Posted by on July 10, 2015

budget (n)- an estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time

“In a particularly literal sense, this budget has some merits. For one thing, New York State will be spending a reasonable amount of money. The governor navigated a spending accord that stays within his two percent cap. It passed in time to chart a course for a new fiscal year and again ensures that our government remains operational with no major hiccups. The train runs.

“What is difficult to understand is why the governor littered the tracks with contentious, extraneous policy issues that, in the end, he did not seem all that committed to. Seemingly emboldened by re-election, the governor outlined an ambitious agenda that included progressive policies like increasing the minimum wage, raising the age of criminal responsibility and passing the DREAM Act.

“Besides a misguided war on teachers and phony ethics reform, none of these controversial measures were even included in the final accord. Nevertheless, this unprecedented insertion of policy into the executive budget made these negotiations slower, less effective and more complicated than ever before.

“If it were not for these hang-ups, we could have focused our energies on crafting the best possible spending plan, one that created opportunities from Moravia to Manhattan. We could’ve adopted a budget that helped middle-class families breathe by providing them with meaningful tax relief. We could’ve revitalized our upstate economy by enacting the sort of regulatory reform that encourages visionary entrepreneurs to invest in our communities with confidence. We could have provided municipalities teetering on the edge of financial crisis with real mandate relief.

“Many measures that will be championed by the governor as historic are marred by harmful provisions. The ethics reform is phony and falls well short of the much higher standard honest, hardworking New Yorkers deserve. Though I was able to help negotiate $1.3 billion in new school aid, the governor’s education reforms have created a disaster. For reasons we cannot understand, he has victimized teachers by continuing to manipulate them with a faulty evaluation process that is negatively impacting our children’s education.

“Who is our governor? Is he a progressive crusader, or a pragmatic centrist? He couldn’t decide, and the result was the most clouded, confusing budgetary process in years.

“During the rest of the legislative session, I will continue to work with a single-minded purpose- to advocate for policies that make Central New York a more attractive and affordable place to live, work and raise a family.”

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