Immediately following the vote on the Assembly Majority’s one-house budget resolution, Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C-Melrose) called the mandatory up-or-down vote an ineffective way to fully discuss key budget issues. The Assembly Majority offered up their formal responses to Governor Cuomo's proposed $133 billion spending plan which, unlike the Executive Budget, would raise taxes by almost $5 billion and does nothing to address job creation or mandate relief. Although this is far from the final version of the state budget, McLaughlin reiterated his disappointment in what was included in the budget resolution because it did little to address the needs and concerns of all New Yorkers.
“I would say it’s pretty clear that the Assembly Majority did not hear the call for redesign, relief, and reform from the public,” said McLaughlin. “Their budget resolution did everything to allow Albany to take more money from taxpayers and did nothing to substantially address job creation or mandate relief. I will continue to vote down every piece of budget legislation that does not address job creation or mandate relief.”
“Local school districts were dealt the biggest blow by the budget proposals because of the call for a cut in aid with no mandate relief. This proposal handcuffs our schools and reduces the quality of education for our children. Upstate schools are being unfairly targeted in this proposal. Upstate schools account for 45 percent of statewide enrollment, but we’re being asked to endure a 52 percent cut. I realize we need to trim spending, but in this case especially, it needs to be equitable. I will not stand silent on this issue: Upstate schools deserve our fair share of aid.
“We need to cut taxes. If the Assembly Majority’s budget resolution were passed today, Albany will have raised taxes by $15 billion in three years. The Assembly Majority seems to be putting taxes ahead of progress for our future.
“If the state estate tax wasn’t enough, their budget proposal would institute a $170 million “baby tax” on hospitals for obstetrical care. New York now wants to tax us from the cradle to the grave. These dangerous policies need to end.”
McLaughlin reserved some of his strongest criticism for the budget resolution’s lack of pro-growth policies. Small businesses continue to be threatened by Albany’s tax-and-spend culture.
“New York does not need economic development councils or new commissions to breathe life into the private sector. Albany politicians need to cut all burdensome red-tape regulations that hamper economic development. Pro-growth policies which encourage job creation should have been stressed more.
“Let’s roll back the corporate-income tax, eliminate the state-income tax for two years for those recently hired off the unemployment rolls, and end any other unnecessary tax which hampers job growth. I will work with Governor Cuomo and other lawmakers who will work with me toward the same end.”