Ra: Assembly Budget Bill Fails Our Schools, Middle Class

March 12, 2014

Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square) today voted against the Assembly Majority’s one-house budget resolution. Of paramount concern to Ra was that, despite an acknowledgement to close the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA), there was little long-term strategy laid out to accomplish that goal. As the Ranking Minority Member of the Education Budget Committee, Ra is hopeful he can help include a plan to phase out the GEA and fund our schools fairly in this year’s final budget.

“The biggest issue facing our schools is the Gap Elimination Adjustment. In the wake of the disastrous rollout and implementation of Common Core, restoring this vital aid is more important now than ever,” said Ra. “While I’m pleased to see the Assembly Majority acknowledge the need to restore the GEA, their proposal failed to provide a pathway to accomplish that. As we continue budget negotiations, my top priority as the Ranking Minority Member of the Education Budget Committee is ensuring we enact a phase-out of the GEA this year.”

Another reason Ra voted against the Assembly’s budget proposal was the inclusion of taxpayer-financed political campaigns. This measure misuses taxpayer dollars at a time when many programs could use a boost, and fails to address the recent string of corruption scandals, as it utilizes a system far too similar to the broken campaign financing system used by New York City.

“New York City has for years been home to political corruption; modeling a campaign finance system on theirs does our residents a disservice,” said Ra. “Using our residents’ money to finance the ambitions of politicians is something that should not be a priority in our state, and I will be working to ensure our tax dollars go to programs that actually help our communities.”