The Assembly Minority Conference
Todays Executive Budget proposal underscores the deep financial issues facing New York and the amount of work ahead of us during the next several weeks. Years of runaway spending, mounting debt and fiscal sleight-of-hand have finally caught up to us in the form of a $6.1 billion budget gap.
For the second time, this administration needs to lean on a Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) to fix the bloated program. This time, the MRT is being asked to identify $2.5 billion in savings in a way that holds counties harmless and does not undermine our health care system. Its a laudable goal, but it may be a very different financial reality.
There are certainly some positive aspects to what we heard today. On education, the governor is correct in calling for an increase in the amount of state aid being sent to public schools. And while its encouraging to see the Executive Budget include the Assembly Minoritys proposed tax cuts for small businesses, we cannot off-set those gains by enacting regulations that stifle meaningful job growth and prosperity.
Overall, this budget address offered a number of policy ideas, but ignored too many realities facing 19 million New Yorkers an affordability crisis thats driving people out of our state, the disastrous bail reforms that have compromised public safety and a tax climate that hurts nearly every one of us. This was yet another budget presentation that failed to acknowledge the states debt burden, which stands at $57 billion and climbing.
Todays presentation represents the start of the 2020 budget process. I hope that over the coming months we can reach a responsible agreement, and one that funds programs and services without undermining our future economic health.
The governor and Majority leaders would do well to ensure this years budget discussions are, unlike the past, transparent and inclusive. Opening up the door for more ideas, voices and representation would be a refreshing change, and one New York desperately needs.