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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Hochul’s Budget… Let’s Talk About It


The Good

That’s right. Even a broken clock is right twice a day; surprisingly, even a broken clock wound-up by the progressive left.

Jests aside, Governor Kathy Hochul’s budget answers the call of county clerks across the state by allowing them to keep a greater share of online revenues generated by DMVs.

As the share of online revenues continues to increase at DMVs, there has been no update in the formulas used to calculate how much is allotted to the county clerks.

Hochul, a former county clerk herself, answers these concerns to the delight of local governments everywhere. Hochul is also keeping her commitment to increasing the state’s rainy-day fund, which is said to reach $20 billion in the next two years. At the same time, the budget is balanced until 2026 and undertook many structural changes applauded by non-partisan organizations.

Another plan worthy of admiration is her charter-school reform plan. It seeks not to raise the limit of charter schools from its current cap of 460 statewide but merely to remove the geographic limit of where charter schools can function, allowing the remaining licenses to be utilized anywhere in the state. However, as many have noted, these schools should be held to comparable standards as public schools.

In educationally stagnant places, this will serve to incentivize academic rigor and positive learning outcomes instead of New York’s usual modus operandi of pouring money into a problem.

The Bad

One looming deficiency is that Hochul’s budget is overly optimistic. Many are accounting for an economic downturn soon with lingering consequences for tax receipts two or three years down the road. The budget makes no such allotments.

Her ‘balanced budget’ is predicated on tax receipts that may fail to materialize and, accordingly, may also make her rainy-day fund less full than anticipated. Hopefully, we only have a drizzle.

Hochul’s plan to save MTA with, amongst other things, a payroll tax hike is also a slap in the face to Long Islanders. Not only for burdening our businesses still operating in the new world of post[1]COVID, but for Long Island’s ridership, particularly the Port Jefferson line, which remains a diesel line. It is unrealistic to expect an increase in ridership when you are not willing to satisfy long-standing regional demands.

Likewise, it is unfortunate that the region of the state that consistently pays more in taxes than it receives (Long Island) should have an antiquated infrastructure.

The Ugly

Already lambasted by the editorial, Hochul shows no signs of reversing her decision to end ‘home-rule’ in exchange for ‘Hochul-rule.’ Despite regional commitments to increase housing stock, the governor finds it necessary to break with tradition and begin dictating to Long Islanders what our communities ought to become.

This unparalleled break in tradition should not be forgotten at the ballot box.

Additionally, the governor’s plan to electrify all buildings, with a timeline that runs from 2025 to 2035, is another modicum of blatant disrespect sent to New Yorkers. While we can all agree upon the need to lower emissions, Hochul’s plans will raise the construction price and burden our electric grid undone.

Those most affected will be those with the least to spare.

The Editorial Board
The Editorial Boardhttps://www.messengerpapers.com
The Messenger Papers Editorial Board aspires to represent a fair cross section of our Suffolk County readers. We work to present a moderate view on issues facing Long Island families and businesses.