PLATTSBURGH — State legislators representing the North Country predict that this year’s budget will pass on time.
“If you can do it three years in a row, there’s no reason you can’t do it a fourth year,” State Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury) told the crowd at the recent Northeast Central Labor Council Legislative Breakfast.
She acknowledged that difficult decisions need to be made but said that would be the case regardless of timing.
“You can make difficult decisions now or you can drag it out.”
If the State Legislature delays, she added, “nobody’s really better off.”
Assemblywoman Janet Duprey (R-Peru) said legislators will make adjustments to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal.
“The governor’s budget is not the one we will pass,” she said.
Like Little, she believes a budget will be passed on time, even though “this is the middle of the crazy season in Albany.”
Assemblyman Dan Stec (R-Queensbury), who was elected in 2012, added a touch of humor to the budget predictions.
“I’m pleased to tell you that every budget I’ve been involved in has passed on time,” he said.
Congressman Bill Owens was unable to attend the breakfast, it was announced, because his mother-in-law on Long Island had suffered a stroke.
Legislators answered questions from the audience during the event, one of which concerned the possibility of directing contracts to local labor.
Little expressed concern that this would lead to other states using a similar approach and thereby put New York contractors at a disadvantage when they are bidding for out-of-state contracts.
However, she mentioned a “best value” element, wherein the value of a company to a community can be considered.
She also discussed applying in-state preference to situations where one or more bidders are from another state that uses in-state preference, thereby treating them the same way New York bidders would be treated in their state.