Captiol News from The Assembly Minority Conference
The Assembly Minority Conference

New York Needs Fiscal Restraint, Responsible Investing

Column from Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay

It was refreshing to see Gov. Kathy Hochul’s budget presentation acknowledge some of the major issues impacting New Yorkers like crime, housing and immigration; these are serious issues that affect every region of our state. While I have many concerns about how we ultimately solve these problems, I was encouraged to see them on the agenda and am hopeful we can find some common ground while we work to fix these systemic problems.  

It’s no secret that New York spends too much money, and while there are only so many places to trim the fat, we can always do better when it comes to reducing waste. After all, $233 billion is a lot of money and we still have a $20 billion budget gap looming over the next three years. We must also address our growing outmigration problem which has been caused by our poor tax and business climate. We are not going to simply be able to spend our way out of these problems. They require targeted, nuanced policy solutions, and I look forward to working with the governor and my legislative colleagues to develop a plan to tackle them.

While I was thankful to see the governor acknowledge many of the issues the Assembly Minority Conference has raised for years, I am very concerned with her plan to direct another $2.4 billion to support the migrant crisis, which uses $500 million in state reserve funds. The migrant crisis in New York does not need a financial bandage, it needs direct federal assistance and corrective action at every level of government. Simply put, we are not going to spend our way out of this crisis either.

Government spending must come with objective, measurable returns. Education, mental health services and economic development drive money and jobs into the state. This is where our time, energy, attention and funding belong. New Yorkers deserve to know, “What is the return on my investment here?” Any spending plan that does not prioritize the needs of taxpaying New Yorkers is the wrong spending plan.

The budget process has just begun, and I am eager to continue working to develop a responsible spending plan that grows our economy, creates jobs and improves the quality of life for all New Yorkers. That is the job we were all elected to do, and that is the only way to get New York heading in the right direction.