2011 Session Achieved Progress On New York’s Challenges; Delivering Unfunded Mandate Relief, Creating More Private Sector Jobs Must Be Our Focus Going Forward
Legislative column from Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua)
June 24, 2011
By the time you read this column, the 2011 Legislative Session finally will have concluded. In keeping with Albany’s typical mad dash to the end, Session ended five days past June 20, which was supposed to have been its last day. Our final week in Albany saw some very late nights filled with debate and discussion on issues of great importance and controversy. The following are some policy highlights of the recently concluded 2011 Legislative Session: SUCCESSES: REDUCED SPENDING, CLOSED $10 BILLION DEFICIT, BEGAN RIGHTSIZING GOVERNMENT, ENACTED PROPERTY TAX CAP The 2011 Legislative Session achieved real progress on tackling some of New York State’s most pressing fiscal and governmental challenges. This session we:
- Closed a $10 billion deficit without resorting to tax increases or borrowing;
- Passed an on-time State Budget for the first time in a long time;
- Made the “Power for Jobs” program permanent;
- Reduced spending and began rightsizing state government;
- Enacted a real property tax cap that made a down payment on relief for homeowners;
- Renewed Article X, New York’s expired power plant siting law;
- Implemented a rational SUNY tuition policy to help families better plan for future education costs, while keeping SUNY a national leader in educational excellence; and
- Passed bi-partisan ethics reform.
- Remove Medicaid mandates off the backs of localities;
- Enact defined-benefit, defined-contribution pension reform;
- Pass a state spending cap to ensure Albany lives within its means; and
- Move forward with a true economic development and private sector job creation plan that puts the hundreds of thousands of unemployed New Yorkers back to work.