GOP lawmakers meet to outline Albany agenda

Published Jan 3, 2018 at 4:00pm

Republican state Sen. Joseph A. Griffo has weighed in on Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan’s statement outlining his conference’s priorities for the new legislative session, including no desire to raise taxes.

“Included in this plan are items such as a comprehensive review of the state’s economic development strategy and making it easier for small businesses to thrive by removing burdensome regulations, as well as continuing to build on our efforts to combat heroin and opioid addiction and not raising taxes to close a multi-billion dollar budget gap,” said Griffo, R-47, Rome, in a statement.

Flanagan, R-East Northport, unveiled the Senate GOP’s “Blueprint for a Stronger New York” on Tuesday, the day before Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s State of the State address in Albany in front of a crowd that will include members of the state Legislature and elected officials from across the state. Among those planning to attend was Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr.

With a projected $4.4 billion deficit and looming federal changes that could be costly to the state, a major obstacle in the 2018 legislative session that began Wednesday will be balancing the state budget.

“Despite the progress we have made, we know that there is still much work to be done,” said Griffo. “This year we will be proposing a comprehensive and forward-looking agenda that aims to rebuild New York state and will serve as a guide for the conference during the upcoming legislative and budget session.”

He added, “... this agenda is built on three main components, affordability, opportunity and security, and will help us to address a variety of issues and needs throughout the state.”

While the state has operated under a voluntary 2 percent spending cap during the Cuomo years, the Republican agenda wants to make it mandatory. It also supports making the property tax cap permanent.