“The main budget issue will be whether we have the will to do what is politically difficult and attack the waste and duplication of local governments that drive up property taxes. Property taxes are the single largest and most devastating tax in our state. I understand the pressure from local officials who want a ‘business as usual’ approach, but I also understand the crushing burden of these property taxes on homeowners across New York. Providing a state subsidy as a bandage to temporarily alleviate the pain of ever rising property taxes is the kind of short sighted approach we left behind three years ago. We must reduce the dysfunction and waste – not enable and subsidize it.
“The future of charter schools must be protected in this budget, and I will fight to ensure that it is. Reforms to Common Core must be enacted to ensure that our students are not unfairly harmed by its implementation.
“As we have said from the beginning, Pre-k funding will ultimately be determined by each individual school district’s actual ability to create an eligible program on a timely basis. Once it is determined that a plan is operational, the state will meet the locality’s need to that amount.
“The Public Trust Act, including Public Campaign Financing, is a priority and is included in the budget negotiations.
“I look forward to a budget that is fiscally sound, delivers real property tax relief to struggling homeowners, strengthens our education system for every child statewide, and creates a stronger, fairer, more progressive New York.”