(Albany, NY) – “$100 million in new money for New York City subways while we see no new money for roads and bridges across the state, that basically summarizes the theme of this year’s budget,” said State Senator Chris Jacobs.
In the first year of complete domination of Albany by Downstate elected officials, Senator Chris Jacobs lamented the break from the traditional balance in the distribution of resources to both Upstate and Downstate. “This year it was very clear who was in charge, New York City,” said Jacobs.
Jacobs said that downstate focus was clearly felt in diversion of education funding to New York City at the expense of smaller school districts, new unfunded mandates on local governments in the form of early voting requirements, dramatic criminal justices mandates, and shifting of state responsibilities onto county governments.
Jacobs also expressed serious reservations about the changes in the budget to the criminal justice agenda relating to bail and release of witness identification. “The budget is not the right place to push major statewide policy changes and this criminal justice agenda was the most glaring example I’ve seen,” said Jacobs. He highlighted the statement the Albany County DA, President of the District Attorneys’ Association of New York about this legislation in the budget.
“ While most New Yorkers were sleeping and enjoying the weekend, a handful of lawmakers with limited knowledge of the criminal justice system, behind closed doors , came to an agreement that will place unnecessary burdens on the workings of the criminal justice system and actually slow down the wheels of justice.” (Albany County DA, David Soares)
Jacobs said he believes these criminal justice changes will make law abiding New Yorker’s “less safe.”
“This budget has over $1 billion dollars in new taxes and fees. New York City gets most of this new money and we get a whole slew of new taxes, new unfunded mandates and poorly thought through laws to live under,” said Jacobs.
“The final insult during this awful budget was a resolution put before us in the middle of the night to give Governor Cuomo a pay raise,” said Jacobs. Although Jacobs voted against the Governor’s raise, it passed the legislature. Now Cuomo will soon be the highest paid Governor in the nation.