Upstate Lawmakers React To Gov’s Budget Plans

Reaction To Governor’s Proposed 2014 Budget
January 22, 2014

ALBANY, NY – Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his proposed budget yesterday.

The proposed budget includes 2 billion in tax cuts, an increase in education aid of about 800 million,
1.5 billion for pre-kindergarten programs, funding for after school programs, and 1.2 billion to help hospitals, nursing homes and long term health care facilities. Governor Cuomo also has plans to cut 5 percent, that’s 43 million, from the department of environmental conservation.

Sen. Tom O’Mara Video January 21, 2014

Senator Tom O’Mara (R, Big Flats) says the state needs to stay focused. “I’ve been saying it, and I’ll keep on saying it: New York government needs to stay focused, more than anything else, on taking action after action on long-term fiscal discipline, manufacturing job growth and eliminating the crushing burdens of mandates, regulations and taxes. Let’s get this job done. For me, this is where it begins and ends. From building strong families to creating thriving, vibrant communities, all that we hope to accomplish for a secure and successful future starts with and depends on a strong and sustainable 21st-century Upstate economy. An aggressive commitment to the future of Upstate New York is priority number one,” said
O’Mara. The senator also welcomed Cuomo’s call for the creation of a special panel to revisit the implementation of the state’s Common Core educational standards.

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R, Corning) had mixed reactions. “I am pleased that the governor recognized the need to provide tax relief in his budget proposal, especially for families, businesses and manufacturers. Although this is a step in the right direction, it is clear that bold, aggressive measures must be taken to foster a more favorable business climate that will encourage private-sector investment and job creation. As always, educational issues will be at the forefront of our budget negotiations. While the governor’s desire for universal Pre-K is commendable, every extra penny we spend on education should be used to restore the education cuts from several years ago and finally eliminate the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) that has challenged local school budgets before we break ground on any new, costly spending programs. It is essential that the education formula is reformed to ensure we distribute state educational aid fairly; students from wealthy, downstate school districts and our students from high need, low and average-wealth school districts deserve to learn, dream and achieve on a level playing field. I was pleased that the governor finally acknowledged the need to address the problems and challenges the disastrous implementation of the new Common Core standards has caused students, parents, teachers and administrators across our region and state.

​Senator Cathy Young (R, Olean) was mostly pleased with what she heard. “Jobs and economic opportunities are paramount, and the Governor’s focus on making New York a more affordable place to live and work is right on target. Many of his proposals to make our state’s economy more competitive mirror the Senate’s initiatives. Manufacturing jobs especially drive the Upstate economy, and reducing manufacturing and small business taxes and eliminating utility taxes on employers and residential consumers are key”. Young also noted that Cuomo addressed problems with Common Core. Many parents are deeply concerned about the Common Core rollout. We need higher standards and a world class education system. However, I share parents’ concerns about elements of Common Core, especially the high stakes testing. Students in grades K through 2 shouldn’t be subjected to standards that developmentally they are unable to meet. There also are alarming privacy issues in Common Core. Children’s sensitive personal information should not be shared with third parties. I will be advocating for significant changes to the State Education Department’s current program.”

Senator Cathy Young Video January 21, 2014