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Statement from Assemblymember Reilly on the passage of New York State Budget for FY20-21

CONTACT: Peter Giunta, 347.621.8031

The following is a statement from Assemblymember Michael Reilly (R-South Shore) on the passage of the New York State Budget for Fiscal Year 2020-2021:

“This is definitely an unusual time for the people of our state, but make no mistake, it has been business as usual for Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.  Early this morning, the New York State Legislature voted to approve a record-setting $177 billion budget for the state’s upcoming fiscal year – albeit several days late and chock-full of the same wasteful expenditures and negative policies that New York’s middle- and working-class families have unfortunately become familiar with.  

As I traveled back to Albany earlier this week, amid this unprecedented crisis, I expressed concern over the Governor’s influence in the budget process.  Year after year, Governor Cuomo has taken a strongarm approach to force controversial policy into the final budget agreement, and despite these extraordinary circumstances under which we would be voting on a budget, this year was no different.  I repeatedly urged the Governor to put his political agenda on pause – a parody of his “NYS on PAUSE” initiative – so that the State Legislature could pass a budget extender which would have allowed the state government to continue to function until this crisis has ended.  Unfortunately, Albany Democrats, who control both houses of the New York State Legislature, were complacent and approved most of the Governor’s controversial proposals.

New Yorkers do not benefit from the words “E Pluribus Unum” being added to the state seal; they do not benefit from taxpayer funded political campaigns; they do not benefit from amendments to the state’s “Green Light Law,” which still allows undocumented immigrants to obtain a New York State drivers license and prevented immigration enforcement agencies like Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs & Border Patrol (CBP) to access the Department of Motor Vehicle’s vehicle database; they do not benefit from amendments made to the state’s flawed criminal justice reforms, which quite frankly, do not go far enough to keep dangerous criminals off our streets; and they certainly do not benefit from massive cuts to our healthcare system while we are in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.  To add insult to injury, Albany Democrats approved a recommendation by Governor Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) to increase the look-back period for non-institutionalized long-term care from 30 days to 30 months, placing the burden of unnecessary healthcare costs on the backs of struggling New Yorkers.

Despite these negatives, there are still some positives to share.  School aid has increased by $95.6 million, the income threshold for the state’s Excelsior Scholarship Program has increased, and the Buy American Act was made permanent.  With bi-partisan help, I was also successful in securing $1 million in new to support suicide prevention services for the New York City Police Department.  This is all just a drop in the bucket though.  With my second state budget now completed, I, like many of my colleagues, return to my district to focus on coronavirus response efforts.”

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