GOP government candidates on budget negotiation with Dem-controlled state legislature
With just over a month left until the June 28 primary, where voters will head to the polls and choose their Democratic and Republican nominees for governor, other statewide positions and representatives in the Assembly.
With that in mind, PoliticsNY asked the four candidates running in the Republican primary for governor – Congressman Lee Zeldin (D–Long Island), former Westchester County manager Rob Astorino, former White House aide to former President Donald Trump Andrew Giuliani and businessman Harry Wilson – the following question :
How would you handle the budget process and governance in general if both houses of the legislature remained under a Democrat-controlled majority?
Here are each of their responses, which have been edited for length and clarity.
Lee Zeldin: On November 8, we must at least smash the supermajorities in the Senate and State Assembly. It is possible that with a very good night, the State Senate will go from Democrat to Republican. This is an important factor in deciding the strategy in 2023.
As Governor, I will be willing to work with anyone to find as much common ground as possible to save our state. We must reverse the attacks on our wallets, our security, our freedoms and the education of children. I will work with any member of the state legislature willing to help the cause.
I will use the budget process, house rules messaging, and many other points of leverage to influence the positive outcomes New Yorkers demand. The voice and opinion of the public will go a long way towards achieving many of the solutions New Yorkers want to bring New York back to its glory.
Rob Astorino: As governor, I will have considerable influence over the state legislature, particularly in the budget process, and I will not hesitate to use my powers to combat the ongoing crime wave, ridiculously high taxes of New York and its counterproductive regulatory system that inhibits business development. and job growth across the state. I will also demand action on ethics reforms, including state term limits.
I have a long history of working with willing Democrats to advance an agenda. I led Westchester County for eight years as a true fiscal conservative while Democrats controlled the county legislature with large majorities. I found there were many areas we could agree on and eventually formed a working bipartisan majority in the Legislative Assembly that helped transform Westchester.
This was made possible through vision, backbone, lots of communication and a willingness to share credit for legislative victories.
When I was elected county executive, for example, I pledged to cut taxes and keep spending flat, despite rising warrant costs from Albany. I explained to Democrats and special interest groups that I wouldn’t budge on spending or taxes, but that I was more than willing to bring them in early in the budget process to find ways to spend more efficiently. money we had. It worked.
When I took office, Westchester’s budget was $1.8 billion. When I left office eight years later, Westchester’s budget was $1.8 billion, never raising taxes and cutting them.
As governor, I will always negotiate in good faith and work with anyone who can help me help struggling families in New York City. This is how I naturally work. At the same time, I will not hesitate to use every power at my disposal to demand action if Democrats wish to play hardball.
Andre Giuliani: I intend to use the leverage granted to me under the New York State Constitution and through the courts – as determined by Silver v. Pataki and Pataki v. Assembly – to produce the largest budget cut in New York State history. New York’s budget of $220 billion is more than double Florida’s of $97 billion, despite having roughly the same population. We owe it to New Yorkers to end wasteful government spending.
Harry Wilson: We will rebuild the entire budget from scratch, as I have done in company after company, focusing on meeting the basic needs of New Yorkers much better than we do today, while reducing the wasteful and ineffective programs. I will also tackle Kathy Hochul’s $8 billion slush fund and corporate welfare programs that only benefit political insiders. From some perspective, even with the $25 billion in cuts this process will entail, we will still be spending far more per capita than deep blue states like Massachusetts and California. More importantly, our continued focus on accountability will produce higher quality services that better meet the needs of New Yorkers, at lower cost.
No one else running for governor has the skills or experience to craft this turnaround plan — or the guts to see it through. Under state law, if the legislature doesn’t pass a budget by March 31, they won’t be paid until they do. I will negotiate in good faith, but I refuse to compromise on what New Yorkers need most: lower taxes, a lower cost of living, better services and safer streets.
We know today that 49 other states are doing a better job than New York, providing better services at a lower cost. And every business has to thread that needle every day. The only reason Albany — the nation’s most broken state government — doesn’t is because it lacks a governor with the skills, experience and courage to lead a turnaround. New York. Instead, career politicians on both sides of the aisle are sinking our state into the ground.
I’ve negotiated hundreds of much more complicated deals with stakeholders who said they would never change and the organization couldn’t be fixed – and managed to develop win-win solutions every time. time. New York State will be no different. By the end of 2023, New York will be a much more affordable, much more prosperous, and much safer place to live and work for all New Yorkers if I am elected Governor in November.