The New York state budget is due in less than 2 weeks. Last week, the state's Senate and Assembly approved their separate budgets.
Assemblywoman Janet Duprey told FOX44/ABC22 News, she voted against the budget that passed the assembly last week. She says it hurts the North Country.
“There were more bad things in there than good things quite frankly,” said NY Assemblywoman Duprey (R – District 114). “I voted against the resolution. I'm very disappointed in a lot of what we did. We debated the 1House Resolution for 5-6 hours. So, it gets a little contentious."
The budget that passed the Assembly on March 12th eliminated funding for programs, Duprey says, are important to the North Country.
Duprey explained, “Adirondack medical home program which has been a tremendous program, a pilot program for all our hospitals, our primary care physicians. Incredibly important to the rural parts of the state that I represent. Took out funding for the North Country Regional Economic Development Council."
Council Chair Garry Douglas says he's confident the group will regain funding when the final budget is passed.
Another key part of the New York budget is property taxes. Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to see a total overhaul of the system, including 2-year tax freezes for people living in school districts and cities that stay within a 2% tax cap.
There's a circuit breaker. There's a tax freeze. Of course we have the property tax cap that isn't going to change,” said Duprey.
The approved Assembly budget also slows Common Core implementation, which is a victory for Duprey and other legislators who believe students have not been given enough time to learn the Common Core before being tested on it.
Duprey was also happy to see money for education and the gap elimination fund increase. But she knows, this isn't the end.
“There are a lot of these things that I think will get changed. I think most of them will get changed. But I couldn't support a budget that I felt was really going to hurt the North Country,” said Duprey.
If the Assembly, Senate and Governor Cuomo can agree and sign a budget by March 31st, it will be the 4th year in a row the budget will be approved on time. That hasn’t happened in over 40 years.
The Senate and Assembly are now separated into what are called Joint Conference Committee hearings to negotiate budgets for different departments.
Assemblywoman Duprey is on the Local Government Committee.
New York's new fiscal year begins April 1st. In the past, if a budget isn't passed, the Governor can approve extenders to keep the government open during budget negotiations.
Another piece of the Assembly’s budget sets a goal for 5% of all new state procurement contracts to be with businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.
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