New York State government has completed the process of enacting the 2021-2022 state budget and, sadly, it follows a similar pattern of overspending and overtaxing. At $212 billion, the spending plan contains too much wasteful spending and too little for our taxpayers and our businesses.
One of the major issues I have with this spending plan is that it includes over $2.1 billion in funding for illegal immigrant unemployment checks. These checks, which be up to $15,600, will reward those who are in the country illegally and it is unfair to use taxpayer money to fund this program.
At the same time, even with over $12.6 billion in federal money flowing to our state, the Senate and Assembly Democrats raised taxes on New Yorkers by over $2.6B. That means they are raising taxes at a time when new taxes are unneeded and harmful and then taking that money and handing it out to those who ignore our nation’s laws.
This nonsensical approach will harm our state’s recovery from the ongoing crisis. We should use whatever money we have to invest in our infrastructure and create jobs. Instead, we are raising taxes - which will drive more of our residents out of the state - simply to give it away.
While there were parts that are worthwhile - including helpful increases in school aid, enhancements for our state’s workforce and the continued operation of the Brentwood Residential Center - there are many components of the budget containing serious issues that forced me to vote no.
This is the time when we need to take steps to protect our residents and raising taxes to overspend is simply not the way to help our families recover from the ongoing crisis.