Albany, NY—In response to Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address, which outlined his 2019 budget priorities, Jessica Wisneski, Co-Executive Director of Citizen Action of New York, has issued the following statement:

“It’s great that the Governor has uplifted his long-standing support for public campaign financing by prioritizing it in his Executive Budget and 100-Day Agenda. There’s no better way to counter Trump’s anti-democracy agenda than by passing campaign finance reforms that amplify the voices of everyday New Yorkers. The new Congress has made HR1 their first priority of 2019. In New York, we can become national leaders by passing public campaign financing in the state budget.

“The Governor, Senate and Assembly now all agree that we must overhaul New York’s bail and discovery laws, ensure speedy trial, and legalize marijuana. We need bail overhaul that centers decarceration, protects due process, and ends race and wealth-based disparities in the system. Any marijuana legalization bill passed must address past harm by expunging conviction records and reinvesting in the communities most harmed by the decades-long War on Drugs.

“On education, the Governor continues to ignore the facts. Public schools across the state are woefully underfunded. We all have the same goals to finally achieve equity, specifically for systemically underfunded schools in Black and Brown communities. But we must acknowledge that the Governor has failed to abide by the Foundation Aid formula, which is in New York State law. We are hopeful that the new State Senate and long-time allies in the State Assembly will continue to fight for the funding our schools need: the $2.2 billion increase called for by the Board of Regents.”