Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C-Melrose) today acknowledged that, while he is pleased with an on-time state budget, a ten percent cut to state agency budgets, and a reduction in overall spending, there are fundamental issues which still need to be addressed. Noting his priorities of mandate relief for municipalities and schools, reform of state programs like Medicaid, and pro-growth economic policies, McLaughlin believes the 2011-12 completed budget is only the beginning of responsibly addressing the taxpayers’ agenda.
“I came to Albany to change its business-as-usual culture, and that’s why I am pleased to see an on-time state budget passed under open, bipartisan circumstances,” said McLaughlin. “I believe there were some important steps taken on both sides of the aisle to keep essential areas of the budget intact while confronting some tough choices to save taxpayers money. I am pleased that the governor and both houses of the legislature were able to hear the outrage of overburdened taxpayers and addressed it in a timely, responsible way.
“While state spending decreased and school districts did see modest restorations in their aid formulas, there are a number of issues the governor and legislature still need to tackle. New Yorkers demand a property tax cap, an end to unfunded mandates, and pro-growth policies that will create jobs. Those three areas deserve serious attention in the coming weeks because they will be the drivers of our state economic recovery.
“In the coming weeks, I will continue to advocate for my constituents through legislation which calls for a property tax cap to be set at 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower, and the elimination of unfunded state mandates. Albany cannot bring relief to taxpayers just with a cap; mandate relief needs to be part of the conversation as well. The people’s work is not finished just because the ink is dry on another state budget.”