I voted in favor of a budget which acknowledges the tough times in a reasonable, measured, and effective way. It is far from perfect, but it sends a signal to all that change is necessary and that hard decisions are a part of reality. The budget sets the framework for creating a smaller, less costly and more efficient government. It encourages schools to create efficiencies and address the growth of wages and benefits for employees by capping aid. It also caps the growth of Medicaid, one of the state’s largest cost drivers, and merges agencies to reduce the size of government. The budget aims to reinvigorate economic development and job creation in New York by including much-needed tax credits for businesses.
All in all, this is not the solution to all our problems but it is a stepping stone to a new and better New York. I am hopeful that in the coming weeks we also will tackle unfunded mandate relief, a property tax cap, and meaningful ethics reform. There has been a more widespread consensus on where the budget was headed, yet the process remained opaque. I am glad that we have set a path forward with this budget, but I hope in the future that transparency throughout the process will be a goal.