Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-C-I-Lewiston, helped pass the Assembly budget resolution Monday, which increased state education aid to schools by $834 million on a year-to-year basis, secured $120 million to better treat the developmentally disabled, enhanced aid to community college students and provided additional funding for local road and bridge work. The budget resolution is a working document that will be vetted over the next few weeks during negotiations to determine the final state budget.
"Tonight's budget resolution puts lawmakers in a strong position to pass a fiscally responsible, on-time budget that increases important aid to schools and the developmentally disabled, while still holding the line on taxes and providing additional support to local governments," Ceretto said. "As lawmakers, we cannot turn our backs on the most vulnerable members of our society and must provide the resources these individuals need for treatment and support."
While Ceretto voted for the resolution, he did criticize downstate politicians for including taxpayer-funded tuition assistance for illegal aliens in the Assembly Majority budget resolution. The program, known as the Dream Act, would provide up to $25 million in college assistance from the state's TAP program to illegal immigrants.
"I am disappointed that New York City politicians are attempting to push through taxpayer-funded college assistance for illegal aliens in their budget proposal," Ceretto said. "Rather than spend millions of taxpayer dollars to send illegal aliens to college, I believe the Legislature should be working to provide additional assistance in this year's budget for the developmentally disabled and middle-class college students. I will not vote for the Dream Act if it comes to the floor as a standalone bill."
"I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that the finalized state budget places Western New York on stronger economic footing, while affording us the ability to fund education and other worthy programs at responsible levels," Ceretto added.