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NEW YORK PASSES ‘POLITICAL BUDGET’ AT EXACTLY THE WRONG TIME: NEW YORK STATE CONSERVATIVE PARTY
New York–Apr. 2…New York Conservative Party Chairman Gerard Kassar today criticized the “highly political” state budget passed with less input than at any other time in New York State history potentially. Mr. Kassar said that Governor Andrew Cuomo should have pigeonholed controversial items in his budget and moved them into the regular legislative session where they belong and could be vigorously debated.
“In times of crisis, politics has to take a backseat to pragmatism, and that sadly didn’t occur in Albany this week,” Chairman Kassar said. “While members were away from the chamber and reform advocates were sequestered in their homes, billions of dollars of new borrowing was green-lighted; some small political parties were all but eradicated in New York; a taxpayer-paid campaign system was created; new financial burdens were placed on small business owners, and a massive $3-billion bond issue was approved for the November ballot, among other things. What else the governor stuffed into this budget we will soon find out.”
Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, virtually no budget debate took place in Albany in the days leading up to the budget’s passage. Senators and assembly members were not present in their respective chambers and votes were taken remotely.
Mr. Kassar also expressed disappointment that judges were deprived of the right to use discretion in determining whether to require cash bail from those arrested for crimes. Law enforcement leaders and prosecutors begged the governor and state legislature to give judges that discretion. Governor Cuomo’s budget further deprived localities of the right to require approval for certain energy development projects, making a mockery of local zoning laws and effectively eliminating “home rule.”
“We are looking at a policy-driven budget of misstarts and overreaches,” Chairman Kassar said, “and New Yorkers will pay dearly for it.”