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Local Lawmakers react to NY State budget agreement

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(WBNG) -- Several lawmakers from our area and around the state are reacting to the agreement on the New York State budget.

Currently, the State Assembly is still voting on the ten bills that make up the state budget. The final budget includes money for small business relief, infrastructure funding, and record aid to local schools.

The $212B budget also includes measures to legalize recreational marijuana, as well as mobile sports betting.

While he has several issues with the budget overall, particularly the dramatic increase in expenditures, State Senator Fred Akshar (R, District 52) expressed his excitement for how this budget will impact the future of our local children.

"Some of our school districts are going to see record increases, increases we've never seen before," Sen. Akshar said, "I think looking back through history the last time we saw education grow the way that we did was during Spitzer's first two years. Anytime that we can fund education, take care of our children, I think that's a good day."

State Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo told us finding the correct funding balance is tough, but she is excited about the record aid coming to local schools.

Akshar told 12 News one of his main issues with the budget, and one of the reasons he voted no on most of the bills, is the $2.1B Excluded Worker Fund, which will send direct payments to people who did not receive unemployment benefits. Akshar said this will include undocumented workers as well as convicted felons, and he said this is another example of the state government putting honest, hardworking New Yorkers second.

Like his Republican colleagues, State Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt was also not thrilled about the budget.

"This is an out of control budget that clearly reflects an out of control state government, for these reasons we have voted no on this state budget," said Ortt, "New Yorkers not only deserve a better, more responsible budget, but they also deserve a better more responsible government."

And in a statement, New York GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy said "The only thing this budget accomplishes is the accelerated decline of our state that will push New York's mass exodus to the point of no return."

Scott Sasina

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