Gov. Hochul Must Battle Her Own Party For The Good Of New York
Governor Kathy Hochul unveiled her proposed 2024 New York State budget on Wednesday. It was the governor's second executive state budget proposal but first as the elected-governor. More than a few Democrats have taken issue with items within governor's budget. New Yorkers need Kathy Hochul to stand strong against her own party in order to avoid a recurrence of financial instability.
New York's bail reform laws have been a disaster. The nytimes.com reported that the governor is calling for changes to the state’s bail laws. This would be the third time that this battleground law has been revised. This issue is a political nightmare with Democrats fighting each other in the senate and legislature. However, the people of the state have been pretty clear, they want this fixed and criminals off the streets. The governor cannot give in on this.
The New York Times talked to New York State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal, a Democrat who chairs the Judiciary Committee. The senator said lawmakers respected the governor’s role as the architect of the budget, but would fight her “professionally and respectfully” on the issues they disagreed on. “I think there have been some lines drawn by progressive advocates on issues leading up to the budget. So this will be a moment, I hope, where we can agree that the needs of New York are so great that we have to seek support from the richest people and corporations in order to address them.”
Much to the disappointment of the progressives within the party, the governor did not propose an increase on income taxes. However, she did propose an extension to a corporate tax proposal and seeks to raise taxes on cigarettes by $1 to $5.35 and ban on all flavored tobacco products.
Other displeasing proposals within Governor Hochul's party, included increases to tuition for SUNY and CUNY colleges and universities. The governor-proposed-jump in cost would be capped at 3%. Speaker of the Assembly, Carl E. Heastie told nytimes.com tuition hikes would be “a difficult” proposal for members of his conference to stomach. It appears that saving for college and paying for the best professors is no longer part of some lawmaker's equations when it comes to education. Free seems to be the answer to all issues.
Inner party battles are common during the budget process. It does seem like the governor is trying to move to the center, while the far left in New York's Democratic party wants more. The taxpayers of the state need the governor to stay strong and not "seek support from the richest people and corporations in order to address" the state's issues, as some of her party's leaders suggest. Responsible spending and investment would be a great start, not more taxes.