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Sen. Griffo Calls for 'Bare-Bones' State Budget

March 24, 2020   06:30 p.m.
    Press Release from Senator Griffo's Office:

    Griffo: ‘Bare-bones’ state budget must be done

    With the state facing a myriad of challenges related to COVID-19, New York
    State Senate Deputy Minority Leader Joseph Griffo, R-I-C-Rome, is urging Gov.
    Andrew Cuomo to exclude all policy that could be contentious or cause delay
    from this year’s State Budget.

    “While we remain cognizant of the serious public health crisis confronting our
    state, it is important that we also fulfill our budgetary obligations and meet the
    April 1 deadline,” Deputy Minority Leader Griffo said. “However, a budget laden
    with policy, which involves significant debate, discussion and public input, is
    irresponsible given the magnitude of the crisis we are currently facing. This year’
    s budget should be bare bones and deal strictly with the state’s fiscal matters.
    There is no need to divide, distract and divert attention at this time.”

    There are several policy-related items that could be in the budget that should not
    be pushed through without further consideration, Deputy Minority Leader Griffo
    said. These include:

    ·         * Addressing public safety issues and social policy.

    ·         * A 30-day amendment that would take away power from local
    governments and limit local input when it comes to the siting of energy projects.

    ·         * Initiatives that would push more burden onto counties and businesses
    that are already affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

    ·         * Streamlining the state’s court system.

    ·         * Reconfiguring the school aid formula.

    “Gov. Cuomo has alluded to the fact that there are certain policy items in his
    budget proposal that are complicated and might have to be delayed. I hope that
    the Governor heeds his own advice,” Deputy Minority Leader Griffo said. “I
    recognize and understand that we should be capable of addressing and doing a
    number of things even when in a crisis, but now is not the time to compound the
    issues and consternation that New Yorkers face. These are issues that have the
    potential to divide at a time when we should remain focused on unity. Our focus
    continues to be on addressing the current COVID-19-related crisis and helping
    our struggling, fearful and worried communities during this difficult time – not
    policy items that could have an adverse effect and can wait for later. We can go
    back and address policies and other initiatives that deserve more consideration,
    deliberation and examination once this public health crisis has subsided.”

    Deputy Minority Leader Griffo has been critical of past budgets that have
    included policy items that should be independently and transparently scrutinized
    – not crammed into a fiscal document that is passed in the middle of the night
    while New Yorkers are sleeping.

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