“New York State has greeted 2020 as a far different place than it was just one year ago. With Democrats assuming full control of state government in 2019 and forcing a far-left, New York City agenda on the entire state, we have welcomed the New Year with a ballooning $6 billion plus deficit, alarming bail changes that are turning dangerous defendants out into the streets on a daily basis, more taxes and a continuing exodus of state residents, at the highest rate in the nation.
“Disappointingly, the Governor ignored the ‘elephant in the room’ by failing to discuss the disastrous bail reform law and how he plans to address the $6.1 billion dollar budget deficit.
“I was hoping to hear him call for more spending restraint across the board, particularly with regard to the state’s unsustainably expensive Medicaid program which needs to be reformed to bring its costs and benefits more in line with other states and reduce fraud and abuse. I had also hoped to hear a plan for repealing or amending the harmful bail and criminal justice changes which – overnight - have made our communities more dangerous and threaten decades of progress in reducing crime rates. In my view, we cannot move forward with any new agenda until these glaring problems are addressed.
“There were some proposals that stood out as positives. It was encouraging to hear support for a plan to expand the state’s $175 million Workforce Development Initiative, which is crucial to creating opportunities for our young people and building the jobs pipeline that our employers desperately need. In my discussions with businesses around the district, they repeatedly cite a lack of skilled workers as one of the top obstacles to their growth.
“I was also glad to hear about the proposed cut in the corporate tax rate for small businesses, from 6.5 percent to four percent. New York’s small and independent businesses employ half of our state’s workforce and fuel much of the technological innovation occurring in New York. Cutting their tax rates will allow them to invest in their growth, which will pay dividends for our communities and our state down the road.
“When the Executive Budget is released shortly, I look forward to learning more details about all the proposals the Governor outlined during his address and, most importantly, how he proposes to pay for them. Yet, the one thing I know is this: if we aren’t safe in our homes at night, then nothing else truly matters. Reversing the criminal justice crisis that New York now finds itself in is the most urgent priority for me and the members of my Conference.”