Assembly Republicans are urging the Democratic majority to reduce the $425 million in tax breaks for film productions and restore a $90 million cut to the state Office of People with Developmental Disabilities.
In the 2013-14 budget, lawmakers restored $30 million of a $120 million cut to the agency proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The $90 million cut that remains should be funded through a reduction in the $425 million a year in tax breaks given to Hollywood, Assembly Republicans said.
“On the one hand, you have the most vulnerable in our society. On the other hand, you have literally the most elite in our society,” said Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor, R-Fishkill, Dutchess County. “And this budget from earlier this month or late last month, we decided as a state to side with the elites.”
During the budget deliberations last month, Assembly Democrats derided the cuts but most voted to support the budget. Assembly Republicans ripped the cuts and sought to restore them.
Assembly Republicans, who hold 43 of the 150 seats in the chamber, said Hollywood shouldn’t get tax breaks at the expense of New York’s most vulnerable population.
Assemblyman Bill Nojay, R-Pittsford, Monroe County, accused Cuomo of pandering to the film industry in exchange for campaign contributions. Cuomo has been criticized for language in the film-tax program to keep talk-show host Jimmy Fallon in New York when he takes over as the host of “The Tonight Show.”
Nojay said the state is giving $5 million for next year’s Super Bowl in New Jersey and spending $30 million to enforce a new gun-control law, which Republicans have opposed.
“I’m appalled that the governor has cut $90 million from our most vulnerable citizens,” Nojay said. “I am more appalled that he does so at the same time he talks about cleaning up the corruption when he is wading in the cesspool of that corruption every day here in Albany.”