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From the Desk of Assemblyman David G. Mcdonough: April 15, 2011

On-Time Budget Signals Progress, Much Work Ahead

For Taxpayers and Job Creators

Assemblyman Dave McDonough acknowledged he is pleased with an on-time state budget while being less than satisfied by its contents. He added that more work needs to be done in order to comprehensively address the demands of Long Island taxpayers and job creators. McDonough also emphasized his priorities of no significant new taxes, a cap on state spending, unfunded-mandate relief, and the structural redesign of Medicaid, believing that the 2011-12 state budget only laid the first brick in the strong foundation on which the Empire State needs to rebuild its broken economy.

The state budget only scratches the surface regarding the struggles taxpayers and small businesses face on a daily basis. This budget certainly signaled compromise and progress in several areas.

Lawmakers cannot be honest with themselves or their constituents until they fully recognize the need to address unfunded state mandates and fix Medicaid, both of which currently cripple municipalities and school districts. Prohibiting unfunded state mandates and requiring financial-impact statements on all legislation imposing a cost on localities are issues I have consistently advocated and will continue to support.

Medicaid growth threatens New York State with bankruptcy. This year’s budget did not go far enough in addressing the excessive abuse and waste contained within the system itself. Albany needs to allow counties to opt out of certain optional Medicaid gold-plated benefits. A truly responsive state government would have put more control in the hands of municipalities to administer their own health care. It’s time for Albany to adopt this policy.

I was proud to support this budget that will: restore aid back to our schools for our students; cut overall spending for the first time since 1995, and promotes economic development for our region. While more work is ahead in these areas, we have laid a great foundation for our students, families, and communities.

I will steadfastly push for additional legislation, which promotes pro-growth policies. The budget did very little to encourage private-sector job creators to stay in our state because little was done to cut burdensome red tape. Albany still contributes to the worst business climate in the United States. It’s imperative that lawmakers now work toward rolling back any policies, which hamper job growth.