Budget Blueprint for a Better New York Offered by Assembly GOP

The NYS CAPITOL BUILDING, ALBANY,

Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) and members of the Assembly Minority Conference hosted a press conference today calling on Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders to include critical measures to reduce costs, boost economic growth and improve New Yorkers’ quality-of-life during the crafting of the final 2019-2020 New York State Budget.

“The first rule of creating a budget should be ‘do no harm;’ however, recent history has shown lawmakers are too willing to disregard basic, sound accounting in order to advance their political agendas. New York has a serious problem wasting money. Taxpayer bank accounts are not a bottomless piggy bank, and for too long they have been treated as such,” Leader Kolb said. “Our budget priorities reflect the reality that New Yorkers are leaving in droves because they simply cannot afford to live here. If you’re not thriving, you’re dying; and New York definitely isn’t thriving.”

Some of the proposals championed by the Assembly Minority are:

  • Make the 2 Percent Property Tax Cap Permanent
  • Provide a Living Wage for Direct-Care Workers – Provide the funding that was promised to ensure direct-care workers, who provide vital care for those who cannot take care of themselves, receive a living wage.
  • Keep the Middle-Class Tax Cut on Track
  • Increase CHIPS Commitment – Increase Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program funding by $100 million per year over the next five years. The state has one of the oldest infrastructures in the nation, with some systems more than 100 years old.
  • Fund Libraries: Increase funding for libraries by $5 million.
  • Unfunded Mandate Relief – Require the state to pay the cost of any mandate—states too often force expensive requirements on localities with no way to pay for them—it hands down to local governments.
  • Provide Help to Small Businesses
  • Increase TAP, Student Loan Relief – Enact our “Affordable College for All Initiative” to help alleviate student debt, increase the Tuition Assistance Program and mitigate soaring college costs.
  • Address Proposed Prison Closures
  • Keep AIM Funding Intact – Maintain the funding levels and processes by which Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) dollars are provided to localities.

Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I,Ref-Pulaski), the ranking member on the Assembly Ways & Means Committee, said there must be a greater emphasis on relieving the economic pressure on New York residents.

“Our Conference is committed to protecting small businesses, middle-class taxpayers and homeowners. Local governments are being crushed by mandates, taxes are through the roof and Gov. Cuomo is brazenly proposing to cut critical funding to municipalities already under severe stress,” said Barclay. “There is something very wrong with this picture. New Yorkers can only take so much more abuse at the hands of spend-happy lawmakers.”

“We appreciate Leader Kolb’s focus on pro-growth legislation. The Business Council remains hopeful that leadership in both houses, and the governor, will take the next few weeks to focus on legislation that will promote private-sector investment and job growth across New York state, and re-think any bill that puts additional expensive mandates on state businesses or local governments,” said Ken Pokalsky, vice president of the Business Council of New York State, Inc.

“The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) supports all efforts to increase aid for college students, particularly student aid programs that allow students to pursue their degree at the college or university, public or private, that best meets their needs,” said CICU President Mary Beth Labate.

“Minority Leader Kolb has long been a #bFair2DirectCare champion and we thank him for his continued support. It is gratifying to have broad bipartisan, bicameral support for direct-care workers and the New Yorkers with developmental disabilities they support,” said The #bFair2Direct Care Coalition. “Providing a living wage to the more than 100,000 hard-working, dedicated DSPs must be included in this year’s budget. We are hopeful that money for the next phases of that living wage funding will be included in the final state budget.”

 

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