Hawley, Norris both vote against $229 billion state budget

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 May 2023 at 7:08 am

‘This massive spending spree will be paid for by funds stolen from local governments, driving up New Yorkers’ already sky-high property taxes.’ – Rob Ortt

State Assembly members Steve Hawley of Batavia and Mike Norris of Lockport both oppose a $229 billion state budget that is more than a month past the April 1 deadline.

Hawley issued this statement: “Our state budget has finally passed, only a month later than it should have. Not only were there numerous empty seats on the side of the Majority as we trudged through the debate and voting process, but this budget is prepared to spend $229 billion worth of taxpayer dollars. That’s double the budget of Florida and Texas, despite New York having fewer residents than either of those states.

“Spending indiscriminately and passing the costs over to taxpayers almost unilaterally is not the way to attract or retain people or business to this state, and I fear it will continue the downward trend of New York’s economic strength.”

Hawley represents the 139th Assembly District, which includes parts of Erie, Genesee, Monroe, and Orleans counties.

Norris issued this statement: “State spending has increased $64 billion in just five years under one-party rule. This increase is more than 35 state budgets in our union.

“For the fifth year in a row, I voted against the entire state budget as New Yorkers cannot sustain this out-of-control spending and these burdensome taxes. Individuals continue to show their frustration as New York leads the nation in population loss as they simply can’t afford to live here any longer.

“In every dark cloud, there is a glimmer of hope. Priorities matter, and I continue to believe that New York must invest more in our infrastructure. That’s why I am pleased to see an additional $60 million in funding for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) for our roads, bridges and culverts and that $34 million remains intact for our library construction aid. However, this is just a drop in the bucket when considering the overall state budget.

“New York, like our businesses and households have been forced to do, must start tightening its belt and focus on getting back to basics in enhancing infrastructure, schools and workforce development, and I will continue urging this approach for our future.”

Norris represents the 144th Assembly District, which includes portions of Erie and Niagara counties.

State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt issued this statement: “The state budget crafted by Albany Democrats ignores the priorities of New York residents. The least transparent budget in recent memory failed to address the affordability crisis, does nothing to improve public safety, and imposes more big government mandates that threaten our economy.

“A first-in-the-nation, unconstitutional ban on natural gas hookups in new construction will drive up utility bills and increase housing costs. The language changes to cashless bail laws are less than meaningless and will do nothing to curtail rising crime. Burdensome new mandates and billions in new MTA taxes will cripple our small businesses and family farms. And this massive spending spree will be paid for by funds stolen from local governments, driving up New Yorkers’ already sky-high property taxes.

“The Governor and Legislative Leaders have repeatedly stated it was more important to have a good budget than an on-time budget. Unfortunately for New Yorkers, they got neither. The end result of this disastrous budget deal will be more crime, fewer jobs, and continued out-migration to more affordable states.”