Assemblywoman Buttenschon Statement on the Final Budget Bills

This past week, we passed the FY 24-25 New York State Budget in the Assembly. While I did support some of the budget initiatives that will make critical investments in the Mohawk Valley, there were some harmful provisions in the budget that I could not support. 

The Capital Project section of the New York State Budget provides much needed funding statewide in new funding and reappropriations, including $60 million for law enforcement, $5 million to our fire fighters, $28.7 million for the maintenance of state facilities, $1.1 million for SUNY Polytechnic, $44 million for new library construction, $52 million for the maintenance and upkeep of our Canals, 211 operational funding, and $70 million for much needed nonpublic school safety.

Additionally, the budget approved Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) at the current rate. In February, I co-hosted a press conference with my fellow elected representatives to highlight how detrimental these cuts would be to upstate infrastructure and our highway superintendents. While it does not include the increase we allocated in the Assembly One House, I am happy there will be no cuts to this critical program.

When the Governor announced her Executive Budget in January, she included a provision allowing her to close 5 New York State Correctional Facilities with only 90 days of notification. This provision was removed from our Assembly One House but is unfortunately included in the final budget. I voted against this harmful provision that could lead to the closure of facilities in my district. They serve a vital role in maintaining public safety and inmate rehabilitation and providing employment opportunities for my constituents. I am deeply disappointed that this was included in the budget and will continue to push for an objective rubric in these potential closures.

I also strongly opposed to the RAPID Act. This legislation could hurt the agriculture industry in Oneida County and does not provide for home rule and local control.I have heard from many residents that have legitimate concerns about the impact the expansion of solar energy, battery storage, and transmission lines. 

The Final Budget allocates $2.4 billion to reimburse migrant costs in New York due to inaction by the Federal Government. The Federal Government should enact common sense legislation as it has done throughout the grow of this nation. I cannot support a budget that will use my constituent's hard-earned tax dollars to go to migrants instead of improving our upstate infrastructure and helping our veterans.

I am also disappointed that the final budget did not include a tax credit increase for our volunteer firefighters and did not include the 3.2% COLA increase that was included in our Assembly One House. Instead, this budget only provides a formula that is complex and confusing to the care providers who work with our most vulnerable. They deserve a more substantial COLA increase.

Despite my opposition to some of the budget items, the steadfast funding to our schools, CHIPS, and AIM will have an enormous impact on the Mohawk Valley.