Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C, Elma) issued the following statement:
“At a time when New York families and small businesses are facing near record inflation and other economic uncertainties, the Legislature has adopted a $220-billion budget that provides a mix of good and bad funding initiatives and policies. While I supported parts of the budget, I rejected those areas that failed to exercise fiscal responsibility or included legislation with which I disagree.
I voted in favor of the accelerated tax cut for middle-class New Yorkers and small businesses, the enhanced tax rebate program for homeowners and the temporary suspension of the gas tax. These efforts will provide much needed relief for taxpayers across Western New York.
However, there are parts of the budget that I could not support. Instead of using the state’s record surpluses to ease the burden on hard working residents or to pay down the state’s debt, this budget includes unprecedented spending. Over the past two years, spending has increased more than 18-percent in New York, a level that is unsustainable.
The budget provides for a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills, which I generally support based on the projected return on investment and the team’s importance to the community. However, I am concerned about the state’s ownership and maintenance of the facility and New York’s long-term financial obligation.
The budget also does not adequately address serious public safety issues and the need to fix the disastrous changes made to our criminal justice policies, including bail and other so-called reforms that jeopardize the safety of law-abiding citizens. Amendments included in the final budget simply do not go far enough.
While increased funding for schools, childcare, health care and new investments in roads, bridges and infrastructure is beneficial, that portion of the budget will also create future funding challenges.
Finally, one-party rule and the lack of transparency in the overall budget process remains problematic. I will continue to fight for fiscal responsibility in state government and will continue to support programs that benefit our communities. I will also advocate for fair and equitable funding for our schools, libraries, local governments and roads. We need to do more to make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.”