As we approach the April 1 budget deadline, we continue to confront a public health crisis as well as a looming economic crisis created by the novel coronavirus pandemic. This is why it is critical, now more than ever before, that we pass a budget free of controversial policy changes unrelated to the crises we face. As I have said many times before, its never good to push through a $180+ billion budget with unrelated, controversial social policy changes in it. Doing so now, while we are in a declared state of emergency and in the midst of a public health crisis, is absolutely absurd.
We must remain focused on the health and financial security of all New Yorkers during this difficult time. Policy issues are important and should be debated properly in the light of day. We can always come back at a later time to discuss things like recreational marijuana, but for now lets stay focused and agree to keep these divisive issues outside of the state budget.