There’s only a little over a month left before the June 28 primary, where voters will go to the polls and choose their Democratic and Republican nominees for governor, other statewide offices and representatives in the Assembly.
With this in mind, PoliticsNY asked the four candidates running in the Republican Primary for governor – Congress Member Lee Zeldin (D– Long Island), former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, former White House aide to ex-President Donald Trump Andrew Giuliani and businessman Harry Wilson – the following question:
How would you handle the budget process and governing in general should both chambers of the legislature remain under a Democratic controlled majority?
Harry Wilson: We will rebuild the entire budget from the ground up, as I have done in company after company, focusing on serving the core needs of New Yorkers far better than we do today, while cutting waste and ineffective programs. I will also go after Kathy Hochul’s $8 billion dollar slush fund and corporate welfare programs that only benefit the political insiders. For some perspective, even with the $25 billion in reductions this process will yield, we will still be spending far more per capita than deep blue states like Massachusetts and California. Most importantly, our relentless focus on accountability will produce better quality services that meet the needs of New Yorkers better, at a lower cost.
No one else running for governor has the skill set or experience needed to develop this Turnaround Plan — or the courage to see it through. Under state law, if the legislature doesn’t pass a budget by March 31, they will not get paid until they do. I will negotiate in good faith, but I refuse to compromise on what New Yorkers need the most: lower taxes, a lower cost of living, better quality services and safer streets.
We know today that 49 other states do a better job than New York — delivering better services at a lower cost. And every business needs to thread this needle every day. The only reason Albany — the most broken state government in the country — does not is because it lacks a governor with the skills, experience and courage to drive a turnaround of New York. Instead, career politicians on both sides of the aisle are driving our state into the ground.
I have negotiated hundreds of far more complicated deals with stakeholders who said they would never change and that the organization could not be fixed—and I have managed to develop win-win solutions every time. New York State will be no different. By the end of 2023, New York will be a far more affordable, far more prosperous, and far safer place to live and work for all New Yorkers if I am elected governor in November.