"I voted no on each budget bill because Governor Cuomo and the legislature continue to take New York down the wrong road. We're still the highest-taxed, most regulated state in the country and this budget does little to turn that around."
No Mandate Relief/Tax Freeze Gimmick:
"Unfunded mandates are the driving force behind New York's crushing property taxes. We can pass a cap, follow that with a freeze now and maybe Governor Cuomo will have another stop-gap measure in two years, but it doesn't get to the core of the problem. Albany spends too much money. Albany mandates local governments spend too much money. This budget doesn't cut mandates. If we don't cut mandated spending, we'll never get property taxes under control."
Cuomo's Pork Barrel:
"Billions in economic development funding with no credible analysis that it works. That money should just go back to taxpayers in the form of a broad tax cut. New Yorkers know how to spend their money better than Albany politicians. If we cut taxes instead, we'd see real economic development."
"Studies have repeatedly shown that universal pre-K doesn't produce lasting results. But Governor Cuomo wants to spend $1.5 billion over five years on it. New Yorkers can't afford to spend tax dollars on programs that don't work. Eventually that money from Albany will dry up. Then districts that adopt universal pre-K will have to pay for it with higher property taxes."
Taxpayer-Funded Political Campaigns:
"The budget dips New York's toe into taxpayer-funded campaigns. I'm sure Albany will soon decide the water is fine and taxpayers will be on the hook to pay for every campaign. But we're not going to fight corruption by giving politicians more tax dollars to spend. Taxpayer-funded campaigns will open New York to a whole new world of political corruption. We've seen it in New York City. Now the taxpayers will be paying for the corruption."
Moreland Commission and Ethics:
"Why can't we have the Moreland Commission continue its investigations and pass new anti-corruption laws? Governor Cuomo used Moreland as a bargaining chip for anti-corruption laws, but that kind of horse-trading isn't a promising sign for cleaning up Albany. There shouldn't have been any bargaining. We needed new, strong anti-corruption laws. We also needed a thorough investigation of Albany. Cuomo should have used his authority to do both. That's what a real leader would have done."
SAFE Act and Obamacare Funding:
"Again Albany is throwing money at bad policies with millions for the SAFE Act and Obamacare. Governor Cuomo can't even figure out how to get his SAFE Act database to work. It's his very own Obamacare website. When we fund these programs, Albany is doubling down on its mistakes."
Glimmers of Hope:
"The budget is eliminating the corporate income tax on New York manufacturers across the state. That's a positive step for jobs in New York. I led the fight to expand this cut to the entire state, and it is one piece of the budget that could work for jobs. But it's still just a drop in the bucket, and we have far to go.
"Increasing the threshold for the estate tax will help small businesses and farmers pass their businesses on to the next generation. That's a positive step. It may help stem the flood of New Yorkers leaving the state."