Although I have concerns about this year’s state budget, I believe it is a step in the right direction. Not only was it passed early and with bipartisan support, it also contained real fiscal reform. It closes a $10 billion budget deficit, reduces spending and contains no new borrowing. I do not support the school aid cuts that affect Long Island schools. I have always felt that education should not be the primary area where cost savings and budget cuts are recognized. I am pleased that $272 million was restored to Governor Cuomo’s budget thanks to the hard work and commitment of the Legislature, particularly Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.
The budget may be passed but much work remains to be done. We need to institute a property tax cap and pass meaningful mandate relief. New Yorkers are still over-taxed and struggling. Ethics reforms also should be enacted to curb the corruption that has plagued Albany for years. There is a lot of work ahead but it seems as if New York is finally getting back on track.