Hawley blames governor, legislative leaders for keeping public in dark about budget progress
The state budget is due to be adopted by midnight today in order to meet the deadline. State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, issued this statement this afternoon:
“It is unconscionable that an agreement, which state leaders have had months to negotiate, must wait until the absolute last minute year after year, leaving the public and legislators in the dark.
“In keeping all 213 state legislators in Albany this week voting on useless legislation while a deal is struck behind the scenes, state leaders will have potentially cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in per diems because they are too incompetent and beholden to special interests to agree on a deal anytime in the previous several months.
“At this point, it seems as though the ‘Three Men in a Room’ are hashing out various policy and spending proposals behind closed doors. Unfortunately, this troubling lack of transparency is usual during the final days of budget negotiations, but it is certainly not the appropriate way to do the people’s business.
“Rumors are circulating surrounding an agreement on upstate ride-sharing, a major clean water infrastructure investment and raising the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18, but little legislation has been introduced or printed and we are at the will of the nebulous legislative leaders.
“I am hopeful that the 2017 Charitable Gaming Act, increased money to repair our roads and bridges and small-business relief are included in the final budget and I will be fighting for our community every step of the way. I will keep you updated and issue reports when more information is known.”