Norris: Budget Is An Attack On Upstate NY

A Statement from Assemblyman Mike Norris (R,C,I,Ref-Lockport)

This downstate dominated one-party designed budget is an attack on upstate New York. With one million New Yorkers having already fled our state’s “tax and spend” culture since 2010, we needed this budget to do something to reduce the high taxes and excessive fees and regulations that continue to drive people and jobs away. Instead, the downstate one-party majorities pushed through the most expensive spending plan in our state’s history that not only raised taxes by more than $4 billion, including changes to the long-proven STAR program, but also raises state debt to $57 billion, which is the second highest in the nation – an action that will cripple future generations of New Yorkers. In the scope of their massive spending plan, the priorities of Western New Yorkers were left out. Their downstate driven budget cuts construction aid for libraries, does nothing to support volunteer firefighters, outrageously shifts how local Aid to Municipalities is funded, makes it harder for police to do their jobs, imposes many new unfunded mandates on local governments and businesses, gives away taxpayers’ hard-earned money as free tuition for illegal immigrants while ignoring the needs of citizens who are college-bound, strips funding from the Extreme Winter Recovery infrastructure program, and gives nothing more to improve the crumbling bridges and roads north of Long Island. Yet, the budget makes dangerous changes that empower criminals. Western New Yorkers and I both know that this is clearly the wrong direction for our state, and I voted “no” on the entire budget.