Here is a look at reaction from around the state on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State Address
Statement from Legislator Frank Castiglia, Minority Leader, Oswego County Legislature
“I am very pleased with the fact that the Governor will be increasing funding for Broadband in the rural areas. In order for economic development in these area it is a must.
“I feel he has come up short with the age limits on purchasing tobacco products. It should have included possession of such products. But it should exclude members of the military, if a person can put their life on the line for their county they should be able to purchase and possess tobacco products/
“The increase in Educational funding is a plus also, school districts in Oswego County would benefit from this.
“Also until the Governor and the State Government starts funding the unfunded mandates the taxpayers are going to struggle, and the exodus from our state will continue.”
Statement from Legislator Terry Wilbur, Majority Leader, Oswego County Legislature
“As I listened to the Governor’s State of the State address yesterday I heard a number of issues and priorities of his that do not align with Oswego County and our residents’ needs, but address the needs of downstate.
“I was happy to hear of the investments into our infrastructure as well as the opioid crisis.
“However, I was disappointed to not hear any mention of mandate relief from the Governor. End result is that the Governor proposed a very progressive agenda that spends a lot of money that will continue to drive more people out of this state as a result of increases to the cost of living.”
STATEMENT FROM SENATOR PATTY RITCHIE
“Today, Governor Cuomo outlined his agenda for New York State’s future.
Sadly, it prioritized little of what is truly important to people throughout Central and Northern New York – namely creating jobs and revitalizing the Upstate economy, as well as making living here more affordable for taxpayers.
Alternatively, today my colleagues and I unveiled a plan that addresses some of the most pressing issues facing our state.
Under our proposal, we reject any new taxes and fees, provide sorely needed relief to middle class New Yorkers and advocate for tax cuts benefitting small businesses and farmers.
We also push for investments in our schools that are equitable, as well as fair and much needed funding for Upstate roads and bridges.
As I review the details of the Governor’s spending plan I will continue to focus on my priorities, including reducing taxes to help more New Yorkers make ends meet, cutting red tape so businesses can grow and making investments that create a better quality of life for people in our region.”
Statement from Assemblyman Brian Manktelow on the governor’s address
“The Governor has a lot of progressive ideas that he proposed in the State of the State and in the budget. One of the better things that he talked about was having broadband internet across New York State by 2020,” Assemblyman Brian Manktelow said “It’s so important in our region because we have many places in our rural areas where service is spotty and inconsistent. If you’re going to have meaningful economic development you have to have reliable internet service.
“I think the governor spoke more for downstate than upstate. He did mention $4.4 billion for upstate roads and bridges, but he didn’t outline if that would mean more money for local highway departments, or for improvements in Upstate cities.
“He said he wants to see educational funding increase, especially for needy schools. I do not think he has a good concept about how small upstate school districts can be as needy as urban schools with drastically different priorities.
“He talked about economic development, but there was not enough mentioned about the upstate economy in relation to downstate.
“He did not say anything about veterans or small business, which are priorities in the 130th Assembly District. He didn’t explain how the clean energy programs he wants will impact our nuclear plants, or how the clean water efforts will affect Owasco Lake or Lake Ontario.
“One thing that did concern me about the Governor’s speech is that he talked about spending a lot of money for what he wants to accomplish, but he never said anything about cutting state spending or where the state could do things more efficiently with less expense.
“Gov. Cuomo has a lot of things he wants to get done in his first 100 days, and he has the power to do them now with the majorities in the Assembly and the Senate,” Manktelow concluded. “We will just have to see how it plays out and keep pushing for a fair agenda to upstate.”
Governor’s State of the State Solidifies Support for Young New Yorkers
Albany, NY – Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his State of the State address, where he outlined the proposed New York state budget for 2019. In his address, Governor Cuomo proposed a number of policies that would support and improve the lives of young New Yorkers, including safeguarding protections for pre-existing medical conditions, prioritizing the passage of the New York State DREAM Act, and making voting easier and more accessible for New Yorkers. These policy proposals are necessary to meet the needs of today’s young New Yorkers and offer much-needed support for institutions that serve young adults across the state.
In response to the Governor’s State of the State address, Melanie Kruvelis, Northeast Policy Analyst for Young Invincibles, issued the following statement:
“The Governor’s proposed budget highlights the importance of investing in young New Yorkers and recognizes that the next generation’s ability to thrive is essential for New York’s future. As getting ahead in New York becomes increasingly more difficult and expensive – particularly for low-income New Yorkers, young people of color, and the state’s young immigrants – the Governor’s proposed budget takes some important steps by ensuring pre-existing condition protections remain in place, prioritizing the passage of the New York State DREAM Act, and making voting easier for every New Yorker.
Although there’s more work to be done at the state level to address the unique needs of young New Yorkers, today’s proposed budget makes a commendable effort to help address the challenges facing New York’s young people. We look forward to working with leadership in Albany to ensure that every young person in New York can achieve financial stability and flourish.”
Unshackle Upstate Statement Regarding Governor Cuomo’s 2019 Budget Proposal
Statement attributable to Michael Kracker, Unshackle Upstate Executive Director
“We fully support the Governor’s adherence to a 2-percent state spending cap and the call for a permanent 2-percent property tax cap. The property tax cap has saved overburdened homeowners approximately $25 billion since its passage. Enacting a permanent property tax cap should be a top legislative priority in the coming weeks.
We’re also encouraged by the Governor’s commitment to Upstate infrastructure investment. Repairing our aging roads, bridges and water systems is imperative – a strong economy requires a strong foundation.
Despite these positive measures, the Governor advanced a number of proposals that would severely weaken our economy and hurt taxpayers.
The proposal to apply prevailing wage to all projects that receive state funding is a death sentence for Upstate economic development initiatives. Under this mandate, efforts to fix our crumbling infrastructure would be far too expensive to pursue. We also oppose the Governor’s energy production mandate that would dramatically drive up costs for commercial and residential energy consumers. These measures may be touted as progressive, but in reality, they’re just painful.
Additionally, we are staunchly against taxpayer-funded political campaigns. Wasting the state’s limited tax dollars on high-priced political consultants and annoying robocalls is simply unacceptable.
As Governor Cuomo has said in the past, New York has no future as the tax capital of the nation. New Yorkers will continue to flee the state until Albany takes action to reduce taxes across the board and improve the state’s harsh business climate. Governor Cuomo and the Legislature must take full advantage of the new opportunity to stand up for struggling taxpayers. This moment in time must not be wasted.”
Unshackle Upstate is a non-partisan, pro-taxpayer, pro-economic growth, education and advocacy coalition made up of business and trade organizations from all parts of Upstate New York. The coalition’s website, www.unshackleupstate.com, allows citizens to join the Unshackle Army and send messages to elected officials in Albany.
BARCLAY AIMS TO MAKE NEW YORK
MORE AFFORDABLE IN 2019
A statement from Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I,Ref-Pulaski) in response to the Governor’s State of the State Address.
“The Governor’s 2019 State of the State Address laid our numerous proposals for the coming Legislative Session, but I’m troubled by the silence on critical issues that matter to hard-working taxpayers, particularly in Upstate. Each year, thousands of residents leave our state in search of a more affordable life. I was disappointed with the lack of urgency and awareness by the Governor today with respect to reversing this trend. Instead he is focused on legalizing drugs, provided monetary support to illegal aliens, and curbing New Yorkers’ Second Amendment rights.
“If the Legislature works together on policies to make our state more affordable in 2019, I’m confident we’ll make significant progress to grow our population and make New York a place where families can live and prosper.”
STATEMENT FROM ASSEMBLY MINORITY LEADER BRIAN KOLB (R,C-CANANDAIGUA) ON THE 2019 STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS
“Rather than provide a detailed state spending plan for 2019, Gov. Cuomo rolled out another campaign platform. It is nearly impossible to determine where his political agenda stops and where New York State’s fiscal policy starts.
There was almost no focus on everyday New Yorkers – the single-income family struggling to put food on the table, the small business owner trying to meet their bottom line, the retired couple wondering if they can afford to stay in their home, or the recent college graduate looking for a second job so they can make their next student loan payment.
We heard no real solutions to persistent problems and even less accountability from the governor. He seems to believe ongoing issues like sky-high property taxes, crumbling infrastructure, worst-in-the-nation outmigration, a failing subway system and overburdened small businesses should not have been addressed over the last eight years.
As we begin developing and finalizing the state’s fiscal plan for the coming year, I hope measures that were not mentioned today are included to:
protect our most vulnerable New Yorkers by ensuring direct-care workers receive a living wage;
lower property taxes for all New Yorkers;
overhaul the state’s failing economic development programs and promote job creation;
reduce state costs on localities – unfunded mandates that drive up taxes and drive residents to other states; and
achieve parity in the infrastructure funding provided to upstate and downstate.
The overwhelming majority of issues facing New York were present long before the Trump administration arrived at the White House. Pointing fingers at Washington D.C. was a successful narrative during campaign season and provides a convenient narrative at a rally, but it doesn’t acknowledge or fix the root problems New York has faced for years.
Until Gov. Cuomo realizes he can’t control what’s happening in the nation’s capital, our state’s longstanding issues will persist. We can, and must, do better for the people of this state.”
State Legislators and AQE Criticize Governor Cuomo’s Education Budget for Failure to Fully Fund Foundation Aid
ALBANY, NY — Public education advocacy organization the Alliance for Quality Education was joined by several state legislators in criticizing Governor Cuomo’s proposed education budget for being totally inadequate due to the lack of commitment to fully fund Foundation Aid.
The Governor’s budget includes a minuscule $338 million proposed increase in Foundation Aid and $956 million in school aid, falling far short of the Board of Regents’ call for a $2.2 billion increase in school aid, which included a $1.66 billion increase in Foundation Aid. Under current state law, schools statewide are owed $4.1 billion in Foundation Aid which the Regents, AQE and other advocates are calling to be phased in over three years.
“It’s great to finally hear about equitable funding of public education from Governor Cuomo, but his paltry $338 million in Foundation Aid is an insult to our children. Whatever plan he may craft to address funding disparities within districts does not address the now $4.1 billion that has been owed to struggling schools statewide for decades as a result of the state’s failure to uphold its legal obligation. The Campaign for Fiscal Equity will not be erased,” said Senator Robert Jackson, District 31.
“The path to equity in education is through fully funding the Foundation Aid formula. Schools statewide are owed $4.1 billion from the state and anything less equates to educational racism,” said Jasmine Gripper, Legislative Director, Alliance for Quality Education. “Throughout his tenure Governor Cuomo has blamed everyone else for his failure to address educational equity. He blamed teachers, he blamed administrators and the schools districts. But the reality is Governor Cuomo’s refusal to adequately fund the Foundation Aid formula is the biggest hindrance to achieving equity for New York’s public schools.”
“I went to an underfunded school and it is still underfunded, as are the schools across my Assembly District. In my community the Campaign for Fiscal Equity is not a ghost from the past, educational equity has been with us forever and it is here today. The Foundation Aid we are being denied means that history will repeat itself with many Black and Brown children being denied a sound, basic education. That cannot be allowed to happen,” said Assemblywoman Latrice Walker, District 55.
“This is supposed to be the year of progress in New York and our students need after school programs, school counselors, social workers, and 21st Century technology. We need to heavily invest in our public schools if we are going to meet these goals and provide every student the education they deserve,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Chairman of the Senate Health Committee. “Sadly, this proposed budget does not seem to do that. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate and the Assembly to negotiate a budget that will adequately set up all schools and students in New York for success,” said Senator Gustavo Rivera, District 33.
“Governor Cuomo must provide the full $4.1 billion our children and public schools are owed. It is a fact, and a court order. The Governor’s budget proposal falls short and I will continue to do whatever it takes to get our public schools the funding they need and to bring educational equity to New York,” said Senator Jessica Ramos, District 13.
“I didn’t attend today’s budget briefing by the Governor because I’m boycotting B.S. The devil is in the details. He refuses to pay the $4.1 billion owed to Black and Brown and poor schools across the state. He’s proposing an unconscionable and unacceptable $338 million in Foundation Aid. The New York State Board of Regents says we need a $2.2 billion increase to pay the bills and make a downpayment on CFE and he’s only proposing an increase of $956 million. The Governor continues to project a progressive front, when he’s fiscally conservative and proposes a budget that harms poor Black and Brown families in this State. The New York State total budget is over $168 billion, we need a multi-billion dollar anti-poverty program for the poor working families of this state, particularly for Black and Brown families. Show us the money Governor, or shut up! I’m calling on the new majority Democratic Senate and Democratic Assembly to check the Governor and prioritize the struggling families and communities of this state when it comes to budget negotiations,” said Assemblyman Charles Barron, District 60.
“The people of New York elected an overwhelming progressive Democratic Majority to the Senate because they are hungry for real change, not the same old, same old. When it comes to education, Governor Cuomo’s budget fails to do what is needed. Anything less than a commitment to fully fund Foundation Aid is simply unacceptable,” said Senator Julia Salazar, District 18.