Sen. Krueger issued the following statement Thursday evening, shortly after 8pm:
I just received a 'draft' one-house budget resolution around 5:30 pm. There are no budget bills spelling out details, and there are no actual total amounts for new spending, additions, or subtractions.
It adds Mixed Martial Arts -- how much new revenue?
It cuts sales taxes for private aircraft -- how much lost revenue?
It "simplifies" the personal income tax system -- how? Do your taxes go up or down?
It promises an enormous amount of money for UPK for five years through a "dedicated reserve fund." But where is the funding source?
It does away with the property tax circuit breaker proposals, which are quite popular and actually would work to lower property taxes for those who need it most.
It 'modifies' a slew of line items with no explanation of how, or how much -- including campaign finance reform, which has been reduced down to one more or less meaningless sentence.
It turns LaGuardia and Kennedy Airports into video lottery terminal casinos. Did anyone ask the people of New York City their opinion? I thought the state just made a deal for four casinos upstate only.
It would defund the state's health exchange. Really? Here in New York State of all places, our supposedly bipartisan and pragmatic Senate majority coalition is going to play the "kill Obamacare" game?
At best, this is a shopping list with no budgetary legitimacy. More realistically, it is a classic Albany scam designed to make everyone think they should be happy, without answering any of the important questions, like "How will we pay for this?"
I have been in Albany since 2002. I've learned a lot. One of the for-sure, no-question-about-it things I've learned is that when something this complex yet detail-free comes out this late in the day, and you are told it will come to the floor for a vote late in the night when the public and press are asleep, you know you are being fed something really fake or something filled with poison pills. Since this is a one-house gimmick, you can safely assume it is both. My vote will be no and I will be debating this resolution, no matter how late into the night the coalition decides they need to wait to avoid press scrutiny of this non-budget.
I hope when the final budget comes before us, the people of New York and all of their legislators will have appropriate time for deliberation, so we can all know the impacts of what is being voted upon.