The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed our lives. I know this is an obvious statement. But it
has also dramatically changed the public finances of government in New York State. In addition to the
unprecedented amount of money and resources that are being expended to combat this virus and
manage the impact, it also means that revenues that the state receives, through taxes and fees, will also
be negatively impacted in a very dramatic way.

The governor has stated that we will have to revisit the budget and make adjustments as the fiscal year
progresses, depending on how revenues are impacted. Essentially, he is saying that the state will now
be forced to live like so many New Yorkers already do; paycheck to paycheck.

While COVID-19 is portrayed as the culprit in this economic crisis, the state’s expenses already far
exceeded its revenues years before this pandemic arrived. This is only putting us deeper and more
rapidly into the red.

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Now is the time to change how New York’s government operates.

Our state has advanced an agenda that created a costly and burdensome government which has us
leading the nation in taxes, regulations and population loss. Our state leaders have done so under the
guise of being “progressive.” It is not “progressive” at all, but rather agenda-driven politics that has
resulted in rampant waste, fraud and abuse. It is a system that punishes success and self-reliance and
rewards corruption and dependency. It is a system that heavily burdens job-creators and taxpayers and
then overcompensates by generating costly, and largely ineffective, incentives and subsidies. Those
programs pick and choose a select few who will be given relief. Those selections are not made
strategically, but rather in favor of those who support the political agendas of the ruling class in New
York State.

New York State can now no longer afford those incentives and subsidies. It can no longer finance
those pet projects with billions of taxpayer dollars. It can no longer support its crony capitalism and
the effort to create a permanent “dependent class” of citizens, the sole purpose of which is to ensure
that the ruling class stays in power.

The time is now to follow a path similar to the states that have lured away our citizens and businesses.
Let’s reduce regulations and free up our economy. Let’s turn off the spigot that allows people from all
over the world to show up in our state for the sole purpose of living off the taxpayers. Let’s look
carefully at our taxes and find every opportunity to cut them so we keep the productive people from

leaving. If we do all of this, we can reverse the tide of losses we have suffered. We can reduce the
dependency on government which is unsustainable and now has brought us to the brink of financial

Let’s lift the burden that holds our people down. Let’s make New York State the land of freedom it
once was, which made us the epicenter of industry and finance. Let’s bring back a New York that rises
from the ashes of this crisis stronger and better than ever before. We must do this not just because it’s
the right thing to do, but also because we can no longer afford not to do so.

Sen. George M. Borrello represents the 57th Senate District of New York State which includes
Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties as well as portions of Livingston County.