MINORITY LEADER JAMES N. TEDISCO
November 7, 2008
"At today's meeting of Legislative Leaders convened by Governor David Paterson, we discussed the urgent need for our State to take direct action to deal with the dramatic Wall Street downturn and its impact on 'Main Street' as well as New York's economy. The Governor enumerated many worthwhile ideas to help mitigate the State's fiscal crisis, including an accelerated budget process, which is something our Assembly Minority Conference would fully support. We also support the Governor's call for the Legislature to return this November in an emergency economic session, to identify additional budgetary savings and ways we can maximize efficiencies to address a current year budget deficit projected at $1.2 billion, which could grow to $2 billion by the end of this fiscal year.
Our Conference also believes that the Legislature must resist calls to increase taxes. Raising taxes in the middle of this economic crisis would hurt, not help, this situation. It is an unwise decision and could actually jeopardize New York's economic recovery. We will not support a tax hike. I am pleased that Governor Paterson has also indicated his opposition to raising taxes. Regrettably, Speaker Silver has left the door open to the possibility of raising taxes during the middle of a recession. Our Conference will fight to stop any effort that adds to the burden of New York's middle class families who are already being crushed by high taxes.
Make no mistake: there will be many challenging days ahead, possibly the most challenging New York has faced in quite some time. It will be incumbent upon all of us to set partisan politics aside and find real solutions rooted in sound budgeting principles and a realization that State government must return to fiscal responsibility to achieve financial stability. If we work together, we can master this moment and New York will emerge from these trying times stronger than ever."