Local reps address concerns at state budget presentation

NORWICH – With just over six weeks before the start of a new fiscal calendar in New York State, NYS Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito was in Norwich on Thursday to present Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget and hear concerns from local stakeholders of how the proposed financial plan may have an impact here at home.

Destito’s presentation, held at the Northeast Classic Car Museum, touted the governor’s $141.6 billion budget that, if passed in March, would limit state spending to 2 percent, cut small business taxes from 6.5 percent to 2.5 percent, and provide more than $1 billion in state aid to schools contingent on their adherence to stricter performance policies. The plan also calls for increased spending for early childhood education, with $1.5 billion for full-day pre-K programs for four-year-olds and $25 million for high-needs three-year olds.

Destito cited a decrease in unemployment in the state that dropped from 8.9 percent in 2010 to 5.8 percent in 2015. She additionally pointed to current state taxes and spending that have been cut to the lowest rate in 50 years, and property taxes that have been capped at 2 percent, then frozen.

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