Gray Comments on Gov.’s Budget Presentation

A Statement by Assemblyman Scott Gray (R-Watertown) on Gov. Kathy Hochul’s FY 2025 Executive Budget Presentation in the New York State Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024.

“The governor's proposed budget has been unveiled and I have several concerns I believe need to be addressed as the legislative session progresses. One of my primary concerns is the continual growth in the size of the budget. While it is important to meet the needs of our state, we must ensure that spending remains responsible and sustainable. The budget has grown from $220 billion in 2023 to $233 billion in 2025, a worrisome trend.

“In terms of proposed spending, I recognize the importance of addressing critical issues such as crime, but I am particularly concerned about the continued obsession with guns and infringing on people’s rights, which I believe needs careful consideration and balanced action to obtain crime reduction. Criminals could care less about the public policy we put in place.

“On the positive side, I am encouraged by the proposed allocations for mental health, homelessness, and independent living, as well as the support for SUNY and healthcare. However, we must also address the sustainability of Medicaid spending and ensure that healthcare providers receive the necessary rate increases without overburdening the system.

“Economically, the governor specifically mentioned the thruway corridor to address growth potential related to Micron. I believe the I-81 corridor needs recognition as well for potential development including provisions for Clarkson in terms of advancing CHIPS research, while Fort Drum offers a workforce.

There is a clear lack of investment in our highways, instead giving a major emphasis on New York City-centric transit along with a heavy focus on the migrant crisis which is not necessarily the burden of all New York State taxpayers.

“The budget's allocations for housing, particularly the heavy slant towards New York City, are a concern, but I see potential in the $500 million allocated for housing on state-owned properties. While there are positive aspects to the proposed budget, there are also significant concerns that need to be addressed to ensure that it serves the best interests of our entire state and its citizens. I will be working diligently with my colleagues to advocate for these necessary adjustments. Thank you for entrusting me to represent you in the legislature, and please know that your input and feedback are invaluable as we work to shape the future of our state.”