PURCHASE, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the 2012-13 New York State budget this afternoon at Manhattanville College and said that the state is moving in the right direction for reform.
Cuomo called the budget passed by the state legislature last week an “overall reform plan.” Cuomo said that the budget addresses three key areas: a reform of the state’s pension system, mandate relief for local municipalities and a cap on property taxes to protect homeowners.
“If you put it all together we really did change the tax cost structure of New York State,” Cuomo said. “We have become an entrepreneurial government that is focusing on how to stimulate private sector investments.”
Cuomo said the state has taken a different trajectory since he took over as governor approximately 15 months ago, adding that the state had been in a “perilous” condition before and had been the target of late-night television show jokes. Cuomo acknowledged that more people were leaving the state and its reputation was more negative than positive before he took office.
“New York had a reputation for being the highest taxed state and having a bad government,” Cuomo said. “This budget is about dramatic changes, which is what we set out to do. The best thing to find for a person is a job, and for a family it’s opportunity.”
Assemblyman Robert Castelli (R-89th District) said the budget was delivered to the public on time thanks to Cuomo’s leadership. Castelli said that unlike previous budgets from the state, this one did not borrow any money nor did it add any new taxes.
“New York is now open for business again,” Castelli said. We have new unprecedented transparency and ethics reform, which was long overdue.”
State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-35th District) said that no matter what one’s political ideals are, they have to agree to come to the table and negotiate.
“You have to know how to shift, assert and say what’s been done,” Stewart-Cousins said.