Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-C-I-Lewiston, commented Wednesday on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive budget address, saying it's important to deliver on the promises made and pass a fourth consecutive on-time budget.
Ceretto said he was encouraged by the governor's plans for tax relief and education aid, but stressed this proposal is not the final product. Ceretto said he will be working with the governor and legislative leaders to craft a final budget that delivers tax relief to struggling Western New York families.
"The governor has laid out some bold initiatives, most notably a property tax circuit breaker, the zero percent corporate income tax rate for upstate manufacturers, and the phase-out of the energy tax," Ceretto said. "All of these initiatives would help Western New York families put more money toward their children's college education or their retirement. While I would like to see the STAR property tax rebate doubled, I am open to any measure that will give money back to the taxpayers, since it belongs to them. Now our job is to get it done and deliver this important tax relief package to Western New York families."
Ceretto is also supportive of the governor's unprecedented investment in education. The education plan includes full-time pre-K and a $2 billion investment in educational technology to prepare students for the technological challenges of the 21st century. In addition, Ceretto is pushing to find solutions to the problems he said Common Core is causing in Western New York classrooms.
"Western New York's children are our future, and I am happy to see the governor propose an unprecedented investment in their education. I support any proposal that prepares our kids for the future as long as it does not increase taxes, put our state into debt, or take money from other important services," Ceretto said. "However, to truly improve our classrooms, we must do something about Common Core. The governor has identified this issue and I look forward to hearing his recommendations. In the meantime, I will be talking with parents and teachers about what we can do to give our kids the world-class education they deserve."
Ceretto also noted the governor's commitment to deliver the remainder of the $680 billion of the "Buffalo Billion." Ceretto said he will help work out the details in the budget so that Western New York continues to receive economic development projects that will create family sustaining jobs.