Assemblyman Blankenbush has doubts about state budget
Monday, April 15, 2013 - 6:30 am

Assemblyman Kenneth Blankenbush, R-Black River, says a recent budget briefing by state Agricultural Commissioner Darrel Aubertine has not satisfied him that the budget is fully worthy of support.

Blankenbush claims that Gov. Andrew Cuomo wouldn’t need to send members of his administration to “sell” the budget plan if it was “good in the first place.”

Blankenbush represents the 117th assembly district, which includes the St. Lawrence County towns of DeKalb, Gouverneur, Hermon, Russell, Edwards, Fowler and Pitcairn.

In a recent budget briefing in Watertown, Aubertine touted the education funding, agricultural spending and new incentives to hire veterans in the budget bill, according to Your News Now.

“While I am proud of the work my colleagues and I made to secure increased funding for agricultural programs, upstate schools and local highway improvement funds, I could not and still do not support this budget as a whole,” said Blankenbush in response. “I think leaders could have worked harder together to create a spending plan that would better serve New Yorkers while lowering their tax burdens.”

Blankenbush highlighted lack of relief from unfunded state mandates and the lack of meaningful tax relief on the middle class in the budget as concerns.

“This so called middle-class tax rebate plan, which could benefit households with incomes as large at $300,000, is politically motivated which conveniently schedules checks to hit homes right before the 2014 state elections. This isn’t how we should be conducting the business of the people,” Blankenbush said.

“Lastly, and most troubling to me, was the clear disregard for the care of those with developmental disabilities, who faced the greatest cuts in this budget. The governor and legislative leaders should have looked for other places to trim spending so that $90 million worth of funding could have been restored to our most vulnerable,” he said.