State Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-60th District, offered these comments Wednesday:
Of the Dream Act, he said, "I was against this proposal two years ago, and I remain against it today. I cannot in good conscience support diverting tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds annually to children of illegal immigrants by giving them access to TAP grants and other higher education assistance programs when so many students are struggling to meet the costs of higher education.
"Sheldon Silver needs to come to the realization that the wallets of taxpayers are not bottomless pits. His proposal may work in New York City, but the overwhelming majority of people I have been elected to represent are vehemently opposed to it. I represent their interests, not the interests of downstate special interest groups, and I will not support this legislation."
Commenting on a proposed property tax freeze, Grisanti said, "New Yorkers pay the highest property taxes in the United States. In terms of property taxes paid as a percentage of home value, Erie County homeowners rank 11th in the entire country. Those are the cold, hard facts. And they have got to change. That's why, two years ago, I wholeheartedly backed the property tax cap. Now, it's time to take the next step.
"This year, I fully support the property tax freeze and the residential real property personal income tax credit proposed in the 2014 state budget. At the same time, we have got to attack the root cause of the problem: We have too many unfunded state mandates. These unfunded mandates are unfair, and restrict the ability of local governments to control spending and tax rates. That's why I have been one of the most vocal members of the State Legislature in calling for immediate and fundamental reform of unfunded state mandates.
"I will continue those efforts."