Smullen: Albany Failed to Deliver With State Budget Again

Assemblyman Robert Smullen (R,C-Meco) today expressed disappointment in a budget that failed to prioritize the real fiscal needs of New York to reduce spending in the midst of a health and economic crisis.

“The governor has said repeatedly over the last few weeks that the state is ‘broke’ and ‘we can’t spend money we don’t have,’ but the budget does not reflect those realities. Instead, Albany is continuing its bad habits of jamming costly policy issues into the budget and finding new ways to spend taxpayers’ hard-earned money.

“The state budget was once again passed in the middle of the night and filled with unrelated policy issues, including a failed effort to fix bail reform. It is troubling that in the midst of a real health and financial crisis, the Majority-controlled Legislature approved a budget that will spend money we don't have on policies and programs we don't need.

“Exhibit A is a public campaign financing system that will cost New Yorkers at least $100 million and probably more after the inevitable growth in state government bureaucracy. Taxpayers should not be required to help fund the campaigns of candidates they don’t support.

“In another example of Albany’s misplaced priorities, Majority politicians voted against the Assembly Minority’s “Small Business Emergency Recovery Act of 2020” to provide immediate assistance to small businesses and employees due to the COVID-19 outbreak, while voting for $420 million in tax credits to the Hollywood film industry.

“Instead of investing more in education and our deteriorating roads and bridges, this budget spends millions on glitzy marketing programs and legal services for prisoners. Rather than taking steps to improve our economy and make New York more business friendly, this budget includes mandates that will increase the cost of construction projects and make life harder for small businesses.

“In the face of an extraordinarily challenging health and economic crisis, New York needed a budget focused on real priorities and fiscal discipline. Unfortunately, Albany failed to deliver again.”