New York State Senate Deputy Minority Leader Joseph Griffo, R-I-C-Rome, released the following statement today regarding the Governor’s 20-21 State Budget proposal:
“Now that the Governor has presented his proposed budget, we will hold hearings and closely examine and discuss all that was contained within the spending plan. During this process, it is important that we remain cognizant and focused on addressing the state’s economic and fiscal challenges and stopping the exodus of individuals, families and business.
I remain frustrated that major policy initiatives continue to be included in the budget. As I have continuously stressed, these are issues that should be vetted independently and transparently. The flawed bail reform is the latest example of policy being jammed through in the budget, which does not allow the opportunity to solicit input from all involved stakeholders.
I am appreciative that the Governor recognizes local projects that deserve support, but I am concerned with how this proposed spending plan will affect a growing $6.2 billion budget deficit. Some in the Democratic majorities in the legislature have suggested raising taxes and fees to close this gap. This is not the answer and doing so will continue to make New York unaffordable for middle-class families.
Investing in infrastructure is important. Upon further review of the Governor’s proposal, it seems to lack parity between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City and upstate roads and bridges. While I understand that fixing the MTA and New York City’s transportation issues are important, I will continue to advocate for parity in the investments between upstate and downstate for transportation as well as underground infrastructure. While it also is important to address health issues affecting our state, it was disconcerting that the Governor chose to emphasize a public health priority related to vaping and didn’t spend much time addressing the public safety issue caused by bail-related changes.
We now will look for more specific details regarding what has been proposed and will engage with and hear from involved individuals in an effort to gather their input on each proposal. It is important that people involved in all subject areas and state policy and operations have the opportunity to let their voices be heard because this is how we can take action to address the issues affecting the state.
While I am pleased that the Governor has proposed lowering taxes on small businesses, we must continue to seek out ways to make our state more affordable, including lowering taxes, reducing burdensome regulations and mandates, cutting energy costs and creating new economic opportunities. These items no cost attached to them and can help to build a better and brighter future for all New Yorkers.”