Senator Funke on the Executive Budget

Rich Funke

January 15, 2019

“While I am still reviewing the specifics of the Governor’s budget proposal, one thing seems clear- This budget ignores the needs of upstate New York. Budgets are about addressing problems and setting priorities. Upstate New York’s economy is ailing. The causes of that illness are clear. Our state taxes too much, spends too much and believes that small businesses are a piggy bank rather than an economic engine. This budget simply provides more of the same. The budget also includes various policy proposals-some of which I support-like the Child Victims Act and raising the age to buy tobacco to 21, and some of which I oppose such as the legalization of marijuana and banning plastic bags. Regardless of my position on any individual issue, I am forced to ask once again this year why these proposals are in the budget in the first place. In the past, the Governor has blamed the Republican Senate for this, claiming he had to put progressive policies in the budget in order to make us consider them. With Democrats in control of every level of state government what is his excuse now? The answer is clear. The policy is in the budget because this Governor cares more about exerting control then he does about the separation of powers inherent in our system.  I promised my constituents when I ran for re-election that when I agreed with the Democrats I would say so and when I did not I would respectfully and thoughtfully raise my objections. That is exactly what I will do in this budget process.”