Reaction to Tuesday’s deal on a $132.6 billion state budget has been a bit muted, perhaps a product of the string of previous legislative deals that resolved a number of high-profile issues and took much of the suspense out of the annual March 31 budget deadline.
But there’s still been plenty of statements and comments from lawmakers, lobbyists and advocacy groups. Here’s a sampling:
- Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, Putnam County, said the state could have benefitted from further reductions in spending. “I personally would have liked to have seen greater cuts across the board, but I am glad to see an on-time budget, if not an early budget,” he told Gannett’s Joseph Spector.
- Lawmakers were seeking to gain greater control over the allocation of grants through Cuomo’s regional development councils, which were established last year and doled out $785 million to projects across the state. But the final budget deal includes a similar pot of money, yet no greater oversight by the Legislature. Senate Economic Development Committee chairman James Alesi, R-Perinton, Monroe County, said it’s too early to say whether the councils will be a success: “You can’t really say after 12 months: ‘Has the program been successful?’” he told Spector.
- Unshackle Upstate Executive Director Brian Sampson: “Today’s budget agreement is another clear signal that it is not business as usual in Albany. There is a commitment to promoting private sector job growth and unlocking New York State’s true economic potential. We look forward to working with our elected officials to address additional key measures such as additional mandate relief for local governments and a overhauling the regulatory environment throughout the remainder of the legislative session.”
- CSEA President Danny Donohue: “Governor Cuomo, Senator Skelos and Assembly Speaker Silver have a self-serving sound byte agreement that ignores the horrendous consequences it will inflict on working New Yorkers.”
- The Business Council of Westchester: “The budget agreement reached today by Governor Cuomo, Majority Leader Skelos and Speaker Silver will have positive implications for the Westchester business community. With 2% or less growth in state spending, as well as a net reduction in All Funds spending for the second year in a row, our leaders demonstrate they remain committed to fiscal responsibility.”
- Sara Niccoli, executive director, Labor-Religion Coalition of NYS: “Ultimately, today’s budget deal does not justly serve the people of New York. Our legislators’ choices affect the quality of our children’s education, the ability to provide safe shelter for families who have lost their homes, and whether the sick will have access to critical health care.”