ALBANY, NY—Senator Sue Serino released the following statement in response to the passage of a late state budget:
“When she took office, Governor Kathy Hochul promised a ‘new era for New York,’ yet only a few months later she called this bungled budget process ‘normal.’ While the secretive negotiations and late night voting may have felt familiar, there was nothing ‘normal’ about this budget.
For the first time in the years that I have been in office, the state faced a massive budget surplus and had the opportunity to put forward a once-in-a-generation transformative spending plan. Yet somehow, Albany’s supermajority failed to include funding to adequately address critical issues like Lyme and tick-borne diseases, access to childcare, Fair Pay for Home Care, public safety and more.
While I was proud to be able to support a bipartisan budget bill that included significant tax relief for middle class taxpayers, New York farms, small businesses, and a gas tax holiday, budgets are about priorities, and the rest of the budget bills that were advanced prove that Albany’s Supermajority has their priorities backwards. In a budget where politicians could find hundreds of millions of dollars to fund a football stadium, failing to find funds to provide adequate care and fiscal relief for seniors and other vulnerable New Yorkers defies logic.
To add insult to injury, after spending most of the budget process defending bail ‘reform,’ the Governor leaked amendments to the law only after public polling showed widespread support for change. The result? Yet another backroom negotiation process and tweaks to the law that barely scratch the surface when it comes to addressing the public safety concerns plaguing communities across the state.
While I am proud that this final budget includes a number of proposals that I fought for, including historic school aid, a statewide expansion of the Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Support Program, an elevation of the Division of Veterans’ Services that will help streamline services and increase access to resources, a repeal of the broadband fiber optic fee, increased mental health resourcesand funding for infrastructure improvements, including wastewater infrastructure, ultimately, I could not support the budget in its entirety. New Yorkers deserve better than the bungled budget they got, and we will not stop pushing to ensure their voices are heard and needs met as we move forward with the Legislative Session.”