For Immediate Release: March 31, 2014
Media Contact: Jonathan Heppner | 845.463.0840 | email@example.com
SENATOR GIPSON’S STATEMENT ON 2014-15 NEW YORK STATE BUDGET
ALBANY, NY -- New York State Senator Terry Gipson (D-Dutchess, Putnam) issued the following statement on the passage of the 2014/2015 New York State Budget in the State Senate:
“While no budget is perfect, I am proud to have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to produce a fiscal plan that will make the Hudson Valley a more affordable place to live and do business in for our hardworking residents.
“I supported this budget in large part because it provides additional funding for Dutchess County which will help the county government repeal its regressive energy tax. We were also able to further accelerate the phase-out of the unfair 18-a utility tax – saving families and small businesses $600 million over the next three years on their energy bills – and successfully fought to have Dutchess and Putnam Counties included in the state’s 0% manufacturing tax program.
“I am pleased that we placed a moratorium on many of the worst parts of the Common Core curriculum, and that many of our local school districts received additional funding from the original budget proposals. However, we must take further action as a state to ensure every school district, especially those upstate, receives equitable funding without punishing property owners. The budget does include a $1.5 billion commitment to property tax, but more must be done to cut unfunded mandates and fund our public schools more equitably.
“Another boost for our local economy was the restoration of $92.5 million for State Parks. Both Dutchess and Putnam Counties are home to several state parks that are important parts of our local tourism industry, which is an economic driver in the Hudson Valley. The final budget also included $500,000 in Lyme and Tick-Borne Illness funding which I have been advocating for over the past year to address this serious health issue in New York State.
“There is much here that is important to our community. I look forward to working with my colleagues to take further steps towards equitable school aid, real property tax relief and mandate relief to continue to make the Hudson Valley a more affordable place to live and do business."