Contact: Phil Oliva, (518) 455-3756
For Immediate Release:
Monday, April 24, 2006

Tedisco: Re-Open Five-Way Leaders' Public Budget Meetings
Transparency preferable to media sniping, potential court battle, says Assembly Leader

Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga) today called for the immediate re-opening of the five-way leaders' public budget negotiations. Tedisco called for the return of the public and transparent meetings between the governor and the four legislative leaders as a way to publicly discuss and debate differences and potential compromises regarding the $112.8 billion state budget and Gov. Pataki's $2.9 billion in budget vetoes.

Tedisco called the ongoing "sparring in the media" counterproductive and said a looming court battle must be averted.

"Put the governor and all four legislative leaders back at the roundtable and let's put everything on the table. Right now, we're hearing a lot of sniping via the media and we're hearing a lot of radio ads. What we're not hearing enough of is substantial debate. The only way we can get that is to bring it back to the Red Room in full public view. That way there is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide and only limited opportunity to spin," said Tedisco. "If this dialogue continues to degrade and this goes to court we all lose."

"There are some legitimate arguments on all sides of this debate. Let's bring all sides together and have an honest discussion and work it through that way instead of through media sound-bites and possible legal action," said Assemblyman James Hayes (R-Amherst) Ranking Minority Member on the Assembly Ways and Means Committee.

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