Sen. Fred Akshar Speaks on S.8411

May 10, 2018

Here are my remarks on the Senate Floor on S.8411, which would enact a 5-year, phased-in state takeover of local costs of Medicaid.

As we enter the final months of Legislative Session in Albany, it's time for the Senate and the Assembly to put partisan politicking aside and work together to deliver tangible results for the people we work for, you, the taxpayer.

One of my signature issues since being elected is working to improve the business climate and to make New York more affordable for everyone.

New York ranks near the very bottom of list in terms of business climate and we pay by far the highest property taxes in the nation.

Despite this, struggling families and business owners have been gutting it out for years and they desperately need tax relief.

This past year I spent time meeting with local governments across my district including the New York State association of Counties to find ways to lower property taxes for New Yorkers.

The issue that continued to come up in all of those meetings was the crippling cost of Medicaid.

S.8411 eases the burden of Medicaid costs on local governments, and requires that any cost savings is passed on, dollar for dollar, directly to the taxpayers.

With the state taking over the local share of Medicaid, some might ask where that money comes from to make up the difference.

I respectfully offer that every year, the state spends over $8 billion dollars on the Governor's failed economy development strategies that only benefit a few select businesses of his choosing. Why not use that funding to benefit businesses and taxpayers across the state?

The politicians in Albany owe it to the people they serve to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars.

We as a state need to take a hard look in the mirror and decide if we're using taxdollars to address wants versus needs.

The people of New York need tax relief and I challenge my colleagues in the Assembly and the Governor to help us provide that relief this legislative session.