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Column: Assemblyman Phil Palmesano
NY Budget should be about fairness, your priorities
ALBANY, Feb. 19, 2017 -- Last month, Gov. Cuomo released his 2017-18 Executive Budget Proposal. I often remind people that this is not a final budget and simply represents his priorities. After the governor released his budget, I issued the following statement:
"The governor's Executive Budget proposal has begun the 2017-18 state budget process. Although his proposal is big on promises, he misses the mark in some very important areas that impact New Yorkers. First, he failed to address the important issue of improving the quality of life and care of our most vulnerable New Yorkers, the developmentally disabled, and the incredible direct support professionals who provide them with such important and critical care.
"In addition to his misguided plan to cut funding for our successful STAR program and community libraries, he wants to raise taxes and fees that will continue to hurt our state’s business climate and stymie private sector investment and job creation.
The New York State budget is about more than dollars and cents on a balance sheet. The most significant piece of legislative work each year, the budget deal struck between the governor and my colleagues and I in the state Legislature, should be a reflection of your priorities as New Yorkers, not just the governor’s.
How can we improve the quality of life for our constituents as efficiently as possible? How can we promote fairness? How can we empower New Yorkers to generate exciting opportunities for themselves and their communities? Where can we cut wasteful spending and help taxpayers keep more of their hard-earned money?
These are the questions every legislator thinks about as budget negotiations begin in earnest. I briefly shared a few of my priorities with you, but I also want to hear from you.
What do you think about the governor's budget? Do you support his plan for “free” college tuition? How do you feel about the governor prioritizing a $420 million tax credit for Hollywood? Does his budget do enough to address the growing opioid and heroin epidemic? Do you think we need to reform the education aid formula to ensure our low-wealth, high-need school districts, which are primarily schools in our region, receive adequate funding?
Do you think we need to be more bold and aggressive in our tax and regulatory policies to encourage private sector investment and job creation? Do you agree with the governor that local governments are to blame for increased property taxes or do you believe that costly mandates from the administration are to blame? Do you want to see some of your state tax dollars come back to your local community to fix your local roads and bridges to help reduce property taxes? Do you support the governor's proposal to cut funding for libraries and the successful STAR program?
Finally, do you think that caring for our most vulnerable New Yorkers, the developmentally disabled, should be a priority when it comes to our state budget?
These and many other questions still remain as we work to finalize a state budget. I hope you take the time to share your thoughts, concerns and ideas with me. The budget process is a unique opportunity each year to advance economic opportunity and economic fairness. I ask for your input and pledge that I will do my very best to be an advocate for the interests of our region and will work tirelessly to make sure your voice is heard in Albany.
You can share your thoughts and ideas with me by calling, faxing, emailing or writing me. Our office number is 607-776-9691. Our fax is 607-776-5185. Our email address is email@example.com. Our mailing address is Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, 105 East Steuben Street, Bath, NY 14810.
Photo in text: Assemblyman Phil Palmesano
Schuyler County Officials
Top row (from left): Dennis Fagan, Jim Howell, Michael Lausell, Van Harp
Bottom row: Carl Blower, Barbara Halpin, Phil Barnes, Mark Rondinaro.
Dennis Fagan, Tyrone 607-292-3687
Barbara Halpin, 594-3683
Phil Barnes, Watkins Glen, 481-0482Mark Rondinaro
County Clerk: Linda Compton, 535-8133
Sheriff: William Yessman, 535-8222
Undersheriff: Breck Spaulding, 535-8222
County Treasurer: Harriett Vickio, 535-8181
District Attorney: Joseph Fazzary, 535-8383
State, Federal Officials for Schuyler County
Sen. Charles E. Schumer
United States Senate
Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand
United States Senate
Congressman Tom Reed
2437 Rayburn HOB
State Senator Tom O'Mara -- Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Yates, western Tompkins, Enfield, Ithaca (Town and City), Newfield, Ulysses(Trumansburg)
Room 812, Legislative Office Building
Assemblyman Phil Palmesano--
Steuben, Schuyler, Yates
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869