Blankenbush Votes For Budget – Closing Deficit, Boosting Economy With Private-Sector Job Growth Programs, Ag Restorations

Statement from Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R,C-Black River) on passage of 2011-12 State Budget
March 31, 2011

“After last year’s budget debacle, new and seasoned legislators came together to work out a sensible and on-time budget that closed the $10 billion deficit without raising taxes on already overburdened New York families and small businesses, and without falling back on credit and debt. We cut overall state spending by two percent, slowing spending growth by right-sizing government and consolidating several costly state agencies.

“As hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers struggle with unemployment, I am especially pleased to announce the economic development investments that we made in the budget that will help encourage private-sector job growth. Recharge NY revamps the state’s Power for Jobs program, making it a permanent commitment to small businesses and manufacturers. Excelsior Jobs incentives, a job-creation tax-credit program, are bolstered with enhancements to strengthen its impact. Together, these will help reduce the cost of doing business in our state so small-business owners and manufacturers can focus on expansion and creating jobs.

“Especially important to the North Country are the $411,000 agricultural investments in the Pro-Dairy program and $1.1 million Tug Hill Commission, which in the past has secured $30 million of private investment for the region. I fought especially hard for these items, and I am particularly pleased with their inclusion in the budget.

“I understand that sacrifices must be made, but I am troubled by the fact that in the case of correctional and youth facility closures the governor has left this matter purposely undefined, which means I will remain on guard and fight any proposals that would harm my district. I still believe that property tax relief must be a priority in our state as New Yorkers struggle to keep up. It’s essential that we pass a two percent or less property tax cap with true unfunded mandate relief so that municipalities can keep costs down.

“It’s clear that what was practiced in the past that allowed for uncontrolled growth and spending does not work. I am thrilled to see Albany turn the page on this philosophy to better serve all New Yorkers.”