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The Assembly Minority Conference

Statement From Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay On Gov. Hochul’s Executive Budget Proposal

“Gov. Kathy Hochul’s $227 billion spending plan touched on a number of policy issues and public programs, but there is still no clear path to address how the cost of living is going to improve. Once again, state spending will continue to rise. Not coincidentally, financial pressures from inflation on everyday New Yorkers were not addressed.

Strong funding for areas such as public education, health care and childcare services are all important. But equally important are the levels at which programs receive taxpayer dollars and how high these spending levels reach. Investing in measures to stop crime and support police are welcome and necessary, but only if they are accompanied by adjustments to failing criminal justice laws. Regrettably, the governor’s rhetoric on public safety and crime was even more vague than what she presented in the State of the State address.

Despite what we heard today, any claim that New York state is business-friendly amounts to little more than wishful thinking. Cumbersome taxes, fees and regulations have established a business climate that stifles prosperity and growth. The extension of higher business taxes, an increased MTA payroll tax and a perpetual minimum wage hike will only add to those frustrations.

What we have now is just the beginning of the process. I hope we see dramatic improvements to the closed-door negotiations that have always defined New York’s backroom budgeting. As the governor begins to negotiate with the Majority Conferences in the Senate and Assembly, I hope she maintains some semblance of fiscal prudence. With talks of a recession casting a cloud over economic forecasts, $227 billion is already more than New Yorkers can afford to pay.”