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Ortt, Jacobs, Morinello raise concerns with state budget


Mon, Apr 1st 2019 02:10 pm

Republican New York State Sen. Rob Ortt issued the following statement pertaining to the state budget:

“Budgets are about priorities, and this year, Democrats have chosen to prioritize free college for illegal aliens, to roll back charges against serious criminals, to provide corporate subsidies for Hollywood billionaires, and to provide political welfare through taxpayer-funded campaigns. If your only crime is being a farmer, gun owner, business owner or a regular, hard-working New Yorker, Democrats have demonstrated that you are not a priority. We’re now looking at over a billion dollars in new taxes and fees, from pain meds for cancer patients to grocery bags, internet purchases for everyday New Yorkers or electric bills for a local mom and pop small business – the cost of living and working in our state just increased dramatically. Apparently, the only crime this new majority finds unforgivable is being a law-abiding, taxpayer.”

On Friday, State Sen. Chris Jacobs voiced his objection to a provision in the proposed state budget that would divert $20 million in funds from the New York Power Authority into the general fund of the state budget.

“We all know the Niagara Power Plant is one of the only profitable power generators in the entire NYPA system, thus Niagara is likely responsible for nearly all this $20 million in profits,” Jacobs said. “This $20 million should remain in Western New York to lower utility bills for businesses and residents and help spur our economic recovery – not be taken by the governor and legislature.”

Jacobs claimed “sweeping” this $20 million into the budget means most of these funds will not be used to help Western New York, but go to New York City, where so much of this year’s budget is focused.

He said he would soon introduce legislation to prevent this practice of “raiding” NYPA during the budget process.

On Tuesday, GOP Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello said, “It’s a relief that an agreement has been reached, but the 2019-20 budget was a lackluster effort to improve the lives for New Yorkers. I was encouraged by the inclusion of funding for our direct-care workers, the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) and libraries, but it fell short on the necessary allotment needed for our state. The elimination of $65 million in extreme winter recovery funds was another devastating blow that will leave many small rural communities to fend for themselves during harsh winter conditions. This year’s budget process was inefficient and lacked transparency. If we continue allowing seven counties to control the entire Legislature, we’ll never make the progress our constituents deserve.”

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