Assembly Minority Leader Barclay issues statement on state budget

ALBANY, NY —  The 2021-2022 State Budget represents a high-priced liberal wish list that throws all fiscal responsibility out the window. One-party rule has produced a tax-and-spend disaster that increases spending to astronomical levels, despite the fact that New York’s population is in steep decline.

With a $12.6 billion federal bailout and incoming state revenues exceeding expectations, Democrats crafted their backroom deals, took advantage of a compromised governor and went on a spending spree. By doing so, they have handed a $212 billion invoice to New York’s taxpayers, who are now expected to settle the bill.

We needed a focused, targeted path to recovery that gets immediate relief into the hands of those in need without compromising New York’s long-term prosperity and competitiveness. Democrats didn’t come close to that. There is little cause to celebrate a spending plan that:

  • raises taxes by more than $4 billion, cementing New York’s status as one of the highest-taxed states in America, a distinction that liberals wear as a badge of honor;

  • sends $2.1 billion to undocumented immigrants while providing less than half of that funding commitment to the state’s small businesses;

  • threatens police departments with losing up to 50 percent of their state funding, as violent crime rises in cities across New York;

  • makes the state’s toxic business climate even worse by establishing roughly $1.1 billion more in taxes on job-creators; and

  • authorizes Gov. Cuomo to provide only 90-days’ notice before closing a state prison, an unacceptable provision that fails to consider the needs of individuals and families forced to uproot their lives.

With a budget of this size, there are obviously positive outcomes. I’m pleased that the final agreement includes funding increases for upstate roads and bridges, provides robust education resources as students and teachers continue to navigate through pandemic protocols, continues tax cuts for middle-class families and offers direct financial assistance through grants for small businesses. However, the positive aspects of the spending plan are few and far between.

Irresponsible budgeting put the state in a $7 billion hole long before COVID’s devastation upended our economy. This year’s agreement shows that Democrats have learned nothing from the past, and continue to move New York in the wrong direction – only now at greater speed.