Assemblyman Ray Walter (R,C,I-Amherst) tonight cast his final vote just before midnight on the 2014-15  fiscal year’s budget for New YorkState. Walter expressed both satisfaction and disappointment in this year’s budget, voting yes on some budget bills and amendments, and no on others. He also noted that while this budget does accomplish much, there are still many battles to be fought over the next few months.

“Common Core and the 2010 GEA education cuts have been devastating to our schools and children,” said Walter. “While we were able to restore $602.1 million, nearly double the amount the governor proposed, putting us on a manageable path to completely restoring the GEA, we do little to protect our children from the failed implementation and policies of Common Core.”

Walter and his colleagues have proposed the Achieving Pupil Preparedness & Launching Excellence (APPLE) Plan to restore the GEA and delay Common Core. This plan was created as a direct result of the testimony received from hundreds of concerned parents, teachers and administrators.

"Western New Yorkers need to see real tax relief and despite some positive provisions, the overall tax burden on our hardworking taxpayers and job creators continues to be too high,” said Walter. “While the budget offers property taxpayers a so-called freeze by providing a personal income tax credit for STAR-eligible homeowners, unfunded state mandates are the true drivers of property tax and we won't truly provide our property taxpayers relief until we eliminate those mandates.”

Walter also noted that this year’s budget continues the phase out of the 18-A energy tax, expands EPIC coverage eligibility to a far greater number of people, secures an additional $5 million for Community Services for the Elderly (CSE), and does contribute quite a bit to the economic resurgence of Western New York. This year's budget completes the governor’s financial commitment of the Buffalo Billion made three years ago. An additional $680 million will go toward revitalizing our community and making sure that Western New York is an attractive location for new businesses. There also remains a strong state investment in the Buffalo Bills, − the state’s only NFL team.



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