“After the lengthy, self-aggrandizing budget proposals of recent memory, Governor Hochul’s budget presentation was to-the-point.
“At first glance, there’s several items in her proposal that would benefit North Country families and businesses. For years, I’ve advocated for tax relief for homeowners, middle-class families and small businesses, and I’m pleased to see the governor include those items. In addition to increased school aid, support for our veterans and investments in infrastructure, I’m optimistic that we can take steps this year to greatly enhance our quality of life.
“I am deeply concerned, however, with the amount of spending and just how we’ll pay for it. Last year’s state budget was more than twice that of Florida, a state with two million more residents than New York State. Even with the disclosure that some of the spending in this year’s budget is short-term, the governor’s proposal is a costly $216 billion, an increase from last year’s enacted budget.
“A few weeks ago, Governor Hochul correctly acknowledged that 300,000 people left New York. A large part of that exodus is the tax-and-spend culture and increased cost of living in this state. If we can’t rein in our state’s spending and make it more manageable long-term, it will be a challenge to bring those people back or keep others from leaving.
“In the days to come, I’ll be looking into the specifics of her budget proposal and its direct impact on our communities. My main goal during this entire process will be to ensure this year’s budget is fiscally responsible, increases our quality of life and makes our communities safer and more affordable.”