Opinion. State budget hurts the Hudson Valley

| 10 May 2023 | 03:36

    The following is from Assemblyman Karl Brabenec (R,C-Deerpark), who represents the 98th District, which includes the city of Port Jervis, the towns of Deerpark, Greenville, Mount Hope, Wawayanda, Minisink, Warwick, Tuxedo, and portions of the towns of Goshen, Monroe and Ramapo:

    It is no secret this year’s budget negotiation process was a mess. Not only did it exclude an entire side of the aisle from providing their input on what needs should be met, but it was a month late thanks to the governor’s personal wish list of policy initiatives slogging conversations to a complete standstill. The budget was finally passed on Tuesday, May 2, at 11 p.m., but despite pushback against the governor’s bad ideas, it was still littered with bad policy. This budget, however, was also specifically harmful to the Hudson Valley.

    One of the biggest red flags on display in this budget was the increased state regulation of Orange County’s Industrial Development Agency, a department run by passionate New Yorkers who have been working tirelessly since its inception to incentivize businesses large and small to set up shop in the Hudson Valley. As part of the budget agreement this year, an Albany-approved overseer will monitor the department, which is incredibly concerning. Not only will the IDA now have to report to and get approval from Albany – this will surely slow economic development in our communities – but I anticipate that it comes with a desire to reinstate less-than-friendly business taxation policies that could very well drive more dollars and more people out of New York.

    There was also the issue of the gas-powered appliance ban, a foolhardy measure by performative Democrats to try and satiate climate radicals by unnaturally forcing a reduction in emissions in New York. Most new houses, businesses and facilities built after 2026 are mandated to have only electric appliances installed. Despite knowing the majority of New Yorkers opposed the measure, the governor pushed this unpopular policy through, which will only further limit the personal freedoms of New Yorkers, and I imagine, will continue to discourage anyone from building a life here.

    Then, there is the huge check cut to New York City for the management of undocumented immigrants. They promised $1 billion for this program, a huge investment that could have easily been reallocated to other areas needing support. Even with spending $229 billion in our budget, funding programs in the education sector, in agriculture, in business, continue to be a challenge, thanks in part to driving New Yorkers away because of this state’s spending and taxing habits, and favoritism to New York City. That very same favoritism leaves the rest of New York scraping for support.

    This budget was a mess of a process, and the spending it proposed is just as uncoordinated and ineffective. I am concerned about New York’s welfare when our state leadership took this long to deliver a budget this full of problems. But until the future of this state is set in stone, I will continue to fight for common sense and respectable governance.

    Assemblyman Karl Brabenec