Representatives from the region weigh the positives and negatives of Hochul’s budget plan | Featured Story


ALBANY — Area officials weighed Tuesday on Governor Kathy Hochul’s $216.3 billion financial plan for New York’s 2022-23 fiscal year.

The executive budget calls for annual balanced budget operations through fiscal year 2027. Officials estimate state spending growth at 3.1 percent over the next fiscal year, just below inflation, and at a average annual growth of 3.6% thereafter through 2027.

“As we begin 2022, Governor Hochul leads an economically challenged state, ravaged by rising violent crime and losing more people than any other state in the country,” said State Senator George Borrell, R -Sunset Bay, in a statement released after Hochul’s presentation. “We urgently need a change of direction in order to save our state and preserve its future.

“To that end, I am encouraged that the proposed budget does not rely on new taxes or levies and includes some initiatives that would benefit middle-class taxpayers, including an acceleration of historic income tax cuts. drafted by the former Republican majority in the Senate and a $2.2 billion property tax rebate package,” he continued.

But small businesses are still struggling to recover from their losses, Borrello said. Although Hochul has offered modest relief for small businesses, he said, the best way for New York state to help is to direct billions in unspent federal aid to relief rates. crippling unemployment insurance taxes the state levied on small employers to replenish the depleted unemployment insurance fund.

He is also concerned about the lack of strong investment to expand the ranks of state and local law enforcement.

Other lawmakers in the region are also concerned.

“Governor Hochul’s massive $216 billion budget proposal includes record spending, made possible, in large part, by federal aid and better-than-expected tax revenues,” said State Senator Patrick M. Gallivan. , R-Elma. “While increased funding may be warranted in areas such as health care and education, the priority should be to provide meaningful financial assistance to hard-working taxpayers and to make our state more affordable to live and do. Business.

“The governor’s proposal to accelerate the previously passed middle-class tax cut and provide $2 billion in property tax relief is laudable, but it falls short of what residents and homeowners deserve,” he continued.

Gallivan said while he is encouraged by the governor’s call to increase funding for health care and education, they need to ensure funding is distributed fairly across the state. Gallivan is also eager to hear more about the governor’s plan to provide tax relief to small businesses, including agriculture, and help businesses rebuild after the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. .

The legislative clout of lower state lawmakers also remains a concern.

“Governor. Hochul today presented his 2022-23 Executive Budget of $216 billion, all in 17 minutes,” said Congresswoman Marjorie Byrnes, R-Caldeonia. “Despite the brevity, I was delighted that ‘She discusses preparing the state’s operating reserves and talks about the need to spend money instead of putting future generations of New Yorkers further into debt.

“She also promised to make a significant investment in infrastructure,” Byrnes continued. “We know that potholes and broken bridges are major concerns in our area. Like the governor, I hope to see these priorities in the final budget, along with tax relief. However, budget negotiations have only just begun. Time will tell to what extent bottom-up interests influence the final budget deal.

While Byrnes was impressed to see significant infrastructure investment, Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, was not so impressed with what he saw.

“Despite all the speeches today from our governor on the executive budget for a bright new future for New York, the proposals discussed seemed tired and unimaginative at best,” he said. “New York’s economy is not going to suddenly ignite on a few meager tax cuts or narrow business tax credit programs, because ultimately New York will still have little to offer entrepreneurs looking to open businesses across the country. and create jobs.

“In a global economy that is becoming more competitive every day, it will only become more difficult for us to attract the best and the brightest to live and work here when it is so lucrative for them to invest their resources elsewhere. “, did he declare. “Having said that, I applaud the announced investment in education, something vitally important in a market demanding skilled and technologically savvy workers.”

Hochul recommended a record $31.2 billion in school aid for the 2023 school year, an increase of $2.1 billion, or 7.1%.

Assemblyman David DiPietro, R-East Aurora, was highly critical.

“10 billion dollars to rebuild our health system? he said. “Another $31 billion to fix our school system and a ‘pothole war’? You’re kidding! Governor Hochul and her criminal predecessor single-handedly destroyed our healthcare system by firing tens of thousands of healthcare heroes. They have destroyed our school system by locking up our children and preventing them from learning, and they have neglected our infrastructure by leaving our roads and bridges in disrepair.

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