NY legislature rejects Governor's budget as being not expensive enough

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, Pool

As with many other states, New York is still in the process of attempting to sort out its overly-bloated budget for the fiscal year, but it’s not going well. Governor Kathy Hochul submitted a draft budget six weeks ago, but the state legislature has been bogged down, beset with infighting over the details. One of the chief complaints from the legislators (and many of you will find this hard to believe) is that Hochul has drifted “too far toward the center” since winning a full term of her own last year. With that in mind, the amendments that are currently being filed to push the governor further back to the left are budget-busting and eye-opening, even in a blue state like New York. (NY Post)

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State Senate Democrats rejected Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed overhaul of bail reform alongside her push to expand charter schools in a budget resolution released Tuesday afternoon.

The non-binding counterproposal to the $227 billion draft spending plan she unveiled on Feb. 1 also includes a litany of other proposals to the left of Hochul, who has moved toward the political center since winning a full term in office.

“The Senate modifies the Executive proposal to expand Medicaid eligibility to incarcerated people 30 days prior to release,” reads one item in the resolution.

Right off the bat, we should address the question of whether or not the very liberal Kathy Hochul is actually governing more like a moderate these days. Given her track record and the fact that she was formerly the Lt. Governor under Andrew Cuomo, the idea sounds absurd. But her budget suggests otherwise. She tried to put in more money for charter schools to expand school choice options. And she also (finally) proposed a partial rollback of the state’s disastrous “bail reform” laws that kickstarted a surge in crime that is still plaguing the state, particularly in New York City.

Why would that happen? Think back to last year’s gubernatorial election. Hochul eventually managed to triumph over Republican Lee Zeldin by a six-point margin. That might sound like a comfortable victory in most swing states, but this is New York. Hochul should have won by at least 25. And the GOP took significantly more congressional seats than had originally been predicted. It sounds like Hochul has been sensing a sea change and reading the room correctly. She’s trying to answer the demands of her detractors who want to see both taxes and crime rates heading in the other direction.

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The Democrat-controlled legislature still has its collective fingers in its ears, though. They want none of that centrist claptrap muddying up the waters in Albany. They are now proposing to scrap all of Hochul’s changes to the bail reform law. They also want to gut the extra money for charter schools. (That’s what the teachers’ unions want, so they must obey.) They want increased spending on healthcare, including Medicaid funds, for both illegal immigrants and prisoners who are nearing their release dates.

Counterintuitively, both chambers (still controlled by Democrats) are fighting against Hochul’s call to increase taxes on the wealthiest citizens, robbing the already bloated budget of additional revenue. They are similarly opposing her proposal to increase tuition rates at state universities. Oh, and they still want to ban gas stoves, despite what you may have heard from the liberal media.

All in all, the legislature’s proposed budget is billions of dollars more expensive than the Governor’s plan without any proposals to pay for it all. They are doubling down on DEI and going soft on crime while increasing the financial burdens shouldered by the middle class. Is this really what New Yorkers voted for last November? It really doesn’t seem like it, but welcome to New York I suppose.

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John Stossel 5:30 PM | July 13, 2024
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