Statement from Senator Joseph A. Griffo Regarding Governor's Proposed Budget

Joseph A. Griffo

January 21, 2014

Governor Cuomo has proposed a budget that controls state spending, cuts taxes and encourages private sector business growth, especially upstate. These have been my priorities during my tenure, so I’m pleased the governor has started us off on the right path.

Now the hard work begins.

During the next two months, we’ll examine all aspects of the governor’s proposal with a focus on the impact to people in Central and Northern New York.  We’ll also continue to advocate for our federal leaders to release $10 billion in realized Medicaid savings which is the lynchpin to a successful budget.

We’ve made great strides during the last three years, turning a $10 billion deficit into a projected surplus, which now allows us to provide meaningful relief to some of the most taxed people in the country.

To keep our economy going, we have to expand on the governor’s proposals in three ways.

We need to create a permanent state spending cap, so that the state continues to live within its means and to provide certainty to property owners and businesses.

We need to lower the cost of doing business by eliminating regulations that don’t make sense. My Senate colleagues recently identified 2,200 rules that hinder private sector job growth. We need to eliminate many of these and pass my bill to have this type of review take place at least once a decade.

We need to invest in education beyond what the governor proposed, and do so in a way that treats districts fair and equitably.

Beyond funding, many of you spoke to me about your concerns about Common Core. I heard you and brought your message to Albany. And now the governor has heard you. I welcome his proposal to review the significant flaws in the implementation of this program.

I also applaud his decision to provide $180 million for nanotechnology equipment in the Mohawk Valley and $10 million to support a partnership between Clarkson University and the Trudeau Institute to turn the north country into a biotechnology hub.

I am pleased the governor has set aside $15 million to create a emergency preparedness, homeland security and cybersecurity college. The state has already made a significant investment in these disciplines in our area, and I’ll be advocating for the new college to be located in the Mohawk Valley.

I remain focused on job creation, tax relief and education initiatives, which is why I don’t support the governor’s call for public financing of campaigns. People want their taxes to go to meaningful programs, not to candidates who they may philosophically disagree with.

I look forward to hearing from my constituents about the governor’s proposals and how it affects their ability to live and work in upstate New York. I will work with my colleagues to pass a budget that is both responsible and on time.