One-party control in the state capitol has been disastrous for New York’s 19 million citizens.
First, state spending is out of control.
Thanks to the Democrats’ reckless election-year binge, the bloated $220-billion budget is 18% higher than it was in 2020. Huge budgetary deficits are projected for years to come and “rainy day” funds, which are far from adequate, will be quickly wiped out.
This imminent crisis means New Yorkers, who already pay the highest state and local taxes in the nation, will be burdened with even more taxes to fund Albany’s excesses.
As for Gov. Kathy Hochul’s role in Albany’s fiscal mismanagement, she not only continued Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax-and-spend policies, but she also gave away the store to lefty legislators to procure $600 million in state funds to build a new Buffalo Bills football stadium in her hometown.
To finance her election campaign, Hochul has used every trick in the Cuomo pay-to-play guidebook to raise a record-breaking $45 million.
Several of the state contracts handed out to contributors are scandalous.
For example, the New York Post has reported the Hochul administration must reimburse the federal government over $80 million in Medicaid payments “because of lack of recordkeeping to justify billing for transport services for patients during the calendar years 2018 and 2019.”
The owner of Medical Answering Services, the company that failed to properly supervise the transportation, has donated “more than $300,000 combined into the campaign coffers of Hochul, of former Gov. Cuomo and the Hochul-controlled state Democratic Party.”
Apparently, there has been little gubernatorial oversight of the $400 million in contracts awarded to Medical Answering Services since 2011.
Worse yet, Hochul gave a $650 million no bid Covid home test contract to Digital Gadgets Incorporated whose owners and family members have written checks to the Hochul campaign treasury totaling $330,000.
And, get this: the company charged the state $13 per test while other vendors were selling similar products to other states for $5 to $8 a test!
When questioned by the press on this matter, Hochul said with a straight face she had no idea the vendor was a contributor. She made this claim despite the fact the owner hosted a fund-raiser that she attended one month before the contract was awarded.
I suppose Hochul also did not know the vendor’s son is on her campaign payroll.
Next, Albany Democrats are under the thumb of the state’s most powerful special interest group, the teachers’ union. Year after year, they bow to union demands that more money be allocated to failing schools.
The state will spend over $34 billion on school aid this fiscal year. That translates into $34,272 per student vs. the national average of $13,494.
Does Albany demand accountability to justify this huge expenditure? No.
A report, released earlier this month by the Citizens Budget Commission, concluded “while the state continues its significant, multi-year increase in education aid … the state still lacks an adequate process to monitor performance, identify and spread best practices, and hold school districts accountable for accelerating student achievement, reversing pandemic related loss and narrowing disparities.”
Considering unaccountable teachers, not students, come first in Albany, I’m not at all surprised that math and reading test scores are plummeting throughout New York.
And let’s not forget the Democrats’ dismal crime prevention record.
Back in 2017, Democrats, ignoring warnings from bar associations, approved a state law that increased to 18 the age a person can be deemed criminally responsible. The results according to a NYPD study: teen shooters and their victims have gone up 300% in the last five years. That reform the Post noted “has produced precisely the nightmare it aimed to prevent.”
Then there is cashless bail that permits criminals who are a present danger to the public back onto the streets. Albany Democrats have refused to repeal or to fix it.
They have failed to act on these crime-related issues despite this outcry from Albany’s Democratic District Attorney David Soares: “No meaningful legislative action has been taken to address bail reform and ‘Raise the Age,’ which have demonstrably impacted violent crime on our most vulnerable neighborhoods.”
“At what number,” Soares asked, “will the body count be enough to prompt action?”
If you are outraged by the Democrats’ egregious fiscal, education, and criminal justice policies, then get out in November and vote to end one-party rule in Albany.