Ortt, Hawley say new state budget ‘irresponsible’ with ‘misplaced priorities’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 April 2024 at 3:06 pm

State Senate Majority Leader Robert Ortt, R-North Toanwanda, and Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, are reacting to a new $236.8 million state budget.

Ortt issued this statement:

Rob Ortt

“After blowing nearly three weeks past the budget deadline, Albany finally came together to pass a nearly $237 billion New York State budget that includes a historic amount of spending and misplaced priorities.

“Anyone who is paying attention can see that Albany Democrats are living on a totally different planet than the rest of us. Governor Hochul and the Senate Democrats had an opportunity to address the serious concerns of New Yorkers. Instead, they passed a budget filled with extreme policies that will make our state more expensive and less safe.

“In a clear sign that the socialists have taken charge of the Democratic Conferences, this budget includes a radical housing policy that will eliminate the rights of small business landlords to control their private property. The housing agreement, which includes the radical ‘Good Cause’ eviction, is a giveaway to the socialist tenant advocates who believe in making it illegal to make money in New York. Even worse, communities outside of New York City will get absolutely nothing out of this deal while absorbing all the negatives that will drive up housing costs and devastate small property owners.

“This brazenly out-of-touch budget also includes a whopping $2.4 billion in giveaways to migrants who entered this country illegally. With families across the state grappling with the effects of rising inflation, Democrats rejected Senate Republican efforts to provide any budget relief to middle-class families. Instead, they are sending billions of dollars to New York City to hand out prepaid gift cards to illegal immigrants, costing taxpayers millions of dollars a day.

“And as this budget seeks to make our state more comfortable for illegal immigrants, it fails to do anything to protect the safety of New Yorkers. Governor Hochul’s strategy to tackle retail theft is to establish a task force and throw money at the problem. The real solution is to empower police officers to throw these criminals in jail and give our judicial system the discretion to keep them there. The Democrats’ obsession with catering to the needs of criminals is the driving force behind the rise in violence against police, including the tragic deaths of three law enforcement officers in the past month. This chaos will continue until Albany makes it clear that they stand shoulder to shoulder with law enforcement to keep the people of this state safe.

“New Yorkers have made it clear they believe our state is heading in the wrong direction, and this budget will only turbo-charge our decline. I proudly voted no on this disastrous budget agreement and want to assure my constituents, as well as the people of this state, that the Senate Republican Conference will continue to champion public safety, affordability, and freedom in New York.”

Steve Hawley

Hawley said the new budget is almost $10 billion more than last year and includes billions in funding for illegal migrants and inadequate spending for public safety measures. He said the Majority conference has dramatically increased spending for the next fiscal year, but has not properly explained how the state will be able to pay for it.

“New York’s debt is currently over $400 billion and rising by the minute,” said Hawley, calling the budget fiscally irresponsible with misplaced priorities.

“Budget season in Albany is like watching an old rerun of Groundhog Day,” Hawley said. “Every year it’s the same story time and time again. The budget is late, expensive and as always, a complete disaster.

“With the billions of dollars they’re spending, it’s astounding the Majority is doing nothing to curb the public safety crisis in our state. We’ve had four police officers killed in the line of duty this year alone, one of them in Genesee County. Not to mention the irresponsible decision of giving the Governor the power to close up to 5 prisons with only 90 days’ notice. Instead, we’re pulling money out of thin air to pay for problems we created. This is unacceptable. Families would never be this irresponsible in their personal budgets, so why are the Governor and Majority Conferences doing so?”