FREEDOM – Austin Morgan, Democratic candidate for the 57th State Senate seat, called on state lawmakers to not forget the district during budget negotiations just because the local State Senate seat is vacant.
Morgan sent a letter to legislative leaders and Gov. Andrew Cuomo urging them to pass a budget beneficial to all areas of the state. Morgan also listed several funding priorities for the district.
“We deserve to have our voices heard in Albany,” Morgan said. “Our district cannot afford to go unrepresented during the vital end-period of budget negotiations. I hope that the Governor and legislative leaders will hear us, and pass a budget that truly benefits all New Yorkers.”
In his letter, Morgan listed several local funding priorities. Among those are full funding of school aid, decreasing taxes, increased CHIPS funding to repair failing infrustructure, health funding to assure hospital staffing levels, protection from unfunded mandates, investment in green energy transition, grants for local libraries and fire departments and natural resource preservation for Allegany and Letchworth State Parks,
Chautauqua Lake, and Lake Erie.
“As a candidate for the seat vacated by former-Sen. Cathy Young, I am calling on the State Legislature and Governor Cuomo to remain committed to a final budget that is fiscally responsible, on-time, and which eases the burden on hard-working taxpayers. Our lack of representation should not mean our people are overlooked or forgotten,” Morgan wrote.
“The downstate-centric Democratic majority in Albany cannot overlook the profound benefits that rural Western New York and the Southern Tier provide our state as a whole—and the unique legislative and budgetary needs we need addressed. There are several decisions left to be made before the budget is passed.,” the letter said.
Morgan also issued his stance, in the letter, on legalization of recreational marijuana.
“Let me be clear, if marijuana legalization is to be part of this year’s budget, it must grant exclusive licensure for growing and selling to small farms and small businesses. This could be a boon to the state’s middle-class economy if done correctly, and corporate interests should have no hand in the profit,” he said.
“I am calling on the State Senate, Assembly, and Governor to work together and pass a budget that reflects the values of the New Yorkers I know and hear from every day: lowering burdens on hard-working taxpayers, caring for those that need it the most, and responsibly funding those organizations and programs that allow our children to find success, our families to prosper, and people to see a brighter tomorrow.”