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Politics & Government

Rome's Sen. Joe Griffo Wants Democrats to Slow Down, Allow Time to Consider New Policy Proposals

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Senator Joe Griffo of Rome will be among the Republicans in the chamber waiting for…and then closely examining the specifics of Governor Cuomo’s many proposals outlined in Tuesday’s state of the state and budget address.  The Deputy Minority Leader says a $3 billion deficit combined with new spending and programs doesn’t seem to add up.

Griffo hopes his caucus can advocate for upstate’s needs and reverse some significant problems.

"You still see outward migration.  You still see that taxes are too high.  Even though we're trying to address them, we need dramatic change.  That means you have to reconsider, reprioritize how you're spending, where you're spending, and is the goal and objective to make the state competitive."

Griffo says reviewing the state’s economic development programs, and placing a moratorium on new unfunded mandates might start to level the playing field.  He says he’s not a fan of loading policy into a fiscal document, as the governor did, and doesn’t think demcorats should feel rushed to push the proposals through.

"The 100 day pace just doesn't serve the best interests of the people we all represent.  I recognize they [democrats] may feel these things have been held and are long overdue.  But the fact is we should still do this in a manner and method that looks at what's being done for the right reasons."

Griffo says it seems to be a foot race to see who can run the fastest to the left between the governor and the new senate majority.  He wants to make sure every proposal is properly vetted.

"It's OK to propose new policies and advocate for them.  But let's do a thorough examination to know the benefits and consequences of what you're doing.  It's incumbent upon many of us, and that's my concern, that we're not allowing the stakeholders and the public to have more understanding  in order to determine how they feel."

Griffo says that will vary greatly depending on geography, politics, and philosophy.  He says the governor didn’t give enough attention to fiscal issues, which are equally important.