New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul says the new $175.5 billion state budget contains several items of interest to the Southern Tier including investment in green energy opportunities.

P.W. Creighton/TSM

The Democrat was in Broome County April 17 as part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s initiative to send administration representatives around the state to highlight areas of the 2019-2020 spending plan directly impacting them.

County leaders say they still have concerns over several portions of the newly-passed budget including how they will pay for programs with the now-permanent 2% property tax cap that limits tax increases and the costs  of monitoring people accused of lower-level crimes that had remained incarcerated if they couldn’t make bail but who can now remain free under the elimination of some cash-bail requirements under the budget.

Hochul also praised the Southern Tier’s leadership in the developing the growing hemp industry and touched on the passage of a ban on single-use plastic shopping bags.

That ban was the point of a recent survey by Republican State Senator Fred Akshar who says the 52nd district was split on support of the ban, slightly in favor of it.  Those results were similar to other state-wide polls on the topic.