As is so often the case, the New York State budget that was just passed contained agreements on a number of non-budget issues, like banning gas stoves, but did not contain one single democracy reform initiative New Yorkers desperately need and strongly support.
The budget was passed more than a month late, holding hostage state government operations and grinding important policy discussions to a halt, while legislative leaders and the governor dithered, before ultimately agreeing on a budget similar to the initial proposals that kicked off the process. In fact, a legislator told Unite NY, “this the same budget the Governor could have had a month ago.”
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So, once again New York’s notoriously broken system delivered an overdue product in a dysfunctional way without addressing reform issues that Unite NY’s Voter Empowerment Index (VEI) found have overwhelming support.
It is no wonder that the VEI found half of New York State voters believe the state’s political environment is on the wrong track and 51% are considering leaving the state. The good news is that 49% of New Yorkers believe that politics in the state are fixable, and the VEI has identified solutions. Specifically, voters overwhelmingly support term limits for Governor (77%) and the state legislature (75%), citizen ballot Initiatives (68%), open primaries (66%) and ranked-choice voting (49%).
After this prolonged budget process, there is now one month left in the legislative session. The Governor and Legislature still have time to act on some of these important reforms. To make this happen, please consider joining Unite NY and making your voice heard.
Together, we can fight to provide more choices for more voices.