Sussman strongly disagreed with Weisenberg’s priorities, insisting that taxes and jobs were the most pressing issue facing residents. “Go up and down your block … you’re going to find someone in danger of leaving because they can’t pay their taxes,” Sussman said. “You have children who can’t come back and find a job. We are in danger of losing the community we love and the way of life we believe in. This is job number one for every legislator.”
Sussman pointed out that Weisenberg voted against the state tax cap, and argued that he has failed to address what Sussman described as Albany’s broken school aid formula. He said he would work to secure grants and make more money available for state education aid by ending the Triborough Amendment, which prohibits a public employer from altering any provision of an expired labor agreement until a new agreement is reached — an unfunded mandate that Sussman said costs school districts millions.
“The first thing I would do is loudly and openly advocate for our fair share of funds,” Sussman said.
For his part, Weisenberg said he voted against the MTA payroll tax, and that he supported legislation passed in the Assembly — the Save New York Call Center Jobs Act — to address 5,000 jobs lost due to companies’ relocating overseas.
He said he has secured millions of dollars in state aid and grants for schools in the 20th A.D. over the years. Most recently, he said, he worked with State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, a Republican from Rockville Centre, to secure a 3.4 percent increase in school aid, $900,000 more than anticipated.
“This is extra money that we did bring to the schools to help relieve the tax burden that exists,” Weisenberg said.