Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C-Batavia) slammed the Majority’s budget proposal that included a limit on the voting power of rural and suburban communities in Western New York. Since its inception, the 15 Counties, and the Cities of Buffalo and Rochester, have had equal votes on the Board of Directors of the Western Regional Off-the-Track Corporation. The budget bill, which passed the Assembly yesterday, diminishes the equal footing of all board members in the region by placing greater voting power on the counties home to cities compared to rural counties. Hawley is frustrated that rural and suburban New York has once again had their power diminished.
“It’s interesting how we, in Western New York, lament the influence of New York City on the rest of the state yet are called ‘conspiratorial’ for comparing the situation to ‘Big Brother,’” Hawley said. “Yet yesterday, that Big Brother philosophy made its way into our state budget, and the impact will be immediately felt as more populated areas may significantly overpower our rural suburban communities. It upends what was once a fair and equal process.”