Senator Zeldin's Statement on Today’s Budget Proposal

Lee M. Zeldin

January 21, 2014

State Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R,C,I- Shirley) just released the following statement following the Governor’s Budget Proposal:

 “As we start off the 2014-2015 state budget process, I am hopeful that the State Legislature and Governor will be able to reach an agreement on a 4th consecutive, on-time, balanced state budget.  New Yorkers want to see  state government working for taxpayers and the best way to accomplish that is through cutting taxes, reducing wasteful government spending and creating jobs.

I specifically want to address this evening two components of the Governor's address: Common Core and Medicaid 

I appreciate that the Executive is recognizing the need to address the issue of Common Core—an issue high on my list of priorities. While we don't see eye to eye on the best path forward, we must have an open dialogue on this important issue. The fact is that the rollout has been poor and the negative consequences to our school children are very deeply troubling. I believe that we must stop the implementation completely and thoroughly review all aspects of our public education system to ensure that our children are receiving the quality education they deserve.

With regard to Medicaid, the Health Commissioner made a point of highlighting that New York State used to have a problem with Medicaid. I absolutely understand and appreciate the intensity of his advocacy for a 10 billion dollar federal waiver, but at the same time, we must do more at the state level to reduce the cost of our Medicaid program. Governor Cuomo deserves credit for many positive reforms to our state's Medicaid spending, especially during his first year in office. Many reforms helped, but there is so much more that needs to be done, because the growing Medicaid budget in this state is staggering, inefficient and unaffordable.

As we move forward with this process, I look forward to hearing from my constituents about their needs, concerns and priorities and working with my colleagues to pass an on-time, balanced budget for the 4th consecutive year.”