Statements In Support Of The Senate Majority Budget Proposal

Kathryn Wylde, Partnership for New York City, said, “The new State Senate majority has issued a fiscally responsible set of budget recommendations that conform to the Governor’s 2 percent cap on growth in state spending. They have also endorsed congestion pricing, rather than imposing another personal income tax on high earners, as the preferred source of new revenues for mass transit. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and her members are to be congratulated for their thoughtful approach to the challenging issues the state faces this year.”

Mario Cilento, New York State AFL-CIO, said, “On behalf of the NYS AFL-CIO, I want to applaud the Senate Democratic Conference for prioritizing many important labor issues. Knowing there is still much work to be done, I thank Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, bill sponsor Senator Ramos and the entire Senate Majority for including public works in the Senate one-house budget. This long overdue reform will help create the middle-class jobs that are needed to replenish the taxpayer dollars used to fund private sector development.”

James Cahill, NYS Building & Construction Trades Council, said, “The 220,000 working men and women across New York State are pleased that the Senate’s budget proposal includes legislation that will clearly define public work to ensure that all workers on publicly subsidized construction projects will receive middle class wages. Closing this loophole will maximize New York’s economic development dollars, strengthen local economies, and bolster apprenticeship programs,” said James Cahill, President of the NYS Building & Construction Trades Council. “I want to thank Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins for her leadership on this critically important issue. We look forward to working with her and the entire Senate to have this matter finalized in this year’s budget.”

Stephen J. Acquario, New York State Association of Counties, said, “We commend the Senate Majority for responding to county concerns in their one-house budget priorities. The restoration of $60 million in Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) with state funding protects the integrity of this State program, without diverting local taxpayer dollars. Furthermore, the addition of $150 million to the base CHIPS funding and $65 million for Extreme Winter Recovery will help us maintain and improve our local infrastructure. We urge Senators to preserve these restorations and fight for other local concerns as they negotiate the final 2019-20 State Budget.”

Peter A. Baynes, New York State Conference of Mayors (NYCOM), said, “NYCOM thanks the Senate Majority for listening to the needs and concerns of cities and villages throughout New York. Restoration of $60 million in Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) funding will help local governments avoid cuts to essential services, and a new fund to ensure municipal fiscal stability will strengthen local communities. An additional $150 million to the base CHIPS funding -- the first increase in six years -- and $65 million for Extreme Winter Recovery will greatly improve our local roads that serve as the backbone of New York's transportation infrastructure system. These proposals and others in the Senate Majority one-house budget will help our municipalities across the state while reducing burdens on local taxpayers.”

Andy Pallotta, NYSUT, said “We applaud the Senate Majority for placing a significant emphasis on addressing the needs of our students in school districts statewide. By making a major increase in education funding in this year’s budget, the state will be making an important investment in our future.”

Hector Figueroa, 32BJ SEIU, said, “As a union that represents 85,000 working people in New York, we are very encouraged by the one-house budgets that the New York Senate and Assembly released today. While there is still work to be done, these ambitious budget proposals continue the progress that working New Yorkers voted for in the November elections. We particularly want to thank both houses for including an expansion of prevailing wage standards for permanent building service workers at all state supported economic development projects. This expansion will ensure that thousands of working New Yorkers will be guaranteed the wages and benefits they deserve. This is one of many aspects of the two one-house budgets that will strengthen workers’ rights and democracy in New York State. We look forward to working with Governor Cuomo, Speaker Heastie and Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins as the budget process continues.”

Patrick Purcell, NYS & Greater New York Laborers-Employers Cooperation & Education Trust, said, “New York's construction workers have waited years for wage justice. The inclusion of a comprehensive definition of public works in the Senate's one-house budget demonstrates not only the Chamber's dedication to ensuring public subsidies come with public responsibility, but more importantly their profound commitment to the men and women who literally build our state. Thank you, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins for making public works a priority and ensuring New York subsidizes responsible development that prioritizes middle class jobs with strong wages.”

John Hutchings, New York State Laborers, said, “New York’s construction workers have long been overlooked. Tasked with building the infrastructure, housing and businesses we all enjoy but with little in return for their back breaking work. We commend and thank the Senate and Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins for recognizing the need for dignity in our work and including public work with its strong prevailing wage requirements in the one house budget bill.”

Michael Prohaska, Laborers Local 79, Mason Tenders District Council labor-management fund, said, “Public works is a common sense policy that will level the playing field for in-state contractors, promote middle class career opportunities in construction and ensure public subsidies incentivize responsible development. Thank you, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and the New York State Senate, for including statewide public works legislation in your budget priorities and understanding the importance of helping both contractors and workers in our state.”

Bob Master, CWA District 1, said, “While there is much work to do, we applaud the New York Senate for their work on a budget that is fair for working New Yorkers, including public financing of elections. It’s a new day in Albany. We are proud of our continued collaboration fighting for working people in New York State.”

Dutchess County Comptroller Robin Lois said, “Ensuring that our local governments receive support from the State is critical to implementing voting reform measures passed earlier this year. The proposals in this budget resolution exemplify just that, while providing much needed assistance to local municipalities which would otherwise be left to bear the financial burden. These measures promise to improve our electoral system and make voting as accessible as possible for all New Yorkers. The Senate Majority have voiced a realistic, fair, and grounded foundation in their proposals, while providing the tools needed to ensure that more New Yorkers exercise their constitutional right to vote without financially burdening local municipalities.”

Jess Wisneski, Citizen Action of New York, said, “It's about time we had a Senate Majority with the boldness to push for a progressive vision for New York, one that puts people at the center of politics and ensures our students have the resources they need to thrive. We applaud Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and the Senate Democrats for prioritizing small donor campaign finance reform and fair and equitable funding for our public schools in their budget proposal.”

Jasmin Gripper, Alliance for Quality Education, said, “Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and the Senate Democrats have proposed a budget that proves that investing in the education of our children is a top priority. The Senate budget plan would put us on a path to reducing class sizes, having high quality curriculum and up to date learning material, and ensuring students receive the social, emotional and health supports they need to thrive. We look forward to working with the Senate as they push for an enacted budget that fulfills these commitments.”

To review the Senate Majority press release, please visit: https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/advancing-new-york-values-protecting-taxpayers

To review the full Senate Majority one-house State Budget proposal, please visit: https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/resolutions/2019/r672

###