Republicans who represent Cortland County on the state legislature reacted to yesterday’s enactment of the FY-2022 budget.
Governor Cuomo and Democratic majority leaders from the senate and assembly agreed to a $212 billion package, which includes spending on the following:
- $29.5 billion for school aid (increase of $3 billion over last year);
- $29 billion in public and private green economy investments;
- $2.4 billion for rent and homeowner relief;
- $2.4 billion for child care;
- $2.1 billion for excluded workers;
- $1 billion for small business recovery;
- Broadband internet affordability plan;
- Legalization of mobile sports betting;
- and comprehensive nursing home reform.
Proponents of the budget say it closes a looming deficit while continuing to invest in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts statewide.
However, members of the state GOP like District 51 Senator Peter Oberacker and District 126 Assemblyman John Lemondes were not so pleased.
Oberacker voted against 9-out-of-10 provisions that comprise the bill.
“Misplaced priorities. That is how I would describe the new state budget, which spends at a reckless rate and raises taxes to new highs.
As individuals, families, and small businesses tighten their belts, Albany Democrats, flush with billions of dollars in federal aid, are going on an unprecedented spending spree – blowing through the aid from Washington and raising taxes by billions as well.
Overall state spending tops $212 billion, that’s a $20 billion increase in just one year and more than Florida and Texas combined.
The budget boasts a $2.1 billion giveaway for undocumented immigrants, lacks parity for upstate and downstate infrastructure projects, and neglects any semblance of long-term financial planning.
The only bill I voted in favor of included education aid critical to my rural school districts, BOCES programs, and college students. The funds included, if applied toward both short and long-term needs, will be gamechangers for our young people and should also help keep property taxes in check.
New Yorkers have experienced unimaginable hardships over the past year due to the COVID pandemic. We continue to lead the nation in outmigration and this dysfunctional budget crafted entirely in secret by one-party will further compound our difficulties.”
District 126 Assemblyman John Lemondes:
“This budget was designed from the very beginning to be a catch-22 for those who want only sensible spending and reasonable appropriation of state funds.
In a state where hardworking New Yorkers still have to fight day in and day out to receive unemployment benefits and pandemic relief, I am dumbfounded that New York State Democrats fought feverishly to deliver relief to lawbreakers, illegal immigrants, and tax cheats.
Despite whatever good may come from this budget having passed, I could not in good conscience vote in favor of it.”