(WETM) – Local lawmakers are reacting to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Fiscal Year 2021 New York State Budget on Tuesday.

The executive budget is expected to exceed $175 billion, highlighting education spending, climate change, and infrastructure.

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano

“The governor’s budget proposal should be of concern to all the residents of New York State, particularly Upstate. The governor is laying the groundwork for big property tax hikes on families, seniors, farmers, small businesses and manufacturers with his plan to have local governments assume all local Medicaid growth costs over 3%. He is completely disingenuous to say local governments have any control over the Medicaid program. It is Gov. Cuomo and the state that has expanded Medicaid eligibility and benefits over the years, not local governments. The state controls the program, not local governments. We should not be balancing the budget on the backs of local property taxpayers.

The governor boasted about a $51 billion, 5- Year MTA Capital Plan for downstate but refused to prioritize a similar 5- Year DOT Capital Plan for Upstate, as has been past practice.  Gov. Cuomo proposed an unacceptable and insulting $11.9 billion, 2-Year Capital Plan that would keep, if enacted, critical funding for local roads and bridges through the vital and successful Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) flat for the eighth consecutive year. He adds further insult to injury by actually cutting the $65 million Extreme Winter Recovery Program, funding that goes directly to local governments to help them repair local roads and bridges damaged during the winter.

Although the governor talked briefly about addressing the problems with bail reform, he has failed to recognize that we should first start with repealing these dangerous and costly bail and discovery laws he created so we can protect the public from violent and dangerous criminals.

As budget hearings and negotiations begin, I’ll be fighting for fairness between the downstate MTA and Upstate DOT Capital Plans, including critical funding for our local roads and bridges. I’ll be fighting against the governor’s misguided attempts to punish property taxpayers for his inability to manage the state’s Medicaid program. I’ll be fighting to make sure the governor and legislature understand that addressing the public safety crisis we are currently facing is an important priority that demands action now.”

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning

Assemblyman Christopher S. Friend

“It’s clear that one-party rule hasn’t improved the state’s financial position one bit. New York is facing a $6.1 billion budget deficit and it must work carefully to reduce its spending rather than further burden residents with tax and fee increases, or use gimmicks to close the gap. The state government will have to seriously address the rampant and unsustainable growth of Medicaid. New Yorkers are tired of year after year of deficits and mismanaged public funds. Real change needs to happen now.”

Assemblyman Christopher S. Friend (R,C,I-Big Flats)

State Senator Tom O’Mara

State Senator Tom O’Mara today warned that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2020-2021 proposed state budget charts a course for the future of New York that could leave state and local taxpayers “footing an outrageous bill.”

O’Mara cautioned that the Cuomo budget sets the stage for a final budget that significantly increases state government spending, even with New York facing a $6-billion-plus deficit, adds billions of dollars to a state debt burden that is already one of the nation’s highest, and shifts costs to already overburdened local property taxpayers.

Today in Albany, the governor unveiled a roughly $178-billion proposed spending plan for the state’s new fiscal year beginning April 1, with the state facing what the governor estimated to be a $6.1-billion budget gap.

O’Mara said, “Does it make sense, when you’re already overspending and overtaxing, to call for more spending and more borrowing that everyone knows will sooner or later require higher taxes? Governor Cuomo proposes billions upon billions of dollars of short- and long-term new spending and borrowing and that’s before he even sits down to negotiate with a State Legislature under one-party, downstate control that will not hesitate to spend even more and tax even more to pay for it. We are staring at another year of ignoring the fiscal warning signs and failing to begin restoring some common sense to this government. Future taxpayers are going to be left footing an outrageous bill for this governor’s and this Legislature’s overspending and overtaxing.”

O’Mara said that he would keep working with his legislative colleagues across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions to keep attention focused on unfunded state mandates, job-killing state regulations, out-of-control debt, and a state tax burden that hurts family budgets and keeps New York’s business climate one of the worst in the nation.

He said that the next step in this year’s budget adoption process is for state legislators, local leaders, and the public to begin analyzing the details of the new Cuomo plan and assessing its impact on specific programs and services.

State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats)