Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R,I,C – East Northport) made the following statement regarding his vote for the 2011-2012 New York State budget:
“The 2011-2012 state budget has been a realistic bipartisan effort. One of only five on-time state fiscal blueprints in three decades, this budget will put New York in a more stable financial situation by closing the current $10 billion deficit.
While this budget delivers tough cuts, it also manages to restore funding for services such as education and health care. Instead of seeing a drastic cut in funding Long Island will receive the same funds they did in the 2010-2011 budget.
However, this budget does take a step back regarding Medicaid reform. While Governor Cuomo’s budget proposed reasonable shared sacrifices in order to slow the growth of Medicaid spending, the final budget shifts Medicaid costs solely on the state. It is only fair that the beneficiaries of Medicaid contribute a reasonable amount to their care. An affordable co-pay seems to be a reasonable request for the state’s 33 optimal Medicaid services such as free dental and vision services.
Even though the budget is finished, our work is far from done. The Assembly must now focus its efforts on enacting real reform. It’s time to deliver meaningful mandate relief to local governments and school districts struggling to balance their budgets, as well as property tax relief to struggling homeowners. There also needs to be focus on Medicaid reform; it is vital that we root out fraud and correct the system to be more fair and balanced. Throughout the rest of this legislative session we must build upon this budget to facilitate stronger economic growth and create more jobs to compete in a global economy.”