Area reps are critical of state budget

May 3—The area's representatives in the state Senate and Asssembly — all Republicans — have issued statements criticizing the state budget approved by the Democrat-controlled Legislature on Tuesday.

"The budget checks in a month late, but definitely not a dollar short. In fact, the plan spends a record amount of nearly $230 billion — an unsustainable rate that will ultimately cost all New Yorkers," Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, said in a media release. "It outlaws gas appliances in new homes, fails to make substantive changes to bail reform, and forces additional costs on counties that will increase local taxes."

Oberacker noted that he supported increases in education aid for schools, a new grant program to support volunteer fire departments and funding to help increase mental health services. "However, the bad far outweighs the good in this budget which was crafted by one-party in complete secrecy and rushed to the floor for a vote without allowing any opportunity for substantial review," he said in the release.

Assemblyman Joseph Angelino, R-Norwich, said in a media release, "Finally, New York has a budget, albeit more than a month late, and while I cannot stress how important it was that tweaks to the dangerous bail reform law were included, this budget is otherwise a disaster. First and foremost, this is the largest budget in state history, and it includes tax breaks for Hollywood millionaires while giving no tax relief to everyday New Yorkers, bans gas stoves in new houses and does not address the tide of people leaving New York. This budget is simply bad for New York."

Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-Schoharie, issued a statement, saying, "Over a month late, this state budget spells disaster for New York down the road. From spiking minimum wage yet again to banning natural gas in a way that would be horrendous for our transportation and manufacturing industries, this budget does very little to right-size an economy that has been capsized by government interference and meddling for far too long.

"Beyond that, Albany's one-party control failed to fix bail reform — even after taxpayers waited an extra month for this budget with the understanding we were going to get a safer state for the wait. Sadly, the budget doesn't go far enough to correct the dangerous cashless bail system and restore judicial discretion. Like so many New Yorkers who are voting with their feet and contributing to the ongoing population exodus, I am fed up and frustrated with the failed leadership that isn't listening. This budget is full of higher taxes and lacks a real economic plan to help New Yorkers flourish."

Assemblyman Brian Miller, R-New Hartford, said in a media release, "The final budget presented to the Legislature was a month late, rife with excessive spending and short on relief for taxpayers."

He said the budget contained some items he supports, including support for farmers, expanded school aid, increased funding for local roads and "partial restoration of judicial discretion."

However, he said, "spending is out of control in this $229 billion downstate-centric budget that ignores upstate needs. Failing to provide essential direct care workers a competitive living wage or offering little relief to the state's hardworking taxpayers while continuing handouts to the Hollywood rich is inexcusable. This indicates how out of touch the one-party machine in Albany is with everyday New Yorkers. The overdue state budget is a shame to the people of New York who deserve better."

Assemblyman Brian Maher, R-Walden, issued a statement that said, "

"New York state just spent $229 billion, and we don't have nearly enough to show for it. While I was pleased to see items I have been advocating for included in the budget such as increased school aid, funding for school meals for more of our students and an increase in funding for local roads, we fell far short of the expectations our constituents should have for their elected representatives.

"More funding and more effort should have gone into a variety of areas to provide relief to taxpayers who have been facing the challenges of inflation," he said. "We have an affordability crisis and certain aspects of this budget make our communities less safe and could cause inflation to become much worse. We can do better, and I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make a meaningful difference in the months and years ahead."