Legislators, organizations react to Governor’s State of the State

Staff Reports Posted 8 January 2020 at 9:35 pm

Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his 10th State of State address today. Here are some of the reactions:

New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher:

“Governor Cuomo recognizes that this will be a challenging year in Albany. Many challenges also exist in rural communities across New York State as farm families look to rebound following years of low commodity prices, extreme weather events, trade barriers and mounting regulations.

“Fortunately, Governor Cuomo is proposing significant tax cuts in his State of the State that are priorities of New York Farm Bureau. These include tripling the Current Income Exclusion for farmers who file under the personal income tax. The Governor estimates that this will reduce taxable income and liability for estimated 4,000 farmers. He is also proposing to make the Investment Tax Credit refundable for taxpayers whose primary source of income is from farming operations, allowing farm families to receive the full benefit of their credits earned.

“The Governor is also looking to expand the procurement of New York farm products in schools by expanding the New York Thursday program. New York Farm Bureau also supports further deregulating craft beverage laws and expanding broadband and cell service to rural areas. New York Farm Bureau believes that by working together, we can accomplish many of the goals that unite us all to benefit agriculture, a leading economic engine in this state that we all need.”

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Batavia):

“I am hopeful that this year represents more of a collaborative effort between parties to address the serious issues facing New York. A looming $6 billion deficit, rising taxes and serious public safety concerns with recent criminal justice changes will be solved through compromise and common-sense reform rather than partisan crusades and political grandstanding against Washington D.C.

“Last year was a clear indication that New York City politicians will do just about anything to advance their radical agenda no matter the grave consequences for New York’s families and those motivations are not moving our state forward.

“Many of Gov. Cuomo’s State of the State proposals focus on political pomp and circumstance and increased spending rather than serious underlying issues like a $6 billion deficit, oppressive tax burden, embarrassing out migration, dangerous bail reform laws and struggling small businesses. We cannot continue to tax and spend our way to economic vitality.

“Despite these challenges, my focus remains on repealing threatening ‘criminal justice reforms,’ cutting taxes, protecting family farms against onerous new labor regulations and preventing the implementation of more pro-illegal and pro-criminal policies as we witnessed last year. As always, I will continue to reach across the aisle and work with members of any party to make real progress toward a brighter and more prosperous New York.”

State Senator Rob Ortt (R-North Tonawanda):

“After one year of Democrat control, New York is worse off than it was 12 months ago from both a safety and financial standpoint. Today’s State of the State has done nothing to assure me of any change for the better. Instead of addressing our state’s $6 billion budget deficit or the daily release of dangerous criminals back into our communities, Gov. Cuomo is focusing his attacks on gun owners and Styrofoam food containers. Democrats care more about illegal cigarettes than they do illegal immigrants. We need a serious plan to address the serious dangers New York continues to put on community safety and taxpayers’ wallets.”

NYS Association of Counties in response to Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Medicaid comments:

“Governor Cuomo has worked diligently to provide property tax relief to homeowners and small businesses across New York. He championed freezing the local share of Medicaid as the most direct way to achieve this goal. This policy has saved local taxpayers more than $1 billion in property tax growth since 2013. The vast majority of counties have not breached the property tax cap, in large part due to the Medicaid freeze championed by Governor Cuomo.

“Counties have a long history of working with the state to bring efficiencies. NYSAC was a member of the first Medicaid Redesign Team, and we look forward to providing the county perspective and contributing to future discussion to create a more fiscally sustainable Medicaid program for state and local taxpayers.

“We thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership and commitment to advancing proposals that control property taxes.”

New York State School Boards Association Executive Director Robert Schneider:

“Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed some laudable goals – such as closing the achievement gap, enhancing school safety, advancing net neutrality protections and expanding pre-K and afterschool programs – in his State of the State address. These are all goals that school board members can rally around, to be sure.

“We are encouraged by the governor’s promise of increased funding to support some of these initiatives, as school boards expect to have limited ability to raise additional local revenue if the property tax cap is again below two percent.

“We cautiously await the governor’s budget proposal. With adequate funding from the state, school boards are optimistic that they can continue to make progress toward closing the achievement gap, creating safe havens for learning, addressing the vaping epidemic and meeting the growing mental health needs of students.

“One easy way lawmakers can improve school safety is by allowing school boards to make decisions about whether schools should be used as public polling places, when boards determine that holding elections in schools presents a safety threat or a disruption to learning.

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with the governor and lawmakers so that we may best prepare students to meet the challenges of the future through a vibrant educational system.”

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