Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Statement from Senator Catharine Young Regarding Governor Cuomo’s Budget Address

Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I-Olean) said Governor Cuomo’s proposed budget is a good starting point, and she looks forward to building on his priorities.

            “No new taxes or fees, reducing spending, creating private sector jobs and property tax relief also are the Senate’s priorities, and we look forward to partnering with Governor Cuomo again this year on these issues,”
Senator Young said.

            “The devil always is in the details, and now the state Legislature will begin the full review and negotiation process. Until we look at the numbers and read the budget language, it is difficult to assess the full impact, but it particularly is heartening to hear the Governor’s focus on fiscal responsibility, Medicaid reform and student achievement,” Senator Young said.

            “The Governor’s proposed budget freezes local costs associated with Medicaid, one of the largest unfunded mandates imposed by the state.  By having the state assume 100 percent of Medicaid growth over the next three years, local governments will save $1.2 billion over the next five years, and should be able to cut taxes,” she said.

            “This proposal mirrors a part of legislation I sponsor to fully take over the counties’ share of Medicaid.  It is a victory towards making it more affordable to live and work here,” she said.

      “I would like to see more Medicaid reform that further streamlines the program.  Last year we cut $2.7 billion, but there are other savings that must be found during this year’s budget process,” she said.

      Senator Young said she still thinks it is a good idea for the state to eventually take over the program’s costs from the counties, and there needs to be local accountability incorporated into the law, requiring counties to actively work to reduce their Medicaid and welfare rolls.

      She said that if counties receive significant Medicaid savings, they also should be required to reduce property taxes.

      “Another huge issue has emerged about education, and the Governor is tying increased school aid to teacher evaluations to ensure that New York schools can receive more than $1 billion in additional federal and state aid. We look forward to getting positive results, especially for our rural schools,” she said.

      “The Senate also will be proposing additional measures to cut taxes, and grow the economy and private sector jobs. Our goal is to continue to change the direction of the state.  We’ve made great progress, and we will build on that success,” she said.

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