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State budget gets thumbs down from Little, Sayward

Sayward said her biggest concern was for small businesses in Essex County.

"In the district I represent, we have many small businesses who contribute greatly to our economy," she said. "There is no relief for those small establishments in the budget."

Though some of the federal stimulus funds may go to fund infrastructure projects in the Adirondacks, both legislators noted very few bright spots for the region.

"The best news is that the Medical Home Model for the Adirondacks is funded in this budget," said Sayward. "It will give doctors in the Adirondacks more money to see Medicaid patients and allow them to provide a more holistic approach to primary care."

Little said one positive result of the budget process was the rejection of a proposal that would have frozen payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) for state-owned forest preserve land.

Still, Little and Sayward are among many criticizing the manner in which budget revisions and compromises were decided, relying heavily on deals made by leading Democrats behind closed doors.

"In years past the rank and file members of the Legislature served on conference committees to vet the budget bills," Sayward explained. "It was in these committees that much of the real work was done to discuss and compromise issues. None of that happened this year."

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