NY Budget Had Senators Questioning Dick's Sporting Goods OpenPosted: Updated:
Tense debates are far from new in the NY State Senate, but no-one could have guessed that the Dick's Sporting Goods Open would be the center of attention in the $168.5 billion budget plan.
According to USA Today Network, Albany lawmakers from Manhattan questioned the $3 million allocated toward the 2018 Open was an appropriate use of taxpayer funds.
Coming to the defense of the En-Joie Golf Club in Endicott was Senator Fred Akshar [R], who stated "I would remind my colleague that not everything is the West Side of Manhattan." He went on to add that Dick's Open is an economic engine for the Southern Tier, and has helped contribute roughly $16 million to local charities since it's inception in 1973.
Taking Akshar's argument as a barb toward down-state NY, Senate Deputy Minority Leader Michael Gianaris of Queens [D] stepped in to respond, "[Manhattan] gives the Senate the luxury to spread money to parts of the state that need more help." Gianaris continued, "I would think that there would be some level of appreciation of that fact rather than disdain..."
For some time, the heated debate continued between Akshar and several other New York City senators until Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco of DeWitt [R] corrected the arguing parties. "Why can't we love each other? Everything was going so nicely," DeFrancisco said with a chuckle.
Eventually the Senate returned to session and approved the budget bill, 56 in favor and 2 against. The bill will be put forth to the Assembly, Friday, for approval.