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Guest Column: State Sen. Tom O'Mara
"The new Cuomo budget"
ALBANY, Jan. 23 -- The headline says the “new”
Cuomo budget, but plenty of what we heard
No new or higher state taxes or fees. None of the fiscal gimmickry and gamesmanship that’s been included in so many executive budget proposals in the past. Another year-to-year decrease in overall spending. The continuing overhaul of the state bureaucracy.
In short, the Governor handed us another straightforward budget strategy that led me to remark, in my initial reaction, that the “core proposals underpinning this fiscal strategy remain true to last year’s building blocks for getting state and local taxpayers out from under America’s highest tax burden, creating more cost-effective government across the board, and encouraging sustained private-sector job growth.”
But (and there has to be at least one but? in a $132-billion proposal)
in this column last week I had also previewed the governor’s plan
by expressing the hope that it would include a bold move on mandate relief.
We didn’t get a bold move, but we did get the beginnings of one
by way of a
So it wasn’t a bold move, but it was a steady step. Beginning a total state takeover of local Medicaid costs would mark a true turnaround in the state-local partnership and a true victory for local property taxpayers. It would keep building a new system of Medicaid that’s going to be more cost effective for taxpayers, less abused and wasteful, and more efficient for patients. It took decades for this system to spiral out of control and it’s going to take some time to fix it, but we’re going to fix it. The governor’s proposal moves in the right direction on this front, but I think we should find a way to do even more this year. Stay tuned.
Overall, Governor Cuomo’s plan, and his call for continued bipartisan cooperation to achieve it, bodes well for one more repeat from last year – the enactment of an on-time budget.
The annual unveiling of the proposed executive budget marks the traditional first move in New York’s budget making process. What’s next? It remains the Legislature’s responsibility to pull apart the fabric of the Cuomo plan and more fully assess how it would impact our local communities. This nuts-and-bolts analysis is already underway. The Legislature’s fiscal committees will also begin a series of public hearings this week, starting on Monday, January 23 with testimony from state agency heads and others on the proposals for elementary and secondary education.
I’ll do my best to keep you updated on important developments.
Currently on my website, www.omara.nysenate.gov, you can visit a “Get
the Facts” page (click on the “Get the Facts” icon in
the left-hand column of the home page). Here you’ll find, for example,
a link to the State
Photo in text: State Senator Tom O'Mara
Schuyler County Officials
Top row (from left): Dennis Fagan, Thomas Gifford, Doris Karius, Glenn Larison
Bottom row: Michael A. Yuhasz, Barbara Halpin, Phil Barnes, Stewart Field
Dennis Fagan, Tyrone 607-292-3687
Michael A. Yuhasz, 535-4967
Doris L. Karius, 546-5544
Barbara Halpin, 594-3683
Glenn R. Larison, 594-3385
Thomas M. Gifford, 535-9517
Phil Barnes, Watkins Glen 481-0482
Stewart Field, Watkins Glen 535-2335
County Clerk: Linda Compton, 535-8133
Sheriff: William Yessman, 535-8222
Undersheriff: Breck Spaulding, 535-8222
County Treasurer: Margaret Starbuck, 535-8181
District Attorney: Joseph Fazzary, 535-8383
State, Federal Officials for Schuyler County
Sen. Charles E. Schumer
United States Senate
Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand
United States Senate
State Senator Tom O'Mara -- Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Yates, western Tompkins, Enfield, Ithaca (Town and City), Newfield, Ulysses(Trumansburg)
Room 812, Legislative Office Building
Assemblyman Christopher Friend --
Chemung, Schuyler, Tioga
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869