Hawley: State budget spending surges to unsustainable level
As families throughout the state have tightened their budgets throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to prepare for an uncertain future, the Majority has decided now is the time to become more cavalier than ever in their spending. Worse yet, by increasing spending to historic levels, we may have less than ever to show for all of that spending in this incredible time of need for so many small businesses throughout New York.
In this second-largest budget in our nation that spends more than those of the large and populous states of Texas and Florida combined, and almost as large as California’s proposed executive budget for this year, a state with about twice as many people as ours, we will give $2.1 billion to illegal immigrants in stimulus and unemployment payments while only giving small businesses about $1 billion in assistance.
These small businesses employ our neighbors, pay taxes that fund our municipal governments and emergency services and make our communities the unique places we know and love. The loss of these businesses would devastate the communities that rely on them and our state as a whole, and it should not be controversial to want to support businesses that families have worked to build for generations rather than people who disrespect our laws in order to enter our country.
As unwise as this spending is, it’s also unsustainable in a very dangerous way. The Majority is treating the hefty federal stimulus we received this year like an incredibly-irresponsible person would treat lottery winnings, spending it all rapidly to start living a lifestyle we won’t be able to sustain that will be financially ruinous for our state in the future. The money we’re spending now won’t be there this year, but it’s unlikely the people and agencies across the state it supports will plan for that. Instead, we will be forced in the future between painful tax increases or spending cuts, which will come with very real consequences for our economy and our communities.
Those in the Majority would do well to look at how their constituents have “lived within their means” in the last year as we pass this budget that’s 20% larger than last year’s. If New Yorkers managed their finances like their government did we would be in a very bad place, and I only hope the consequences of this budget do not bring about suffering in communities that have worked to be responsible with their resources.
Assemblyman Steve Hawley
Assemblyman Hawley represents the 139th District, which consists of Genesee, Orleans and parts of Monroe County.