This Week in Albany
Week ending February 15
State Comptroller releases criticisms of Executive Budget
Comptroller DiNapoli’s office revealed its concerns with Governor Cuomo’s proposed budget in a summary released this week.
The Comptroller said that the budget uses broad language and gimmicks to give the Executive more authority with less oversight and that those measures “have the potential to eliminate established checks and balances over spending and procurement, and remove important areas of spending from the purview of the Legislature.”
The report also said that the budget will increase state debt and uses “backdoor borrowing” to skirt the provision in the state constitution that requires all debt issuances to be approved by voters.
President Obama delivers State of the Union address
President Obama delivered his fifth State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
The President’s speech focused on what he called “the true engine of America’s economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class.” The President called for getting rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the rich, reforms that “don’t violate the guarantee of a secure retirement,” and increasing the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour while tying future increases to the cost of living. The President proposed working with states to provide high-quality preschool to every child, and making sure that high schools are preparing students for good jobs once they graduate.
Additional proposals touched on immigration reform, equality for women in the workplace, and gun control measures.
Take action to help the middle class
There is no doubt that our tax system helps the rich get richer while we cut back on vital programs the middle class relies on. The richest Americans and big corporations get tax loopholes and giveaways while all lawmakers talk about is cutting programs to reduce the federal deficit.
Call your Congressional Representative today at 888-659-9401 to tell them to oppose benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and to close loopholes for the wealthiest Americans.
Visit the “Federal Issues” page of our new website to see our top issues in Washington and what you can do about them.
With legislators back in their home towns next week, call your region coordinators for information on legislative in-district lobbying.
Long Island Region 1: Call Gretchen Penn at 631-462-0030
Metropolitan Region (NYC) 2: Call Matthew D’Amico at 212-406-2156
Southern Region 3 (Hudson Valley): Call Chris Ludlow at 845-831-1000
Capital Region 4 (including north to Clinton County): Call Bryan Miller at 518-785-4400
Central Region 5: Call Rick Noreault at 315-433-0050
Western Region 6: Call Chris Rackl at 716-691-6555