The New York State budget is weeks late. Even though April 1st is the same date each year, the budget deadline seemed to sneak up on our state legislators in 2023. No surprise.

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Besides bail-reform and state housing initiatives, lawmakers are still arguing over which agency, district, or special interest project is going to get funded in 2023-24 and which ones are not. Without a doubt, there are many of those involved that would like an extra $2 million.

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As reported by Brendan Lyon on timesunion.com, the governor's office paid nearly $2 million to private companies over the past two years, for help in preparing her State of the State addresses. Lyons noted that the speeches are tremendous projects that "take months to prepare, including producing a booklet highlighting the governor’s policy and fiscal priorities." However, with over 188,000 New York State employees, the governor couldn't find any qualified personnel already on the state payroll to write the speeches? Seriously? Did the speeches save New York taxpayers any money?

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New York State has a budget of $230 billion and $41 billion goes to education. The SUNY system has 64 colleges and universities, filled with published professors and educators that could easily draft and finish an-hour-long speech, filled with provided aspects of state government. The annual State of the State is far from a dissertation in space or molecular science. There are only so many ways to politically spin taxes, crime, special interests, guns and housing.

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Many in New York mailed in their state tax checks on Tuesday. When you see $2 million spent on a couple of speeches, it makes you sick to your stomach, as you constantly asked to dish-out "your fair share." So many state-funded programs across New York take the blame for wasting the Empire State's taxpayer's money, and in many instances, rightfully so. However, the legislators and the governor deserve the brunt of the wasted dollars. They brazenly distribute state tax dollars with little thought of those shelling out their hard earned money. So, next time, the governor can feel free to save the money. Neither speech was worth it.

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