Budget to Contain $5 Million to Protect Fort Drum

State Senator Patty Ritchie today announced that the new state budget that’s due to be enacted next week will include $5 million to help protect Fort Drum in a new round of military base closings.

The agreement to include the funding was announced at today’s meeting of a joint Senate-Assembly budget subcommittee on economic development. Senator Ritchie served on that panel as an alternate.

“Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division have repeatedly  demonstrated their value to America’s defense, but with Washington looking at future defense cutbacks and some suggesting that Congress eye base closings, I’ve been working with Governor Cuomo, Lt. Governor Duffy and members of the Legislature from both parties to make sure New York’s military installations are not unfairly targeted,” Senator Ritchie said.

“Fort Drum, the home of our nation’s most deployed military force, is the North Country’s biggest economic engine, as vital to our region’s future as it is to the defense of our nation. That’s why I requested this funding in the first place, and am pleased that it will be included in the final budget.”

Congress is looking at $350 billion in defense cuts over the next decade.

Adoption of the new state budget by the April 1 due date will mark only the fourth on-time budget in almost 30 years, and the second time that the Legislature has enacted back-to-back on-time budgets.