Statement from Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay on the Final 2020-2021 State Budget

April 2, 2020

“During unprecedented times that demand a concentrated focus, state Majority rushed out a cluttered state budget that offered nothing of the kind. Concocted behind closed doors and advanced under the cover of darkness, the state’s final spending plan drifted too far from our current crisis and was entirely bogged down by misguided political policies.

The COVID-19 outbreak threatens the health of every community and has turned our financial position on its head. Rather than adopt a bare-bones budget that directly addresses our significant challenges, the Legislature compromised its process, gave away its authority and acted less as an independent branch of government, and more as an extension of the Executive.

This was a complicated budget at a difficult time. But even without a complete financial picture from which to work, the final 2020-2021 State Budget should have been a far better product.

Assembly Majority rejected a Minority proposal to help small businesses and employees, but they extended tax credits to Hollywood studios. As restaurants everywhere are forced to close their doors, Majority politicians added more regulations that stifle growth and cut deeper into the industry’s bottom line. The appropriate time to discuss taxpayer-funded campaigns, gestational surrogacy or criminal justice reforms is in the light of day, with an open debate and transparent process.

There is much more work to be done and uncertain times ahead. In many regards, our biggest tests may be in front of us. I hope that by working collectively, we can deliver for New Yorkers who are still waiting for results.