“We entered the 2022-23 state budget negotiations with high hopes for a fair and transparent budget process with a real opportunity to restore law and order and the faith people have in our government. Unfortunately, that did not happen, and New Yorkers were handed a bloated spending plan filled with policy items that should have been handled legislatively.
“Despite my conference's proposals, we left with a modified bail reform law that does little more to protect public safety than its previous incarnation. Hopes for installing an independent ethics agency were also extinguished, as the new ‘Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government’ is hardly an improvement over JCOPE. At the end of the day, this new commission still tasks political appointees with investigating the officials that appointed them.
“The enacted budget does contain some positive things, including cost-of-living increases for human services workers, funding for career and technical education, infrastructure investments and a pause on the gas tax, which will help our citizens.
“This year’s flawed budget process clearly illustrates that nothing has changed in Albany. Budget bills were presented late and printed with no chance for stakeholders to review or provide input prior to a vote and passage. I couldn’t be more disappointed that the budget process was a step backward, instead of forward.”