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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Jane Corwin
ALBANY -- East Niagara's representatives in the New York State Legislature both offered mixed reviews of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget announcement and State of the State address issued this afternoon.

Rob Ortt
State Sen. Rob Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, said he is "encouraged" by the governor's proposal to deny pensions to elected officials convicted of major crimes and the removal of the Gap Elimination Adjustment. He said, however, he's worried about Cuomo's plan to have a coal-free state by 2020 and Cuomo's penchant for legislating through executive orders.

Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, R-Clarence, said Cuomo had "a number of wonderful proposals," but questioned the governor's decision to push forward with a $15 minimum wage -- especially for small businesses. She also said his ethics reform ideas will "create as many problems as it will 'solve.' "

Both Republican lawmakers -- through released statements -- said they want to hear more details from the governor's office about how this budget proposal would be implemented. Their statements follow below in their entirety.
As always, the State of the State is heavy on grand pronouncements, but the true challenge will be digging into the details as we look to pass a fiscally-responsible, on-time budget – a budget that must be about doing what’s best for New Yorkers rather than employing an overextension of executive authority. I’m encouraged the Governor followed our lead in supporting the removal of pensions from elected officials convicted of major crimes and the full elimination of the anti-Upstate education gimmick (Gap Elimination Adjustment) that robbed Upstate schools of billions. But I’m also fearful of specific proposals like shuttering the Somerset coal plant. My priorities remain unchanged – improving our local economy, delivering equitable education and infrastructure funding to Western New York, protecting taxpayers, and preserving our constitutional freedoms. The Governor outlined a brighter New York for residents, but it’s virtually impossible to get there without additional steps to control state spending, properly fund our aging infrastructure, and grow small businesses. I’m hopeful we can make this happen and deliver positive results that Western New Yorkers could be proud of.

-- State Sen. Rob Ortt
As is to be expected with a presentation of Governor Cuomo’s agenda, a number of wonderful proposals were presented to the people of New York State. However, to be expected, there was little detail with regards to the funding of the vision that the Governor has laid out for our State.

The Governor’s conclusion on minimum wage is based on selective statistics and distorted comparisons of New York State businesses. Comparing McDonald’s to small businesses, shows a lack of understanding of the economic challenges small businesses already face in New York State. He can anticipate a contentious debate on this issue.

In addition, amidst the sweeping corruption that continues to plague Albany, not to mention, a day following the defeat of a number of common sense reform proposals put forth by the Assembly Minority Conference, the governor has proposed an ethics reform agenda that is not only insufficient, but will create as many problems as it will “solve.”

-- Assemblywoman Jane Corwin

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