The following is a statement from Senator Jim Tedisco (R,C,I,REF-Glenville) on the Senate’s 2018-2019 State Budget Resolution.
Excelsior is New York’s motto. It should stand for a higher and better quality of life not higher and more taxes and regulations to burden New Yorkers!
We’ve lost over one million people since 2010 – 190,000 people escaped from New York in just the last year. The fiscally sane state budget resolution my Senate colleagues are advancing as we enter negotiations with the Governor and the Assembly aims to stop the tax madness and ensure the Empire State doesn’t become known as the ‘Empty State.’
A large part of the reason for this population loss is the governmental malpractice we’ve seen of trying to solve our state’s fiscal problems with more taxes and fees on the backs of already over-burdened taxpayers. My Senate colleagues and I are trying to turn that around by helping to make our state more affordable and to spur more opportunity for job growth.
The Senate Budget Resolution we are advancing rejects $1 billion in new taxes and DMV fees proposed by the Governor; makes the property tax cap permanent; caps state spending at 2 percent; protects the popular STAR property tax relief program for homeowners and expands STAR to help small businesses save $275 million as well as freezes school property taxes at current levels for overburdened senior citizens and completely eliminates it over the next 10 years; decouples the state and federal tax code to prevent New Yorkers from taking a $1.5 billion state tax hit as a result of recent federal tax changes; cuts energy taxes on consumers and businesses by $280 million; and saves senior citizens $275 million by increasing the private pension and retirement income exclusion.
As a former special education teacher, guidance counselor, coach and athletic director, one of my top priorities is ensuring our children have the resources and support they need to learn and grow. Our Senate Budget Resolution increases education funding $1 billion for a total of $26.1 billion, which is a 3.8 percent increase over last year.
I’m proud that the Senate Budget Resolution expands on the comprehensive and holistic school safety legislative package we passed last week by advancing several school safety budget measures that would enable schools to receive state aid. These include: allowing school districts to be reimbursed from the state for putting in place school resource officers; having at least two active shooter drills a year; giving schools the option of participating in a new program where teachers and school personnel are equipped with personal safety alarms to connect to local police, fire and EMS; and creating a school services mental health coordinator program to identify, address and report issues of mental health before situation escalates or a tragedy occurs.
My Senate colleagues and I are advancing $265 million to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic – which is the largest-ever financial commitment in state history to fight this scourge; adding $65 million for the popular CHIPS (Consolidated Local Street and Highway Program) to help maintain state and local infrastructure; restoring $10 million in agricultural tax cuts to keep family farms working; $5 million for a state companion animal fund to help our animal shelters deal with the over-population of companion pets and find more forever homes for our four-legged friends; and $20.3 million for PTECH and early college high school programs in Fulton County and across the state.
We also included $1.2 million (an $800,000 increase from this year) for research and prevention of Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases; $7 million for the Workforce Development Institute to help train workers for manufacturing and 21st century jobs; and $30,000 to expand the Schenectady Weekend Backpack Program to give more children and families the peace of mind that they will have access to healthy meals in the next school year.