County Executive Ed Day (R)
“I am especially pleased that Governor Cuomo will use $1.2 billion of the state’s recent $5 billion bank settlement to support construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge and hold down Thruway tolls. As I have said repeatedly, our commuters and businesses simply cannot afford the burden of even-higher tolls. Regrettably, not nearly enough attention was paid to mandate relief, which had been promised by the Governor several years ago.
“In Rockland County, 80 cents of every property tax dollar collected goes to state-mandated programs. Every penny we are forced to send to Albany to pay their bills is a penny less to fund local services like public safety, road improvements, mass transportation and health support for the people of Rockland County. It’s time for Governor Cuomo and the Legislature to deliver immediate mandate relief to our communities. Our residents expect and deserve more than continually delayed promises and unfunded platitudes.”
Assemblyman James Skoufis (D)
“I am optimistic about many of the proposals the Governor presented today – particularly plans to cut taxes for middle class families and small businesses, improve our infrastructure, and raise the minimum wage. Turning these proposals into law, as well as fighting to make college more affordable and accessible, are my top priorities this legislative session.
“While I was pleased to hear plans to increase state aid for our local schools, I would like to see stronger support for public education and our teachers; efforts to divert taxpayer dollars to privately-operated charter schools, for example, are not the sort of education reform we need in New York. As a product of an excellent public education, I firmly believe our schools are the foundation for building a better life. I remain focused on both improving and preserving the opportunity that education lends itself as to so many families.”
Assemblyman Karl Brabenec (R)
The governor delivered one of his more eloquent speeches today and offered some very inspiring words on how to move our state into the new year. However, Gov. Cuomo seems to be afraid to address the real problem that plagues our state: the out of control spending and substantial invoice that the taxpayers of this state are stuck with.
“While I’m cautiously optimistic about some of his proposed programs, such as the $1.66 billion property tax program and small-business tax cuts, I’m less than enthused about the lack of overall plan to save taxpayers’ real money. Every single person in this state is in desperate need of real tax relief. And while a plan to cut the taxes of certain individuals is a step in the right direction, it does not solve the overall crisis we are perpetually stuck in. Picking winners and losers in this economy is not the answer.
“We need permanent, broad-based, across the board tax cuts as well as massive spending cuts. New York State has an immense spending problem and until that is wrestled under control, the hardworking middle-class families of New York will be forced to foot the bill. I look forward to negotiations with my colleagues across the aisle and hope we can come to terms on a budget that looks to help all New Yorkers, not just New York City and Long Island.”
STATE COMPTROLLER THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI STATEMENT ON GOVERNOR’S BUDGET AND NEW PROPOSALS
“New York is facing great opportunities and challenges in the year ahead. The governor has put forth an ambitious agenda to move our state forward, while renewing his commitment to hold the line on spending.
“The state is in a stronger fiscal position than it has been for some time, and the governor and Legislature deserve credit for reducing the structural budget imbalance and passing on-time budgets. While revenues have been strong this fiscal year, there are cautionary signs in the economy and it is wise to live within our means.
“The state also has the rare opportunity to take advantage of a significant windfall of cash from legal settlement monies, totaling more than $5 billion. We must carefully and publicly consider our options to maximize the potential of these dollars. This money should be used to fix our aging infrastructure or pay for other one-time expenses.“