Hawley Comments On State Budget Process, Calls For Reforms To Protect Taxpayers

A Legislative Column by Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, I, C – Batavia)

As a small-businessman, I understand the importance of working hard and making sound fiscal decisions. However, in today’s economy you do not have to be in business in order to understand the long-term economic effects of our choices today. Across our state and our nation, Americans are feeling the pinch of these difficult economic times – yet, while the rest of us are making tough choices there is one place that continues to spend as if the economy were thriving.

We used to be the state that led other Northeastern states with ideas. Now we should be following their leads. For example, why not follow New Jersey’s lead and actually cut spending and stop borrowing. Instead, Albany’s “3 men in a room” are spending at twice the rate of inflation adding to the state’s debt, which is already at $6 billion.

Instead of following the lead of other Northeast states like Massachusetts and enacting policies to help reduce property taxes, Albany’s “3 men in a room” have already included $1 billion in new taxes in this year’s budget. From health insurance, to sales taxes for online purchases, the “Amazon Tax,” New York State residents will be feeling the pinch more than ever. And even though the budget is 3 days late, and counting, nothing has been done to fund our schools or protect taxpayers.

In the real world, you and I know that when we have a job to do, we buckle down and do it. We put in a full-day’s work every day, all year. Instead, Albany’s seems to believe in a “vitamin process” – just take one a day. Despite the budget being close to a week late, only one issue is brought up per day. It is time we change this dysfunction!

I am calling on lawmakers in Albany to stop playing political games and stalling the budget process. Stop the process from dragging on and on and get back to doing the people’s business. Stand up for the taxpayers of this state who have been making tough choices at home – lead by example and cut property taxes, cut gasoline taxes, help to stimulate, instead of stymie, economic growth and ensure our kids have the educations in order to succeed. It is not too much to ask.