Hawley Comments On Flawed State Budget

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-I-C - Batavia) responded to the completion of this year's budget process today in Albany, calling the process flawed and totally contrary to customary business procedures. If the state were like any other business, it would be shut down. The last of the budget bills was printed this morning and voted on this afternoon, leaving lawmakers very little time to digest the financial impact of these final bills.

"Today's budget process comes to a close, in a good way, because we are finally done, but we are looking at it in a very different way in terms of the taxes on the residents of the State of New York. We had before us $927 million in new taxes, a $4.5 billion budget deficit, a spending problem ($700 billion more than last year), and revenue projections that are unrealistic. This budget is a very bad budget for the residents of the State of New York and that is why I voted no today," stated Hawley.

Specifically, the bills that came before legislators today included nearly $1 billion in new taxes as well as withholding increases in the Middle Class STAR Rebate Program. Most disappointing to Hawley and other upstate members was the fact that the funding formula for the Spitzer/Paterson Upstate Revitalization Program was significantly changed during the behind-closed-doors negotiations. Originally, the program was to be funded through bonds and capital funding, however, the State Budget changes that by funding the entire program through increased state debt. With the state's debt totaling around $6 billion already, Hawley is especially concerned about the viability of the budget.

"With New Yorkers already scraping the barrel to get by, now is not the time to be increasing spending and adding to state debt. I am very disappointed about the Upstate Revitalization Program, but it is irresponsible to tack another $1.5 billion in debt onto the backs of already burdened taxpayers," said the Assemblyman. The New York median household ranks our state 23rd, but our debt load of $5,000 per person ranks us second in highest debt load in the nation. These figures are alarming and reckless."

The budget restores the cuts within the Executive Proposal for education. In fact, all school districts throughout the state will be receiving at least a 3 percent minimum increase in state funding. School districts within the 139th Assembly District will get increases of:

Assemblyman Hawley - 139 AD School Aid
School District 2007-08
State Aid*
State Aid*
$ Change % Change
Albion $20,296,479 $21,802,999 $1,763,423 8.80%
Barker $4,844,285 $4,800,125 $242,509 5.32%
Batavia $18,698,928 $19,718,695 $903,669 4.80%
Brockport $32,895,464 $35,016,348 $2,574,128 7.93%
Byron-Bergen $9,708,800 $10,061,122 $615,526 6.52%
Elba $4,831,062 $5,207,176 $391,481 8.13%
Hilton $24,238,761 $26,968,391 $2,505,753 10.24%
Holley $11,420,082 $12,717,692 $1,048,972 8.99%
Kendall $8,789,409 $9,807,031 $814,030 9.05%
Le Roy $9,622,866 $10,408,584 $941,259 9.94%
Lyndonville $6,854,458 $7,268,507 $503,958 7.45%
Medina $16,727,236 $18,490,329 $1,390,062 8.13%
Oakfield-Alabama $9,714,600 $10,230,235 $735,511 7.75%
Pavilion $8,341,589 $8,851,732 $669,088 8.18%
Pembroke $10,120,562 $10,660,593 $443,798 4.34%
*Aid amount does not include Building Aid