Hawley Urges Fiscal Restraint, Protections for Business Owners as Division of Budget Projects Future Budget Gaps
Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is urging lawmakers to consider options to reduce state spending following a report by the Division of Budget predicting the state will face projected budget gaps totaling $13.7 billion over the next five years.
Additionally, the assemblyman is imploring action be taken to ensure the state’s small business owners are not made to bear the burden of the Legislative Majority’s fiscal irresponsibility. To this end, he is sponsoring a bill (A.7211) that would suspend employer contributions to the interest assessment surcharge fund through 2023, a fund created to help the state repay money borrowed from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic that business owners have been required to regularly contribute to.
This change in the Division of Budget’s economic forecast was spurred by an expected decline in tax revenue caused by recent downturns in the stock market and economy as a whole. For years, Hawley has criticized the Majority for their egregious spending, pointing to the fact that several of the state’s recent budgets have been larger than those of Texas and Florida combined, with this year’s record-breaking budget amounting to $220 billion in total spending.
“Just as millions of Americans are preparing to do in these next few months, it is high time our state tighten its belt and take a hard look at how we can cut waste while still taking care of our residents’ basic needs,” said Hawley. “Whether you look at states like Texas or California, they spend far less per capita in their budgets, and I’m certain we could provide a similar value to our taxpayers. In any case, we must work to ensure that our state’s already-strained small business owners are not left to pick up the bill that’s accumulated after years of overspending by the Legislative Majority.”