Reform is here at last

Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, R-Saratoga/Schenectady

Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, R-Saratoga/Schenectady

For example, the governor held many informal meeting with legislators in his office and at the Executive Mansion. At one breakfast meeting with me and my Assembly Republican colleagues, our conference questioned the governor about restoring VLT monies to the municipalities that hosted them. The governor said he’d look into it and sure enough, he went back and restored $1.5 million in VLT aid to Saratoga Springs that’s going to be a real win for the city and will help keep property taxes down.

From the start, the governor inferred that budgeting in New York wouldn’t be business as usual if the Legislature didn’t pass a budget that reduced spending by the April 1 deadline. He would use his executive powers to push through his budget as an emergency extender or give the Legislature a choice of shutting down government.

That promise, I believe, was a major motivator to bring the legislative leaders to the table to pass a fiscally responsible, on-time state budget that for the first time in recent memory contained no new taxes or borrowing and actually reduced spending by $3.1 billion from the previous year.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then I, and the members of the Assembly Republican Conference, am honored to see that others came around to see the need to fight back against the highest property taxes in the nation. Now that we’re capping property taxes, the next step is to freeze them and then move to cut taxes once and for all.

To help reduce consumer energy costs and grow the green jobs of tomorrow that will power New York’s economy, we passed the Article X law to build new power plants and made permanent the Recharge New York-Power for Jobs program. We passed sweeping ethics law reforms to ensure greater disclosure, transparency, and accountability in state government. We also enacted the SUNY 2020 program to help families better plan for future education costs.

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