Hawley: State Parks Finally Reopen, But Come With Assembly Majority’s Fund Sweeps and Increased Costs on Businesses

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, I, C – Batavia) issued the following statement after bill A.11308 passed earlier this morning

“Under the cover of darkness, at 3 a.m. this morning, the Downstate Assembly Majority introduced legislation to reopen our state parks and historic sites after weeks of inaction and the potential closure for the summer season. However, I could not vote in favor of this legislation due to its proposed $14.9 million tax increase on businesses and manufacturers, an $800,000 additional cost to Kodak, and the sweeping of the Environmental Protection Fund to the General Fund, instead of making the necessary cuts in state spending. This bill also will be harmful to the agricultural industry since these sweeps will reduce funding for farm land protection and soil and water conservation. I have advocated for the reopening of state parks throughout the budget process, but this legislation and its increased burden on employers will only discourage job creation while also setting a precedent for Albany to sweep state funds to close budget gaps.”