Letter to the Editor: Budget Season & Town Hall Meetings

Dear Editor,

Budget season is in full swing, and I write to give readers of this publication some details on the process so far, as well as to encourage you to make yourselves heard during discussions.

Following the Governor’s presentation of her budget proposal last month, my colleagues and I have been discussing areas where we differ from the Governor, in preparation for negotiations. A particular area of concern for me relates to education. I have been fighting for fully funded schools since I was a school board member in Ossining, and last year’s historic win bringing us up to full funding of Foundation Aid was important to me and so many school districts and students throughout AD95. Though the Governor’s proposed budget nominally increases school aid, the details of the proposal reveal it to be a step backward from where we are today. This is a non-starter for me and many in the Legislature. It is not fair to our school districts, or the children they serve, to cut their state aid without warning. This proposal would force school districts to choose between making cuts or raising taxes. At a time when working- and middle-class families are already struggling, an education proposal that could lead to property tax increases is ill-advised and regressive.

I have already heard from many of you who feel that there are a range of other needs that do not get the funding they deserve in this proposal – roads, water infrastructure, health care, environmental protection, and so much more. I am hosting several town halls over the course of February to get more input from constituents. Visit https://bit.ly/AD95Events to get details on dates, times and locations. My staff also continues to log constituent comments on the budget and other issues. My online contact form is the best place to submit comments; visit https://bit.ly/AD95Comments to access it. You can also email me directly at levenbergd@nyassembly.gov to share your thoughts.

Dana Levenberg
Member of Assembly, 95th District

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About the Author: Dana Levenberg