Since the Executive laid the framework for his budget proposal, Ialong with many othershave been reviewing the roadmap the Governor has laid out for this years state budget and Legislative Session. I have legitimate concerns with how the North Country fairs in his proposal.
Recently, I have heard from a number of local elected officials who have shared their deep concerns about the Executives proposal to eliminate $49 million in Aid and Incentives for Municipalities funding (AIM) for towns and villages. These critical funds allow local governments to deliver essential services area residents relay on every day. Local elected officials work tirelessly to balance their budgets and stay within the tax cap in an effort to provide these vital services for residents. Quite frankly, there are some in Albany that could learn a thing or two from local officials when it comes to balancing a budget.
The impact of losing these funds would be devastating for local officials, who are already struggling to receive efficient funding from programs such as CHIPS, which is used to repair and maintain roads and bridges. It is especially damaging to rural municipalities who lack an efficient tax base to fund municipal services, so slashing state aid for these programs is essentially neglecting the needs of millions of New Yorkers. A seven percent cut in AIM is unacceptable. I want to assure local officials, and those that live in the Front Yard of America that I will be fighting aggressively to restore this necessary funding that will allow towns and villages across the region to grow and help us make the area a great place to live, work and raise a family.