Niagara Gazette — One of Andrew Cuomo's top assistants in Western New York brought the governor's 2013 budget message to Niagara Falls on Wednesday.
Sam Hoyt, regional president for the state-run Empire State Development Corp., told a crowd assembled at the John Duke Center that Cuomo's latest spending plan builds on his administration's earlier efforts to restore fiscal responsibility and integrity to Albany and economic prosperity to New York as a whole.
Hoyt, who has been advancing the governor's budget agenda while on a tour of the region in recent weeks, said the administration believes it has set a good example and tone in attempting to rebuild the image of the Empire State as a progressive place where ingenuity is rewarded, job growth is job one and elected officials work together to solve key issues facing their constituents.
"That has changed," Hoyt said, referring to the dysfunction that has marred Albany politics in recent years. "Both houses are working together. Budgets are getting done on time."
The governor unveiled his $142.6 billion state budget last month. It represents a 5.3 percent increase over the current spending plan. During his overview Wednesday, Hoyt said it does not include any new taxes, one-shot revenues or other budgetary "gimmicks" and instead seeks to maintain present spending levels by promoting more efficiency within state agencies, better debt management and reform measures for costly programs like Worker's Compensation.
While the state is facing a $1.3 billion deficit this year, Hoyt said Cuomo remains committed to the expansion of programs designed to help struggling Western New York communities like Niagara Falls. He referenced last year's promise by Cuomo to deliver $1 billion in economic development incentives to the Buffalo and the surrounding region and said in 2013 the governor wants to do more to help by, among other things, advancing a multi-faceted marketing program aimed at increasing sales of locally produced goods.