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Local officials react to state budget

Budget roundtable in Cohoes reveals satisfaction, hope for future

Acting Cohoes Mayor George Primeau, Assemblyman John McDonald and Albany County Executive Dan McCoy address the public about Albany County's response to the New York State budget.

Acting Cohoes Mayor George Primeau, Assemblyman John McDonald and Albany County Executive Dan McCoy address the public about Albany County's response to the New York State budget. Photo by Zan Strumfeld.

— While many New Yorkers are expressing disbelief that this year’s state budget was passed not only on time, but early, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy is most excited with the fact the county will see no new unfunded mandates.

“Every year we do the budget and cringe until (the state) shows their budget. As of right now, there are no unfunded mandates. This budget sends a message that our state can work for us,” McCoy said. “I’d like to see that mandate relief that they promised when they came out with the (tax) cap.”

The $135 billion state budget was passed days before the April 1 deadline, making it the first time New York has had three consecutive, on-time budgets since 1984. Assemblyman John McDonald, D-Cohoes, joined McCoy and Acting Mayor of Cohoes George Primeau on Wednesday, April 3, at the Multi-Service Senior Center in Cohoes, to discuss highlights and issues with the state’s budget and how it affects Albany County.

One substantial benefit to the county is that the state has agreed to pay for the $30,000 increase in District Attorney David Soares’ salary, since it was an unfunded mandate.

“That’s an extra $30,000 that won’t come out of our county budget. Every savings helps going forward,” McCoy said.

The county will also see an additional $300,000 for road repairs and infrastructure to “meet today’s modern-day standards,” McDonald said.

McDonald discussed a veterans tax credit as well as an extension for a historic rehabilitation tax credit for Cohoes. There will also be an increase of nearly $1 billion in school aid in the state budget. Cohoes will see aid increase by 2.1 percent, Green Island by 1.6 percent, Menands by 24 percent and Watervliet by 2.2 percent.

This will add to an increase in community college state aid, which McDonald said was a “step in the right direction.”

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