The 2014-2015 State Budget address delivered today by Governor Cuomo puts New York State in a great position to build upon the work we have done in recent years to control spending, cut taxes and invest in initiatives that create new jobs and revitalize our economy.
Working together, we have put a stop to the decades of late and unbalanced budgets by passing three consecutive early budgets. I am hopeful that this year we can continue that trend.
It was two years ago when Senate Republicans led the fight to pass a property tax cap that helped to rein in burdensome property taxes and reduced middle-class tax rates to their lowest levels in 60 years. This year, I’m eager to provide continued tax relief to hardworking New Yorkers by making the property tax cap and middle-class tax cuts permanent.
In addition, it’s also key that we work to continue to cut red tape and foster an environment that enables businesses to expand and create jobs. In order to do so, we should work to eliminate corporate taxes for manufacturers and do away with the onerous energy tax surcharge to promote business growth.
We must also work to continue to make investments in our schools that enable our students to succeed. Last year, New York State increased its commitment to public education with the largest school aid package in four years, which included funding weighted to rural and Upstate schools. In the days to come, I will be taking a hard look at education funding in the Governor’s proposal and continue to work to make sure our rural schools receive the assistance they need.
To date, I have heard from hundreds individuals who are concerned about Common Core and I was pleased to hear Governor Cuomo recognize that it’s time to take action on the implementation of this new curriculum. I’m hopeful that the panel of education experts and legislative leaders proposed by the Governor to discuss issues surrounding the Common Core will help to address the concerns of parents and educators.
In the weeks to come, I look forward to reviewing the details of the Governor’s spending plan and also hearing from the constituents I represent as they weigh in on the proposal. As we begin the budget process, I am hopeful that once again this year, we can pass a fiscally responsible, on time State Budget that builds upon the work we have done to not only make our state more fiscally sound also to make investments that better serve the residents of the state of New York.