Local lawmakers react to Cuomo's 2018 budget proposal

LETTER: Cuomo threat to sue is laughable

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on January 16 unveiled the state's 2019 executive budget, which he said realizes "the promise of progressive government". Below are excerpts from those statements.

That exodus, and the reasons behind it, should have been the focus of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2018 budget message. Meanwhile, lawmakers hope to approve a final budget no later than the April 1 deadline.

John J. Flanagan, the Republican leader of the Senate, praised elements of Mr. Cuomo's plan, including a 3 percent increase in education funding, the largest chunk of state spending.

Education policy initiatives were similarly sparse in the Governor's State of the State. But he argued that even if millionaires and billionaires do "about the same or a little worse", they still pay "so much less than they should" in terms of their share of taxes.

New Yorkers, suggested Sen.

"Over the next few months, Senate Republicans will be leading the charge to make NY more affordable for its residents and businesses". "That's the problem here in the State of NY".

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"They want to sell to a for-profit or convert".

Cuomo advocated a "zero tolerance" policy for sexual harassment, which he said should be adopted by all layers of local and county governments.

Assemblyman Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay) said helping craft the state budget is one of his most solemn duties.

"My point is it has to be fair to all people in all industries", Cuomo continued.

He also took a jab at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio by saying that the city needed to pay half of the $836 million cost for immediate fixes to the MTA, which de Blasio has adamantly refused to do.

There are more land mine up ahead as well, including a likely push from lawmakers in both parties to add more money to the proposed $338 million increase in foundation aid and, from Assembly Democrats, opposition to an increase in charter school tuition aid.

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New York's medical marijuana program, signed into law by Cuomo in 2014, has struggled in its first few years of operation.

Cuomo is vowing to fight back against Washington Republicans with a state budget proposal that lays out spending on schools and mass transit while also confronting greater uncertainty in federal funding. "While Washington continues to breed divisiveness and anxiety, NY faces these threats as we always do - by coming together as one community".

And he maintained his proposed millionaires tax on wealthy New Yorkers to fund subway repairs and reduced subway fares for low-income New Yorkers is the best way to solve the long-term issues afflicting the city's subway system. The level of cuts in federal aid for health care and other programs remains in question. Last year, the budget was 10 days late.

While his proposed smaller-than-anticipated 3 percent increase in state aid for education will spark a food fight, we hope it's part of a larger conversation about how NY funds K-12 education. Like years past, he highlighted his accomplishments and reminded NY of the "historic commitments" he's made to solve our most pressing issues.

Despite the steady drumbeat of attacks out of Washington on the Affordable Care Act and other major government health care programs, Governor Cuomo's State of the State health care agenda was surprisingly sparse. That could cost some typical middle-class families and upper middle-class families with high property taxes a lot of money.

Some of his $1 billion in revenue-raising ideas are worth pursuing, like charging a surcharge on opioids.

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