Local lawmakers react to Cuomo’s State of the State Address

wwny Local lawmakers react to Cuomo’s State of the State Address

ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - Governor Andrew Cuomo shared his vision for 2020, while the state stares down a $6 billion budget gap.

In Cuomo's address he shared a plan to cut taxes for small businesses. And to combat the state's budget gap, possibly restructuring the way Medicaid is paid for.

"Small businesses need extra help to grow. So, let's cut their tax rate from 6.5 percent to 4 percent, nearly 40 percent this year. Allow them to expand, allow them to grow," he said.

Cuttting taxes for economic growth is one goal Governor Andrew Cuomo laid out in his 2020 State of the State address.

His agenda also calls for ultimately lowering the taxable income of farmers that have less than $250,000 in net farm income.

Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush represents parts of Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties.

He says high taxes are one problem driving small businesses and farmers out of business.

“Small businesses, our agricultural community, our farmers, they’re all getting to a point now where they’re not going to be able to do business. Their bottom line is getting to be very minimal,” said Blaneknbush (R. - 117th District).

Cuomo also briefly addressed the state's $6 billion budget gap the state faces this year.

He credits it to the state's Medicaid cost.

"Six years ago, we froze the cost of Medicaid to local governments to help those local governments meet their proeprty tax cap. For six years, we've been paying all the increase costs in local Medicaid spending," said Cuomo.

Cuomo's solution is to restructure Medicaid, something Assemblyman Mark Walczyk hopes local taxpayers won't have to foot the bill for.

"There was a hint about shifting Medicaid costs. I hope to goodness that is not on to our counties and our local taxpayers," said Walczyk (R. - 116th District).

Late Wednesday afternoon, state Senator Patty Ritchie (R. - 48th District) issued this statement:

“While it is a starting point for the upcoming session, two priorities are clear to me. First, we must roll back the disastrous criminal justice reforms, which went into effect at the start of the year. Already, they have resulted in far too many instances of potentially dangerous criminals being released back into our communities. Public safety has to be a priority. Second, with the state facing a difficult and growing budget—the result of overspending by downstate-led majorities in both houses—we must work together in a bipartisan way to address the state’s finances.”

Cuomo again calls for the legalization of marijuana in the state and he proposes creating the SUNY Global Cannabis Center for Science, Research, and Education.

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