Ortt, Hawley issue statements on state budget negotiations

Staff Reports Posted 15 March 2017 at 5:59 pm

State Sen. Robert Ortt (R-North Tonawanda) today voted in favor of the state Senate’s one-house budget plan, kicking off negotiations with the Assembly and Governor for the 2017-18 state budget.

The Senate’s budget proposals include infrastructure investments, tax cuts, workers’ compensation reforms, and increased funding for direct care professionals, Ott said in a press release.

“Today, Senate Republicans took a principled stand on behalf of our constituents as we laid out our priorities. We strive to improve quality of life across New York by making record investments in clean water, roads and bridges, and education. Senate Republicans oppose the Governor’s and Assembly’s proposed tax hikes and we replace them with tax cuts and workers’ compensation reforms to help our small businesses, our middle class, and our small family farms. Finally, by dramatically increasing funds for direct care workers and rejecting the closure of Western New York’s Children’s Psychiatric Center, we are fighting for our most vulnerable. This one house budget represents our approach to governing and standing up for the issues that matter to our communities.”

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Batavia) issued this statement on the Assembly’s One-House Budget Resolution:

“It comes as no surprise that the Assembly’s One-House Budget Resolution, crafted in secret by New York City politicians, increases taxes and spending and shifts our state’s resources in a way that seemingly benefits illegal aliens and criminals as much as taxpaying citizens. This is a 3% spending increase over last year and it is disingenuous to force our municipalities to stay within the 2% tax cap when the legislature is not required to do so. We should lead by example and walk the walk.

“I will not stand for free college giveaways like the DREAM Act, Raise the Age, which protects violent felony offenders or the Essential Plan, which gives high-end healthcare plans to illegals on our dime.

“Despite these misplaced priorities, billions to fund clean water infrastructure upgrades, an increase in school aid, an increase in local agriculture assistance and a $500 million proposed investment in the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) will go a long way toward improving and strengthening our community if they make it into the final enacted state budget. Expect me to remain vigilant and fight for these initiatives in the coming weeks.

“Furthermore, I am encouraged by the proposed $4 million restoration in Library Aid that the governor planned on cutting. I have worked diligently over the last few months to restore this funding and even wrote a letter to Speaker Heastie with signatures of 62 legislators from both sides of the aisle.”

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