retail theft task forces which have only become necessary because of the Democrats’ disastrous bail changes. While I am opposed to the concept of including policy in the budget, the fact that the majority removed the governor’s proposals to increase penalties for thieves who assault retail workers and for hate crimes is representative of Democrats’ dangerous and incomprehensible protection of violent criminals. They’ve also reduced funding for the state police and included a bill that would make it easier for convicted criminals to overturn their sentences, a bill Governor Hochul rightfully vetoed last year. 

It is discouraging that my Democratic colleagues can’t see or refuse to see the toll their policies are taking on everyday New Yorkers, on our economy and on the quality of life in our beloved state. The funding and policies in this plan would only worsen the problems New Yorkers are most concerned about, which is why I voted against it.”