UPDATED: Reactions to Cuomo's proposed budget
Emails are flooding in from across the state with reactions to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget for 2013-2014.
Brian Sampson, Unshackle Upstate executive director:
“We’re pleased to see that Governor Cuomo has proposed a third consecutive budget that holds the line on spending and we appreciate that he has not proposed any new taxes. Without question, the governor’s fiscally responsible approach has put New York on the road to economic recovery.
The proposed reforms to the state’s Workers’ Compensation and Unemployment Insurance programs will also provide a sense of stability for employers and employees. These issues have long stood as barriers to job creation and we’re encouraged that the governor is committed to advancing real, proactive solutions. It is imperative that the Legislature adopt the governor’s proposals and bring some cost certainty to these programs.
We’re also pleased to see that the governor is committed to growing the Upstate economy through such initiatives as Market NY and a new round of Regional Economic Development Council funding. These efforts, coupled with an increased focus on private sector job growth come at a pivotal time for the Upstate region.
As leading proponents of mandate relief and a partner in Let New York Work, we support the governor’s inclusion of the stable rate pension contribution option and the establishment of a real “fiscal ability to pay” provision for binding arbitration. Additionally, the expansion of the design-build process will help make our communities more affordable.
Unshackle Upstate has been a tireless advocate for these positive measures. We thank Governor Cuomo for advancing them in his budget and we call on the Legislature to support them.
As New York State continues its economic recovery, Unshackle Upstate remains opposed to a minimum wage increase. Without measures in place to offset the added costs, this hike will be detrimental to our business climate and taxpayers’ wallets.
We’re committed to working with our leaders in Albany to ensure that this year’s enacted budget is one that will treat taxpayers and employers fairly. By working together to create jobs and strengthen our economy, we can make New York the Empire State once again
Billy Easton, Executive Director of the Alliance for Quality Education:
"Governor Cuomo's plan to create the first state-funded, full-day pre-kindergarten initiative is a welcome and important step."
"Full-day pre-kindergarten increases student success in school, raises graduation rates, and increases lifetime earnings of students. This initiative builds on the long term leadership of Speaker Sheldon Silver on providing pre-kindergarten to four year olds."
Karen Scharff, Executive Director of Citizen Action of New York:
"Investing in full day Pre-K provides a major return on investment, both boosting our kids’ success and providing savings in the long term. This investment is a great step toward providing our kids with the path to success and making our communities strong."
Jay DiLorenzo, President, Preservation League of New York State:
"In a historic first, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has included enhancements to the New York State Rehabilitation Tax Credit program in his Executive Budget Proposal to the New York State Legislature.
"Proposed changes include a 5-year extension to the program (currently set to expire in December 2014) and statutory language that provides the option to take the state rehabilitation credit as a refund, a change intended to increase the number of investors who are able to fund projects.
"We believe early results from the first three years of program activity demonstrate this program's economic and community development impacts in New York State, and we are pleased to see the Governor recognize this program so prominently."
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan:
"Governor Cuomo’s 2013-14 State Budget builds on our success over the last two years and proposes to close the state’s fiscal gap in a prudent manner. I am encouraged that the Governor has included a minimum wage increase as part of the budget. I firmly believe an indexing provision is crucial to ensuring that it keeps up with rising costs for low wage workers and provides them certainty. Raising New York’s minimum wage has long been an Assembly priority and I look forward to a productive dialogue on this and other issues in the weeks ahead as we work to enact an early budget for New York."
Public Employees Federation (PEF) President Susan M. Kent touches on area's of concern:
Any expansion of the Close to Home initiative, approved in last year's budget. We continue to oppose the Close to Home Initiative as bad public policy and remain vigilant in advocating for continuity of employment for our impacted members;
Continued employment of our members and the economic stability of the communities in which the governor is proposing the closure of two prisons;
Greater reliance on the "Design Build" concept for infrastructure improvements which shifts responsibility from state employees to private consultants which is more costly to the taxpayer and is wrought with inferior work product and smacks of political patronage. PEF continues to advocate for transparency for the taxpayer which could be achieved through a cost-benefit analysis. This will also be a legislative priority for PEF as the governor vetoed a cost-benefit analysis last year.
Heather Briccetti, President and CEO, The Business Council of New York State, Inc.:
"For the third year in a row, Governor Cuomo has presented a budget designed to control overall state spending."
"The Governor's budget closes a $1 billion plus spending-gap with no new taxes or fees. It also provides additional mandate relief sending a signal to business leaders that the state is prepared to help control the cost of local government."
"We support the Governor's proposals to reduce the cost of major employer mandates including the Workers' Compensation and Unemployment Insurance systems."
"However, we have concerns regarding several initiatives outlined today and earlier this session that will impose new costs or new barriers on business. These include: the proposed extension of the section 18a energy tax that would cost New Yorkers $472 million annually; significant new energy initiatives funded, at least in part, through increased rates or assessments; an increased state minimum wage; tighter regional carbon emission limits that will increase energy costs on consumers; and others."