Coalition Urges NY State Senate and Assembly Leaders To Reject Governor’s Proposal For Unilateral Control Over Rolling Budget Changes
March 29th, 2020
Dear Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Heastie:
We are New Yorkers committed to a vision of New York where all can live, thrive and prosper. We are united in our goals to uplift and expand our democracy, to support and protect our most vulnerable communities, and to tackle the underlying inequality that drives multiple crises in our state.
These crises existed long before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the impact of the virus has exacerbated the urgent need for raising new revenue to fully fund our public schools as well as to ensure sufficient funding for healthcare, housing, and much more.
It could not be more clear: New York can not fight off the COVID-19 pandemic and provide the necessary safety net for our communities without more revenue to fully fund our urgent needs.
- We write to urge you once again to include new revenue drivers in the FY 2021 state budget by taxing the rich.
- We also urge you to reject any proposal to grant Governor Cuomo and his budget office extraordinary power to make unilateral changes to the budget.
The Governor already wields too much power in our incredibly opaque budget process. The Legislature must continue to carry out its full constitutional responsibilities on budget making: anything less will weaken our democracy and likely result in unnecessary cuts to services New Yorkers will need more than ever before. To grant the Governor additional extra-constitutional powers would abandon the constituents you and your conferences represent.
The Governor’s ten-year austerity approach to New York’s budget has led to crippling inequality. It has led directly to the lack of preparedness in our social safety net, specifically in our hospital, school, housing, and criminal justice systems as we now face the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is critical that as leaders of the Assembly and Senate and representatives of all New Yorkers, you exert your full powers and ensure the democratically elected legislature retains their role in our state’s fiscal decisions and protects vital programs.
While many in our coalition and the public appreciate the Governor’s decisiveness in this crisis, we offer our faithful critique of his budget priorities and transparency so that no New Yorker is left behind. Attention to the facts and numbers is very important. You and your conferences must fully represent your constituents, prioritize transparency and the most vulnerable, and shift the burden of our budget onto those that can afford it the most.
Albany Social Justice Center
Alliance for Quality Education
American Baptist Churches — Rochester Genesee Region
Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement (CAIC)
Campaign for New York Health
Center for the Independence of the Disabled, NY
Chinese-American Planning Council
Churches United for Fair Housing
Citizen Action of New York
Coalition for Asian American Children and Families
Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Association of New York State
Downtown Women for Change
East Bronx Indivisible
Empire State Indivisible
Episcopal Diocese of Western NY
Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition
Greater NYC for Change
Greater Syracuse Tenants Network
Green Party of Nassau County
Housing Justice For All Coalition
Fiscal Policy Institute
Food and Water Watch
Incarcerated Nation Network INC
Indivisible Activate NYC
Indivisible Mohawk Valley
Indivisible Nation BK
Indivisible Upper East Side
Long Island Activists
LPS/LIFE Progressive Services Group Inc
Make The Road New York
Metro New York Health Care for All
Morningside Heights Resistance
New Economy Project
New York Association on Independent Living
New York Communities for Change
New York Immigration Coalition
New York State Council of Churches
New York State Poor People’s Campaign
New York State Nurses Association
New York Working Families Party
Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson
Not One More Block
NY Progressive Action Network
One Queens Indivisible
Progressive Action of Lower Manhattan
Rise & Resist
Rochester Monthly Meeting of The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Rockland Citizens Action Network
Show Up LI
Sisters of St. Joseph, Albany Province
Strong Economy For All Coalition
Tenants Political Action Committee
True Blue New York
Upper West Side MoveOn/Indivisible Action Group
Village Independent Democrats
Westchester For Change
West Center Congregational Church