Sen. Fred Akshar of the 52nd District, which includes Tioga and Broome counties, lashed out at Democrats for their overspending and misplaced priorities in the approved 2021 fiscal year budget.
Akshar issued this statement: “Democrats in charge of state government are giving $2 billion in taxpayer dollars to illegal immigrants, undocumented workers and convicted felons.
“If you do the math this equates to giving out up to $28,000 each. That’s enough to hire 24,000 new nurses or 40,000 new teachers. It’s 11 times more than we’re spending to help our farmers and 400 times more than we’ve spent to help our veterans.
“We could use the $2 billion to lower taxes, shore up the still-failing unemployment system or simply help close the growing deficit. But those in power can’t see past their own political interests.
“Just the latest reason we need to restore common sense and balance to the runaway spending train of state government.”
Akshar also questioned cuts to mental health services: “How can Democrat leadership in the Senate, Assembly and Governor’s mansion somehow explode state spending by $18 billion dollars over last year yet still feel the need cut mental health services and allow the Executive to continue closing inpatient beds?
“One of the most basic obligations of government is to take care of our most vulnerable community members, yet we continue to see more beds closed and more dangerous crimes committed by those in need of mental health services.
“Shouldn’t it be obvious that combining mental health cuts with defunding our community’s law enforcement is a recipe for disaster?”