Griffo statement on state budget

"Opinion polls and surveys show that New Yorkers think the state is headed in the wrong direction. This budget will not change their mind.

Passed almost three weeks late and with no real opportunity to examine and review what was proposed, the budget is out of touch with the needs of hardworking, law-abiding and overburdened New Yorkers. It will make it even more expensive to live, work and raise a family in New York, includes energy policies that will eliminate local control in siting large scale energy projects in communities and will be disadvantageous to many school districts across the state.

There were no meaningful changes to address flawed policies such as so-called 'bail reform' and other modifications made to the state's criminal justice system and not enough was done to crack down on the sale of illicit marijuana and retail theft at a time when items at stores and pharmacies are locked up but those who steal them are not.

Upstate communities could be impacted by problematic housing policies centered around New York City. While some funding for schools has been restored, districts will still face financial disadvantages by the method and manner in which aid is distributed to them.

Additionally, this budget authorizes the closure of up to five prisons and includes complicated and contentious policy items that should be debated outside of the budget in an open and transparent manner during the legislative session.

I continue to be concerned with the level of unsustainable spending that we have seen in New York over the last several years as a result of one-party control of state government.

Budgets are about establishing a fiscal blueprint and priorities. Totaling approximately $237 billion, this year’s budget is $8 billion more than what was spent last year. Instead of addressing economic opportunity, affordability, public safety and other major concerns affecting our state, the legislative majorities and the governor chose to continue their path of excessive spending to pay for several of their misguided priorities.

Perhaps the most alarming is the fact that this budget provides $2.4 billion to address New York City’s self-created illegal migrant crisis. This is funding that could have gone to fund schools, fix roads and bridges and support veterans, seniors, families, taxpayers and critical programs across the state that are facing serious funding challenges.

This budget is yet another example of the perils of one-party control and a lack of checks and balances in state government. Over the last several years, we have seen policy after policy that favor squatters over property owners, criminals over victims and illegal migrants over law-abiding citizens. As a result, the mass exodus of residents and businesses from the state continues.

I have continued to introduce, support and advocate for policies, legislation and proposals that will reverse this troubling population loss. We need to lessen the tax burden on taxpayers, cut crippling energy costs, reduce onerous regulations on businesses, enhance public safety and make sure that schools, families and communities have the resources they need to grow and thrive. This continues to be my priority in Albany.”