Prioritizing Taxpayers Over Migrants Assemblyman Slater Votes Against State Budget

Prioritizing Taxpayers Over Migrants: Assemblyman Slater Votes Against State Budget

“New York Democrats’ multibillion-dollar allocation to pay for a migrant crisis fueled by the state’s sanctuary policies exceeds approved investments in critical areas such as childcare, mental health services, increased aid to public schools, state road repairs, and support for overworked New Yorkers.”

This mismatch demonstrates the backwardness of favoring migrants over the interests of our taxpayers and communities. “It is unacceptable and an embarrassment for our state Legislature to prioritize illegal immigrants over hardworking taxpayers,” said Assemblyman Matt Slater, who voted against the enacted NY State budget.

Slater wrote the following comments about the adopted budget and the process.

“Since Democrats assumed control of both houses of the legislature and the Governor’s Office, New York State has boosted expenditure by $74 billion in the last six years. Meanwhile, our state has led the nation in outmigration, with the highest taxes and the poorest economic outlook of any of the 50 states. The 2024-2025 budget provided an opportunity to reassess and correct direction, but it was unfortunately business as usual.

While Governor Hochul has been traveling around the state performing victory laps before the budget was even passed, she has avoided discussing property tax relief. That’s because there is no attempt in this massive and far-reaching spending proposal to provide property tax relief to an overworked and overtaxed state. So, while Governor Hochul is giving out high fives, she is actually giving taxpayers more of the same: the nation’s highest taxes and the worst economic prospects. At the very least, U-Haul will be delighted.

As New Yorkers prepare to leave for surrounding states, illegal immigrants will continue to be enticed to come in, thanks in large part to the continued sanctuary state policies, which are now being supported by New York taxpayers. In this year’s budget, New York Democrats provided a $2.4 billion gift to pay for the ongoing migrant issue caused by the state’s sanctuary policies.

Based on the argument I had on the Assembly floor, our colleagues on the other side of the aisle have no idea how much we have already spent, expect to spend, or how many migrants are already receiving taxpayer-funded services. However, one thing is clear: this budget spends more on services for illegal immigrants than on childcare, mental health services, or badly needed state road repairs.

When it comes to our state roadways, my office hears more about the bad state of our infrastructure than any other topic, and for good reason. Earlier this year, I led a bipartisan alliance of Hudson Valley state lawmakers to demand that $400 million be allocated to state highways in this year’s budget.

Despite overwhelming statistics (the Hudson Valley has the worst state roads in New York), advocacy from building and trades unions, and a bipartisan coalition, Governor Hochul refused to authorize this vitally needed provision. So, if you encounter a pothole on a state road, call Governor Hochul and thank her (518-474-8390).

Despite these conspicuous omissions and disappointments, this year’s budget has several constructive measures. I was relieved to see foundation money fully restored for our public schools, as well as to escape Governor Hochul’s proposed cuts to the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program, which our towns and villages rely on to pave local roads. The flat allocation is better than a cut, but it fails to address rising construction costs, forcing our Highway Superintendents to do more with less.

I was also thrilled to see Democrats finally take action on public safety. While I would have liked to see all of their pro-criminal policies reversed, there were some little improvements that acknowledge the true state of affairs in communities across our state.

Enhancing punishments for crimes against shop workers, establishing more judicial safeguards, and broadening hate crime offenses are all positive steps forward, but there is still much more that can be done to increase public safety. Of course, despite three police officers being slain in the line of duty in the previous month, nothing has been done to improve protections for our law enforcement officers.

Another notable achievement is the crackdown on illegal cannabis sales. This is another issue on which I collaborated with a bipartisan coalition in the Assembly, and I am pleased to see both of our proposals approved in the final budget, which will strengthen the Office of Cannabis Management’s enforcement authority in combating the thousands of unlicensed businesses that sell cannabis illegally. The new measures will suspend the corresponding state licenses to sell lotteries, cigarettes, and alcohol, as well as finally allowing local law enforcement to operate in accordance with local laws that our municipalities will be free to enact.

Looking ahead, I will continue to work with my colleagues to pass common-sense changes that address New York’s affordability issue, improve public safety, and offer everyone a chance to thrive,” Slater said.

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