As one of New York agriculture’s strongest advocates, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, I, C-Batavia) has been named to serve as an alternate on the Joint Budget Committee on Agriculture, Environment and Housing. This prestigious position allows Hawley the opportunity to continue vetting the budget proposals from the executive, Senate and Assembly in order to create the final state budget.
“I am very honored that our Conference has entrusted me with this responsibility. I look forward to the opportunity to continue to stand up for New York’s farmers, protect our environment and ensure residents across the state have high quality, safe and affordable housing,” stated Hawley.
Despite the historic events encircling the Capitol, both houses introduced, debated and passed their budget bills. However, this is just the first step in a long process that must be completed by April 1. Now that both houses have passed their one-house budgets, they will be compared with the Executive Budget, submitted by Governor Spitzer in January. Once a compromise is reached, the final budget will become enacted by both houses. However, this vetting process has historically been a complicated and difficult process that, historically, has resulted in late budgets.
Last year’s process was perhaps one of the most contentious; however, despite this, the state budget was passed just one day late and legislators on both sides hope that with the new leadership of Governor Paterson, the process this year will be smooth and efficient.
“While I am certainly hopeful that the budget will be passed on time, I am adamant that the budget be fiscally responsible and protect the taxpayers across New York, especially here in Western New York, by finally delivering some meaningful and much-needed tax relief,” stated Hawley. “I would also like to see the budget do more to promote small businesses and our state’s family farmers. Here in Western New York, agriculture is a strong part of our economy and I hope this year’s budget will include some of our proposals that ensure the future of New York’s strong tradition of farming continues.”