Hawley says Cuomo’s budget math doesn’t add up

Posted 22 January 2014 at 12:00 am

Press release, State Assemblyman Steve Hawley

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Batavia) is skeptical of the governor’s executive budget, which was presented Tuesday in Albany.

Hawley notes that this proposal is a starting point in negotiations over the budget and will be changed before a final product is passed in late March. In that time, Hawley will be working to improve the budget by supporting the good elements and seeking to have the bad parts removed.

Overall, Hawley’s impression of the budget is that the numbers do not add up since increases in education spending and tax relief measures are both larger than the surplus the governor is touting.

“The governor certainly rolled out some bold ideas for tax relief and increased education spending. However, I do not see how the math adds up,” Hawley said. “This budget proposal includes $2.2 billion in overall tax relief and $3.8 billion in increased education spending, when we supposedly only have a $2 billion surplus projected for 2017.”

Hawley wants the state to avoid taking on more debt. He also wants to see the state get serious about unfunded mandates, which contribute to high local property taxes.

“A more realistic tax relief plan would involve eliminating some of the unnecessary mandates handed down to municipalities by Albany,” Hawley said. “For example, the state forces counties to spend more on Medicaid than any other state in the country. This is why our property taxes are so high. Curbing spending on this and other mandates would have a much greater impact on property taxes on New York.”

Hawley is also blasting the governor’s proposal for taxpayer bankrolled political campaigns. This proposal would give taxpayer dollars to politicians to use on commercials, mail pieces, robo-calls, and other annoying campaign materials that hard-working families are bombarded with during campaign season. Hawley strongly opposes this idea and will fight to have it removed from the budget.

“Taxpayer bankrolled campaigns are essentially welfare for politicians,” he said. “Taxpayer money should be given back to the overtaxed families of Western New York before it is spent on endless political commercials and mailers. I am going to fight against this proposal and redirect this money back to the taxpayers who actually need this money.”