Senator Rob Rolison Statement on One-House Budget Resolution

Rob Rolison

March 16, 2023

Rolison votes no, citing many shortcomings, price tag of Senate Majority counter-proposal to governor's budget bill

"The Senate's one-house budget proposal calls on the governor to take action in several worthy areas. However, the proposal fails to satisfy key concerns for residents of the Hudson Valley. Moreover, a lack of collaboration and trust between the executive and legislative branches during the budget process ensures an uneven outcome that lacks transparency and accountability to the taxpayer. The Senate's one-house budget proposal fails to satisfactorily address the following:

Public safety is once again largely ignored in this resolution. As a former police officer, I understand what it will take to keep New Yorkers safe. Our criminal justice system is broken and in need of reform. People simply do not feel safe in their communities. Rather than take seriously the legitimate concerns of our state, Albany instead focuses on piecemeal 'solutions' which provide political cover and little else. Simply put, we need discovery reform, judicial discretion for bail, juvenile-justice safeguards, and district attorneys willing to enforce the law. Anything less is an abdication of our role as legislators.

The Senate Majority similarly takes an already bad energy idea and makes it worse. By fast-tracking the timeline for a mandated phasing out of fossil fuels in new construction, Albany would deepen the existing housing crisis in the Hudson Valley and drive more families and businesses out of our state. We all want a cleaner, healthier environment for our children. Unfortunately, the governor’s, and now Senate Majority’s, climate proposals would only serve to punish hardworking middle-class New Yorkers without making energy supply in the Hudson Valley more reliable and affordable.

Lastly, adding $9 billion in additional funds to what is already expected to be the largest state budget in New York’s history will invariably result in higher taxes and fees to pay for it. In the face of a looming economic downturn, it is not fair to force New Yorkers to pay more without providing equivalent value in services. During my service as mayor of Poughkeepsie we were successful in paying down the city’s debts while continuing to deliver the critical services people need. Albany’s political class could learn a lot from the bipartisan, commonsense approach of local government instead of doubling down on its business-as-usual spending habit."