The governor touched on many important issues worthy of attention in his State of the State Address, but nothing is more pressing for Western New York than mandate relief and job creation. In fact, if we are to fix either problem, we must fix both.
Unfunded mandates have sent local taxes through the roof for years, and I have been fighting to eliminate this burden since my first day in state government. While taxes climb, business owners and job creators flee Western New York in droves. If we are to truly embrace job creation, we must put an immediate ban on any new mandates and begin examining the litany of unnecessary and expensive requirements that can be repealed.
In addition, Western New York’s low-wealth schools have been unfairly burdened by education cuts in recent years. We must protect our community’s schools from having their budgets pilfered in favor of wealthy, downstate districts.
I am encouraged by the governor’s commitment to economic development, but the question, as always, is “How will we pay for this?” As we turn the corner on economic recovery, we must fund these worthy projects by eliminating wasteful spending, not by raising taxes.