Local state legislators critical of new state budget for ‘out-of-control spending’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 April 2022 at 10:49 am

State legislators that represent Orleans County in Albany say a new state budget overspends and underdelivers.

“This budget clearly demonstrates that one-party control of state government isn’t working for New Yorkers,” said Rob Ortt, State Senate Republican leader. “The process was disastrous. The spending is reckless. And many of the actual accomplishments are simply watered down proposals that first originated with my Senate Republican colleagues and I. As inflation and violent crime rage across our state, it’s clear that the Legislative Majorities are failing to meet the moment. New Yorkers deserve better.”

The 2022-2023 state budget totals more than $220 billion – nearly $8 billion more than last year, and a stunning $34 billion more than 2020, Ortt said.

This represents a two-year spending increase of more than 18 percent. Since 2019, Senate Democrats have consistently blown past the 2-percent spending cap Republicans maintained while in the Majority, he said.

Ortt and the Republican conference said some of the most glaring failures in the budget include:

  • Failure to provide any meaningful new tax relief for middle-class New Yorkers fleeing the state;
  • Failure to deliver comprehensive tax relief that our small business and manufacturers desperately need;
  • Failure to fully repeal bail reform, bring all the necessary stakeholders to the table, and restore judicial discretion; and
  • Failure to include any reforms designed to increase performance in our classrooms, to bolster parental input and involvement, or to strengthen local control of our schools.

Ortt and Republican conference said highlighted “misplaced priorities” including:

  • Millions for taxpayer funded political campaigns – which is great for career politicians, but really bad for taxpayers;
  • New pork barrel “discretionary” spending for lawmakers to hand out in an election year;
  • Taxpayer-funded free college tuition for prison inmates and non-US citizens; and
  • Millions in health care funding for non-U.S. citizens, while doing nothing for hardworking, law-abiding New Yorkers who are struggling to deal with rising health care costs.

“Albany politicians for too long have ignored the priorities of the people of New York,” Ortt said. “They provide handouts to themselves, handouts to lawbreakers, and handouts to non-U.S. citizens. It’s completely out of touch with the needs of law-abiding, middle-class New Yorkers.”

State Assemblyman Mike Norris of Lockport issued this statement:

“New Yorkers had high hopes for this budget process as outlined by our new governor, Kathy Hochul. However, this process, just like so many others dominated by one-party rule, was crafted in secrecy with no transparency, opportunity for public input or for the people to weigh in. Here lawmakers are yet again passing a downstate-driven agenda in the middle of the night. This budget is not sustainable, is bloated and imposes record spending at the same time people are leaving our state and those who can’t afford to move are barely scrapping by. For these reasons, I am voting no against the entire budget.”

Assemblyman Steve Hawley of Batavia posted on Facebook at 7 a.m.: “While you were asleep, the NYS Legislature plodded through budget bill after budget bill & still isn’t finished as the sun comes up. Hold onto your wallets….it’s a Whopper…..a runaway train w/o any brakes to stop the spending hemorrhaging.”

At 2:15 a.m., Hawley posted: “Well…..here’s an update from Albany @ 2:15 am…..that’s correct. While most of you are sleeping, the NYS Legislature is attempting to pass a $221,000,000,000 budget. Florida has more population than NY & Texas has more population than NY. Our bloated budget is larger than Florida & Texas COMBINED! Out of control spending with our hard earned tax dollars. Unfathomnable!!”