Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins ripped the budget approved last night and into this morning, saying it failed to help struggling families and failed to address the scandals that have rocked the Capitol.
“What happened in this budget, and the story of this budget, is more of a story of who was included, who was left out, and it’s also more of a story of what didn’t happen as opposed to what did,” she said last night on the Senate floor.
And she knocked the fact that she and her conference, because they are in the minority, were left out of budget negotiations.
While the budget increased school aid by up to $1.6 billion, she said the state didn’t address inequities in funding. The budget didn’t increase the minimum wage or provide property-tax relief to homeowners — which got linked together and ultimately fell out of the budget plan.
“We failed to provide desperately needed property tax relief for homeowners and business owners across New York state. Yet, we gave tax breaks to yacht owners and airplane owners,” she said.
And she criticized the rushed plan to get a budget deal — with the Senate passing it at 11:15 p.m. and the Assembly going until 3 a.m.
“We simply rushed bills to print and then to floor with little or no real public debate or input,” Stewart-Cousins continued.