Statement on Operations and Capital Projects Budget Bills from Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor (R,C,I – Fishkill)
State Operations Budget Bill
The bills New York Health Insurance Exchange will cost taxpayers $190 million to voluntarily comply with ObamaCare. Were not going to cut healthcare costs with that kind of bloated bureaucracy. It is a DMV for New Yorkers to purchase healthcare. In the internet era, we can run a program like this at a much lower cost. Over half the states have refused to set up their own exchanges in favor of federally run exchanges. The future costs are uncertain, but New Yorkers will be on the hook for the cost. Why? So, the governor can stand with his partys president? We should have set aside national politics and done what was right for New York.
Were also throwing good money after bad with another $24 million in state support for the grossly mismanaged Thruway Authority. This is subsidizing inefficiency, dysfunction, and waste. The Thruway Authority needs to run more efficiently, not come back to Albany again and again for more tax dollars.
Capital Projects Budget Bill
Stadium Luxury Box
The Yankees gave Governor Patterson a few free tickets and it landed him in trouble. The Bills are giving Governor Cuomos office a luxury box in exchange for $56 million from taxpayers. Whether youre a Bills, Giants, or Jets fan, all of New York should agree that taxpayer funded stadiums shouldn’t come with luxury boxes for the governor’s office.
The SAFE Act will cost the state $27 million dollars to register law-abiding citizens. No one really expects criminals to try to register their guns. That $27 million doesn’t buy New Yorkers any safety.
Government run ski resort
Its tough enough to do business in New York without the government opening up a publicly-run competing business. Belleayre ski resort loses money and competes with private ski resorts. Do the governors ‘new’ New York commercials mention that the state might try to compete with your business?
Previous Statement on the Assembly Rejecting an Amendment to Restore Funding for the Developmentally Disabled.
Party politics trumped backbone today, when the amendment to restore funding to the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) was defeated. Weeks ago, a bipartisan group of 78 assembly members signed onto a letter demanding that the funds be restored. You only need 76 votes to pass a bill in the 150 member Assembly. A majority of the assembly told the public that they believed it was important to restore the funds. But, when it came time to vote, Democrats voted overwhelmingly against the amendment to restore funding. Even many of those who signed the letter voted no. It looks like Speaker Silvers iron grip on the Democrat caucus prevented many from doing right by the most vulnerable in our society.
This should have been one of first items included in the budget. These New Yorkers have no lobbyists. They rely on us to be their voice. The Senate and the Assembly passed their own budgets that restored the funding. This shouldn’t be over. The governor is wrong and we should force him back to the negotiating table to fix this.
The most vicious part of these cuts is how they all hit the not-for-profit sector. The state provides half of the care for the developmentally disabled, but consumes 80 percent of the OPWDD budget. Not-for-profits get just 20 percent of the OPWDD budget to do the same amount of work as the government. Now the cuts are entirely borne by the not-for-profits, who often do the work more efficiently than the state.
Lets get Comcast and NBC to do the right thing and give back the $5 million in tax credits for the Tonight Show to come to New York. Because, they know the joke is the Tonight Show was already coming to New York. Lets ask Hollywood for some of their $425 million in tax credits back. Theyre always telling the rest of America that they care about social justice. Ask the studios and networks to back that talk up with action.
Clearly, Cuomo and the Assembly Democrats who voted against our amendment are more concerned about appeasing the public sector unions that get them elected than they are about doing what is right for the developmentally disabled.