Senate Seeks $5 Million to ‘Save’ Drum

Budget Funding Would Be Used to Protect Post from BRAC Cuts

State Senator Patty Ritchie today announced that she’s working to include $5 million in the new state budget to defend Fort Drum in the face of a new round of base-closing cuts. The money was included in the Senate’s list of budget priorities adopted earlier this week.

“Fort Drum plays a major role in our region’s economy, providing thousands of jobs for area civilians, and pumping billions of dollars into the economy of Northern New York,” Senator Ritchie said. “This funding would be available in the event another round of base-closing cuts could target the post to help make the case why New York and the nation needs Fort Drum.”

On Tuesday, Senator Ritchie was named to a bipartisan budget subcommittee on economic development, which will review the Senate’s request, and attempt to reach a compromise with the Assembly’s budget priorities.

“I’ve made it a priority to fight for small business by cutting taxes and red tape, because small businesses are creating the jobs we need to get our economy moving again,” Senator Ritchie said. “But we cannot ignore our major employers, like Upstate manufacturers and Fort Drum, because the potential impact of job losses at large businesses and military installations could be devastating to regional economies.”

Other states have already announced plans to include funding in their budgets to defend military bases that could be on the chopping block.

In addition to defending Fort Drum and other military installations across the state, Senator Ritchie’s economic development priorities include enacting an ambitious jobs plan that includes a 20 percent tax cut for small businesses, and tax credits tried directly to the number of new jobs that a business creates.

The bipartisan budget subcommittees started work Tuesday night reconciling plans proposed by the Senate and Assembly, with a goal of enacting the state’s second on-time budget in a row by the April 1 deadline.