Progressives discuss New York budget dynamics

Progressives discuss New York budget dynamics

For all the lofty rhetoric about budgets being moral documents as they are being created, the sausage making is done by people like you and me. People who get cranky after weeks of working late nights; that have stale pizza and Pepto-breath; who feel frustrated by political inconsistency.

Herein lies the danger of the delayed budget: that the very people responsible for the heavy lifting of its creation may reach a point where the major issues are such an ordeal that there is no gas left in the tank for smaller issues to get done. after. – the budget.

It’s something Charles Khan, organizing director at the Strong Economic Coalition for All, says worries him.

“I think it’s a little weird and a little scary because the governor has some slam dunks in front of her,” Khan told Capital Tonight.

Khan is referring to proposals to raise taxes on the wealthy and the elderly, and then index the minimum wage — issues that a recent Siena College poll shows a majority of New York state voters support.

“But the governor, backed by former New York City mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg, has dug into these positions that change many New Yorkers,” Khan said.

While Gov. Hochul supports raising the minimum wage, her proposal is not as generous as the one presented by lawmakers. Even more troubling to progressives is that she has publicly stated that she is against raising taxes, but at the same time has proposed raising tuition at SUNY and CUNY and raising taxes on cigarettes and snowmobile licenses.

The chairman of the House Standing Committee on Aging, Ron Kim, has called her tax increases “regressive.” He is also disappointed with the way the budget negotiations are going.

Kim is urging the governor to reject what he sees as taxes on middle-class New Yorkers and instead embrace tax increases on the state’s wealthiest residents.

“We need to make sure that the top 1% who made billions from COVID pay their fair share to reinvest back into New York State, especially at a time when we’re facing an inevitable recession,” he said. Kim.

Because of her budget priorities, Kim compared Hochul to her predecessor, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, with whom he had a very rocky relationship.

“But I’m always looking to go back to what she did when she took office, which is to create a partnership and collaboration with the legislature to work for the people of New York,” he said.

Khan is less optimistic.

“It’s kind of alarming that the governor would go against so many people, Republicans, Democrats, from a voter perspective, to … take these positions,” he said.

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