Jobs, low taxes, unfunded mandate relief, and a fair share of education aid for our local schools remain the most critical issues facing our community. My priorities for the upcoming budget process will mirror those issues in an effort to improve the economic stability of both taxpayers and small businesses in our community. Itís my hope that other lawmakers will join me in this effort to once again put politics aside and tackle the most pressing problems facing communities across our state.
Governor Cuomo has put forth an ambitious plan in his 2012 budget. I will be paying special attention to the education portion of the spending plan to ensure, as I did last year, that our schools get their fair share. The final budget must reflect a continued commitment to strengthen education initiatives, sustainable cost growth, and equitable distribution of state aid.
I also will be emphasizing the continued need for unfunded mandate relief. Last year, we asked municipalities to do more with less by enacting a property tax cap. Itís Albanyís turn to step up to the plate and deliver meaningful unfunded mandate relief that municipalities desperately need.
I look forward to working with my colleagues in addressing the most pressing problems facing our community while ensuring Albany delivers another state budget that makes taxpayers and small businesses our top priorities.