Earlier this week, Assemblyman Angelo Morinello said, “I would like to thank the governor for his leadership during this difficult time, however, I would implore him to not use this as a motive to pursue a budget filled with policy that’s harmful to New Yorkers. During these trying times of uncertainty, the budget should focus on the recovery of business, management of the economy, and the health care of communities across this state.
“The budget should not consist of lukewarm attempts on modifying the bail reform law, a law that demands a full repeal; or policies such as home rule decisions on energy limit abilities that the governor has exercised executive overreach while stripping municipalities, towns and villages from their input in matters of their own backyards must be debated with full openness.
“The budget for New York demands full transparency and must be debated on and examined in the sunlight, unlike previous years where policy has slipped in during the middle of the night. Gov. Cuomo has been open about the coronavirus, but continues to be evasive and ambiguous about the budget.
“There is still no information regarding when and what we will be voting on when the budget is presented. This year's budget should only address the financial needs of New York, and the health of our citizens.”
With less than a week to go before the state budget is due, New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta released the following statement on the budget process:
“The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the vital role that our schools play in our communities. They provide meals, they provide care for the needs of children, they provide mental health services – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“We traveled the state earlier this year to hear directly from the educators, students and parents who rely on public schools about the critical funding needs they are facing, needs that haven’t changed as we’ve begun weathering the effects of this pandemic. From Long Island to Buffalo, their message was simple: Fund our future. The same goes for our public colleges and universities that provide a pathway to the middle class for so many New Yorkers.
“The economic crisis brought on by this pandemic has already left millions unemployed and has caused issues with the state’s budget. But let’s be clear about something: Cuts to education in any form will hurt the students and families who need the supports our public schools and colleges provide now more than ever. The inequality that already existed in our education system has only been exacerbated by this crisis. Cutting funding now will widen the gap even further.
“Our public education students and families shouldn’t be the ones to foot the bill for the crisis. New York’s ultrawealthy can afford to step up and pay their fair share to help us preserve the high-quality education our dedicated educators work so hard to provide.”
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.