Palmesano Issues Statement About Budget

April 4, 2016
Assemblyman Phil Palmesano issued the following statement about the budget:
“Without question, this was the most secretive and least transparent budget process I have witnessed over the last six years. While the administration claims to want reform, apparently this reform does not apply to a $154.9 billion budget process that impacts the lives of nearly 20 million New Yorkers. As the public slept, the budget was rushed through the legislature in the middle of the night using a “message of necessity,” a way for the governor to bypass the constitutionally required three day period for bills to be vetted before coming to the floor for a vote. All of this to say we had an on-time budget, which we did not.
I am pleased a number of items I advocated for were included in the final adopted state budget. We ensured funding parity between upstate and downstate infrastructure projects so we can repair our local upstate roads and bridges. We increased funding for heroin and opiod treatment services. We delivered record education aid, including final elimination of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA). Increased library aid and middle class tax cuts were also positive news, but these achievements do not paint the whole picture.
I am deeply concerned about the negative impact this newly mandated minimum wage increase and paid family leave proposal will have on our family farms, small businesses, not-for-profit human service providers, hospitals, nursing homes, schools and local governments. They will all face significant cost increases with no or minimal relief to offset these costs, which will lead to job cuts, business closures, loss of family farms and the elimination of critical services that support our most vulnerable New Yorkers, the developmentally disabled.
We have a lot of work to do to make upstate New York more affordable for families and more attractive to job creators. I will continue to be an outspoken advocate and fight for the people of the 132nd Assembly District.