Lawmakers have questions ahead of Gov. Cuomo's budget reveal
ALBANY, NY (WRGB)--"Where are the dollars to do these things and what are your real priorities?" said Asm. Jim Tedisco.
Governor Andrew Cuomo laid out an ambitious list of proposals in his state of the state addresses, 35 proposals in all.
Republican State Sen. Jim Tedisco says the question on the minds of many in his caucus is how will these projects be paid for.
Tedisco says the governor has invited Republicans to the Executive Mansion for lunch Tuesday.
"He's gonna talk about the budget and confer with us on the budget, and those are the questions we are going to ask him tomorrow. A lot of great proposals, we can all sit around in a room and put down suggestions on how to make a perfect world, love to have free education, free healthcare, free houses, no taxes anymore, but somebody has to pay for it," said Tedisco.
One proposal that has gotten a lot of attention is free tuition at state community colleges for families making less than $125,000 .
Blair Horner is the Executive Director of the New York Public Interest Research Group.
"To say for example that families making income of $125,000 or less, that their family members can attend a SUNY without paying for it, what does that actually mean?" said Horner.
Horner says we'll get an idea on the specifics of how items will be paid for when the governor releases his budget.
"The governor rolls out his policy initiatives for the upcoming session and how he is going to pay for it and how it will all fit together and how the bill language will be will be contained in the budget," he said.
Horner says Gov. Cuomo's plan to boost tourism with a paved 756 mile state trail is a good idea, but that there are many questions with the $200 million price tag.
"I think the governor is right that it would help stimulate some economic activity and tourism along the trail itself but how that fits in the overall economic picture is the question. you always have unlimited demand, you only have finite resources," said Horner.
But, Sen. Tedisco thinks there are other issues that should be a higher priority.
"I'd love to see nice trails for new york state but we have senior citizens who can't afford to pay their taxes," said Tedisco.
We reached out to the governor's office for information on when the budget will be released to the public but have not gotten a response.