Assemblyman Tony Jordan (R,I,C-Jackson) said today he’s generally pleased with much of this year’s budget with no tax increases or new taxes; it has closed a nearly $3 billion deficit, constrained spending by keeping growth below 2 percent, and did not include legislative member items. It was accomplished in a more open and transparent process than in years past, and much better than the late night, closed-door deal-making of two weeks ago. The Assemblyman’s two greatest disappointments of this budget are no meaningful relief from unfunded mandates and no correction to the school aid funding formula.
“Things in Albany are certainly improving. Passing a balanced state budget ahead of the April 1 deadline is something New Yorkers would not have thought possible a few years ago,” said Jordan. “Without relief from these unfunded state mandates, however, taxpayers, families and schools will continue to struggle. Real suggestions and solutions have been put forward, and we will continue to fight for relief throughout the rest of this legislative session and beyond, if necessary.”
One such proposal offered by Assemblyman Jordan and the Minority Conference was an amendment to Assembly bill 9055-D, providing for a three-year moratorium on unfunded mandates placed on local governments and repealing all legislation that contains them. Unfortunately, this measure failed on the Assembly floor and did not make it into the final budget.
Assemblyman Jordan also has suggested alternatives to the most costly mandates that affect his district and others across the state. Some of his ideas include redesigning the Medicaid system from top to bottom; providing more discretion and flexibility for schools and local governments to ensure services are provided to the public as efficiently as possible; and eliminating the one-size-fits-all mentality of state agencies and many in the legislature.
For more information on unfunded mandates and how they affect you, please contact Assemblyman Jordan at his Fort Edward office, 518-747-7098 or his Albany office at 518-455-5404.