WNY state delegation reacts to Governor’s budget
Members of the Western New York delegation offered reaction Tuesday to Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget plan.
Democratic State Senator Tim Kennedy of Buffalo says he is optimistic. Kennedy tells WBFO News the budget focuses on the needs of the region including investing in jobs, economic development and property tax relief.
Kennedy referred to his funding increase for education as "extraordinary."
"It's focusing on pre-k. It's focusing on after-school programs. It's focusing on testing reforms and especially in increase in aid to our schools, especially to those that need it the most," said Kennedy.
Republican Assemblyman Ray Walter of Amherst is pleased to see the investment in education. but noted the "devil" will be in the budget details.
"Unfortunately he didn't really mention anymore mandate relief and that's something we need to focus on because that's really the driver of our property tax," said Walter.
Republican Assemblywoman Jane Corwin of Clarence says she is pleased with the Governor's call of tax reform. But Corwin says she is concerned with a proposed emergency services plan, making it sure spending reaches into the Western New York region.
"A lot of that is concentrated down into New York City. I would like to see some of that in Western New York. We have our share of weather disasters, unfortunately. So there's a lot in here. [I'm ] looking forward to taking a look at it, but certainly will working with the Governor's office to make a good budget for April 1," said Corwin.
Both Republican Assemblyman John Ceretto of Niagara Falls and Republican Senator Patrick Gallivan of Elma say they were also encouraged by the overall message of the Governor's speech and vow to help to work in a bipartisan effort on budget a new budget deal.
"I am particularly encouraged that the Governor has directed a considerable amount of his focus on tax reduction, upstate economic development and continued investment in education. These priorities align with my own and I look forward to securing real tax relief and economic prosperity for Western New York families and businesses. The last several years I have worked tirelessly to ensure that our high-needs and rural students have access to the same resources as their wealthier counterparts across the state. 2014 will be no different," said Gallivan.