On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled the FY 2019 Executive Budget, which outlined the money behind many of the initiatives he’s described over the last several weeks.
Among his top priorities, is ensuring that taxpayers are protected against ‘devastating’ federal action, strengthening the middle class, and cutting taxes to spark additional business growth.
The agenda includes a number of proposals – from fighting the federal tax overhaul to ending the opioid epidemic by holding pharmaceutical companies accountable to investing record amounts in education.
“For the past eight years, we have restored fiscal discipline while achieving historic progressive accomplishments and strengthening middle class New Yorkers. The FY 2019 Budget builds on our strong record and continues to move New York forward, by protecting taxpayers against the federal assault, investing in education to support and train the next generation, and implementing bold progressive policies to make New York a more just and fair state for all,” Gov. Cuomo said.
He added, “Together, we will continue to deliver on the promise of progressive government -even while tackling unprecedented challenges head on. We will restore citizen confidence and ensure management competence. This bold agenda charts a path forward toward a better future for all New Yorkers.”
Not everyone agreed with his assessment of New York, though.
Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, the Republican who launched his campaign for governor last month said that it fit Cuomo’s ‘familiar’ theme. “The governor continued his familiar theme of blaming Washington D.C. for problems that have been evident in New York for years. Oppressive taxes, a high cost of living, and financial pressures that drive residents away are not new issues. Unfortunately, today’s Executive Budget presentation was long on finger-pointing, yet short on financial details,” Kolb said in a statement.
Among Kolb’s primary concerns, the lack of spending reduction, a plan to lower the cost Albany places on local governments, and the lack of action on economic development programs. Economic development programs, which Kolb says cost taxpayers billions.
“The proposed overhaul of New York’s tax system outlined by the governor is complicated and cumbersome, with an endless list of unanswered questions to go along with it. The true impact on employees — who may be forced to take a salary cut — and businesses may not be known for years,” Kolb continued.
Like Kolb’s criticism of Cuomo’s ‘State of the State’ address, he noted the presentation on Tuesday was “more about political positioning rather than policy solutions that directly address the state’s longstanding problems.”