State Budget Addresses NY’s Top Priority
Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R-C-IP, Rome) said the budget compromise unveiled in Albany fulfils a promise made to the people of the 47th District and all of New York to make fiscal responsibility the top issue in Albany.
“No one enjoys passing a budget that makes painful cuts, but this was a hard dose of fiscal reality that was necessary,” Griffo said. “For agencies looking for money, this will not be a good budget. For taxpayers wondering if the state has heard their voices, it’s an encouraging sign.”
“Time after time after time last fall, the people of my district wanted the state to adopt a budget that restrained spending and they wanted the budget adopted on time. The budget compromise reduces spending, which makes this a history-making event in recent state finances. Further, the fact that we have been willing to compromise, and the other parties have shown willingness to bend, allowed us to add in some school aid that is sorely needed in our Upstate districts and fine tune the Governor’s proposal to reflect the needs of the whole state. I am glad that unlike the past two years, when decisions were made behind closed doors, this process made use of conference committees and open dialogue. For the past two years I have called for budgets that embodied fiscal restraint. The fact that those calls went unheeded meant that this year’s effort was harder than it had to be.”
Griffo said the budget is not a final solution to New York’s fiscal problems. “We still need to adopt mandate relief and a property tax cap so that there can be a true relief for all taxpayers at all levels,” Griffo said. “Although these critical items are not in the budget, they are vital and I will be looking for get these enacted into law in the coming months.
Griffo said that he has worked to modify the Governor’s initial school aid cuts and prison closure process. “ It’s a good sign that we were able to restore some funding to our Upstate schools, and I am relieved that the initial plan to close prisons without legislative input has been modified,” Griffo said. “As the school budget process moves forward in communities and the state studies the prison structure, I will continue to fight for fairness to our local communities.”
Griffo said reaching a tentative agreement at this time is a major step forward for New York’s future. “A budget that cuts spending was a necessity. We have all collectively worked to make some hard decisions, and if we can continue to have a process that focuses on the important goals of New Yorkers, we can build upon this budget to help New York State build a stronger tomorrow.”