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Skoufis Derides What He Calls " Governor's Abdication to New Yorkers" in Final State Budget -Specifically, Broken Promises on Flood Relief for Orange County Communities 

Senator James Skoufis (D-Orange County) slammed glaring omissions in this year’s final state budget and pointed the finger directly at Governor Hochul for her refusal to engage on serious issues facing New Yorkers. 

Chief among them was flood relief for Skoufis’ district in the wake of the July 9, 2023, storm that decimated the Village of Highland Falls, Town of Highlands, and surrounding communities. Highlighting a speech given by Governor Hochul in the immediate aftermath of the storm, Skoufis pointed out her hypocrisy, asking why her then-promised unity with the people of Orange County was completely absent during budget discussions.

The Governor remained intractable during extended negotiations as Skoufis advanced a proposal to fund the storm damages that went uncovered by FEMA and the state’s Department of Homeland Security. Absent additional aid, local taxpayers will bear costs totaling millions of dollars - and enormous property tax hikes. During negotiations, the Governor blocked Skoufis’ proposal and, instead, chose to spend an additional $700 million towards the Hollywood film tax credit - despite this credit’s proven abysmal return-on-investment to taxpayers - and $500 million for the construction of a high-tech laser in the City of Albany. 

Skoufis remained focused on his stated priorities and, in the face of these outrageous shortfalls, voted no on the largest portion of the final state budget despite being a member of the Senate Democratic majority.

“Budgets are about priorities, and the Governor has made it clear where her priorities lie: with her Hollywood donors and personal pet projects - not the people of Orange County,” said Senator Skoufis. “While I was proud to fight for the best interests of local residents and taxpayers, the final 2024-25 budget leaves too much on the table and blatantly ignores the needs of many New Yorkers. The communities impacted by the catastrophic flooding last July are left high and dry in this budget despite the Governor’s previous promise to stand by them. I won’t stop fighting to get the resources and funding we need to carry through on our commitments to my constituents.”

Skoufis will continue to make important announcements regarding local funding and budget items in the coming weeks.

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