Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I—Pulaski) today made the following statement following Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s first state of the state address, held today in Albany at 1 p.m.
“I’m encouraged by the Governor’s remarks today on creating a new beginning, and letting people be proud of being a New Yorker again.
“My colleagues and I have long advocated for reducing state government. We also can improve Medicaid efficiency by eliminating fraud and abuse. It is true that in restructuring government, more can be accomplished with fewer resources. I hope to see this come to fruition.
“The governor mentioned that people have acted with their feet on how they have been adversely affected by New York’s policies; in the last decade, we’ve lost 2 million residents who have found other states more inviting with lower property taxes and better-paying jobs. Another 800,000 remain jobless. Meanwhile, in the last decade, we’ve solidified a reputation for having the highest taxes in the nation and being unfriendly to business. I liked his reference to recreating our state so that the heart of our policy is focused on business again—returning New York to the Empire State. That’s a motto our whole state can get behind. My colleagues and I have long advocated for a business-friendly state; however, we must undo a good deal of damage that has been done in order to accomplish this monumental goal. In the last two years alone, taxes and fees have increased by $10 billion. Those are hard numbers to argue with. The people have spoken over and over again: ‘reduce spending and taxes’ and ‘make do with what we have.’
“I’m encouraged also by the bottom-up economic development plans and the restructuring of job creation to work more with the private sector as well as our universities. Many regions, including Central and Northern New York, have seen success with this model.
“I look forward to learning more in detail of his plans in February when his budget is presented to the Legislature. I’m also hopeful that this budget session will be uncharacteristically Albany—in that it will include rank-and-file members rather than three men in a room who do not pass each other’s ships in the night.”